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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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Source: Birth.Movies.Death (click for full article)

 

Parasite is almost here. Get your tickets now!

 

What do serial killers, amphibious critters, over-protective mothers, ultra-greedy corporations and everyday South Koreans have in common? They’ve all crawled out of Bong Joon-ho’s mind and into his seven films to date, including his latest and one of the year’s greatest, Parasite.

 

Exploring the vast chasm between those at either end of his homeland’s class system, the writer/director’s Palme d’Or-winning thriller really couldn’t have a better title. Following the linked lives of two families — one ultra wealthy and oblivious to their privilege; the other poor, struggling to get by and willing to do whatever it takes to survive — it not only probes the accepted social order prominent throughout the capitalist world, but ponders who’s really feeding off of whom. Of course, Parasite’s moniker also offers a nice case of symmetry with the movie that first brought Bong to wider fame, 2006 creature feature The Host. It might not seem like it at first, but the two films share another crucial trait as well: they both demonstrate Bong’s fascination with monsters in many forms.

 

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Bong Joon-ho to get major award

 

Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily

 

Director Bong Joon-ho will be honored at this year’s Shin Young Kyun Arts & Culture Foundation (SACF) Artist Of The Year Awards, the organization announced on Monday.

 

Every year, the organization selects artists in five categories - Film, Distinguished, Good People, Stage and New Artist - who have made major contributions to the arts and entertainment industry over the year. Bong will receive the Artist of the Year award in the Film division for taking home the prestigious Palme d’Or at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival through his latest film “Parasite.”

 

Bong debuted as a director with the film “A Higher Animal” in 2000 and has been recognized for both his artistry and commercial success with his films, such as “Memories of Murder” (2003) and “Mother (2009).

 

The other four awards will go to actor Kim Ji-mi, celebrity couple Choi Su-jong and Ha Hee-ra, Jung Dong-hwan and director Kim Bo-ra.

 

Director Kim will be honored for her contributions to the film industry after the success of her debut feature film “House of Hummingbird,” which has been recognized at numerous international film festivals and has received 28 prestigious awards this year, most recently the Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature at the 28th Heartland International Film Festival.

 

Each award winner will receive prize money of 20 million won ($17,000). The award ceremony will take place on Nov. 6 at Myungbo Art Hall in central Seoul at 6 p.m.


By Lee Jae-lim

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CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK

It’s Bong Joon Ho’s Dystopia.

We Just Live in It.

If you want to know why his biting “Parasite” is the film of the year, look at the director’s body of work, a deeply humane vision of rotting humanity.

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  • Oct. 30, 2019

“It’s so metaphorical!” Kim Ki-woo exclaims early in “Parasite,” Bong Joon Ho’s new film. Ki-woo is the college-aged son of one of the two families — the impoverished Kims and the wealthy Parks — whose fates entwine with horrible and hilarious results. He uses the phrase a few times, most notably with reference to the large, decorative “landscape rock” that is a gift from a better-off friend. In the interpretation of “Parasite” that emphasizes the movie’s fairy-tale aspects, the stone brings good fortune to Ki-woo, his sister and their parents, even as, like so many magical objects, it also curses them. (Spoilers follow, for “Parasite” and other Bong movies.)

 

Before long, Ki-woo stops talking about metaphors. Maybe because things start getting real. He takes a job tutoring the Parks’ teenage daughter, Da-hye, and pretty soon his whole family is employed, under dubious premises and fake identities, in the Park household. His sister, pretending to be a highly trained art therapist, starts working with Da-hye’s younger brother, Da-song. The Kim patriarch, Ki-taek, replaces the chauffeur who drives Mr. Park to and from his fancy tech job. Kim Chung-sook, the mother of the clan (a former Olympic-level hammer-thrower), takes over as housekeeper.

 

Or maybe — and it might amount to the same thing — the Kims’ reality has turned into an unsettling allegory of modern life, and Ki-woo doesn’t see metaphors in the way that a fish doesn’t notice water. What started out as a clever scam has turned into a fable.

 

In South Korea, where “Parasite” is already a blockbuster (having taken in more than $70 million at the box office), it has contributed to that country’s continuing debate about economic inequality. In the United States, where similar arguments are swirling, it has begun to turn Bong from an auteur with a passionate cult following into a top-tier international filmmaker. Fifty years old, with seven features to his name — most of them available on North American streaming platforms — he combines showmanship with social awareness in a way that re-energizes the faded but nonetheless durable democratic promise of movies.

