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

Auros01

Avenger
Nov 17, 2017
2,018
I'd also suggest Mother. Personally I think its his best film though all his films are worth watching but the opening scene of Mother is something magical, and of course the rest of the film is great.
Snowpiercer and Okja are probably his weakest well-known movies IMO.

Of the ones I’ve seen, this is how I’d rank them:
1) Parasite
2) Memories of Murder
3) Mother
4) The Host
5) Okja
6) Snowpiercer
Thanks for the responses. I'll try to track down Memories of Murder and Mother.
 

ara

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,172
I thought Snowpiercer was terrible, lol. Definitely have to try and see if I can find Mother somewhere, though.
 

More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
18,297
Snowpiercer and Okja are probably his weakest well-known movies IMO.

Of the ones I’ve seen, this is how I’d rank them:
1) Parasite
2) Memories of Murder
3) Mother
4) The Host
5) Okja
6) Snowpiercer
1) Parasite
2) The Host
3) Memories of Murder
4) Snowpiercer
5) Barking Dogs Never Bite
6) Mother
7) Okja
 

Pikachu

Traded his Bone Marrow for Pizza
Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,569
Has anybody put any thought into the significance of

Ki-taek previously working st the cake shop the crazy guy owned, and what happened to the old housekeeper that made her look so crazy/unhealthy after a couple weeks of unemployment after she gets fired?
 

kvetcha

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,501
1. Parasite
2. Mother
3. Memories of Murder
4. The Host
5. Okja
6. Snowpiercer
?. Barking Dogs Never Bite

Has anybody put any thought into the significance of

Ki-taek previously working st the cake shop the crazy guy owned, and what happened to the old housekeeper that made her look so crazy/unhealthy after a couple weeks of unemployment after she gets fired?
It's not explained in the movie, because it's something a lot of Korean folks would already know, but the Taiwan cake shop thing was a rapid boom-bust cycle. They were a fad, and many people invested their savings into opening such shops, and when the bubble burst it bankrupted many, many people. In this situation it's not implying that Geun-sae worked with Mr Kim, only that he had lost all his money in much the same way as the Kims had - although in his case he had taken out loans to fund the shop.

re: Moon-Gwang, I always assumed the loan sharks came after her once she was no longer able to make payments.
 

DavidDesu

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,927
Glasgow, Scotland
I feel dumb because I didn't really "get" the movie. Like it totally had some sort of theme, I just somehow missed what it was. The main characters are a "parasite" that slowly creep into and take over the rich family. But then when you are expecting it to switch and show the rich people are the real parasites it doesn't at all but introduces another family of parasites. And instead of the two groups working together they fight which results in death and mayhem. So is the message, stay away from poor people and properly vet them otherwise they will murder you just because you think they smell? The rich people didn't cause the flooding - and it's hard to believe with how long the scam had been going on for that they had no money or savings to replace what they lost. So why then are they trying to make us feel bad for the main characters dad who is a murderer? I didn't get it at all.
I’ve literally just come home from seeing it and my take is this:
The poor aren’t the parasites, and in this case the rich aren’t particularly either (the dad seems to run an innocuous tech company when they could have made it easily some horrible oil company or something).

I’d say the film is taking aim at the larger system we are all a part of. The rich float above it all most of the time while the poor fight tooth and nail to climb over each other to get the scraps.

I’d imagine there’s far more of a message going on that I’ve probably not fully taken in but that was my overall take. The worst thing the rich family did is to judge those below them and believe they were different, with the focus on the “smell.” That and just being rich.
 

HStallion

Member
Oct 25, 2017
33,914
I’ve literally just come home from seeing it and my take is this:
The poor aren’t the parasites, and in this case the rich aren’t particularly either (the dad seems to run an innocuous tech company when they could have made it easily some horrible oil company or something).

I’d say the film is taking aim at the larger system we are all a part of. The rich float above it all most of the time while the poor fight tooth and nail to climb over each other to get the scraps.

