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Didn't see a thread for it, so I thought I'd make one for Parasite (2019).
Really interesting movie, if other people had seen it I'd love to discuss things.
One thing is that I sort of think our own pages (especially the Catharsis Factor entry on the YMMV page demonize the Parks a bit much? That entry just put so much weight on Park's disgust at the basement man's smell. Going from our pages, you'd think he went and grabbed a clothespin and put it over his nose while he spat on the poor person and not, you know, slightly moved his head in as a physical response to the man who lived in a basement (possibly without a shower?) for years and oh yes, was covered in blood. Which is weird to me because in doing so the pages kinda gloss over the whole "ignoring the bleeding out Jessica" thing. Also, the pages refer to the wife as being drug addled and their sex scene being a sign of a terrible marriage, but I read that as roleplay and the whole scene as an Aww Look They Really Do Love Each Other scene.
Also, do seizures really work that way? I feel like no... honestly, I was thinking that Mrs. Park just Googled something and found a shitty Web MD page, but I don't know enough about how seizures work to be sure.
Edited by Larkmarn on Jan 7th 2020 at 9:23:02 AM
Uh, yeah, it did seem to me that the Parks were a relatively healthy household. That's kinda the whole point − they're living a life the Kims are supposed to envy.
I suppose that it's ok if the YMMV page does something a bit too much in someone's view .
The thing is, this film is about class struggle, like many films by Bong Joon-ho (the most obvious one being Snowpiercer) and different people will have a different take on it depending on their political views (and possibly social class).
In this film, the Parks never do anything *bad*, but we don't see them do much good either, and the way they obviously despise the poor may not make them look good. The film makes them quite wealthy but averts making them kick the dog, even though I think we are supposed to sympathise with the Kims and understand most of what they do (if not approve or excuse it).
Edited by gropcbf on Jan 7th 2020 at 9:24:46 PM
I mean, you're not wrong. I just think there's a lot between "sympathize with the Kims" and "Cheer for murdering a man for turning his head and making a face when dealing with a dying murderous homeless man who just stabbed a family friend."
Like seriously, the entry makes it out like he should be thanking the guy and trying to save his life when he's too busy trying to save his own son's life to bother even acknowledging that said family friend is bleeding out, let alone the murderous trespasser that he's never met.
It's a weird entry. Like there's plenty to criticize quite reasonably. The fact he doesn't acknowledge his housekeeper dealing with the threat, the fact he doesn't do anything even though he actually is armed, the fact he's actively interfering in Jessica's care, but... yeah.
When I watched this film, I had a strong feeling that most people around me disliked it, especially the scene that you are mentioning.
(I liked the general comedy and crazyness).
It's one of only two films I've seen in my life that got a round of applause when the credits rolled (the other being the first Harry Potter). So I guess people liked it.
To be clear, nothing I've said is to indicate I've disliked the movie. The fact that it has parts that upset me and I'm questioning other peoples' interpretations is a sign of a good, engaging movie.
Ki-taek is clearly the most insecure member of his family. He has a lot of difficulty putting on a mask to integrate with the Parks, he barely manages to put a lid on his feelings over Mr Park's insulting comments and the whole stretch between the bunker encounter and Ki-jeong's stabbing hammers home how cheap his family's lives are in comparison to these people. You don't have to like his violent expression of that class resentment to empathise with how he got there.
Went to see this film at 2PM, surprisingly a relatively packed theater (which is part of the reason behind Oscar Bait, smaller movies can double their box office with a nomination).
Definitely an expertly crafted film, the class warfare subtext is obvious but at the same time complicated enough that any Author Tract is a bit harder to determine. With regards to the spoiler, the Parks are "guiltless" when it comes to the overall events of the story, but not entirely blameless. Their worst crime is basically being wealthy, easy to manipulate and oblivious to their interactions with people around them. To imply that they deserved what happened is really ignoring where the actual conflict of the story comes from.
The whole sequence starting from staying at the house while the Parks are on the camping trip and going to their own home during the rainstorm was a remarkable exercise in escalating one disaster after another. The movie had built up the gradual assimilation of the Kims into the Parks lives that it was obvious something was going to go wrong, and it did so in the most insane way possible. I think Ki-jeong "Jessica" was the standout character, as most of the story hinged on her particular skills at manipulation.
And above all the movie is just darkly hilarious at times, which balances well with the more serious drama that happens later on. I can see why it was nominated, the camera work is about on par with 1917 in using steadicams in a way that still feels intimate and intense and the production value is fantastic. I can't say if it really has a chance at Best Picture but can see Best International Picture (haven't seen every film nominated, but the excitement around this film in particular seems bigger).
A very commendable thing about the direction is how clear everything is located into the Parks' house. In many films this part is very confusing (and indeed sometimes they have shot in several buildings or fake studio rooms and pretend it is all one house).
It feels like you could walk into this house and immediately know where to go if you needed to find something.
Well the house was a constructed set, partially for that reason-so the visuals were clean and clear.
The street the Kim's live on was also a set, so that it could be flooded easily. Filming with water is notoriously tricky.