 

https://nyti.ms/2Wsr3Xv  (The director Bong Joon Ho narrates a sequence from his film....Neon)

 

The cramped, leaky “semi-basement” apartment the Kims call home is a metaphor of sorts, and so is the spacious, modern, architecturally significant mansion where they work. The Park home in particular comes with built-in symbols, including a deep subbasement where inconvenient secrets can be stashed away, like dead bodies or hidden meanings in an Edgar Allan Poe story. And “Parasite,” which won the top prize in Cannes in May and has recently become the rare subtitled release to be mentioned as an Oscar contender beyond the foreign film category, plays out like a parable of contemporary social relations. It’s part horror film, part satire and part tragedy, conveying a sharp lesson about class struggle in South Korea and just about everywhere else.

 

But the houses in the film — like every office, alley, field, railroad car and precinct house in Bong’s expanding cinematic universe — are also actual physical places. And their inhabitants are anything but symbols or ciphers. Bong likes to choreograph wildly improbable chases and fights, but he doesn’t cheat at physics. A reason for the frequent comparisons to Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg is the ruthless precision of his technique. But for all his love of whimsy and absurdity, he doesn’t play games with human psychology. The actions and reactions in his movies are often surprising, but they are never nonsensical. His characters have gravity, density, grace and a decent share of stupidity.

A rendering of the street the Kims live on in “Parasite.”A rendering of the street the Kims live on in “Parasite.”Credit...CJ ENM Corporation; Barunson E&A

 

 

03bongjoon-parasite-rendering2-articleLa

 A rendering of the Parks’ ultramodern home, with outdoor space the Kims can only dream of.Credit...CJ ENM Corporation; Barunson E&A
 

To call Bong a realist, though, would be crazy. The movie of his that first caught the attention of genre geeks on a global scale was his third feature, “The Host” (released here in 2007), about a giant, carnivorous mutant fish spreading terror along the Han River in Seoul. In 2014 came “Snowpiercer” (based on a French graphic novel), which confirmed Bong’s status as an international action auteur. A gaggle of movie stars from Hollywood and beyond (including Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and Song Kang Ho, the solid South Korean Everyman who has appeared in four of Bong’s movies and who plays the Kim patriarch in “Parasite”) were packed into a high-speed train zooming around an apocalyptically frozen earth. The passengers were sorted into haves and have-nots, rebels and sellouts, and their struggles were both surprising and grimly familiar.

 

That was followed by “Okja” (2017), an antic updating of the basic “Charlotte’s Web” material (a young farm girl fights to save the life of her beloved piglet) for an age of genetic engineering, mass media and multinational capitalism. Swinton returned, playing twin moguls, but the real stars were Ahn Seo Hyun, as the young girl, and the digitally rendered shoat whose soul was at stake in the hectic battles among scientists, executives, animal-rights activists and other motley human specimens.

 

In obvious ways, “Parasite” is more realistic than those films. It returns Bong to the workaday Korean settings of his first two features, the grotesque comedy “Barking Dogs Never Bite” and the detective drama “Memories of Murder,” and also of “Mother,” his masterpiece (released here in 2010) about a woman whose mentally challenged adult son is accused of killing a schoolgirl. “Parasite” is more noir than science fiction, farcical until it turns melodramatic.

 
“Parasite” has turned Bong Joon Ho from an auteur with a passionate cult following into a top-tier international filmmaker.“Parasite” has turned Bong Joon Ho from an auteur with a passionate cult following into a top-tier international filmmaker.Credit...Philip Cheung for The New York Times

But to sort Bong’s work by genre or style is to miss both its originality and consistency. His movies are bold and bright, infused with rich colors and emphatic performances. They are funny, suspenseful and punctuated by kinetic sequences that can make even jaded multiplex-potatoes sit up and gasp. There are at least a half-dozen such moments in “Parasite,” perhaps the most thrilling of which involves three people hiding under a living-room coffee table while another camps out in a tent in the backyard.

 

At the same time, his movies are dark and subtle, burrowing deep into sticky ethical problems and hot zones of social dysfunction. You could say that he uses blockbuster means to advance art-house ends. You could also say the opposite. His real achievement, though, is to scramble such facile distinctions, and a host of others as well.

 

His stories are often tragic, but the mood tends to be more exuberant than somber, an emotional effect that can be hard to describe. The full awfulness of human beings and their circumstances is on vivid display: venality, vanity, deception and outright cruelty. But the aim isn’t mockery or glib sensationalism, or the routine fusion of the laughable and the grotesque that has been a staple of Hollywood cool since the mid-1990s. The most shocking thing about Bong’s films might be their sincerity, the warm humanism that flickers through the chronicles of spite, sloth and self-delusion.

