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[Movie 2019] Parasite, 기생충 - First Korean film to win Palme D'or, Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA, and Oscars


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Parasite Is Poised to Make Oscar History—But Just How Far Can It Go?

The allegorical thriller from Bong Joon-ho is virtually guaranteed to be South Korea’s first-ever international-feature Oscar nominee. It’s also one of the Toronto Film Festival’s biggest hits—which suggests its awards potential could go even further.


Parasite ParasiteCOURTESY OF TIFF.


There’s nothing more irresistible than a secret. It’s hard to sell a movie with little information—but with the right film, “go in knowing as little as possible” can be the perfect enticement. When audiences rush en masse to movies on opening weekend, it’s fear of spoilers (#DontSpoiltheEndgame) or the search of thrills (Us, It) that gets them there.


Which is one of many things that have made the festival run of Parasite so remarkable. The Palme d’Or winner at Cannes, the South Korean film by director Bong Joon-ho has played the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals in the last week—wooing the critics who have been hearing about it since May, and winning over audiences experiencing its thrills exactly as they should: packed in with other rapt people who have no idea what might happen next. Plenty of Palme d’Or winners have arrived at the fall festivals feeling like a homework assignment, but Parasite has only become more of a sensation in the months since its premiere. A sold-out success at Telluride that’s hitting big at TIFF (the festival has added a screening to accommodate demand), Parasite has everything that a best-picture front-runner could possibly need. Except the English language.


How big a hurdle is that? Months after Roma’s awards-season run ended with three Oscars but without the show’s biggest prize, the ground has certainly been prepared for another film to attempt being named the first-ever foreign-language best picture. But Parasite’s sell will be wildly different from Roma’s. The 2018 film was an immaculately crafted and fairly sentimental story from a filmmaker with one directing Oscar already, and released by the rising behemoth Netflix, eager to spend money and show its force in awards season. Parasite, by contrast, is a thriller, far more like a Jordan Peele film than one from Alfonso Cuarón—the kind of thing that could be a massive Blumhouse hit were it in English. Parasite is also being released by Neon, the upstart distributor that won its first Oscar last year for Allison Janney in I, Tonya. So despite all its accolades, it will be much more of an underdog—though then again, given the class-war allegory at the center of the film, maybe that’s the perfect spot for it.


Parasite is virtually guaranteed to make Oscar history already, as the first-ever international-feature-film nominee from South Korea. (The old “foreign language film” category is now going by a new name.) The question now is how much further it can go. It’s hard to imagine that Academy voters won’t feel the same pull that festival audiences have, that they won’t be eager to pop in a screener of the film—or, even better, to rush to the theater themselves before the spoilers get to them. (#DontSpoiltheParasite?) It’s even harder to imagine that anyone who starts watching Parasite could stop; the film’s propulsive energy sweeps all the way through to its towering conclusion, with a metaphor about class and striving that could not be better suited to our time.


There’s absolutely no reason to count out a best-picture win either. Roma or not, the Academy has only become more international in its membership in recent years—and with no best-picture front-runner yet emerging in the waning days of TIFF, why not bet on the year’s biggest festival success? But it might be even more instructive to look to the best-director category, which has not only rewarded foreign-born directors in 8 of the last 10 years, but also looks for ambition and flourish on a level that Parasite fully delivers. Two of Bong’s previous films, Okja and Snowpiercer, were made in English with major stars—so while he’s never been nominated for an Oscar, he’s no outsider either. What a relief it might be, then—as the presidential-election season wears on and lays bare America’s faults—to turn to a film from another country that makes elegant and thrilling metaphor of the whole mess.



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As ‘Parasite’ Oscar Buzz Soars, Bong Joon-ho Stays Resistant to Hollywood Offers

Speaking to IndieWire's Anne Thompson at TIFF, the "Parasite" filmmaker says he is modeling his career after Quentin Tarantino.


Zack Sharf

Sep 13, 2019 1:42 pm



Bong Joon-Ho'Parasite' premiere, 66th Sydney Film Festival, Australia - 15 Jun 2019

Bong Joon-Ho

Richard Milnes/Shutterstock


Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in May but still managed to be the talk of the fall film festivals despite competing against an onslaught of world premieres. Anyone at Telluride or TIFF will tell you that the “Parasite” screenings were some of the most attended and most raved about, leaving the family thriller with strong Oscar buzz ahead of its October theatrical release. “Parasite” is so beloved that talks of an English-language remake are already underway, but don’t except Bong to personally take “Parasite” to Hollywood.


