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Parasite (a film by Bong Joon-ho, 2019) |OT| Don't read anything about it, go watch it blind, thank us later

Birdseye

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
12,739
Parasite has been out at some theaters in the US so I figured we might as well have an |OT| about it. Please be responsible with spoilers and use the proper tags!

What is Parasite?

Parasite (in Korean Gisaengchung or 기생충 ) is a south-Korean movie by Bong Joon-ho.

Why is it famous?

It's Bong's return to Korean-produced movies, after Okja (distributed by Netflix) and Snowpiercer, and probably is his best work in a long time. It won the Palme d'Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, the first Korean movie to do so and one of the most accessible Palme d'Or winners since Pulp Fiction. Also, it has a 99% Fresh score on Rottentomatoes.

What is it about?

Don't read anything about Parasite and just go watch it! But if you absolutely must read a synopsis, there it is:

In contemporary South Korea, a poor family con their way into working for a wealthy family.

Really? Don't read anything?

Yes. It makes for a more enjoyable experience.

Alright, can I see a trailer?

Don't even watch the trailer if you can, but if you must watch it, there you go:



Is it related to the manga/anime?

No.

Are there any stars in it?

You might have heard of Song Kang-ho, who played in other movies by Bong Joon-ho (Memories of Murder), by Park Chan-wook (JSA a.k.a. Joint Security Area) or Kim Jee-woon (The Good, the Bad and the Weird).

Who is Bong Joon-ho?

One of the most famous South-korean directors since the new wave of korean cinema in the 2000s. You might have heard of Snowpiercer or Okja, starring famous western actors.

I liked Parasite, what should I see next?

Definitely Memories of Murder (which is arguably his magnum opus) and Mother (not the movie by Darren Aronofsky)

Wait, Memories of Murder? Didn't something strange just happen in relationship with that movie?

Yes.

Have fun!

 
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Nappuccino

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
5,071
I really want to spoil myself on the main premise / tone. But I also don't want to spoil any thing. It's a strange conundrum for me.
 
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Birdseye

Birdseye

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
12,739
If you have any information/maps that show where to see the movie in the US, please share and I'll add it to the OP.
 

lobdale

Member
Oct 25, 2017
946
I watched it this weekend and it was quite an experience! This is what movies are all about.
 

Dest

The Fallen
Jun 4, 2018
4,243
Work
AMC theaters are showing it in the US at some locations.
If you're in the DC Area, Angelika has it starting on the 17th
 

Yams

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,089
Won’t say much but this is hands down the best movie I have seen this year and one of the best of the decade
 

More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,184
My favorite film of 2019. Absolutely masterful in its management of space and framing, plays with plot and tone with confident deliberate relish, and packed with distinct vivid characters.

I can't stop ruminating on its themes and being blown away by the immaculate technical prowess

Non-spoiler thoughts
Going into Parasite, I had tried to remain as blind as possible. I only knew the basic synopsis. I hadn’t read reviews. I hadn’t watched trailers, and when the preview played before First Love, I shut my eyes. However, I did hear the music during that preview, as it shifted from upbeat and whimsical to ominous to thrilling.

So if I had one expectation, it was to expect another tonal roller-coaster from Bong Joon-ho. And Parasite did not disappoint.

What can I even say about this, without depriving others of the same experience?

That few modern directors are as adept at juggling tone as Bong Joon-ho, and Parasite is his most deft showcase yet?

That the movie transcends genre classification with each elegant twist and turn?

That much like Us, the story is equally effective as class divide allegory and pitch-black-comic thriller?

That it has the heart and thematic bite of Shoplifters, the clockwork joy of Ocean’s Eleven, the escalating heart-in-throat tension of Panic Room, the off-kilter domestic unease of Moebius?

That every character and performance is a delight, every humorous moment lands, each act is a masterful construction of plotting and direction and razor-sharp script?

Maybe I’ll just say that Parasite is a cinematic tour de force: exuberant and electrifying, hilarious and harrowing, playful and poignant.
Spoiler impressions
In Parasite, an act of (selfishly-motivated) good will spirals out of control in whiplash-inducing fashion. This pitch-black tragicomic domestic drama/caper flick/thriller/allegory unfurls with awesome confidence; literally, in that the pacing, plotting, direction inspire awe for the cinematic prowess on display.

You can’t help but root for the Kims in their acts of subterfuge: narratively, the family is too endearing, the Park household so blind and naive and dysfunctional, that such comeuppance is enthralling. Uneasy, sure, to watch their methodical infiltration built upon emotional manipulation and the cost of others, but enthralling nonetheless. Of course it helps that their con is infused with the style and energy of the best heist films: a freewheeling house of cards where every hand is a suit of witty improvisation and low-key resourcefulness. But that victory soon crumbles in a fateful crescendo of repercussions, as both the movie and tone descend into disorienting dread and nerve-wracking confrontation.