 
 

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Image
 

Clockwise from top left, scenes from “Okja,” “The Host,” “Mother” and “Snowpiercer.”Clockwise from top left, scenes from “Okja,” “The Host,” “Mother” and “Snowpiercer.”Credit...Clockwise from top left: Netflix; Magnolia Pictures; Magnolia Pictures; Radius-TWC

 

The flickers are sometimes faint. In Bong’s debut feature, “Barking Dogs Never Bite” (2000), the humanism is all but buried in a gruesome, urban-legend-inflected conceit. A beleaguered graduate student, desperate to become a professor — an advancement that depends on his ability to come up with a large bribe for a senior figure in his field — is tormented by the barking of a neighbor’s dog. Since he lives in a vast, impersonal apartment block (the first of Bong’s metaphorical architectural spaces), he can’t identify the offending creature. The wrong dog ends up dying, more than once, and being eaten by a janitor with a taste for stewed canine flesh. Meanwhile the student’s marriage starts to crumble.

 

A measure of redemption — or at least a twinkle of mischief, innocence and decency — arrives via a subplot concerning a young woman in the building, and her friend, who works in a convenience store. They represent archetypal Bong characters: socially marginal, loyal to each other, but not necessarily heroic or noble by virtue of their poverty. Bong’s sense of class solidarity, which threads through every one of his movies, doesn’t involve romanticizing the people on the losing end of an increasingly ruthless economic competition.

 

The Kims in “Parasite” aren’t necessarily nicer, more loving or more honest than the bourgeois Parks. The small-town police officers in “Memories of Murder” are hardly pillars of virtue. The snack vendor played by Song in “The Host,” who enlists his father and his siblings in a valiant crusade to save his daughter from the monster, is a bit of an oaf. The mother in “Mother,” who sells herbs and practices acupuncture without a license, pushes maternal devotion to the point of homicide.

 
 

merlin_163125747_afce83ad-e691-4808-a4f9

 Bong on the “Parasite” set, working with his Everyman, the actor Song Kang Ho.Credit...Neon
 

To sentimentalize or idealize any of these people would not only be a form of condescension. It would strip their stories of dramatic and moral interest, making them less disturbing, and also a lot less fun. The pleasure and the discomfort can’t be separated. We are watching players compete in a rigged game with potentially mortal stakes and unreliable referees. Institutions — schools, companies, governments — are comically and also lethally useless. There is no legitimate authority, only raw power. Family connections are the only bonds that count, but families are a mess. The only answer is a kind of wily resourcefulness, an on-the-fly problem-solving knack that can deliver at best small, local victories. That those can be satisfying is a tribute to Bong’s own wily resourcefulness and also to his radical compassion.

 

What makes “Parasite” the movie of the year — what might make Bong the filmmaker of the century — is the way it succeeds in being at once fantastical and true to life, intensely metaphorical and devastatingly concrete.

 

There doesn’t seem to be much distance, in other words, between the dire futures projected in “Snowpiercer” and “Okja” — nightmares of technology and greed run amok — and the class-specific domestic spaces of “Parasite,” “Mother” and “Memories of Murder.” A much-remarked-on feature of human existence at the moment is how dystopian it feels, as some of the most extreme and alarming fantasies of fiction reappear as newsfeed banalities. Fires and hurricanes feel less like symbols than signals, evidence of a disaster that’s already here rather than omens of impending catastrophe. Monsters walk among us. Corruption is normal. Trust, outside a narrow circle of friends or kin, is unthinkable. Whether we know it or not, it’s Bong’s world we’re living in. Literally.

 

 

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November 1, 2019

 

NYT praises Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Parasite’ as ‘film of the year’

 

Source: The DONG-A ILBO

 

The New York Times (NYT) wrote praising words about South Korean film director Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” on Wednesday (local time). “In South Korea, where ‘Parasite’ is already a blockbuster (having taken in more than $70 million at the box office), it has contributed to that country’s continuing debate about economic inequality,” read the NYT’s Critic’s Notebook. “In the United States, where similar arguments are swirling, it has begun to turn Bong from an auteur with a passionate cult following into a top-tier international filmmaker.”

 

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The American newspaper also said “Parasite,” which won the Palme d'Or, the highest prize in Cannes, this year and has recently become the rare subtitled release to be mentioned as an Oscar contender beyond the foreign film category. “It’s part horror film, part satire and part tragedy, conveying a sharp lesson about class struggle in South Korea and just about everywhere else,” it continued. “His characters have gravity, density, grace and a decent share of stupidity.”

 

The article also mentioned Bong’s previous films. The writer of the article said “Parasite” is closer to his earlier works, such as “Barking Dogs Never Bite” or “Memories of Murder,” as his most recent film is more realistic than “The Host,” “Snowpiercer,” or “Okja.” Nonetheless, the writer quickly added, “But to sort Bong’s work by genre or style is to miss both its originality and consistency.”

 

“You could say that he uses blockbuster means to advance art-house ends. You could also say the opposite. His real achievement, though, is to scramble such facile distinctions,” the NYT article assessed the South Korean director’s world of art. “What makes ‘Parasite’ the movie of the year — what might make Bong the filmmaker of the century — is the way it succeeds in being at once fantastical and true to life, intensely metaphorical and devastatingly concrete,” the article continued with the highest praises.

