The Quiet Suspense of Bong Joon-ho
Turn up the volume on this amazing South Korean filmmaker.
Bong Joon-ho is the second Korean filmmaker, after Park Chan-wook, whose sound was dissected and reassembled in this series. Although Joon-ho’s filmography is considerably less violent or sexual, his movies cut deep. Perhaps deeper.
Some of his most brilliant aural choices rely on a vacuum. During the editing of a climactic action scene, Joon-ho is known to relay to his sound designer that he should place the studio speakers underwater inside an aquarium, before hitting the record button. This will happen in most of his movies, like when a son is taken away from his mother in Mother (2009), when a daughter is snatched from her father in The Host (2006), when prisoners are taking back their freedom by force in Snowpiercer (2013). With Bong Joon-ho we find that sometimes the absence of sound sometimes speaks louder than words.