Battle Royale
Directed by Kinji Fukasaku
Written by Kenta Fukasaku

Fukasaku’s fuck you to Survivor culture is to dress Lord of the Flies up with submachineguns in ko gal uniforms, cranking up the boil of hormonal stress and adolescent rage until it supernovas and suppurates in bright, messy soups of ultraviolence. This is everything we wanted to do to that bully who took our lunch money, to the prom queen who stole the boy we loved, to the jock who gets all the girls. This is the pornography of Reality TV. This is our new sociobiological imperative to make entertainment of other people’s miseries. This is blood and guts in high school. * * * * *



Memories of Murder (Salinui chueok)
Directed by Bong Joon-Ho
Written by Bong Joon-Ho , Kwang Rim Kim and Sung Bo Shim

It’s the Korean Jack the Ripper. Every bit as gruesome, every bit as unsolved. Not that knowing that will muck things up here. City cop and country cop partner to crack the case and it's their story mostly. And the serial killer they dog is like some lash of panic that welts this investigation into smalltown hysteria , this tweaking of odd couple dynamics , this slapstick upending of the police procedural, this many things beyond dull roman a clef , with the throb of sinister goings-on. Scenes tend to achieve grace and some - - - like a set piece in the dead of a rainy night - - - crackle. Soon, delicate balances are struck. Between placid milieu and seething underbubble. Between foreboding creepiness and broad comedy. Between truth and embellishment. Between invisible solution and tantalizing mystery. * * * * *