 

“Parasite” first premiered in New York and Los Angeles on October 11 and is now playing in increasingly more theaters for movie fans in North America. The film’s global revenue recently reached 100 million dollars (approximately 120 billion won).

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14 hours ago, widala said:

Have you watched Parasite or planning to, @sadiesmith?

 

The US audiences seems to love Parasite. My Twitter tl full of praises for the movie.

Yes, I finally watched it last week. It played in a few theaters and when I went on Saturday night, the room was quite full. During the viewing I momentarily "forgot" that this movie was never meant to be a seen as a straight drama, so there was a bit of "what the heck" and "was that all?' feeling at the end, and I couldn't connect with any character. But somehow it managed to crawl under my skin and consume my thoughts, and I started to understand the director's intention. I did really enjoy the movie. Even though I was a bit spoiled, there were enough surprises that made me gasp out loud at how in your face everything was. The cinematography was awesome, too, not to mention Lee Seon Kyun, whom some review described as "elegantly condescending." :lol:  Would definitely like to see it again when it becomes available online!

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9 hours ago, sadiesmith said:

Yes, I finally watched it last week. It played in a few theaters and when I went on Saturday night, the room was quite full. During the viewing I momentarily "forgot" that this movie was never meant to be a seen as a straight drama, so there was a bit of "what the heck" and "was that all?' feeling at the end, and I couldn't connect with any character. But somehow it managed to crawl under my skin and consume my thoughts, and I started to understand the director's intention. I did really enjoy the movie. Even though I was a bit spoiled, there were enough surprises that made me gasp out loud at how in your face everything was. The cinematography was awesome, too, not to mention Lee Seon Kyun, whom some review described as "elegantly condescending." :lol:  Would definitely like to see it again when it becomes available online!

 

Yes, it's a movie you need to see more than one time.

The "elegantly condescending Mr. Park"... I love that! :D

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November 1, 2019

 

PARASITE Tops Korean Film Critics Association Awards
HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD Picks Up 5 Prizes

 

by Pierce Conran KOFIC

 

EHCfPZmseGbMutYLCAdB.jpg

 

BONG Joon-ho’s latest film PARASITE was triumphant at this year’s 39th Korean Film Critics Association Awards. The Palme d’Or-winning box office hit earned awards for Best Film and Best Director, as well as Best Cinematography for director of photography HONG Kyeong-pyo.

 

Also winning big was KIM Bora’s acclaimed debut House of Hummingbird, which took home prizes for Best New Director, Best New Actress (PARK Ji-hu) and Best Supporting Actress (KIM Sae-byuk) as well as the FIPRESCI Award. In addition, Director KIM shared the Best Independent Film prize with KIM-GUN (2018) director KANG Sang-woo.

 

Elsewhere, Best Actress went to Innocent Witness star KIM Hyang-gi, SHIN Ha-kyun took home Best Actor for Inseparable Bros, which also won Best Screenplay (YOOK Sang-hyo), and Best Supporting Actor went to Extreme Job’s JIN Seon-kyu.

 

ZE:A member PARK Hyung-sik won Best New Actor for Juror 8, Best Soundtrack went to KIM Joon-seok for Swing Kids (2018) and classic film actress UM Aeng-ran, of The Barefooted Young (1964), among many others, earned the Lifetime Achievement in Film Award.

 

The Korean Association of Film Critics also chose their top 10 for the year, which were (alphabetically): Another Child, Birthday, EXIT, Extreme Job, Hotel by the River, House of Hummingbird, Intimate Strangers (2018), KIM-GUN, Ode to the Goose (2018) and PARASITE.

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November 5, 2019

 

Cannes-winning 'Parasite' on a roll at U.S. box office

SEOUL, Nov. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho's family satire "Parasite" has maintained its strong theatrical presence at the U.S. box office, industry data showed Tuesday.

 

The Korean-language film, released stateside on Oct. 11, added US$2.6 million to its U.S. gross from Friday to Sunday, according to data from Box Office Mojo.

 

Its total reached $7.5 million, far outnumbering Bong's previous English-language science fiction movie "Snowpiercer" (2013), which garnered $4.6 million in 2013.

 

It is now being screened in 461 theaters in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, up from 129 theaters a week earlier.

 

"Parasite" was first shown in a total of three theaters in New York and Los Angeles, earning 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.

 

Separate data, released Monday by U.S. box office data provider The Numbers, showed that "Parasite" saw its worldwide box office top $109 million as of Monday. It exceeded "Snowpiercer" and "The Host" (2006), which earned $87.8 million and $92.6 million, respectively.

 

The film racked up the largest gross of $71.2 million in South Korea, followed by $11.9 million in France, the data showed.

