Forsythe On Bong

“Amongst all this chaos he’s just got a real truthful grasp on humanity. And that for me makes it so much more interesting when [you] throw it into these crazy worlds.”

It was a heap of fun having Abe Forsythe on the show this month, even if it was down a skype line. If you’ve not seen his films Ned and Down Under, you have you really should check them out. We’re hanging out for his next film, Little Monsters, because who doesn’t want to see Lupita Nyong’o and Josh Gad fighting zombies? Nobody, that’s who.

The show kicks off as ever with Rochelle and Lee looking back at some of this month’s key releases, including Star Wars origin story Solo, motherhood drama Tully, serial killer biopic My Friend Dahmer, and Aussie coming-of-age surf movie Breath.

We’re then joined by Abe as he discusses the challenges of making Australian films for an international audience, and what it is we could be doing to give our local product a wider appeal.

Then, Abe takes us through the career and works of his filmmaker of the month, Bong Joon-ho! If you’re not familiar with Bong’s work, there’s definitely something in his career for you. Do you like police procedurals? Murder mystery thrillers? Monster movies? Dystopian futures? Heartwarming dramas about a girl and her giant pig? If that hasn’t sold you, hearing Abe describe what makes Bong’s films so memorable and rewatchable sure will.

We talked about how Bong likes the visual of a background crowd watching our foreground protagonists, be they imagined (in Barking Dogs Never Bite) or real (in Memories of Murder)

Further reading:

  • For more on the main competing theories as to original directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller were replaced on Solo, Variety suggests big franchises are afraid of filmmakers with unique vision, while an anonymous actor who apparently worked on Solo told Vulture that Lord and Miller weren’t ready.
  • If you’d like to see Rochelle go into more detail about her thoughts on Tully, you can check out her review at It’s Better in the Dark.
  • If you enjoyed the awkward reminder that the amazing Lynn Shelton once appeared on Hyphenates, then you’ll love the episode itself! Listen back to her chatting with us about the films of Claire Denis.
  • “There were lots of filmmakers that I could talk about endlessly. Filmmakers like Peter Weir, Coen Bros, George Miller… I’m sure you’ve probably done all of these people before.” Abe wasn’t wrong; click the links to hear the love from Hi4H alumni Kriv Stenders, Martyn Pedler and Edgar Wright.
  • If you’d like to find out a little more about the unsolved South Korean murders that inspired Bong Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder, there’s a decent primer here, and a good review of the film at RogerEbert.com from critic Seongyong Cho who grew up in South Korea during the time of the murders.
  • You can watch most (but not all, sadly) of the excellent Bong Joon-ho short film series Incoherence by cliking on the following links: Incoherence 1: Cockroach, Incoherence 2: Up the Alleys, and the epilogue. Sadly, part three doesn’t appear to be readily available, but you definitely get the idea from this group.
  • If you’d like to watch Bong browse the Criterion closet and pick out his favourite films, there’s a video for that.
  • Would you like some more details on Bong Joon-ho’s next film Parasite? Here are some details that came out hours before this episode was released, informing us that filming began only days ago!

Outro music: score from Mother, composed by Byung-woo Lee

The latest episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Abe Forsythe talking the films of Bong Joon-ho, can be heard on Stitcher Smart Radio, subscribed to on iTunes, or downloaded/streamed directly from our website.

If there’s one thing auteurs like, it’s mothers. Just ask Albert Brooks, Bong Joon-ho, or Darren Aronofsky.

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