Bong’s brilliantly cracked first feature displays the audacious blending of genres and tones that would soon put him at the forefront of Korean cinema. Perturbed by the incessant yapping of a neighbor’s dog, a frazzled, out-of-work academic (Lee Sung-jae) resorts to drastic measures to quiet the canine, setting into motion a hilariously warped chain of events that turns a humble office worker (the brilliant Bae Doona, channeling Giulietta Masina) into a crusading, puppy-saving avenger. As always with Bong, black comedy, touches of horror, and incisive social commentary are balanced with the precision of a Swiss timepiece.

Playing as part of our Bong Joon Ho retrospective, January 7-14. See showtimes & get tickets.