 

Thanks to its bullish run at the U.S. box office, "Parasite" has emerged as one of the strongest contenders for the Oscar award for best international feature film.

 

Earlier, it was selected as South Korea's entry to the category at the upcoming Academy Awards slated for February. U.S. media also consider the film as a candidate for the best picture and best director awards.

 

The flick revolves around two families, one rich and one poor, who become entangled, leading to a series of unexpected violent mishaps. It won the top prize, the Palme d'Or, at this year's Cannes Film Festival.


brk@yna.co.kr

 

 

Source: Jean Noh @Nonohnoh

 

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October 4, 2019

 

16 Best Korean Movies of This Decade

 

by Diksha Sundriyal TheCinemaholic

 

In international cinema, there are a couple of countries that have made their presence felt strongly. While European cinema continues to excel, in the Asian market, Korean filmmakers have taken charge. Bong Joon-ho, Park Chan-wook and Kim Ki-duk are just a couple of directors that have made excellent films while succeeding in breaking into the international market. Their films are commercially successful without compromising with the soul of the story. In the past decade, this trend has been followed by a number of other directors. Here, we have compiled the list of the best Korean movies of this decade, from 2010 to 2019. that you must watch:


16. Train to Busan (2016)
 

15. The Man from Nowhere (2010)

 

14. The Day He Arrives (2011)

 

13. Masquerade (2012)

 

12. The Wailing (2016)

 

11. I Saw the Devil (2010)

 

10. The Handmaiden (2016)

 

9. House of Hummingbird (2018)

 

8. The Age of Shadows (2016)

 

7. Burning (2018)

 

6. Planet of Snail (2011)

 

5. Poetry (2010)

 

4. The Bacchus Lady (2016)

 

3. Hope (2013)

 

2. Silenced (2011)

 

1. Parasite (2019)

 

Kim Ki-taek and his family are destitute. They live in a shabby basement, surviving on meagre jobs. A change in their fortune comes when the son is sent to a rich family where a tutor is required. He succeeds in getting the job and finds that he can get his family employed too. One by one, he gets the old workers fired from their jobs and installs his sister, mother and father in their place. But, that’s not where the cycle ends. ‘Parasite’ is not just the best Korean movies of the decade, but also one of the best films of this century.

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A rare movie review on Dramabeans. The comment thread is moving very fast, which is a rarity on that site these days.

 

[Movie Review] Parasite is a disquietingly brilliant critique of our times

by Laica

Parasite1.jpg

Director Bong Joon-ho’s (Memories of Murder, Okja) darkly funny social satire, Parasite, has been getting the highest of accolades since its premiere earlier this year, and I’ve been waiting impatiently for it to finally come to my area.

 

Starring Bong’s frequent leading man Song Kang-ho, as well as Jo Yeo-jung, Park So-dam and Choi Woo-shik, the film is an intense, brutal takedown of the absurd tragedies of wealth inequality in late-stage capitalism that will make you gasp as often with unexpected laughter as with alarm and delight at its unending twists.

 

Without spoiling the movie, the story revolves around Choi and Park’s characters, siblings who live a miserable existence in a squalid basement apartment, their entire family of four unable to find work in what young Koreans colloquially call Hell Joseon. The kids start a chain of events that lead to the four of them getting increasingly entangled with the lives of a rich family, and as the movie progresses these encounters ramp up in a slow, tense escalation that explosively comes to a head in the third act.

Parasite2.jpg

 

Bong has said in interviews that, as a writer-director, he tends to have a clear idea of the sights and sounds that he envisions for the film, meticulously storyboarding scenes far in advance (although he doesn’t hold himself to every particular on the day of shooting). That care and attention to detail are clear in the visual complexity and careful framing of every shot; the visual field and soundscape of this movie are so rich that I already want to go back and see it again. Bong’s movies are varied in scope but they share a brilliantly executed sense of low-level, building dread that almost drips from the screen, and yet never overwhelms what he’s trying to do with the story–the tension never breaks until the precise moment that he wants it to. After watching one of his works the viewer is left feeling as though they’ve been taken on a journey by a virtuoso. The powerful images and feelings it evoked in me have certainly lingered for days.

 

One of this movie’s many strong points is its simultaneous specificity and universality; this is at once a story about one particular family in South Korea, and a broader commentary on the degrading idols of capitalism that are literally driving people underground, sustained on the dregs and crumbs left behind by a tiny fraction of the extremely wealthy who alone in their carefree existence, untouched by the ravages of food insecurity, economic depression, even environmental disaster. And while this theme is clear to anyone who watches the film, it’s only one aspect of a movie that has multiple embedded layers of social commentary.