However, Parasite is a movie too smart to make the Parks the bad guys; there are no villains here, only the dominant and the downtrodden. Like peeling off a scab, the middle-act turn reveals the consequences festering beneath such good fortunes. Faced with “parasites” like themselves, we see that greed doesn’t iron out the Kims’ edges and appetite, doesn’t make them nicer, just makes them more desperate to maintain their momentary status. The good times are washed away in an apocalyptic flood, leaving behind only resentment and self-doubt and suffering.

Is clawing out of the economic depths just a fleeting dream, a flight of fancy destined to shatter against the crushing burdens of struggle? Parasite’s bleak ending doesn’t offer much optimism.
 
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More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,184
Bong Joon-Ho

- specifically stated he shot no coverage because the entire film was storyboarded. And it shows, the camerawork and framing is so precise
- built all the main locations from scratch. Both houses and the neighborhoods around them were sets. The rich house was actually a seamless visual effect, with the first floor at one location and the other floors on soundstages, merged through green screens

Knowing all that makes the film-making on display even more impressive
 

Pikachu

Traded his Bone Marrow for Pizza
Banned
Oct 25, 2017
3,239
Random spoiler question

Why does the young guy write his letter in Morse code? It’s not as if he has any way to pass it to his dad. Unless I’m misremembering and the voiceover at the end is not the letter he has in his hand in last shot and it’s actually just his transcript of his dad’s?
 
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Birdseye

Birdseye

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
12,739
- built all the main locations from scratch. Both houses and the neighborhoods around them were sets. The rich house was actually a seamless visual effect, with the first floor at one location and the other floors on soundstages, merged through green screens
I didn't know that. I'm somewhat relieved because if someone actually lived in that house I'd be so jealous.
 

Yams

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,089
Bong Joon-Ho

- specifically stated he shot no coverage because the entire film was storyboarded. And it shows, the camerawork and framing is so precise
- built all the main locations from scratch. Both houses and the neighborhoods around them were sets. The rich house was actually a seamless visual effect, with the first floor at one location and the other floors on soundstages, merged through green screens

Knowing all that makes the film-making on display even more impressive
my god
 

More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,184
Posted in the other thread but another interesting thematic/subtext aspect from interviews with Jong-Ho: a big symbol of status between rich and poor in Korea is having a basement. He describes it as the living spaces of the poor often being open and exposed, as opposed to the wealthy being able to afford such layered enclosed spaces, that seem secretive and unknowable from an outside perspective

So
the already vast basement having a bunker going even deeper underground speaks volumes on a visual metaphor level
 

Moonkid

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
2,849
Bong's been storyboarding his films for a while now I believe and it shows. Glad it's reaching U.S. shores now so that I can finally talk about it beyond my circle of friends lol. It's a step below Memories and Mother but that's out of pure preference - there's just something about the way he uses rural Korea that's alluring.
 

More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,184
The ending is so perfect, it really get you.
There's a good interview with Joon Ho on that, how
he could have ended with the shot of them hugging, leaving it ambiguous, but felt like showing the bleak reality with the "surefire kill" that brought the movie full circle and worked as a gut punch to the audience.

“Maybe if the movie ended where they hug and fades out, the audience can imagine, ‘Oh, it’s impossible to buy that house,’ but the camera goes down to that half-basement,” he says. “It’s quite cruel and sad, but I thought it was being real and honest with the audience. You know and I know — we all know that this kid isn’t going to be able to buy that house. I just felt that frankness was right for the film, even though it’s sad.”
 

lobdale

Member
Oct 25, 2017
946
i liked how

the various metaphors are introduced so obviously in retrospect, the "strata" of the rock, the "that's very metaphorical," the poor family eating instant noodles and snacks and insisting "ah, we weren't eating" vs. the rich family requesting and loving "poor people" trendy food (jjapaguri) but full of sirloin that the poor family who actually eats it regularly hasn't even heard of... so much good stuff goin on here I probably need to watch it again.
 

Hamchan

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,459
If this movie can even get nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture I would consider that as good as winning it, even though it deserves to win it outright.
 

Falchion

Member
Oct 25, 2017
21,977
Virginia Beach
I saw the trailer when it first came out and I'm so hyped to go see this. Don't see any showtimes around me yet so hopefully it comes to my town.
 

QBComics

Member
Oct 25, 2017
37
Movie is incredible, and is easily my favorite of the year. Bong Joon-ho continues to be one of the best working filmmakers today.
 