Speaking to IndieWire’s Anne Thompson at TIFF, Bong stressed that he remains somewhat resistant to taking on Hollywood studio offers. The only way Bong would join a major Hollywood studio is if he wrote the movie himself, which most likely takes him out of the running for a majority of Hollywood franchise films. Bong cited Quentin Tarantino as a filmmaker he is modeling his career after because his intention is to only direct scripts he writes himself. When Hollywood script offers have come knocking in the past, Bong has politely turned them all down.


“I received a lot of [Hollywood] offers after ‘The Host’ in 2006,” Bong said. “Lots of science-fiction, horror, and action films. I was just like, ‘Wow, a Hollywood script!’ I didn’t accept any of them. My agent is a very nice guy and they already know that I like to direct my own scripts like Quentin Tarantino. Sometimes I do get a little disappointed that he doesn’t send me anything. He doesn’t send me any scripts now knowing that I always write my own.”


Bong has made English-language movies in the past with “Snowpiercer” and “Okja,” both of which were original scripts (though “Snowpiercer” was adapted from a French graphic novel) that were picked up for U.S. distribution by studios outside of the majors at the time. “Snowpiercer” was bought by The Weinstein Company (which led to some much-publicized release issues), while Bong’s “Okja” script caught the eye of Netflix and was produced by Plan B Entertainment. These would be the kinds of movies Bong is interested in making at a major Hollywood studio, but pre-existing franchise and tentpole scripts won’t do the trick.


Bong made history at Cannes this year as “Parasite” is the first South Korean movie to win the Palme d’Or. If “Parasite” earns an Oscar nomination for Best International Film (the new name for the Best Foreign Language Film category), then it will become the first South Korean film nominated in history.


U.S. distributor Neon is hoping for more than just a Best International Film nomination and is set to campaign “Parasite” for Best Picture, Best Director, and more. “Roma” proved last year that foreign films can break out of the international category with the right acclaim and momentum (“Roma” was nominated for 10 Oscars), and that’s certainly what Neon is hoping for “Parasite” this awards season.



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On Netflix and next projects, a night in genre-king Bong Joon-Ho’s lecture hall

Ahead of Parasite's US release, the director treats Texas fans to pseudo film school.

NATHAN MATTISE - 9/28/2019, 5:10 AM

Seated in the simulcast overflow room for Bong Joon-Ho (center). Evidently the first ~350 person lecture hall filled up an hour and a half early. There were definitely people sitting on the floor in the second.
Enlarge / Seated in the simulcast overflow room for Bong Joon-Ho (center). Evidently the first ~350 person lecture hall filled up an hour and a half early. There were definitely people sitting on the floor in the second.
Nathan Mattise
  • AUSTIN, Texas—Usually when people line up for two hours or more in Austin, Texas, barbecue awaits at the other end. But the Fleming Lecture Hall at the University of Texas didn't suddenly start producing world-class brisket last Wednesday. Instead, in what may be a first, roughly 700 people lined up and then descended upon the humble classroom for a lecture at 5pm on a weeknight.

Technically, it was a guest lecture. And in fairness, it's not every Wednesday that South Korean genre film legend Bong Joon-Ho (Snowpiercer, Okja) is both in Austin and available to sit for student questions.


But the best genre-film festival in the US (Fantastic Fest) was taking place a few miles south of UT's campus throughout last week, and Bong's latest work, Parasite, screened among the closing films. The filmmaker's PR rep also happens to be a UT alum, and so a special campus viewing took place earlier in the week ahead of this—the one time no one seemed willing to skip an evening lecture.


Not film school, but films then school

Bong started by quickly admitting to not being the ideal role model for any future film students in attendance. He studied sociology back in his university days in the 1980s, but really he spent more time in a nearby theater than any classroom. "When I first went to college, I thought, 'I'll major in anything and join a film club,'" Bong said. (The filmmaker took questions in English but largely responded for the audience via a translator.) "So I did and rarely went to class."


But South Korea at that time was itself an education—the country was essentially transitioning out from underneath a military regime, so Bong supplemented his sociology studies simply by keeping his head up. "Society was very dynamic with students still protesting," he said. "Observing the students around me was my education rather than just textbooks."



