Movie: Parasite

This won so many Academy Awards that we had to go to see it. I can certainly see that the film would be a film-afficionado’s delight, with beautifully composed shots and lots of visual imagery.  I’ve only just realized that it was directed by Bong Joon Ho, who directed Snowpiercer (which I saw, but omitted to comment on here in this blog, it seems.) It has similar themes about class and subversion.  While watching it, you are very much aware of its careful staging and lighting.

I’m pleased that a film other than one made in America or Britain was so well-received, and it probably reflects my Eurocentrism that I couldn’t tell you the name of any of the characters in the film other than ‘the poor family’ or ‘the rich husband’. And what an unlovely group of people they were, as a poor family ingratiates and plots its way into a rich family’s house. In the midst of architectural beauty and grinding poverty, everyone is either scrabbling to get ahead, or else completely oblivious to their privilege.

There is heaps of stuff on the internet explaining the story, or explaining why it is so important . I wonder if that says something about the film for a Western, non-cinemaphile audience?

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 (which probably shows that I am no film critic)

Viewed at: Cinema Nova, Cinema 3 (one of the big ones)

3 responses to “Movie: Parasite

  1. So why did you only give it 3.5? Do you really think you need to be a cinephile to find this a powerful, hard-hitting (and yet blackly humorous) film. I thought that besides the things that would appeal to cinephiles, it’s a powerful human story about class and poverty that can reach all? The violence at the end is confronting and over the top as I recollect. (I saw it last July so my memory is vague on details though I remember it more than many other films I saw around the same time.)

    • I like films where I engage and care about the characters, and this film didn’t make me feel this way. It was more like a fable that I observed on a visual and intellectual level, rather than at an emotional level. I was conscious of the filming and staging of various scenes, and aware that it was interesting and creative but it distracted me from the story.

      • Thad interesting Janine … I like to engage and care about the characters but I don’t need to to enjoy a films or book, for that matter. I need to care about the ideas and how well they are presented. More often than not that works best if I care about the characters but it’s t necessary for me. In Parasite it meant enough that I cared about the plight of the poor family. And now remembering back to last July, I liked how well they supported each other and worked together. That made them engaging for me, which added to the horror of end in fact. I found the end deeply emotional because these people were not evil but desperate to survive in a harsh world. The wealthy family were more oblivious of their privilege rather than intentionally mean which if I remember correctly did make them engaging … so I now thinking so write I believe I did care about the characters on some level at least even if I didn’t relate to any in particular. Whatever it was – the characters, the ideas, hard to tease out – I was deeply engaged in what this film was doing and have found it unforgettable.

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