Memories of Murder (2003), Bong Joon-ho
My favorite of your films is Memories of Murder, and I find myself watching it every few months. As a young filmmaker I find it filled with so much inspiration. One thing I love so much about it is the way it seamlessly mixes tension, beauty, and comedy.
My question is about the comedy. Did the comedy in the film just come about naturally, or was it a more conscious decision? Were you afraid that the comedy would not mix well with the otherwise very dark subject matter? Was there a specific purpose to comedy, or was it just there to make the film enjoyable?
Bong Joon-Ho: Just the idea of whether it be a comedy or a thriller or a sad film, to maintain one tone throughout is very hard to accomplish and feels MORE artificial. I think that in life, comedy and drama and terrifying moments are all mixed together, don’t you agree? That’s how life is, so it’s not like I deliberately or consciously calculates these types of contrasts, it happens naturally. And it’s more challenging to do a scene or movie in one tone. Like with very serious moments in life, if you take one step back, it could be very funny if you look at it with a cynical point of view, or very very happy moments in life, you take a few steps back and it could be very sad. It’s really all about distance, how far away you are can change the way you see it drastically. (Reddit AMA)
I was just reading this AMA after watching MOTHER last night! MEMORIES OF MURDER is the last of Bong’s I still need to see.