Memories of Murder

2003, Bong Joon-ho, South Korea

Director: Bong Joon-HoSong Kang-Ho
Producer: Kim Moo-Ryung
Screenplay: Bong Joon-Ho, Shim Sung-Bo,
  based on Nal borer Wayo
  [Come and See Me] by Kim Kwang-Rim
Production Designer: Ryu Sung-Hee
Editor: Kim Sun-Min
Music: Taro Iwashiro
Song Kang-Ho (Detective Park Doo-Man)
Kim Sang-Kyung (Detective Seo Tae-Yoon)
Kim Rwe-Ha (Detective Cho Yong-Koo)
Song Jae-Ho (Sergeant Shin Dong-Chul)
Byun Hee-Bong (Sergeant Koo Hee-Bong)
Ryu Tae-Ho (Cho Byung-Soon)
Park Kwang-Sik (Baek Kwang-Ho)
Park Hae-Il (Park Hyun-Kyu)

Rating: R16 violence, offensive language & sex scenes Runtime: 130 minutes
Content note: Contains scenes of sexual assault

Ever seen a burnt-out detective squatting in a tunnel, crouched by a sodden body, staring into the distance?  Yes, in every Korean cop series…. Memories of Murder was one of the great initiators of the Korean Wave that has been copied ever since.

Based loosely on a true story, Memories of Murder sees two cops (including Song Kang-ho of Parasite)investigate a series of grisly murders in a small town on the edge of farmland.  It’s 1986: South Korea is still a military dictatorship and law enforcement is more concerned with stamping out demonstrators than solving crimes.  The tech available to the small town police is non-existent, and their techniques – beating confessions out of the local misfits – are not that flash either.  A detective sent from Seoul assists but the pair struggle to get ahead of the killer as his modus operandi reveals itself – is it a coincidence that the murders happened on rainy nights? 

 “In addition to Mr. Bong’s insistent reminders of the country’s larger unease, what distinguishes Memories of Murder, setting it apart from rank-and-file thrillers, is its singular mix of gallows humour and unnerving solemnity. Much of the humour comes at the expense of the detectives, whose ineffectualness is at once appalling and comical.” – The New York Times



Mar 04 2024


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