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.


THE HOST
GWOEMUL
2006, Magnolia Pictures, 120 min, South Korea, Dir: Bong Joon Ho

Much more than just a monster movie, Bong Joon Ho’s third film spans the intimate and the epic, the personal and the political, in a fantastical tale about the lengths to which a family will go in recovering one of its own. Due to the negligence of a U.S. military installation, an amphibian beast emerges from Seoul's Han River, wreaking havoc on city residents and abducting the daughter of riverfront vendor Park Gang-du (Song Kang-ho). With the help of his elderly father, listless brother and archery medalist sister, Park races against time for save the girl while government authorities concoct their own, ecologically reckless means of vanquishing the creature. “A loopy, feverishly imaginative genre hybrid.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times.


BULLET IN THE HEAD
DIP HUET GAI TAU
1990, 120 min, Hong Kong, Dir: John Woo

Hailed by many as Woo’s finest and most personal film, BULLET is a thrillingly beautiful and searingly cathartic drama of three friends (Tony Leung, Jacky Cheung and Waise Lee) in 1967 Hong Kong, who are forced to flee after becoming unintentionally embroiled in a gang vendetta. Woo unflinchingly charts their harrowing escape into the fire of the Vietnam inferno, as the trio become targets for black marketeers as well as Viet Cong, and run a gauntlet that will tear apart their friendship in the process.


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