OKJA
2017, Netflix, 120 min, South Korea/USA, Dir: Bong Joon Ho

A decade after biotech CEO Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) launches a contest to raise the world’s finest genetically designed “super pig,” South Korean farm girl Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun) learns that her super pig, Okja, has won the title. When Okja is hauled off to be exhibited in New York City, Mija undertakes a rescue mission that puts her in league with the Animal Liberation Front – and into the clutches of the profit-minded Mirando Corporation. An imaginative adventure with friendship and humanity’s nearsightedness at its center, OKJA is a moving reminder that courage can take small forms.


MEMORIES OF MURDER
SALINUI CHUEOK
2003, CJ Entertainment, 132 min, South Korea, Dir: Bong Joon Ho

Inspired by the first serial murders in South Korea’s modern history, this engrossing crime story is marked with textural richness and tonal finesse. After two women are found raped and murdered in quick succession, rural detectives Park and Cho (Song Kang-ho and Kim Roi-ha) are tasked with finding the killer. Their crude methods ill-suited to the job, the pair are soon joined by an urban detective who proposes to solve the case by subtler means. Gripping throughout and laced with the humor of a bumbling cop routine, MEMORIES OF MURDER invites surprise up to its final frame.


BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE
FLANDERSUI GAE
2000, Magnolia Pictures, 110 min, South Korea, Dir: Bong Joon Ho

A mix of gallows humor and character-driven chaos, Bong Joon Ho’s directorial debut stars Lee Sung-jae as a jobless academic living in an apartment complex. Driven to the brink by his demanding wife and by the persistent sound of a barking dog, he resolves to rid the complex of noisy pooches wherever he finds them. Faced with the disappearance of one beloved pet after another, the complex’s unassuming bookkeeper (Bae Donna) finds herself under pressure to uncover the culprit. Smartly satirical in its depiction of confined living, BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE both shocks and delights with a tale of two unfulfilled people and the surreal series of events that brings them into collision.


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