MEMORIES OF MURDER (SALINUI CHUEOK) (Bong Joon-ho, 2003)
209 West Houston St.
Saturday, July 18, 4:30, and Saturday, July 25, 4:40
Series continues through August 5
Inspired by actual events, Bong Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder is a psychological thriller set in a rural South Korean town. With a serial killer on the loose, Seoul sends experienced inspector Suh (Kim Sang-kyung) to help with the case, which is being bungled by local detectives Park (Song Kang-ho) and Cho (Kim Roe-ha), who consistently tamper with evidence, bring in the wrong suspects, and torture them in both brutal and ridiculously funny ways. But as the frustration level builds and more victims are found, even Suh starts considering throwing away the book and doing whatever is necessary to catch the killer. Bong’s first major success, earning multiple awards at film festivals around the world, Memories of Murder is a well-paced police procedural that contains just enough surprises to overcome a few too many genre clichés. The film is beautifully shot by Kim Hyung-gu, from wide-open landscapes to a busy, crowded factory. But the film is dominated by Song’s (The Host, Snowpiercer) big, round face, a physical and emotional wonder whether he’s goofing around with a prisoner or dead-set on catching a criminal. Winner of numerous international film festival awards, Memories of Murder is screening July 18 & 25 as part of Film Forum’s “True Crime” series, which continues through August 5 with such other ripped-from-the-headlines favorites as Sidney Lumet’s Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon, Franceso Rosi’s The Mattei Affair, Fritz Lang’s M, and double features of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope and Tom Kalin’s Swoon and Robert Wise’s The Body Snatcher and I Want to Live!