I’d imagine there’s far more of a message going on that I’ve probably not fully taken in but that was my overall take. The worst thing the rich family did is to judge those below them and believe they were different, with the focus on the “smell.” That and just being rich.
Bong has stated the real parasite is hope and the insane paths it can take people down trying to make a dream a reality... even if it's a total impossibility.
 

m_shortpants

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,128
I feel dumb because I didn't really "get" the movie. Like it totally had some sort of theme, I just somehow missed what it was. The main characters are a "parasite" that slowly creep into and take over the rich family. But then when you are expecting it to switch and show the rich people are the real parasites it doesn't at all but introduces another family of parasites. And instead of the two groups working together they fight which results in death and mayhem. So is the message, stay away from poor people and properly vet them otherwise they will murder you just because you think they smell? The rich people didn't cause the flooding - and it's hard to believe with how long the scam had been going on for that they had no money or savings to replace what they lost. So why then are they trying to make us feel bad for the main characters dad who is a murderer? I didn't get it at all.
Some argue that the rich are the real parasites. They take and earn off of the people "below" them, then discard them when convenient. There are a few ways it can be interpreted, as the movie is very deep and has multiple layers to it (no pun intended).

The movie is also brilliant with the reveal of the secret basement. The old caretaker tries to appeal to the mom and calls her sister because in her eyes they're equals. The mother looks upon her with disgust and they fight and squabble with each other. Just look at ERA, the threads where people argue whether 100k income is rich or not are the perfect analogues for this mentality while the true rich pocket from both.

With regards to the flooding, again, lots of ways this can be interpreted but the way I saw it was this: the heavy rain is but a minor inconvenience for the rich family; their camping trip is cancelled and they have to come home, dejected. Meanwhile, for the poor folks, it literally shits on them and everything they own. They lose the little material possessions they own and its a huge setback. Think about how an injury or car accident or some kind of unexpected expense would be a difficult trial for someone with no money, but would be not even a minor inconvenience for someone with wealth. First world problems, as they're sometimes called.

There's a lot of way the film can be interpreted, it's brilliant.
 

Landawng

The Fallen
Nov 9, 2017
2,382
Denver/Aurora, CO
Watched this again last night and loved it even more the second time around.

One thing I guess I sort of didn’t really get the first time I saw it is when the old caretakers husband is banging his forehead against the light switch/power breaker thing desperately trying to get Mr Parks attention with Morse Code because his wife was dying. I don’t how I missed that the first time around, I guess I just thought he was crazy and was upset but he was trying to call for help, that shit broke my heart last night. Man from that point on the movie really takes a tragic turn.
 

Psychoward

Member
Nov 7, 2017
25,544
Watched this again last night and loved it even more the second time around.

One thing I guess I sort of didn’t really get the first time I saw it is when the old caretakers husband is banging his forehead against the light switch/power breaker thing desperately trying to get Mr Parks attention with Morse Code because his wife was dying. I don’t how I missed that the first time around, I guess I just thought he was crazy and was upset but he was trying to call for help, that shit broke my heart last night. Man from that point on the movie really takes a tragic turn.
Yeah that was hard to watch
 

Slim Action

Member
Jul 4, 2018
2,119
Of the ones I've seen I'd rank them:

1.) Snowpiercer
2.) Parasite
3.) Memories of Murder
4.) Ojka
5.) Mother
6.) The Host

But they're all good to great. What a director.
 

kvetcha

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,501
Watched this again last night and loved it even more the second time around.

One thing I guess I sort of didn’t really get the first time I saw it is when the old caretakers husband is banging his forehead against the light switch/power breaker thing desperately trying to get Mr Parks attention with Morse Code because his wife was dying. I don’t how I missed that the first time around, I guess I just thought he was crazy and was upset but he was trying to call for help, that shit broke my heart last night. Man from that point on the movie really takes a tragic turn.
What got me the last time I saw it was this little monologue:

I just feel comfortable here.

It feels like I was born here.

Maybe I had my wedding here, too.

As for the National Pension, I don't qualify.

In my old age, love will comfort me.

So please, let me live down here.


Just absolute hopeless resignation, spoken over relics of his past life in the sun.
 