Given a significant portion of the audience was made of UT film students, Bong did offer some practical tips for filmmakers. For instance, he tries to begin his scripts with scenarios rather than individuals. "I come up with the plot and situations—I will rarely begin with a character, but I always think, 'What would they do in this situation,' no matter how random it may be," he said. "Sometimes when a very passionate actor comes to me and says, 'I wrote a three years diary for my character,' and they want [the character's] personal history, I'm also curious about what they're writing. I prefer to maintain that curiosity. I don't believe [a character's] actions and psychology is consistent; they can change depending on the situation."


And when it comes to translating that script to the set from the director's chair, Bong suggests focusing on the literal vision. "I don't think it makes sense to direct their performance. Actor's act; I just help," he said. "So I think about relationships between the actor and the camera—how is it moving? What size is the frame? I tend to obsess over story boards, and you won't find a lot of differences between them and finished films. I meticulously set up the camera and set, then throw actors on there. It's a bit of a paradox, because then I ask them to relax and improvise. I like to be surprised."


For fans of Bong's work, that dynamic between those in control and those subjected to it likely sounds familiar. In the sci-fi/action mash-up Snowpiercer, survivors of some climate change counteractions gone wrong live on a train arranged by societal standing. In the horror thriller Mothera small village treats a boy with intellectual disabilities poorly to their detriment. Near-future Okja has corporations versus animal activists; Parasite is 99% versus the 1%. Often this dynamic gets dressed up in multiple genres, but the central idea is very based in reality.


"With Parasite, in the US and Europe, they comment on how the film mixes genres," Bong said when asked about how his films get received differently across the globe. "But Korean audiences see it as close to reality. A lot of people mention how their lives are; some smelled themselves after leaving the theater."


While the writer/director's cultural nuance came on campus, Bong's affinity for genre started long before that. He recalls studying some Asian filmmakers closely at university (like Hou Hsiao-hsien), but "the films that have permeated my body and stay in my bloodstream are the genre films from the US I watched when I was little."


As a kid, Bong recalls staying up late at night until his family fell asleep in order to watch AFKN, a network broadcasting American productions for servicemen stationed in Korea at the time. He loved the thrillers of John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy), for instance, and obviously these influences became ingrained only to later resurface in things like Snowpiercer and Parasite. 


"They played a lot of midnight films with quite a lot of sex and violence, films you couldn't see on Korean channels at the time," he said. "And because I didn't know English, I'd construct the narrative on my own. I only realized later these are famous films, stuff from John Carpenter and Brian De Palma."

The trailer for Parasite.


Netflix and what's next

Bong didn't want to spoil much about Parasite for anyone who hadn't yet seen it—after all, the film will have its US theatrical release beginning October 11. So he kept his comments on the film general, discussing its inspirations (he thought of three central characters: a father, a son, and a maid, and toyed with it as a stage play) and praising the actors (especially longtime collaborator Song Kang-ho). "I wrote the script with him in mind, and a couple of scenes are only possible with him," Bong said. "He's basically an amplifier—regardless of what emotions I want to portray through his character, he delivers ten-fold, a hundred-fold."


What makes a good film? A clever story that grips the audience and offers a little escapism? Thought-provoking ideas that stick with viewers long after leaving a theater? Artistry of the highest order, a mix of acted scenes or iconic frames not to be forgotten? No matter how you define it, Parasite fits.


Ars caught a press screening at Fantastic Fest earlier on Wednesday and then spent the rest of the day thinking about all the themes and ideas presented. It's less genre-y than Bong's prior films but no less enjoyable. Even with a two-hour runtime, Parasite engages you at every moment through its performances, striking visuals, and truly unique plot. It's genuinely a Valvano movie experience—you'll think, you'll laugh, and you might even cry (the film's coda induced some audible sniffles at the screening).


Instead, the night's film discussions turned toward Bong's other projects. For instance, Bong's last film to compete at Cannes (Okja) eventually landed at Netflix; why not do the same with Parasite?


"From the beginning [at Netflix], I was guaranteed the Director's Cut in the contract and had R-rating approval," Bong said, expressing admiration for how much control the streaming giant gives creators. "They said, 'It's OK if they roll around in blood at the slaughterhouse.' So whether in the US or Korea, as long as I'm guaranteed control, I'd work anywhere."


