It’s a great year for South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho. His latest, Parasite, has been a tremendous success, winning the coveted Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and generally stunning audiences across the world. It’s South Korea’s submission for next year’s Oscars, and this writer would say it seems like a safe horse to bet on. Besides being a generally great and funny guy, Bong is a generally great and funny filmmaker. For years now! Parasite distributor NEON is looking to remind audiences of Bong’s long-running talent with a rerelease of one of his best, early films.
Memories of Murder was originally released in South Korea in 2003--also playing Cannes that year--focusing on the true story of a string of murders that plagued the Gyeonggi Province of South Korea between the mid-’80s and 1991. The film has since become a hallmark of Bong’s eclectic style, melding comedy and violence, political commentary and bitter sadness. It’s a really, really great film.
Specifics aren’t yet set, but NEON’s theatrical redistribution of Memories is also set to extend to a new Blu-Release of the film, something US collectors have gone without.
With Parasite going strong into awards season and some terrific retrospectives underway, South Korean cinema is really getting a grand international push in 2019. It’s wonderful to see foreign films receive such publicity, turning new viewers on to other cultures and films, and helping stalwart fans revisit old favorites.
Parasite is now in theaters.