Minishdriveby

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,145
I’ve literally just come home from seeing it and my take is this:
The poor aren’t the parasites, and in this case the rich aren’t particularly either (the dad seems to run an innocuous tech company when they could have made it easily some horrible oil company or something).

I’d say the film is taking aim at the larger system we are all a part of. The rich float above it all most of the time while the poor fight tooth and nail to climb over each other to get the scraps.

I’d imagine there’s far more of a message going on that I’ve probably not fully taken in but that was my overall take. The worst thing the rich family did is to judge those below them and believe they were different, with the focus on the “smell.” That and just being rich.
Bong has stated the real parasite is hope and the insane paths it can take people down trying to make a dream a reality... even if it's a total impossibility.
Watched this again last night and loved it even more the second time around.

One thing I guess I sort of didn’t really get the first time I saw it is when the old caretakers husband is banging his forehead against the light switch/power breaker thing desperately trying to get Mr Parks attention with Morse Code because his wife was dying. I don’t how I missed that the first time around, I guess I just thought he was crazy and was upset but he was trying to call for help, that shit broke my heart last night. Man from that point on the movie really takes a tragic turn.
You see this is my complaint with the movie. The rich are afforded a subtle portrayal that is not afforded to the poor family. All of the visual language lends to the idea of the poor being parasites and characterizes them as insects scurrying and continues to reinforce this with dialogue and acting. The rich are dependent on the poor family but there's no blunt reinforcement from the script that is constantly directed towards the poor. Things like their house being automated by the poor are glanced over. The faults of the rich in this movie come from indifference or disgust which is a different type of malice.
 

Dalek

Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,459
I absolutely just assumed it was a horror. Maybe more than assumed, what little I’ve seen sets it up that it might go that way. Definitely marketing.
Out of curiosity - because this is a subject that interests me- what specific marketing makes you think it’s a “horror movie”? Here’s the trailer for the film:


It seems intense and suspenseful for sure. But what about it seems like a “horror”? Do people get that from the title? Do they think there’s a monster that’s a literal parasite?
 

Landawng

The Fallen
Nov 9, 2017
2,382
Denver/Aurora, CO
What got me the last time I saw it was this little monologue:

I just feel comfortable here.

It feels like I was born here.

Maybe I had my wedding here, too.

As for the National Pension, I don't qualify.

In my old age, love will comfort me.

So please, let me live down here.


Just absolute hopeless resignation, spoken over relics of his past life in the sun.
I couldn’t agree more with this.

And he loved his wife so much, you could tell they both truly loved each other. Telling her how much he missed her jokes when she’s doing that hilarious NK mockery, and the absolutely stunning looking scene of the two of them dancing in a flashback upstairs. When she dies he totally just loses his mind and it was heartbreaking.

Oh god, and the scene where the rich wife is explaining how her son saw a ghost in first grade and the fucking flashback of that scene showing the shot of his eyes in the dark when the kid sees it. I would have been scarred and had seizures from that shit too. I had chills watching that. I also didn’t realize until yesterday that the self portraits of the kid were really just the kid drawing a picture of the “ghost” he saw and the dude was probably starving to death waiting to get in on some of that birthday cake.
 

electricblue

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,063
You see this is my complaint with the movie. The rich are afforded a subtle portrayal that is not afforded to the poor family. All of the visual language lends to the idea of the poor being parasites and characterizes them as insects scurrying and continues to reinforce this with dialogue and acting. The rich are dependent on the poor family but there's no blunt reinforcement from the script that is constantly directed towards the poor. Things like their house being automated by the poor are glanced over. The faults of the rich in this movie come from indifference or disgust which is a different type of malice.
The rich are portrayed as soulless, emotionally alienated from each other, and primarily concerned with trivialities. The father repeatedly tries to form some kind of emotional understanding of Mr. Park's motivation throughout the film ("you love her") only to see finally that there's nothing there. No concern for anything beyond himself.
 