Beyond being the reason audiences are unlikely to see Bong do a Marvel movie any time soon, that control is a big motivator for Bong to continually push for theatrical releases of his films. He sees great benefits in streaming services—more people enjoy films, it encourages archival preservation—but no viewing experience preserves a director's vision quite like the theater.

"It's not that the screen is big or you're watching with others, but it's the only place you can't press pause," Bong said. "Whether it's Netflix, DVDs, Blu-ray, you can pause to go to the bathroom or because someone is calling. But as a filmmaker, I believe a film is one unit from beginning to end—there's a pace and rhythm. Just like a conductor or composer, I want that singular unit, and the theater is the only place that preserves that."


Even though he didn't want to discuss Parasite in-depth, that didn't stop Bong from teasing his next project—something he's already thinking about and working toward. UT Radio, Television, and Film Department Chair Noah Isenberg moderated the discussion and had read in Korean media that Bong was working on something centered around a disaster in Seoul, so he ended by asking for any information the director would offer up. What can you tell us? 


"Well, it's a secret," Bong began, allowing a moment or two for silence before finally indulging everyone. "I don't know if you can call it horror, because in all my films the genre is ambiguous. But if you have to describe it, it's 'horror-action' and a disaster that happens in Seoul. I've had this idea since 2001, so I've been developing it for 18 years, and now I have an obsession. I really do have to shoot this movie.


"To give you one hint, it's not a film you can shoot in NYC or Chicago: it only works if all the pedestrians on the street have the same skin tone."

NATHAN MATTISENathan is an Austin-based Features Editor at Ars Technica. He edits and contributes posts on a variety of topics like lost short films that ran before Empire, how NASA kept the Shuttle program going against Hurricane Katrina, and why Apple no longer loves indie bands. He also hosts and produces multimedia, like the Decrypted podcast season on Mr. Robot or the new Tech on TV video series. EMAIL nathan.mattise@arstechnica.com // TWITTER @nathanmattise
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October 4, 2019


Chief of studio behind 'Parasite' wins French cinema award

BUSAN, Oct. 4 (Yonhap) -- The chief of the company that produced the Cannes-winning "Parasite" will be given a French cinema award in recognition of her role in promoting South Korea-French collaboration in cinema, the French Embassy here said Friday.


Kwak Shin-ae, the CEO of Barunson E&A, which produced the film by director Bong Joon-ho, and Korean actress Bae Doo-na have been selected as this year's winners of the Etoile Du Cinema award, the embassy said.


The embassy award annually recognizes actors and people from the film industry for their roles in promoting cinematic ties between South Korea and France.


French Ambassador to Seoul Philippe Lefort is scheduled to present the trophy to Kwak during a "French Night" event in Busan Saturday evening on the sidelines of the ongoing Busan International Film Festival (BIFF).


Bae will separately pick up the trophy on Saturday ahead of the premiere of her new film, "#iamhere," at BIFF.


The film by French director Eric Lartigau is one of the biggest movies jointly produced by South Korea and France. Filmed in South Korea's Seoul and Incheon and southern French regions, the movie starring Bae depicts a love story between a French man and a Korean woman.


"Parasite," meanwhile, became the first Korean film to win the top prize at France's Cannes Film Festival this year. Released on June 5 in France, the film also became the most commercially successful Korean cinema title in the European country, having been seen by more than 1.5 million people.


This image of Kwak Shin-ae, the CEO of Barunson E&A, was provided by CJ ENM. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This image of Kwak Shin-ae, the CEO of Barunson E&A, was provided by CJ ENM. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

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October 4, 2019


Winners Of 28th Buil Film Awards


Source: Soompi by C. Hong


Winners Of 28th Buil Film Awards

On October 4, the 28th annual Buil Film Awards took place at the Dream Theater in Busan.


The Buil Film Awards are hosted by the newspaper Busan Ilbo and take place every year during the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF).


“Parasite,” which became the first Korean film to win a Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, was the biggest winner of the night with six awards.


A representative from the film’s production company gave a speech and said, “Director Bong Joon Ho and actor Song Kang Ho are currently in the United States, preparing for the film’s premiere there. We will think of this award (‘Best Film’) as being given to the hundreds of people who worked on this movie. I hope that they are happy and we want to say thank you on their behalf.”


Check out the list of winners below!


