Bong Joon-ho's Prize-Winning 'Parasite' Premieres in Korea

  • By Hwang Ji-yoon

    May 29, 2019 12:32

    Bong Joon-ho's Palme d'Or winning film "Parasite" premiered in Korea on Tuesday.

    Along with Bong, the stellar cast including Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Jo Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam and Jang Hye-jin attended a press preview at a theater in Yongsan, Seoul.

    But Bong said winning the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival last week "is already history to me." Instead, he said he wants to hear what viewers have to say about the film and added, "I am going to go to cinemas in a little disguise whenever I have some spare time to see what audiences really think of the film."

    Six screens with a total seating capacity of 1,200 were reserved for the preview but there was hardly an empty seat.

    Director Bong Joon-ho (far left) poses for a photo with the cast of his film "Parasite" at a press preview in Seoul on Tuesday.

    The fable-like comedy revolves around two families whose lives become intertwined when the son from a poor family scams his way into a tutoring job in a wealthy family.

    Bong explained he departed from a thought to "create a film dealing with the bipolarization of the rich and the poor through lives of a family, a basic unit as a microcosm of the larger society."

    "The film is also about human dignity, which allows people a space to dream of co-existence instead of being forced to live off others," he added.

    Some of his fans may be disappointed as "Parasite," unlike his previous works, lacks the symbolic depth that allow for multiple interpretations, opting instead to have characters explicitly deliver the film's key messages. But others may prefer being able to concentrate on the story's twists and turns without having to look out for hidden clues.

    The New York Times on Monday mentioned "Parasite" as a possible Academy Award contender. "No Korean film has been nominated for the international Oscar before, but 'Parasite' is so strong it could even blow past that category to factor into directing and screenplay races if upstart distributor Neon plays its cards right," it wrote.

    The film goes on general release on Thursday.

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