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Being Bong Joon-ho.

Photo of Eric Kohn By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn March 9, 2010 at 5:03AM

Being Bong Joon-ho.

Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s movies are marked by death, a constant sense of danger, and the unraveling of family bonds. They also feature something atypical of genre film, however: a lingering comedic vibe.

Predominantly known for his satiric monster movie “The Host,” a 2006 box office smash in Korea that garnered a cult following for the filmmaker in the United States, Bong crafts his distinctive vision by forcing realism into the unlikely realm of genre conventions. His latest movie, “Mother,” essentially functions as a detective story, though the investigator in question is a trenchant middle-aged woman seeking to rescue her son from false accusations of murder. What begins as a playful look at an overprotective parent eventually morphs into something far more grim and provocative. In other words, vintage Bong.

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