“Parasite” makes history at Oscars

Writer-Director Bong Joon-Ho accepts an Oscar at the 2020 Academy Awards.

Bong Joon-Ho’s “Parasite” — a compelling exploration of class inequality in South Korea — has received near-universal critical acclaim. The first Korean film to win the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes, and the first non-English language film to receive the Outstanding Performance by a Cast award at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, “Parasite” made history tonight when it also became the first non-English language film to win the Best Picture Academy Award.

In total, “Parasite” — which was released on Blu-Ray last week — received four of the six Academy Awards for which it was nominated: in addition to Best Picture, the film was awarded Best Foreign Language Film, Best Original Screenplay and director Bong Joon-Ho was awarded Best Director.

Prior to tonight, Bong Joon-Ho called out the narcissism of American Hollywood while claiming the Best Foreign Language Film prize at the Golden Globes. “Once you overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films,” he said in his acceptance speech.

This is a truism many of us familiar with non-American film already recognize: amazing films are made around the world, and (whether in America or abroad) in languages other than English. Indeed, some of my earliest memories of of fantastic films are Chinese-language films introduced to me by my parents. And yet, only rarely do non-English films (even American-made ones like “The Farewell”) get recognized or celebrated by Hollywood — a trend that underscores the many ways that non-white films are still Other-ized.

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“Parasite” Blu-Ray Giveaway Contest

The cover image of the Parasite DVD/Blu-Ray

By now, you might have heard of this little movie called Parasite which has taken the Hollywood awards season by storm. If not, you should check out guest contributor Claudia Vaughan’s review of Parasite for this site.

Directed by Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite has received widespread critical acclaim, and has already won Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Golden Globes, and the Outstanding Performance by a Cast at the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards. It is nominated for Best Picture at next month’s Oscars.

Parasite comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray next week on January 28th. In time for that release date, I am hosting a free giveaway of a Parasite Blu-Ray. Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Follow @reappropriate on Twitter.
  2. Write a tweet sharing a thought about how income inequality affects Asian Americans. Could be anything: the wealth gap, the gender pay gap, student loan debt, etc. Tag @Reappropriate and #ReParasiteGiveaway.
  3. That’s it! On January 28th, I’ll select a winner and send you your free copy of the Parasite Blu-Ray.

Get to tweeting!

Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” Manipulates Space to Spook Viewers and Make a Statement about Social Class

A scene from Bong Joon Ho's film, "Parasite".

By Guest Contributor: Claudia Vaughan

Bong Joon Ho’s films can be described as a genre in their own right: they play with the fantastical and the extreme to make assertions about society that leave viewers feeling deeply unsettled. While his worlds are sometimes quite outlandish, his characters and their pains are always very real and relatable. Such is the case with his latest film, “Parasite,” which Bong describes as a tragicomedy. Though “Parasite” does not use any supernatural elements, it is a major thrill ride that will have viewers nervously clutching their seats for the duration of the film.

Note: This review may contain minor spoilers for the film “Parasite”.

Continue reading “Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” Manipulates Space to Spook Viewers and Make a Statement about Social Class”