Best Film: “Parasite”  congrats.gif


Best Director: Kim Tae Gyun (“Dark Figure of Crime”)


Best Leading Actor: Ki Joo Bong (“Hotel by the River”)


Best Leading Actress: Jeon Do Yeon (“Birthday”)


Best Supporting Actor: Park Myung Hoon (“Parasite”)


Best Supporting Actress: Lee Jung Eun (“Parasite”)


Best New Actor: Sung Yoo Bin (“Last Child”)


Best New Actress: Jeon Yeo Bin (“After My Death”)


Popular Star Award: EXO’s D.O. (Do Kyung Soo) (“Swing Kids”) and Girls’ Generation’s YoonA (E.X.I.T)


Yu Hyun Mok Film Arts Award: Jung Sung Il


Best New Director: Kim Eui Suk (“After My Death”)


Best Screenplay: Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won (“Parasite”)


Best Cinematography: Hong Kyung Pyo (“Parasite”)


Best Music: Jung Jae Il (“Parasite”)


Best Art Direction: Park Il Hyun (“Swing Kids”)


Congratulations to the winners!


Source (1)

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October 4, 2019


PARASITE Picks Up Audience Award in Fantastic Fest

Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar Renamed ‘Bong Joon Ho Cinema’


by Pierce Conran KOFIC




A few weeks ahead of its US theatrical release, BONG Joon-ho’s critically acclaimed PARASITE has picked up yet another prize, earning the Audience Award at this year’s 15th edition of Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. The festival’s landmark venue, the South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse, also changed its name to Bong Joon Ho Cinema in the director’s honor.


Following the film’s screening at the event in the late afternoon of Thursday, September 28, after which Director BONG took part in a Q&A with the audience, Tim LEAGUE, the CEO and founder of the Alma Drafthouse theatre chain, and one of the founders of PARASITE’s US distributor Neon, invited BONG and the audience members to a ceremony and toast to unveil the venue’s new ‘Bong Joon Ho Cinema’ name plaque.


PARASITE kicked off its run at the Cannes Film Festival this May, where it became the first ever Korean film to earn the coveted Palme d’Or prize at the event. It also picked up the Grand Prize at this year’s Sydney International Film Festival. The film went on to welcome over ten million viewers in Korea and has turned into a sensation around the world, with successful box office runs in several countries, with more major markets yet to open. US distributor Neon will release the film in North America on October 11.

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40 minutes ago, widala said:

She's talking the important stuff :lol:



Thank you so much for this! Brought a silly grin to my face. Really need to see for myself what the big deal is with those "Park parents." :confused: Unfortunately even though the movie's official US release date is in 2 days, it would take a while longer to reach my city. 

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October 10, 2019


Bong Joon-ho and 'Parasite' are coming for you


By AP via The Korea Herald

NEW YORK (AP) -- Even as it's just hitting US theaters, Bong Joon-ho's "Parasite'' is already a major award-winner and a box-office smash.


"Parasite'' will open in theaters Friday having already amassed $70.9 million in Bong's native South Korea, where the film notched one of the country's best opening weekends ever. In May, "Parasite'' won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, a first for a Korean film. Jury president Alejandro Inarritu said it was a unanimous decision. At a time of endless divineness, everyone can seemingly agree: "Parasite'' is great. 


Bong Joon-ho (AP)


"When I wake up and see the Palme d'Or trophy, it's very curious and strange,'' the 49-year-old director said in an interview by phone from Seoul.


But for most, there was nothing odd about Bong's win. "Parasite,'' a class satire about two families -- one of poor hustlers living in a subterranean dwelling subsisting on their wits and stolen Wi-Fi, the other wealthy and residing in a stylish modern mansion -- has been roundly hailed as a masterwork and a culmination of Bong's already illustrious career as a filmmaker of mischievous genre subversions, stylistic daring and warm-hearted sincerity. 


Those qualities may sound almost contradictory but that's exactly the kind of head-spinning amalgamation you get in a Bong Joon-ho movie. They -- and in particular "Parasite'' -- balance humor and horror, satire and sincerity with a magical ease. You never see anything coming. You might even giggle at his cunning. You'll laugh as he devours you.



(CJ Entertainment)


"I try to be a like a parasite. I try to burrow and dig into the audience's minds,'' Bong says. "I love the feeling of infiltrating into the audience without them knowing. Instead of showing-off that I'm breaking the rules of genre, I want to creep into them quietly without making any blood so that they don't realize that I'm inside them.''


