Bong Joon-ho’s directorial debut Barking Dogs Never Bite runs as part of our month-long tribute to the master Korean filmmaker.
An out-of-work grad student (Lee Sung-jae) finds himself in dire straits. He doesn’t have any money, just a pregnant wife and a neighbor with a dog that won’t shut up. As the noise persists, it starts to really get to him and he begins to weigh taking extreme action to silence the noisy pest next door.
Combining comedy, drama, and poignant social commentary all together, Barking Dogs Never Bite establishes the trademark genre-mixing that would serve as a signature in Bong’s films.
“Bong is just doing what New Wave artists do: experimenting, breaking rules, showing off.” – Noel Murray, AV Club
“Barking Dogs ventured further into the outré extremes of Korean cinema than any of Bong’s later films did, but there’s a lightness and silliness to the comedy that takes the edge off a little.” – Scott Tobias, New York Times
“…the most fascinating thing about the film is the forlorn soul that emerges from beneath the comic trappings.” – Jonah Jeng, Paste Magazine