March 10, 2010 |
The explosion of South Korean cinema in the last decade or so has been extraordinary to watch. Not long after the vibrant Hong Kong industry started losing its momentum, Korea began to take up the slack. Extraordinary filmmakers such as Park Chan-wook ("Oldboy"), Kim Ji-woon ("A Tale of Two Sisters") and Kim Ki-duk ("3-Iron") developed reputations. Bong Joon-ho, whose fourth film, "Mother," opens in L.A. this week, is one of the best South Korean directors and arguably the most accessible to U.S. audiences.
July 18, 2010 |
One of the most successful directors in South Korea and one of the best-known Korean directors internationally, Bong Joon-ho is the rare filmmaker who seems to work both within and beyond the confines of genre. His brisk, funny, extremely well-made movies deliver the familiar pleasures of pop entertainment, though often in unfamiliar configurations. Bong has made four features (and a handful of shorts) and has been intriguingly hard to pin down from film to film. He made his debut in 2000 with "Barking Dogs Never Bite," a portrait of big-city anomie centered on an anonymous Seoul apartment complex, then followed it with "Memories of Murder" (2003)
March 13, 2010 |
Monsters come in all shapes and guises in the cinematic universe of South Korean director Bong Joon-ho. In his 2003 film "Memories of Murder," the monster was a serial killer whose murders were never solved by the police. In his acclaimed 2006 "The Host," which holds the record for Korean box-office admissions, the demon was quite literally a savage monster that came from the Han River in the middle of Seoul to feast on the metropolis. And in his latest film, "Mother," which opened Friday, the monster is a single mother who goes to any lengths to prove that her mentally challenged 27-year-old son didn't murder a promiscuous teenage girl.
March 23, 2007
Re "Bong hits for free speech," editorial, March 20 Perhaps young Joseph Frederick has stumbled on a constitutionally protected way to legalize marijuana. The fact that pot is benign compared with alcohol or pharmaceuticals, much less harder drugs, didn't do it. The fact that dying people find relief from their suffering with pot hasn't seemed to faze lawmakers. Perhaps as a sacrament to Jesus can an exception to our draconian legal posture be found, and we can end decades of lies about this resourceful weed.
May 26, 2000 |
There is nothing even a little funny about the rash of incidents at America's high schools involving student violence and/or drug use. There is nothing even a little funny about the efforts to restore order to our schools being made by teachers and/or parents. Or is there? Something a little funny did happen recently, affecting a student body from Winnebago County and a business based in Orange County.
March 12, 2010
An enthralling Korean mystery The enthralling, unpredictable, yet highly accessible "Mother" from Korea's Bong Joon-ho, takes the predicament of a fiercely devoted single mother (Kim Hye-ja, in an Oscar-caliber portrayal) determined to get justice for her simple-minded son, Do-joon (Won Bin), arrested for the murder of a teenage girl by lazy, indifferent police, and turns it into a dazzlingly multifaceted epic of stunning surprise. The mother's realization that she must investigate the murder herself if she is to have a hope of saving her son allows the film to become a murder mystery -- and much more.