Three years before Memories of Murder, Bong Joon-ho made his directorial debut with a film that we definitely count among his “minors”, but it’s still better than Okja and it really showed the talent of a Korean director at the time. Review of The Dog That Barks Don’t Bite by Federico Gironi.
Three years before the world was startled by phenomena Memories of the murderAnd Bong Joon Ho He made his directorial debut with a film that we certainly count among his “minor” films, even if not above all in hindsight (but better than OK), but in any case it was really there to show the talent of a Korean director, his passion for certain subjects, certain characters, and certain situations.
Story of the The dog that didn’t bite He is a young undergraduate researcher frustrated at his inability to obtain a professorship of his own, who convinces himself of the annoying dog barking that comes from who knows which suburban tower block apartment where he lives is the cause of it all. His reason. So he recognizes a dog, manages to steal it from its owner (a little girl, moreover), tries to put it aside but doesn’t have the courage, and so locks it in a locker in the basement of the building.
Otherwise, Conscience does his homework, but when he returns downstairs, he discovers that the dog has been found by the caretaker, who instead of returning it, well: he decides to make us a stew.
Everyone stop, don’t be a spoiler.
Because this questionable dog-related Korean food tradition is ridiculous. Because his movie begins with a sign that says, “All dogs featured in this movie have been treated with care and under medical supervision.” And why The dog that didn’t bite before many other things, A black comedy capable of being very funnyand to intertwine the story of this hero (who will personally kill another dog before he finds one at home, brought home by his eccentric pregnant wife) with that of a slightly eccentric girl working in the co-management who is passionate about the cause of lost dogs.
In the role of this girl is a very good role Bye Do Nato which Bong offered him one of the first roles in the movie, and then appeared not only in the hostIt is the third feature film by the Korean director but also in films such as The Japanese Jewel Linda Linda LindaAnd Atlantic clouds And good stars by Kore-eda.
If Bong Bin between these two characters hints at the possibility of a love story that will never become a love story, in his film he tells first and foremost a story A man is a prisoner of a social and practical system This drives him so low that it gives him the opportunity to react only in a degenerate way: in this sense his tragic career as a serial dog-killer is nothing but an ironic manifestation of the bribery he will have to pay in order to obtain the career advancement he craves.
Even a girl is uncomfortable in the socio-economic system in which she finds herself, and that aspect – which then affects, even if only tangentially, class issuesor even topics like Elderly isolationor extreme marginalization – She is one of the many that we will find again in the next Bong cinema.
Less accomplished and organized than his later masterpieces (Memories of the murderof course, where the serial killer really and seriously is, but also himself the hostwhere the grotesque is also metaphorical, or obviously fantastic parasitesfrom geometric perfection), The unbite barking of dogs tells us of Bong already mastering the medium from a technical point of view, already capable of pitches and pitches, and lifting a lot of the “heavy” topics he tackles.
Then, in particular, some sequences and some fleeting moments are striking which are a direct justification of the zeitgeist, even the cinematography (the film is from 2000), which seem to indicate commonalities in tonality, vision and implied parallels between the events and characters of this film and the characters of many American Independent Cinema of those years. That cinema that tells of strange characters and perverted events, the authors love Wes Anderson (roughly quoted here, at times), Spike JonesAnd Jared Hess And many other things.
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