What really impressed me most was the vertical aspect of the framing. The Kim's semi-basement has the camera situated at the roofline to emphasize how crammed they are in that space, while the Parks home is cavernous and almost like its own island (the large glass windows reminded me of the sky apartment in Oblivion (2013)). The reveal of the home was done following Ji-Woo up the stairs, and their rush home during the rainstorm was like running down a mountainside.
Here's an article on the house's design.
…Crap, I would like to live in that house (okay, maybe not alone)! Lee Ha-Jun might have some future as an architect if the next film tanks.
In other news, my fellow cheese-eating viewers might have seen this Misterfox video about the making of the French dub:
Well, it (the video) was apparently so good that it'll be included in the film's Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition, no less.
Edited by Lyendith on Jan 18th 2020 at 7:01:17 PM
The Jokers (who distributed this film in France) did a remarkable job at promoting this film.
Bong Joon Ho and Song Gang Ho meets President Moon because goddamn right they did.
It's doubly funnier since Moon and Park have been bitter political enemies and the latter was responsible for Bong getting blacklisted.
I like the fact there's no obvious moral.
Jessica is horribly murdered but she's murdered by the fellow working class family in a horrifying family that is scamming the Parks.
Mr. Park is murdered for no other reason than being a snob when, maybe, he should have been calling a fucking ambulance for his daughter. That and being oblivious after a disaster.
Things "happen" in this movie and affect people for no real reason.
As sympathetic as they are and harmless as their scams are, the Kims are almost all murderers by the end.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Feb 20th 2020 at 8:28:07 AM
Their scams started out harmless, but they certainly weren't by the end.
Kevin's scam was harmless, other than his desire for 15-year-old booty. He's a fine tutor.
Jessica's scam was... well, pretending to be a therapist when you're just a good babysitter is kinda borderline. Like it's wacky fun, but change the scenario where someone is impersonating an actual therapist and just BS-ing rather than helping (and isn't a cute girl) and you see why it's much skeevier than it seems. She's also the only one who's not actually doing her job. While everyone else lied to get their positions, they're at least performing their tasks.
Getting the driver fired was a dick move enough that they had to lie to themselves to convince them that he's better off.
Getting the maid fired wasn't harmless, either medically or financially.
But the escalation was so smooth and well done.
Edited by Larkmarn on Feb 20th 2020 at 11:46:21 AM
I think part of the aesop of the movie is actually how the wealth disparity in society forces the poor to do horrible things to one another while they compete for scraps left off the tables of the wealthy (sometimes literally in Parasite). The Paks aren't directly responsible for this, but they're willing participants of this system with pretty much 0 qualms about it, which is where the situation grows murkier.
The other cruel irony is that the Kims are actually all incredibly competent and qualified people, demonstrating a borderline scary skillset while they run their con. It's just the system is designed to make them send those skillsets to waste so as to keep them down. There's one very illustrative moment of this when "Jessica" manages to fake a document with perfection while basically pretending to have the pedigree that would theoretically enable her to have that sort of skill.
Yeah, that's one of the things that sooooooooort of bugged me about the movie but I understand had to be done because it's part of the message. The whole family really is professional-grade at what they do (... except for Jessica, but she's comically competent in other ways) to the point that it pushes my suspension of disbelief ("Man, really is convenient that the dad happens to be a really skilled driver"). It doesn't break it because I'm aware the point is that "these are skilled people but they can't legitimately use said skills because society, but yeah.
It's just a Contrived Coincidence and they generally bother me.
Edited by Larkmarn on Feb 20th 2020 at 4:23:32 AM
If this is pushing your suspension of disbelief, you may find Bong Joon-ho's earlier films difficult.
I think part of the point of the movie is that the Parks themselves created the roles the Kims then exploited.
I also don't think any of the Kims are that skilled (except for Mrs. Kim, who ironically doesn't even use her true talent for her job), or at least no more than you would expect for you know, adult humans who have held jobs. Mr. Kim was a valet and worked for a DD service, he's not Danica Patrick.
And the assumption that poor people aren't skilled is a common lie of capitalist society that many people in every class internalize. This movie rejects that lie.
Those things actually give me the impression that the Kims used to be solidly in the middle class before Ki-taek's cake business failed. The kids are clearly pretty well-educated, Chung-sook has a bunch of athletic medals, and knowing that they're staying in Seoul despite the rent makes them come off as "temporarily embarrassed millionaires" rather than a family in genuine Barefoot Poverty.
I think the cake business was actually the first housekeeper's, with her husband. Though Ki-Taek did also work there, I'm pretty sure, which I thought was a nice touch.
There's an actual joke there that's lost on non-Koreans (it was explained to me). The cake business is explicitly a kind of cake that was incredibly popular for a brief period then almost simultaneously everyone in Korea started hating it. So businesses catering to it fell to pieces.
In short, it's not bad fortune that destroyed their business, it's the fact that they were involved in a fad and this is just the latest of ill-advised get rich quick schemes.
The basement apartments are a real thing too, and incredibly cheap for obvious reasons.
While true, there's also the fact that I don't think the children actually have much risk of losing their jobs.
The English tutoring felt a bit like the joke about Spanish teachers who don't speak Spanish in high school.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Feb 20th 2020 at 11:53:27 AM
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