That mastery of audiences, combined with a childlike sense of wonder and an ecstatic imagination (Bong's previous film, "Okja,'' featured glorious "super pigs'') has made Bong one of the few filmmakers who live up to the label of "Spielbergian.'' His ardent supporters include Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal and Quentin Tarantino, who attended the Cannes premiere of "Parasite.'' His devoted fans have adopted the proud moniker of the "Bong Hive.''


And for the Bong Hive, times are good. "Parasite'' is poised to be that rare thing: a foreign language movie capable of drawing big crowds in theaters and contending at the Academy Awards. South Korea has already made it its foreign language film submission, and the film is predicted to be in the mix in categories including best picture and best director.


"We have huge ambitions for the film,'' says Tom Quinn, founder and chief executive of Neon, which is distributing "Parasite'' in the US. "We think it's a multiple-category contender in this year's Oscars race.''


Such a release might give Bong the kind of moment with American moviegoers that he hasn't exactly been missing, but has thus far often been marred by distraction.


His English-language debut "Snowpiercer,'' while it eventually emerged as an art-house hit, was tarnished by the attempted meddling of producer Harvey Weinstein. Bong was able to ultimately rebuff Weinstein's efforts to cut 20 minutes and add monologues, but it damaged the movie's release, which was ultimately overseen cut-free by Quinn's Radius label.


"Okja'' (2017), Bong's biggest budget film at $57 million, became enveloped in controversy as a Netflix release in Cannes, a festival that has since outlawed movies without a theatrical release from its main competition. And, besides, Bong is best experienced on the big screen.


"He's a spectacular visionary but he's also a humanist,'' says Quinn. "It's a magic trick. You keep sticking your hand in the hat and out comes another rabbit. It continues to unfold in a way that is so unexpected.''


Since his 2006 breakthrough "The Host'' (a delirious hybrid of a monster movie and family drama) Bong has long been sought after by Hollywood with offers he's regularly dismissed. He's written all seven of the movies he's directed.


"Especially after 'The Host,' with my previous agency, there were many proposals about directing films of that kind, even superhero films,'' says Bong. "Don't get me wrong. There are many great superhero films. I have respect for them. But I guess it's a personal paranoia. Superheros always wear a clingy spandex. I can't stand to be in skin-tight clothes. Watching them is even suffocating to me, so I don't think I can direct one.''



(CJ Entertainment)


In the end, Bong has found his greatest worldwide success by going home, and making "Parasite'' in his native South Korea. He first came up with the film's premise in 2013, initially imagining it as a play with the stage divided between the two houses. He drew partly on his experience as a college student teaching private lessons for the middle school boy of a rich family. In the film, the dirt-poor Kim family first infiltrates the wealthy Park clan when the son (Choi Woo-shik) is hired to tutor the Parks' daughter. (Unlike his character, Bong didn't have to con his way into his tutoring job. But he only lasted three months.)


It's also a personal film for Bong because he connects it with his late mentor, director Kim Ki-young. Kim was a kind of godfather to the filmmakers of the New Korean Cinema of the 2000s; his 1960 film "The Housemaid,'' considered one of the great Korean films, also dealt with class and centered on a two-story house. (Bong also cites what he calls his favorite crime movie, Claude Chabrol's "The Ceremony'' and the 1963 British classic "The Servant'' as "Parasite'' inspirations.)


"Parasite'' completes a kind of accidental trilogy for Bong of capitalism satires. "Snowpiercer'' was a high-speed science-fiction parable about the lower-class section of a train carrying all of humanity rebelling against the train's upper-class in the front. "Okja'' depicted a duplicitous global food corporation. In "Parasite,'' Bong wanted to contemplate the divisions between haves and haves-not more intimately, at home.


