Memories of Murder (18)

Film

Thrillers

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Time Out says

A huge critical and commercial success in Korea, Bong's film fictionalises the search for the country's first recorded serial killer. (The actual crimes - rapes and murders - began in Gyeongi Province, outside Seoul, in 1986 and continued for some five years; the perpetrator was never caught.) The film centres on the efforts of the local cops and an officer from Seoul to sift evidence, identify patterns, follow up leads and interrogate suspects; there are several false leads before a woman cop notices a correlation between the attacks and requests for a particular song on the radio. Much of the plentiful gallows humour springs from the clashes between the poorly educated and trained local force and the more sophisticated urban detective, but nothing works out predictably. All of the characters, including the prime suspect, are victims of the Korea of the 1980s: living under dictatorial military government and inured by a Cold War mentality to acts of violence and brutality. Bong brilliantly spreads the blame by using multiple points of view for his mise-en-scène, and gets tremendous performances from his stars and supporting cast alike.
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Release details

Rated:

18

UK release:

2003

Duration:

127 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Byon Hui-Bong, Kim Sang-Kyung, Song Jae-Ho, Song Kang-Ho, Park Hae-Il, Kim Roi-Ha

Screenwriter:

Shim Sung-Bo, Bong Joon-Ho

Producer:

Lee Kang-Bok, Tcha Sung-Jai

Director:

Bong Joon-Ho

Art Director:

Yoo Seong-Hee

Music:

Taro Iwashiro

Editor:

Kim Sun-Min

Cinematography:

Kim Hyung-Goo

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Average User Rating

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Technoguy

This film shows why Korean cinema is so resurgent.There is an exuberance where subject matter of a tragic nature is balanced by methods of a comic caper,Keystone Cops-style.There is a great manic energy between the country cops, Park and Cho and rivalry with the sophisticated Seoul detective brought in to help out. It's a case of beating people up for confessions,using intuitive techniques like staring in their eyes or looking for men with shaved genitals or using fortune-telling shamans ,to more scientific methods and procedures like DNA.The policing went on with the background of a military dictatorship and the suppression of student protests.We experience moments of intense suspense using lush cinematography. All the leading characters give a 100% commitment to their roles as they move from elation to despair and increasing desperation as they attempt to find the elusive serial killer,who actually existed between 1986-1991 as an active threat.A sad song is requested on rainy days just before each killing on a local radio station.That leads them to a smooth faced young man whose DNA proves wrong though they still want to kill him.The problem also is that all the police resources are being used on suppressing student dissent.The serial killer can flourish and is too clever to leave any evidence. Watch this and compare it to Zodiac to see the difference in the treatments,but again it's not so much focussed on the killer as it is on the people who have to find him.

Technoguy

This film shows why Korean cinema is so resurgent.There is an exuberance where subject matter of a tragic nature is balanced by methods of a comic caper,Keystone Cops-style.There is a great manic energy between the country cops, Park and Cho and rivalry with the sophisticated Seoul detective brought in to help out. It's a case of beating people up for confessions,using intuitive techniques like staring in their eyes or looking for men with shaved genitals or using fortune-telling shamans ,to more scientific methods and procedures like DNA.The policing went on with the background of a military dictatorship and the suppression of student protests.We experience moments of intense suspense using lush cinematography. All the leading characters give a 100% commitment to their roles as they move from elation to despair and increasing desperation as they attempt to find the elusive serial killer,who actually existed between 1986-1991 as an active threat.A sad song is requested on rainy days just before each killing on a local radio station.That leads them to a smooth faced young man whose DNA proves wrong though they still want to kill him.The problem also is that all the police resources are being used on suppressing student dissent.The serial killer can flourish and is too clever to leave any evidence. Watch this and compare it to Zodiac to see the difference in the treatments,but again it's not so much focussed on the killer as it is on the people who have to find him.