Fifth about The Seventh

Memories of Murder (Sarinui Chueok)

Memories of Murder: Bong Joon-ho’s take on the investigation of a serial killer in rural South Korea is such a rich, interesting experience. It becomes a tale of multiple obsessions, naturally: that of the criminal, that of the investigators, and how the small-town detectives react differently than the big-city detective. The local detectives can be seen as a source of humour with their oafish, brute behaviour, but they mostly come across as pathetic, even if they believe they are doing what is right. Song Kang-ho gives an excellent performance as one of them. Kim Sang-kyung is likewise excellent as the visiting detective, and his transformation from the relative Renaissance man status is touching. The film is visually distinctive, as cinematographer Kim Hyung-ku and director Bong generally eschews away from traditional coverage; instead, they stage the characters within a frame and keep the camera rolling without edits. The frames are busy but never confusing, and the images are always precisely well-composed. The washed-out colors, constant rain, dirty sets, all help create an oppressive mood; the same can be said about Taroo Iwashiro’s musical score.


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