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Barking dogs never bite (2000)

Flandersui gae (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy | 19 February 2000 (South Korea)
An idle part-time college lector is annoyed by the yapping sound of a near-by dog. He decides to take drastic action.

Director:

(as Joon Ho Bong)

Writers:

(as Joon Ho Bong), | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Sung-jae Lee ...
Yun-ju
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hee-Bong Byun ...
Janitor (as Hie-bong Byeon)
Su-hee Go ...
Jang-Mi
Ho-jung Kim ...
Eun-Sil Bae
Jeong-seon Seong
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Storyline

The disconnections of urban life. Yun-ju is diffident, almost without affect; his wife is pregnant, and he's wonders if he should bribe the dean to secure a professorship. He's also bothered by a yapping dog that disturbs him in the large block of flats where he lives. Hyeon-nam is equally disengaged; she's a bookkeeper at same block of flats, animated only when she learns of a lost dog. Over the course of a few weeks, three dogs in the building go missing - Yun-ju and Hyeon-nam have a connection to each. So might a janitor. Is it a man-eat-dog world? Is there any cure for this ennui? Can anyone connect? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

19 February 2000 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Barking dogs never bite  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Made for around 950 million won (around $800,000/£500,000), Joon-ho Bong was hoping the film would break-even at the box-office, however only around 100,000 viewers nationwide in South Korea saw the film, concluding Bong to note that; "It was a total flop at the box office." See more »

Connections

Features Palwolui Keuriseumaseu (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Barking Dogs Never Bite
Composed and performed by Cherry Filter
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User Reviews

 
If Slight, Still Very Satisfying
24 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

It's possible that this dark comedy will slip from my memory before too long, but as I write this just having viewed the film (on home video), I have to say it made for an excellent viewing experience. It's rare to see a comedy in this day and age with such an offbeat sense of humor, let alone one that keeps viewers guessing so much as to where the plot will head next. There's also a lot of care put into the cinematography and editing of this film, adding some extra layers of satisfaction from a cinephilic perspective; this is one comedy that doesn't insult the viewer's intelligence, and need never be regarded as a guilty pleasure.

Specifically, the way this issue pinpoints its moment in time regarding Korean culture's evolving relationship with dogs is constantly mined for humor, but also provides moments of real insight and touching emotion.

I watched this film on the strength of director Bong Joon-ho's Memories of Murder, an excellent thriller with a deep mordant streak. If this previous film had to be nailed down to a genre, I'd call it a dark comedy -- albeit an extremely idiosyncratic one -- but there are effective splashes of the thriller and horror genres throughout, not to mention some nicely done surrealistic touches. All in all, these two films make me sorely regret missing Bong Joon-ho's "Host" at this year's Toronto film fest; I've added his name to my short list of Korean directors (the others being Park Chan-wook, Hong Sang-soo, and Kim Ki-duk) to follow closely.


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