Parasite (2019, Bong Joon-ho)

The entire basement-dwelling Kim family gets jobs under fake names working for the rich Park family. At first it’s easy – the son is given an introduction from the Park daughter’s outgoing tutor – but they have to get increasingly deceitful to gain each position, and getting the longtime housekeeper (Jeong-eun Lee of The Wailing) fired so momma Kim (Hye-jin Jang of Secret Sunshine) can take her job causes unanticipated consequences, since the former housekeeper’s husband is living in a hidden dungeon beneath the house. In the end, one member of each family is stabbed to death, along with the displaced housekeeper and husband, and daddy Kim hides out in the basement, possibly forever.

The last two Korean movies I saw in theaters end with the poor male lead murdering the rich male lead – something’s going on in Korea. The son wielded a baseball bat in zombie thriller Train to Busan… the dad stars in The Host and Memories of Murder (and Chan-wook Park’s little-remembered vampire movie Thirst)… rich dad is in a pile of Hong Sang-soo movies! I knew his deep voice sounded familiar. I noticed in the credits that the son’s friend (who gets him the tutoring job & gives him the rock) had a special cameo appearance credit separate from the rest of the cast list… but he doesn’t seem like anyone special.

“Bong majored in sociology before he pursued filmmaking” – the Cinema Scope writeup from Cannes is good, but this long Slate article/interview is the one everyone’s talking about.

Parasite‘s Cannes competition included the Tarantino, The Lighthouse, that Portrait of a Lady on Fire I keep seeing trailers for even tho it doesn’t open until February, the upcoming Terrence Malick war movie, the Almodóvar, the Takashi Miike I missed at the Landmark a few weeks ago, and the upcoming (hopefully?) Zombi Child and Bacurau.

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