"For a creative mind, it's natural to make their art about the time that they're living in,'' says Bong. "We kind of deny that capitalism is such a big part of our time.'' (AP)

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Source: Soompi (click for details)


Soompi will be holding a giveaway for 2 passes (each pass comes with 2 tickets) for each theater below:


CGV Buena Park (Opens 10/18)
CGV Los Angeles (Opens 10/25)
AMC Empire 25 in NYC (Opens 10/25)

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October 9, 2019


‘Parasite’ Star Song Kang-ho Has No Hollywood Plans


Joan MacDonald Forbes

Song Kang Ho
Song Kang-ho holds the lucky stone that may change his family's fortune in 'Parasite.' CJ ENTERTAINMENT

Song Kang-ho is perhaps Korea’s most relatable actor. Whether he’s playing a studious monarch in The King’s Letters, investigating crime in Bong Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder, or embodying the down-on-his-luck Kim Kae-taek in Bong’s latest film Parasite, Song demonstrates an unusual talent for emotionally connecting with viewers. That ability has earned him dozens of prestigious awards, including most recently being the first Asian actor to receive an Excellence Award at 72nd Locarno International Film Festival.


Parasite, which won the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, and is South Korea’s entry for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards, has been described as an ensemble film, but Song is mesmerizing as the patriarch of the Kim family, whose only scheme for success may be to con the rich but naive Park family. It’s the fourth time Song has acted in a film directed by Bong. 


“There’s a lot of good chemistry between Director Bong and I,” said Song, while visiting New York City for the 57th New York International Film Festival.


In Bong’s 2006 ecological horror film The Host, Song plays a man whose daughter is kidnapped by a monster. In Bong’s sci-fi futuristic film Snowpiercer, Song plays a poor man relegated to the rear of the super train that is humanity’s only hope. The actor and director enjoy working together.

“I think the message he wants to convey in his films is very moving and also at the same he elicits performances that are very extraordinary,” said Song. “I think that combination is what makes him remarkable.”


While Bong’s films are known for embodying social issues, such as protecting the environment, promoting animal rights, or making society more equitable, Song says he does not choose his roles based on their social messages. 

“I personally don’t like propaganda films,” he said. “Art has to be good for its own sake even when reflecting reality. All of Bong’s films have a strong sense of story to them and that’s what makes them so real and so beautiful.”


In Parasite his character may be poor and lacking opportunities, but he still has his dignity. 


“When you look at the character I play, I don’t think he is a very unusual character,” said Song. “There’s nothing odd about him. He’s an ordinary character that can exist anywhere. The character is poor, but he tries very hard, and yet his desires are not fulfilled. It’s easy to identify with him.”


Although Kim Ki-taek calmly makes the most of his limited circumstances, he’s eventually driven to a violent act, which might cause viewers to wonder what circumstances would justify such a response. The film does not answer the question for viewers, but for Kim Ki-taek, that uncrossable line is an affront to his dignity as a human being.


“The final answer lies in everyone’s hearts,” said Song. “I do think that it’s a film about human dignity and certain lines are crossed that infringe upon that dignity. There’s a certain resistance that lies in this character, a point of resistance that lies in everyone.”


Despite the recognition he’s earned as an actor and his friendship with fellow creatives, Song considers acting a lonely profession.


“It’s not just me,” said Song.”I think this also applies to Hollywood actors and actresses. When you stand in front of the camera, it’s a very, very lonely moment. There is no one to help you out. Everybody can only stand by to watch, so that’s what makes it challenging and painful as well.”



Song Kang Ho

Whether he's a pauper or a king, viewers find it easy to identify with Song's characters. MEGABOX PLUS M

Working in theater helped the critically acclaimed actor to cultivate his acting skills.


“I did not have my acting skills trained in a professional school but I always appeared on theatrical stages ever since I was young,” said Song. “That’s how I gradually trained in my acting capacity. It wasn’t a long training but it was very intense.”


Starring in a film that’s up for an Academy Award has not convinced the veteran actor that he wants to move to Hollywood.


“I would like to pass on that opportunity to other actors,” said Song. “I think in such films I would disappear, so I will instead continue to use Korean films such as Parasite to express myself.”


Song’s next film, Emergency Declaration, also features Lee Byung-hun, who appears in several Hollywood productions, including Red2 and Terminator: Genysis. The actors previously worked together in Park Chan-wook’s Joint Security Area and Kim Jee-woon’s The Good, the Bad, the Weird. 


“It’s a very commercial film of the disaster genre,” said Song.


Song’s Emergency Declaration character will have to deal with an aviation disaster. It may be a different genre, but Song will do his best to make that character oh-so-easy to relate to.

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October 17, 2019


APSA to honor Korean films


Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily

Palme d’Or winner “Parasite” has been nominated for Best Feature Film at the 13th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), which will take place in Brisbane, Australia, on Nov. 21.