 

Take the obsession of the youngest child in the rich family with “Indians,” for example; his very privileged backyard camping trip in an imported American teepee says volumes about the levels of exploitation going on here (and who is actually the “savage” in this situation, especially when these indigenous motifs play a pivotal role in the climax of the film). Or the pointed, conscious use of English words by characters of every social class as a marker of culture, of knowledge that somehow has the potential to lift them up, rooted in the pervasiveness of American imperialism. And yet from early on, one of the characters repeatedly breaks the fourth wall by saying an object is “metaphorical,” an indirect and gentle poke at all this symbolism from the director, as if he’s winking at the analyses he knows are coming in reviews like this.

 

Parasite3.jpg

 

The cast are across-the-board excellent, which is no surprise given this incredible lineup. Song is his usual unquantifiable genius in the role of Choi’s father, and Lee Seon-kyun gives all the power of his unique voice and manner to the cynically suave head of the rich family. Jo Yeo-jung is fascinating in her role of the oblivious, pampered samo-nim, the epitome of what Song observes at one point about their household: they’re not nice even though they’re rich, but because they are rich.

 

In this cutthroat world where most people have to claw and scrape for every won, no one has that luxury except those who are so wealthy that they’re insulated from the nightmare threat of poverty. And even that “niceness” proves to be very different from goodness–although I would venture to say that no character in this film possesses the latter quality. The system itself has become so unlivable that we are becoming alienated from our own humanity, bit by bit, until we become used to living in the dark, and forget the feeling of light and freedom.

 

Parasite5.jpg

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November 5, 2019

 

Bong Joon-ho Wins Hollywood Filmmaker Award for 'Parasite'

 

By Hwang Ji-yoon The ChosunIlbo

 

2019110501404_0.jpg
Director Bong Joon-ho poses at the annual Hollywood Film Awards

in Beverly Hills, California on Sunday. /Reuters-Yonhap


Director Bong Joon-ho was named the best filmmaker at the annual Hollywood Film Awards in Beverly Hills, California on Sunday.

 

He won the Hollywood Filmmaker Award for his latest film "Parasite," which received the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival in May.

 

The Hollywood awards are an American motion picture award ceremony held annually since 1997.

 

"Parasite" is doing well at the North American box office, earning over US$7.54 million as of Sunday, according to the U.S. movie ticket tracking website Box Office Mojo. It surpassed the earnings of Bong's previous film "Snowpiercer."

 

The number of theaters in North America screening "Parasite" has increased from three to 463.

 

All that has made the Korean film a stronger contender for an Oscar for the Best International Feature Film category. The Academy Awards will be held in February next year. 

 

November 4, 2019

 

Bong Joon-ho wins at Hollywood Film Awards

 

By Yoon Min-sik The Korea Herald


South Korean director Bong Joon-ho won the award for best filmmaker at the 23rd Hollywood Film Awards on Sunday.

 

During the annual event in Beverly Hills, California, Bong was commended for his recent film “Parasite,” for which he won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year. 

 

20191104000759_0.jpg
(Yonhap)


This year’s Hollywood winners also include Charlize Theron, who took home the career achievement award; Antonio Banderas and Renee Zellweger, chosen as best actor and actress; and Al Pacino and Laura Dern, selected as best supporting actor and actress. “Avengers: Endgame” won the Hollywood blockbuster award, and Emma Tillinger Koskoff and James Mangold won awards for best producer and director.

 

“Parasite” is the story of a poor family that cons its way into a job working for a wealthy family, a satirical black comedy about class disputes. It has made $108 million worldwide as of Monday.


(minsikyoon@heraldcorp.com)

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November 11, 2019

 

'Parasite' biggest commercial success among foreign films in North America this year

SEOUL, Nov. 11 (Yonhap) -- The Cannes-winning Korean film "Parasite" has garnered more than US$11 million in revenue in North America, becoming the most commercially successful foreign language title of this year so far, industry data showed Monday.

 

The film's revenue from the one-month period since its North American release on Oct. 11 till Sunday came to $11.28 million, according to the data by the U.S. box office and the American magazine Variety.

 

This marks the most revenue garnered by a foreign-language title in North America in 2019 and the most commercially successful Korean movie released there so far.

 

The previous top foreign-language title in North America this year was Spanish-language film "No Manches Frida 2," which amassed $9.27 million.

 

As the Korean movie gained popularity, the number of American theater screens allotted for the title increased to 603 over the weekend, from 461 a week earlier.

 

The solid performance in the region is bringing the film one step closer to its possibly winning the Oscar award for best international feature film.

 

The metaphor-heavy flick revolves around two economically polarized families, zeroing in on a violent encounter of the families through a dark comedy-thriller genre.

 

It won the top prize, the Palme d'Or, at this year's Cannes Film Festival.


pbr@yna.co.kr

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November 18, 2019

 

Doorbell song from 'Parasite' hits internet

SEOUL, Nov. 18 (Yonhap) -- As Bong Joon-ho's black comedy "Parasite" continues to make waves as an international film in North America, a short catchy song from the movie has gone viral on the internet across the world.

