Bong-Fest Coming To New York!

Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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Nope, it's got nothing to do with Tommy Chong and you can't be arrested for attending. What it is is a mini-festival of all of Bong Joon-Ho's films - including two early shorts that I was completely unaware even existed - screening in New York City starting February 26th. The centerpiece of the festival is ostensibly the director himself attending a screening of The Host and participating in a post-screening Q&A but I'm every bit as fascinated by the chance to see the two shorts ... read on for the official announcement.


New York, NY–February 5, 2007–Director Bong Joon-Ho is a cinematic sensation across the Pacific, making black comedies, gritty crime dramas and sci-fi thrillers that keep Asian audiences on the edge of their seat. His star is rising in Hollywood too: on March 9th, his blockbuster mutant horror film The Host will debut in the U.S.(distributed by Magnolia Pictures, New York audiences can get to know his work before the buzz starts, at a Bong Joon-Ho Mini Film Festival—a screening of six of Bong’s films—at the IFC Center on Monday, February 26 and Tuesday, February 27.
Co-presented by The Korea Society and the Korean Film Council, the Bong Joon-Ho mini film festival will screen five of Bong’s best films, Incoherence, Sink and Rise, Barking Dogs Never Bite and Memories of Murder. The mini festival will also include a special advance screening of The Host at which Bong Joon-Ho will appear for a special director’s Q&A session. (See below for film and schedule details.)
General admission tickets are $11. For more information, please visit For directions to IFC Film Center, please visit

Bong Joon-Ho Mini Film Festival Schedule

Monday, February 26 at 7:00 PM
Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000)
American Beauty hopped up on laughing gas, Barking Dogs Never Bite is a shaggy dog story about the mysteries of pregnancy, the length of toilet paper, lost dogs, and good stew for urban sophisticates.

Monday, February 26 at 9:15 PM
Memories of Murder
Korea's most acclaimed film of 2003, a master work based on the real story of the country’s first recorded serial killer

Tuesday, February 27 at 6:00 PM
Sink and Rise (2005) and Incoherence (1994)
Two of Bong’s early, short comedies; rippling with whimsy.

Tuesday, February 27 at 8:30 PM
The Host (2006)
Followed by director Q&A with Bong Joon-Ho
The Host, which attracted 13 million South Korean viewers (25% of the country), is an improbable union of Little Miss Sunshine and Godzilla: a family comedy, mutant drama and political satire. Bong expertly balances absurd humor against tense thrills, and domestic drama against mass mayhem, reasserting South Korea's place at the pinnacle of genre-busting cinema.

The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) was founded as a government supported body (Ministry of Culture and Tourism) in accordance with Article 7 of the Korean Film Promotion Law in order to improve the quality of Korean films and to promote the Korean film industry. The Korea Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of greater awareness, understanding and cooperation between the United States and Korea.

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Bob ViolenceFebruary 14, 2007 3:24 AM

My mistake -- Sink and Rise is actually on part two of that compilation.

EvilWingedMonkeyFebruary 14, 2007 9:27 AM

Indeed! Farrell you are obviously not qualified to review this film. I too am stunned!!1 You compare this beautifully made film to Jaws?? I suggest you return to your formulaic American Drivel and leave quality cinema to the adults..........

roseFebruary 14, 2007 7:30 PM

After seeing the Host I want to see more of this director's work. The visuals are stunning. The South Korean setting and the characters were clearly portrayed and completely engaging. The little girl who played the daughter, what a talented actress. I also enjoyed character of the sister who was a competitive archer. I happened to see the archery finals for the Olympics when they were held in Central Park a few summers ago. The South Korean women were by far the best and by the number of Korean spectators there cheering them on (oddly chanting "one, two, three" in unison) it seems that archery is a big sport there.

As for the monster, there are sequences that you won't forget. The rendering is terrific work and definitely scared me - more than once. I liked that the monster made random and unexpected choices as it was attacking people. I also enjoyed that the pacing of the movie was completely different then any other monster-type movie I have seen. In fact, the monster disappears from the screen for long periods of time. No American director would have made this film this way.

But, I do agree that this was no lightweight summer entertainment like "Jaws." This movie is telling stories on many different levels and I need to see it again to understand them. I would say that anyone who thinks this is just another "monster" movie is mistaken.

FarrellFebruary 15, 2007 12:45 AM

First off I did not compare this horrible movie to Jaws the people who are promoting it did. I have seen it on flyers, poster, & daybills saying how it's like Jurrasic Park or Jaws. That's just bad promoting. For you to say that I should go back to American drivel garbage is just rubbish. I have probably watched and own more foreign flicks than you will hope to see in a lifetime. I love watching good foreign films and usually can't stand most of what Hollywood has to offer. As for the CG monster it was garbage compared to the likes of Paul Verhoven's Starship Troopers or Jurassic Park and many others for that matter. For Christ sakes I would rather watch Negadon than this crap! The little girl a good actress you say??? I don't think so, Dakota Fanning is a talented young female actress this girl is not. As for suspense there was absolutely none. As for the acting it was good, but very bland and easily forgotten. As for scarey my little nephew didn't even get scared.Now I know why when it got outside of Korea it was passed along as just another Korean movie that was way over hyped. If I want to see something scary I will watch mum from Braindead.....hahahahaha

nittyFebruary 15, 2007 1:34 AM

I loved The Host but maybe Farrell just set his expectations a little too high.Oh and calling a masterpiece like Jaws "American drivel"is just plain insane.People around here need to ease up on the hate which is borderline racist.

FarrellFebruary 15, 2007 2:11 AM

I almost forgot my favorite part. At the end of the movie the father sees both the little boy and his daughter injured on the ground. He completely ignores the little boy and scoops his daughter up and takes off. At the very end though he is completely sympathetic and caring for the boy. How did that change within only a few minutes??? It makes no sense and yet I still didn't seem to care. I can't believe that nobody else feels the same way that I do. I think everyone just believed the hype and didn't want to see this film for what it really is......Boring

swarezFebruary 15, 2007 3:25 AM

He went for his daughter because well...she's his daughter, just like any parent would do. He took the boy because his daugter died and figured he could raise the kid since he was homeless and had nobody.
Pretty clear to me.
You didn't like the film, fine, get over it. We did and that's OK as well.

MarcFebruary 15, 2007 9:48 AM

The father turning to the little boy marks the redemption of his character who up until the crisis of the monster's attack, was a callow, irresponsible and lousy Dad.

joey6666February 15, 2007 10:27 PM

I agree with rose that in the hands of an American director this would be a completely different movie. It would have been about fantastically done CGI with a perfect textured skin and excellent rendered saliva dripping from detailed mouth.
Oh and somewhere around this beast there's a wacky dysfunctional family running around trying to hunt it down an kill it.

THAT is what a large Hollywood company would do... Look what they did with Godzilla! (A better comparison then with Jaws) Take a camp Japanese franchise and throw with tens of millions at it for the best CGI with a flimsy storyline to keep it all going. Simple one dimensional entertainment without any depth.

Ah well.. in time we will all know the outcome as Hollywood bought the rights of the Host....

EvilWingedMonkeyFebruary 21, 2007 10:01 AM

Farrell, you speak garbage I am a 45 yr old who has spent his whole life watching foreign film, you sir by your mention of limited releases, all US drivel, show your own ignorance. Jaws is not a great film, sorry.
I think that you just decided you didn't like this film before you saw it because you pander to US monster movies, like Jurassic and the pedestrian Starship Troopers. The Host, because it has a touching human element and was beautifully shot was obviously more than you could handle! back to Speilbergton and Lucasville with ya!