Archive of films The Host / Gue-mool
2006, 119 min
Section: Midnight Screenings
Gang-du might be a poor soul, but he would lay down his life for his daughter Hyun-seon. As would his father, brother, and sister. When a mutated lizard creeps out of the Han River in Seoul and abducts the girl, everyone gets an opportunity to do just that. And in addition to the duels with the monster, they will even have time for comic interjections and political satire.
An assistant at an American military base in South Korea gets an order to dump chemicals into the River Han. Six years later, a gigantic mutant lizard crawls out of the Seoul River leaving havoc and viral contagion behind it. Among the people afflicted by its rampage is a family that owns a refreshment stand, whose granddaughter the monster drags back to its foul lair. The girl manages to let her relatives know that she is still alive however. Her grandfather and her somewhat simple-minded father, cynical uncle, and aunt – an archery champion – therefore do whatever they can to save her. In his third film, director Bong Joon-ho puts a completely normal family into a situation that usually only super-heroes find themselves in, and manages to show the well-known tourist destination of the river banks in a completely different light. He thus creates a peculiar mix of monster film, family drama, political satire, and slapstick.
About the director
Bong Joon-ho (b. 1969, Seoul) studied sociology and graduated from the Korean Film Academy. After the short films White Man, The Memories in My Frame, and Incoherence, he made his feature film debut Barking Dogs Never Bite in 1999, which was shown in the New Korean Film retrospective in Karlovy Vary in 2001. In 2004 the festival screened his Memories of Murder (2003) in the section Another View, an acclaimed reconstruction of a series of unsolved murders committed around Seoul between 1986 and 1991. Bong Joon-ho considers himself a movie buff, but one who prefers re-watching several favourites over again rather than always consuming more and more. These favourites include The Wages of Fear (Le salaire de la peur, 1953), the works of Sam Peckinpah, and The Great Escape (1963) and Papillon (1973) with Steve McQueen.
About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Screenplay:||Bong Joon-ho, Hah Joon-won, Baek Chul-hyun|
|Dir. of Photography:||Kim Hyung-goo|
|Cast:||Song Kang-ho, Byun Hee-bong, Park Hae-il, Bae Doo-na, Ko A-sung|