 

The so-called Jessica jingle is a brief chant that the character Ki-jung, played Park So-dam, sings with her brother Ki-woo (Choi Woo-sik) in order to remember her false identity and alias, Jessica, before ringing the doorbell of a rich family's house.

 

This image, provided by CJ Entertainment, shows a scene in "Parasite." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This image, provided by CJ Entertainment, shows a scene in "Parasite." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


The wily siblings sweet-talk the affluent family into employing them and their parents so that they can live off the family.

 

Ki-jung impersonates an art therapy teacher to take on a troublemaking kid, while her brother already works as a tutor of the teenage daughter. They pretend to be unrelated and try to recall the details before entering the house.

 

"Jessica, Only Child, Illinois, Chicago," they sing.

 

The six-second jingle is based on the famous children's song "Dokdo is Our Land," whose tune is used frequently by Korean students to help memorize information.

 

As the song gains popularity, the film's U.S. distributor, Neon, has made the jingle available to download as a ringtone, and there are now many variations of the "Jessica Jingle," including a K-pop remix version.

 

Neon also posted video footage of Park So-dam teaching the "Jessica Jingle" on Twitter, which has more than 24,000 hits. (Watch clip HERE)

 

"Parasite," the top winner of this year's Cannes Film Festival, was released in the United States on Oct. 11 and has been rallying stateside since them. It had racked up more than US$14 million by Saturday (U.S. time), becoming the most commercially successful foreign language title of this year in the U.S.

 

The film has emerged as one of the strongest candidates for the International Feature Film prize at the Academy Awards slated for next year. It is also expected to pop up in other major categories, including Best Film and Best Director.

 

This image, captured from U.S. film distributor Neon's Twitter, shows Park So-dam's "Jessica Jingle" footage. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This image, captured from U.S. film distributor Neon's Twitter, shows Park So-dam's "Jessica Jingle" footage. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

 

brk@yna.co.kr

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https://www.indiewire.com/2019/11/parasite-cinematographer-hong-kyung-pyo-1202189824/

‘Parasite’: Shooting Bong Joon Ho’s Social Thriller Through the Lens of Class Divide

Cinematographer Hong Kyung-pyo explains the visual intricacies of conveying class divide through vertical compositions, rain, stairs, and contrasting lighting conditions.

unnamed-22.jpg?resize=96%2C96&ssl=1

Bill Desowitz

Nov 15, 2019 6:41 pm

 @BillDesowitz

 

Parasite

“Parasite”

Neon

 

[Editor’s Note: The following article contains spoilers.]

Bong Joon Ho’s Oscar-contending “Parasite” masterfully explores class divisions in Korea with voyeuristic delight. Watching the poor family leave their cramped semi-basement home to overtake the wealthy family’s exquisite mansion becomes a tragicomic exercise in the futility of aspiration. The director crosses Hitchcock with Buñuel yet provides his own sense of cunning and precision. He populates the frame with doppelgangers while emphasizing vertical spaces, and cinematographer Hong Kyung-pyo executes his vision with stunning visual contrasts.

 

“First, I tried to reflect the gap between the rich and the poor in the amount of sunshine,” said Kyung-pyo. “This was something that director Bong and I had already studied the most with discussions and test shooting. In terms of topography, if you visit the concentrated semi-basement area in the lowland and the rich area in the highland, the difference in the amount of sunlight is obvious. To make Ki-taek’s [Song Kang-ho] semi-basement house and the open set of Park’s [Lee Sun-kyun] mansion more realistic, we collected data by repeatedly testing and checking the sunlight in each location, which are regarded as in the same neighborhood in the film. In the rich mansion, on the high ground, you can see the sunlight all day long through the wide windows everywhere during all the daytime when the sun is up. On the other hand, sunlight comes through a small window in the semi-basement house and can be seen only for a short moment of the day. The sunny area is just as limited as the size of the small window.”

 

That is why residents of semi-basement units turn on the indoor light during daytime; therefore, the cinematographer installed the same kind of low-end lighting lamps (greenish fluorescent and tungsten incandescent) used by Korean households in Ki-taek’s home. “A little more extreme setting here is the secret underground space of the rich house,” continued Kyung-pyo. “In this space, we applied the same lamps which are used in Ki-taek’s house, but added some variations in their arrangement and contrast.

 

Parasite

“Parasite”

Neon

 

“However, Park’s house, having received generous sunlight during the day, goes on to enjoy the luxury of elegant artificial lights when the sun goes down. We appropriately placed expensive indoor lighting and LED lighting that were actually installed in such mansions. We focused on depicting the softness and the sophistication exclusive to rich households by using warm-colored lights, gentle indirect lighting, and applying dimmer switched (unlike greenish fluorescent light). In the end, semi-basement lighting was ‘technical lighting’ while the lighting in Park’s house was ‘aesthetic lighting.’”