OrakioRob

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,646
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I've watched it and it's absolutely amazing. Really great.

It's not your average movie, but it's also very accessible and entertaining to anyone. I like weird movies, my wife hates them. We watched this one a few months ago and both of us think it's the best movie we have watched this year.
 

Yudoken

Member
Jun 7, 2019
71
Welp, it was a very entertaining movie up until
they let the old housekeeper in which iwas unbelievably dumb. I mean explain it to me, why should be those who've put quite a show and act to ruin the lives of the previous housekeeper ilet her so willingly in in the middle of the night in the storm? Don't forget, they let her go because they faked her with tubercoulose so letting her in while they're gone would not be ok if she was in good health. This was throwing the build up of the characters as quite ''street smart'' characters completly out of the window and scenes after that made everything dumber and dumber until I was really just shaking my head how nothing was making sense to me. The story was building up in a good way but I was quite disappointed how it didn't make much sense anymore. With all the praises the movie got am I the only one who's completely out of the movie because it got so... disappointingly badly written? This is of course not the the only major thing I've got gripes on but honestly this and what happened after was the turning point for me.
 
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supernormal

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
863
I just watched it based on the comments here. It was a bit of a struggle since I never watch movies with subs, but it was totally worth it. Absolutely amazing.
 

More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,184
Welp, it was a very entertaining movie up until
they let the old housekeeper in which iwas unbelievably dumb. I mean explain it to me, why should be those who've put quite a show and act to ruin the lives of the previous housekeeper ilet her so willingly in in the middle of the night in the storm? Don't forget, they let her go because they faked her with tubercoulose so letting her in while they're gone would not be ok if she was in good health. This was throwing the build up of the characters as quite ''street smart'' characters completly out of the window and scenes after that made everything dumber and dumber until I was really just shaking my head how nothing was making sense to me. The story was building up in a good way but I was quite disappointed how it didn't make much sense anymore. With all the praises the movie got am I the only one who's completely out of the movie because it got so... disappointingly badly written? This is of course not the the only major thing I've got gripes on but honestly this and what happened after was the turning point for me.
I felt it made sense in the moment. They were drunk, caught off guard, panicking, and the mother was still keeping up the good housekeeper front. Why wouldn’t a kind housekeeper let that poor woman retrieve something from the house after such an unfortunate departure? All she wanted to do was get something from the basement.

This is the family that was acting like they owned the place the insant the Parks left for camping.
 
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Birdseye

Birdseye

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
12,739
Bong Joon-Ho’s dark comedy “Parasite,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, has launched with a spectacular $376,264 at three U.S. theaters.

Neon opened “Parasite” at The Landmark and Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles and at the IFC Center in New York, where it broke the opening record set by 2014’s “Boyhood.” Its per-screen average of $125,421 is the highest since the opening of “La La Land” in 2016, and it’s also the largest per screen average for any foreign language film.
 

Smoolio

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
550
Reposting from the other thread:

Loved it except for one bit that really brings it down for me, was ready to call it my favorite movie of the year until this bit.

The fate of Ki-jung the sister was totally unnecessary I thought, really felt like the adventure of the four of them yet one is offed unceremoniously and only given a few lines of dialogue. Completely unsatisfying narratively for me :(
 
Apr 19, 2018
1,404
Obligatory gif:



Got to see the film here in NY this past weekend, and I'm set to see it again tomorrow. As I mentioned in the other thread, the movie did such a great job at combining black comedy, suspense, and dread. Reading about the production's technical mastery and visual trickery on display means I'm going to pay extra attention this time around.

And yes, that scene during the tussle at the house, and Ki-jung pouring the entire bag of peaches on top of Moon-gwang had me in stitches. As jml stated, the entire TB sequence prior to this peachy assault was gold; right up there with the best cinematic heists.
 

Richter1887

Member
Oct 27, 2017
17,344
I really want to see this but no one around me is playing it.

Anybody knows when this will come on digital or on disc?
 
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Birdseye

Birdseye

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
12,739

Richter1887

Member
Oct 27, 2017
17,344
More info (Source: https://www.cine-asie.fr/2019/09/13/palme-dor-2019-parasite-bong-joon-ho-dvd-blu-ray-decembre/)

  • Simple (yet not rushed) DVD/Blu-ray in December 4
  • Steelbook with DVD, Blu-Ray, 4K Blu-Ray and Bonus Blu-ray in February 28, 2020
  • Collector Edition with Steelbook and Storyboard in 2020, exclusively at The Jokers' (French distributor of Parasite) store
Thanks.

Simple it is then! I hope other countries has it in english sub (or the french version) but if not I will see if I can find another way to insert english subs.