By MICHAEL GINGOLD
The modern serial-killer classic is getting the special editions it deserves.
The Criterion Collection will release MEMORIES OF MURDER on two-Blu-ray and two-DVD sets April 20. A slow-burning, ultimately haunting film, it helped launch director Bong Joon-ho (who scripted with Shim Sung-bo from Kim Kwang-rim’s play) on the international cinema scene; he would go on to helm THE HOST, SNOWPIERCER and the Oscar-winning PARASITE, among others. The synopsis: “Based on the true story of a string of serial killings that rocked a rural community in the 1980s, MEMORIES OF MURDER stars New Korean Cinema icon Song Kang-ho as the local officer who reluctantly joins forces with a seasoned Seoul detective [Kim Sang-kyung] to investigate the crimes–leading each man on a wrenching, years-long odyssey of failure and frustration that will drive him to the existential edge.” Kim Roe-ha, Song Jae-ho, Byun Hee-bong and Ko Seo-hie also star.
The special features in this director-approved edition are:
- New 4K digital restoration, supervised by cinematographer Kim Hyung-ku and approved by director Bong Joon-ho, with 5.1 Surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Two 2009 commentaries featuring Bong and members of the cast and crew, plus a new commentary featuring critic Tony Rayns
- New program featuring filmmaker Guillermo del Toro
- New interview with Bong about the real-life serial killer who inspired the film
- Documentary from 2004 on the making of the film
- Deleted scenes, with optional audio commentary by Bong
- New program about the use of sound in Bong’s work, featuring film scholar Jeff Smith
- INCOHERENCE, a 1994 student film by Bong, with a new introduction by the director
- Teaser, trailer and TV spot
- PLUS: An essay by critic and novelist Ed Park
Retail prices are $39.95 for the Blu-rays, $29.95 for the DVDs.