Minishdriveby

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,145
The rich are portrayed as soulless, emotionally alienated from each other, and primarily concerned with trivialities. The father repeatedly tries to form some kind of emotional understanding of Mr. Park's motivation throughout the film ("you love her") only to see finally that there's nothing there. No concern for anything beyond himself.
Yeah and that's exactly what I said. That's not parasitism. it's indifference.

edit: You have a lot of people coming in here saying the take away is that both classes are parasites in their own way and that's just not true. And if that's the take away then I think the overall message has failed.
 

Jamiem

Avenger
Jul 4, 2018
602
New Zealand
From the man himself

"Because the story is about the poor family infiltrating and creeping into the rich house, it seems very obvious that Parasite refers to the poor family, and I think that's why the marketing team was a little hesitant," he explained. "But if you look at it the other way, you can say that rich family, they're also parasites in terms of labor. They can't even wash dishes, they can't drive themselves, so they leech off the poor family's labor. So both are parasites."

Source: https://www.ign.com/articles/parasite-bong-joon-ho-reveals-the-meaning-behind-the-title-of-the-oscar-nominated-film
 

electricblue

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,063
But this is trash too because it allows the rich to escape and live in utopia while directing the poor to learn how to find nirvana in poverty.
No its a critique of our common economic system in which ingratiating themselves with a rich family and striving to fit in with them is the only thing an incredibly talented poor family like this is able to do
 

kvetcha

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,501
You see this is my complaint with the movie. The rich are afforded a subtle portrayal that is not afforded to the poor family. All of the visual language lends to the idea of the poor being parasites and characterizes them as insects scurrying and continues to reinforce this with dialogue and acting. The rich are dependent on the poor family but there's no blunt reinforcement from the script that is constantly directed towards the poor. Things like their house being automated by the poor are glanced over. The faults of the rich in this movie come from indifference or disgust which is a different type of malice.
I’m not sure what one would achieve here, thematically, by implementing Shittiness Parity.

Everything comes to the Parks more easily, more elegantly. They ride in a palanquin borne by a parade of lower class people they barely acknowledge past signing their paychecks. If they are evil, then it is an evil born of obliviousness and complacency, not malice. Money, as Chung-sook says, is an iron. The Parks’ lives are unwrinkled, and that lack of daily, elemental struggle has blinded their awareness of such things in the lives of others.

Would the story be somehow improved if they were malignant rich folk actively trying to oppress the poor?

The idea that the privileged are walking on the backs of the poor without even realizing it is far more chilling, and I think of it every time Mr Park walks up those stairs.
 

HStallion

Member
Oct 25, 2017
33,914
I guess I took it more as the rich having everything meant the poor were forced into a parasitic relationship to every even have a small chance of moving out of their social status. It was thrust on them because it was one of the only real ways for them to do it otherwise they're left wallowing in their small apartment going nowhere.
 

Minishdriveby

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,145
From the man himself

"Because the story is about the poor family infiltrating and creeping into the rich house, it seems very obvious that Parasite refers to the poor family, and I think that's why the marketing team was a little hesitant," he explained. "But if you look at it the other way, you can say that rich family, they're also parasites in terms of labor. They can't even wash dishes, they can't drive themselves, so they leech off the poor family's labor. So both are parasites."

Source: https://www.ign.com/articles/parasite-bong-joon-ho-reveals-the-meaning-behind-the-title-of-the-oscar-nominated-film
Yeah and I'm saying it doesn't effectively focus on this. A lot of time is spent characterizing the poor family's "parasitism" both in language and visual affect. Because the focus is on the poor family, the rich family get off with less severe eye of their parasitism. And when it does focus on the rich the script emphasizes the rich's indifference or disgust and not their exploitation of labor, e.g. not wanting to create drama over letting the maid go, the smell of the poor, etc.

There are definitely scenes that show the exploitation of the poor, but the emphasis is their indifference or obliviousness of their surroundings.
 