 

Meanwhile, Kyung-pyo said that changes in lighting detail — shifts from space to space — such as when members of Ki-taek’s family escape from Park’s house and run back to their place during the rain storm, were gradually expressed. As they run in the rain and the space shifts, you can view the wealthy neighborhood’s LED street lights changing to the poor neighborhood’s red lamps.

 

In terms of shooting vertical compositions to convey the class divide between the two families, Kyung-pyo explained that characters have different eye levels depending on the places they are in, and because of that, their perspectives are limited. “For instance, at the level of Ki-taek’s family living in a semi-basement, they see cement street floors and various garbage, street cats, and the wheels of vehicles passing through their neighborhood.” he said. “The eye level of this neighborhood means watching the densely-built houses of strangers, their lives, and even some of their private lives. A drunk man urinating on the streets is one of the things they inevitably have to watch.

 

PARASITE_Parks-Home-Kitchen.jpg

“Parasite”

Neon

“In the beginning of the film, Ki-woo [Choi Woo-shik, who plays the son] climbs a hillside in the rich neighborhood for a tutor interview. The hillsides are full of citadel-like mansions, which Ki-woo would never know what happens inside. There are no passers-by or even a street cat. The riches’ privacy is keenly secured. Once Ki-woo reaches Park’s house, he comes to face the ‘open sky’ and the ‘nicely kept green grass in the garden’. The sky could never be seen in the semi-basement and the grass was mere weed struggling to survive between the rocks in Ki-woo’s neighborhood. Now he sees them function as ‘pieces of landscape’ in the rich house.”

 

However, in most of the shifts between different spaces, there were scenes with stairs. Stairs provide important transitions between the two extremes of spaces and relationships. To express this effectively, Kyung-pyo studied Bong’s very descriptive script and detailed storyboards. “Walking up some stairs, you become infinitely elegant, while walking down another, you fall endlessly or enter into an ominous mood,” he said. “Stairs also function as a tool that makes one realize their true identity after basking in the momentary ‘highness.’ They walk up with excitement, but run down endlessly in the pouring rain. What they see at the end of the stairs is their house drowned in water.”

 

Rain, too, functioned as an important visual device, with its impact on rich and poor conveyed very differently. Because Park’s house on the highland is securely built, there is no threat of flooding. “Accordingly, for the rain scene in Park’s house, we set the lighting specifically so that the rain wouldn’t be very visible and proceed to film the scene that way. The rain in this house, therefore, is so delicate that it’s almost romantic.

 

Parasite, Bong Joon-ho

“Parasite”

Neon

“On the other hand, Ki-taek’s family realizes that the downpour is stronger than expected as they escape the rich house through the garage. In the rain, they come down the hill that Ki-woo climbed up during the first part of the movie. It is at this shot that Ki-taek’s family realizes that rain isn’t so romantic after all. In the following stairs sequence, the focus of the shooting was to make the rainfall look even stronger. We set the lighting so that water flowing from piers and rooftops as well as the water from the rain cluster would be emphasized. Various photography and lighting equipment were used to capture the despair of the characters in the scene. Ki-taek’s semi-basement house that they reach in the end was set to look like the rain was threatening their entire lives, and we shot the scenes accordingly. In this scene, the rain became another antagonist on its own.”

 

But figuring out how to shoot the flooding of Ki-taek’s semi-basement unit proved daunting. Every item’s characteristic had to be analyzed. Does it float or not? “We also ran simulations through several discussions before deciding on the spots where special effects would be added,” Kyung-pyo said. “Various attempts such as appropriately placing [lights] and flashing them were made to amplify the characters’ sense of crisis in the blackout following the flooding.”

 

cXoFTolA.jpeg

“Parasite”

Neon

For the climactic midday murder spree during the backyard birthday celebration, they arranged for filming to be held at noon to best take advantage of the beautiful backdrop. “The reason we chose to film in the natural sunlight in spite of [cloud-covered] limitations was because we wanted to double the sense of reality in flow of the events as well as the characters’ emotions and to perfect the sequence,” the cinematographer said. “The birthday party sequence is comprised of various characters’ movements [with Ki-taek’s emotions reaching their extreme as he goes over the edge].

 

“In order to emphasize the reality into these complicated structures, I tried to keep the consistency of rhythm of the camera and light. I captured the explosive acting of those actors based on the concrete storyboard with efficient camera walk and it was enough to make a sort of rhythm. Also, the last over head angle crane shot concludes this chaotic sequence by infusing a bleak sentiment. The birthday party sequence was completed by the chemical activity of the enthusiastic performance of the actors, patience of the whole staff, and technology for four days of shooting.”

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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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