Bijou present Pacific Cinema: The Rise of Korean films

By Michelle Li

EUGENE, Ore. For this year’s Cinema Pacific Film Festival, hosted by the University of Oregon, the international spotlight is on the thriving cinema of Korea. Watching the psychopath killing movie “Memories of Murder” in a theater can be quite a thrilling experience.

From the morbidity of the gruesome murders to the unexpected humor found in the massive ineptitude of the police investigating the case, The film blends genres without batting an eye.

Based on the real-life case of Korea’s first serial killer, the film took place in 1986 when a time of political turbulence and earlier experiment of democracy. A body of a young women is found brutally raped and murdered. After that a series of rapes and murders happened with similar situations: rainy day, female victims wearing read dresses. The local police started an investigation in the town but they still could not track down the killer.

The film focused on capturing a society in flux as illuminated by the crisis of the murder investigation, with many quite disturbing murder scenes. The cinematography of the countryside is spectacular and unsettling: in this bucolic setting of golden fields and open skies there is a murderer loose and praying on unsuspecting women.

Sarah Walters, a student at the University of Oregon, said she really liked the ending. “It is brilliant. The series murders became an unsolved case, which leave the suspense that everyone can be the killer,” Walter said.

The director Bong Joon-ho won the best director award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. The film also become the fourth most-viewed film in the country’s history.

Cinema Pacific will present a complete retrospective of Bong Joon-ho, including his four feature films: “Barking Dogs Never Bite,”” Memories of Murder,” “The Host,” and “Mother.”

The five-day event is hosted by the UO Arts and Administration program and UO Academic Extension. This year the festival highlights films made in countries around the Pacific, seeks in its first year to highlight West Coast and Korean filmmakers.

About michelleqianli

Michelle QianLi is currently studying MCDM at University of Washington. She is a native-born Chinese and came to U.S. in 2008.
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