“Underdog,” directed by Lee Choon-baek and Oh Sung-yoon, was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film, while Park Ji-hu, star of acclaimed indie film “House of Hummingbird” was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress.


This year, the APSA will be recognizing Korean films in a number of ways.


The official opening ceremony of the Asia Pacific Screen Forum on Nov. 19 will feature a performance from Sounds Across Oceans, described as an “intercultural ensemble musical performance to celebrate 100 years of Korean cinema.”


The opening event will be followed by the Creative Collaborations panel the next day, which will explore creative opportunities between the Australian and Korean movie industries.


Panel speakers include Zoe Sua Cho, producer of “House of Hummingbird.”


By Kim Eun-jin

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October 21, 2019


Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' racks up US$1.3 million over weekend in U.S.

SEOUL, Oct. 21 (Yonhap) -- Cannes-winning black comedy "Parasite" racked up nearly US$1.3 million over the weekend in the United States, industry data showed Monday.


Directed by eclectic South Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho, the film, released stateside on Oct. 11, ranked 11th at the U.S. box office during the Friday-Sunday period, with a cumulative total of $1.8 million, according to data from Box Office Mojo. It is now being screened in 33 theaters in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco.


Walt Disney's dark fantasy "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" topped the list with $36 million in 3,790 theaters across the U.S.


Venice-winning psychological thriller "Joker" earned $29.2 million in 4,090 theaters over the three-day period and zombie comedy "Zombieland: Double Tap," which opened at 3,468 cinemas, raked in $26.7 million.


Moreover, the per-screen average for "Parasite" of $37,616, far outnumbers the $9,499 set by "Maleficent" and the $7,141 of "Joker."


Opening in New York and Los Angeles in a total of three theaters, "Parasite" earned an estimated $384,000 for the first weekend, with a per-screen average of $128,000.


It was the best per-screen haul since "La La Land" in 2016, and the biggest per-screen number for any international film opening in the U.S.


Earlier, "Parasite" was selected as South Korea's entry to the best international feature film category at the upcoming Academy Awards in February.


The film, backed by U.S. distributor Neon, is expected to be one of the strongest Oscar contenders in the category, and it is also considered a candidate for the best picture and best director awards.


Bong and lead actors including Song Kang-ho have been on the awards campaign in the U.S., which stretches to February.


The flick revolves around two families, one rich and one poor, who become entangled, leading to a series of unexpected violent mishaps. It attracted more than an audience of more 10 million people in South Korea alone.


This image provided by CJ ENM shows a scene from "Parasite." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This image provided by CJ ENM shows a scene from "Parasite." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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Having seen this awesome movie after reading a bunch of ecstatic reviews ("Best Movie of the Year!") I wanted to share an observation I didn't see mentioned anywhere else:


[spoiler for those who haven't seen the movie]




The father of the poor family mentioned that he previously worked as a taxi driver after their Taiwanese (?) "castella" shop went under.


And the husband who lived in the basement, when we meet him for the first time, also mentions that he is heavily in debt because of the Taiwanese "castella" shop.


Anyway, I thought it was notable that both families have become in dire straits because they both made a bad investment on what appears to the same franchise bakery. And it made me think about just how many franchise bakeries and coffee shops there are in Korea. (A lot.)


Here'a wikipedia page on "castella"





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October 22, 2019


Korean film event returns to Frankfurt


Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily // Project K





The eighth Korean Film Festival will be held at Cinestar Metropolis in Frankfurt from Thursday to Sunday, the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Frankfurt announced on Monday.


The festival will open with director Bong Joon-ho’s film “Parasite” and a total of 15 Korean films - including “MAL·MO·E: The Secret Mission,” “A Resistance” (2019) and other films by director Bong such as “Memories Of Murder” (2003) and “Mother” (2009) will be screened throughout the event.


“The event has taken place as the largest Korean film festival in the country [over the years],” said an insider of the event. “The film festival introduces the diversity of Korean society to the German audience through its films.”


The festival will include other opportunities for visitors to interact with Korean culture, such as K-pop dance classes, learning how to make spicy ramen noodles and gimbap (seaweed rice rolls), Korean calligraphy lessons, trying on hanbok (traditional Korean attire).


By Lee Jae-lim

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  • sadiesmith changed the title to [Movie 2019] Parasite, 기생충 - First Korean film to win Palme D'or, Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA, and Oscars

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