Divvy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
941
You see this is my complaint with the movie. The rich are afforded a subtle portrayal that is not afforded to the poor family. All of the visual language lends to the idea of the poor being parasites and characterizes them as insects scurrying and continues to reinforce this with dialogue and acting. The rich are dependent on the poor family but there's no blunt reinforcement from the script that is constantly directed towards the poor. Things like their house being automated by the poor are glanced over. The faults of the rich in this movie come from indifference or disgust which is a different type of malice.
The film directly addresses this though. There's a scene where the mother says the poor and the rich are no different, and they only appear nicer because their wealth irons away all the wrinkles. I thought one of the key points of this film was showing how being poor doesn't afford you the luxury of being portrayed positively and in the same way as the rich family was.
 

Jamiem

Avenger
Jul 4, 2018
602
New Zealand
The film isn't saying the rich are parasites, which is what I guess people are expecting. The parasite is our ugly desire to be like them
The Rich are parasites though they abuse and use the poor for very little money to do trivial tasks and services like babysitting, educating, homework etc. I even posted a quote from Bong saying a similar thing thing about 5 mins ago.
 

HStallion

Member
Oct 25, 2017
33,914
The Rich are parasites though they abuse and use the poor for very little money to do trivial tasks and services like babysitting, educating, homework etc. I even posted a quote from Bong saying a similar thing thing about 5 mins ago.
Bong's also said the true parasite is hope so he's got a couple different interpretations of the title's meaning.
 

Eylos

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,884
the poor have to parasite the rich to eat and the rich parasite the poor to outsource their problems

imo the rich are not being parasited, only the poor, he parasites the workers of the company for their wealth, could be a discussion if the poor family is parasiting the workers of the rich family company, but i think that would be to neglect the poor family work, even the teenage girl has a meaningfull job taking care of the kid something the rich woman does not do.
So in my perspective the only parasites are the bourgeois family sucking the fruits of the labor of the workers that live in shitty conditions, while they have the "korean dream" in a nice house with people doing all their needs.
 

electricblue

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,063
The Rich are parasites though they abuse and use the poor for very little money to do trivial tasks and services like babysitting, educating, homework etc. I even posted a quote from Bong saying a similar thing thing about 5 mins ago.
I saw that, I don't think the film does that effectively if that was his intention.
 

Minishdriveby

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,145
imo the rich are not being parasited, only the poor, he parasites the workers of the company for their wealth, could be a discussion if the poor family is parasiting the workers of the rich family company, but i think that would be to neglect the poor family work, even the teenage girl has a meaningfull job taking care of the kid something the rich woman does not do.
So in my perspective the only parasites are the bourgeois family sucking the fruits of the labor of the workers that live in shitty conditions, while they have the "korean dream" in a nice house with people doing all their needs.
Exactly, the fact that we're saying the poor are even parasites is just a failure of this movie's visual language and script to me. The rich benefit from the poor. It's not a parasitic relationship. We see maybe a 1 minute total of what happens when the rich are without the poor.
 

Dalek

Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,459
Exactly, the fact that we're saying the poor are even parasites is just a failure of this movie's visual language and script to me. The rich benefit from the poor. It's not a parasitic relationship. We see maybe a 1 minute total of what happens when the rich are without the poor.
What do you need to actually see in the movie for it to click with you?
 

HStallion

Member
Oct 25, 2017
33,914
Exactly, the fact that we're saying the poor are even parasites is just a failure of this movie's visual language and script to me. The rich benefit from the poor. It's not a parasitic relationship. We see maybe a 1 minute total of what happens when the rich are without the poor.
I don't think its saying the poor are inherently parasites but you have to be one if you actually want to get ahead in life because of how things are stacked against the them in all facets of society.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,854
Ontario
imo the rich are not being parasited, only the poor, he parasites the workers of the company for their wealth, could be a discussion if the poor family is parasiting the workers of the rich family company, but i think that would be to neglect the poor family work, even the teenage girl has a meaningfull job taking care of the kid something the rich woman does not do.
So in my perspective the only parasites are the bourgeois family sucking the fruits of the labor of the workers that live in shitty conditions, while they have the "korean dream" in a nice house with people doing all their needs.
it's a core condition of capitalism. Bong, who is assuredly coming at this from a historical materialist perspective and understands that under capitalism the classes are locked in a co-dependent relationship
that ties into the relationship between the family and the couple with the husband literally living like a parasite in the organism of the house