Author Topic: Parasite  (Read 194 times)

Bondo

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Parasite
« on: November 10, 2019, 08:21:09 PM »
Surprised no one got a spoiler thread going for this. And considering this has almost universal praise, my post is probably a weird one to start it off. I did think technically it was a marvel. The problem is, I think Bong completely whiffs on the social satire. As far as I can tell, the rich family here does nothing morally wrong, except to the degree that they are acting on misleading information provided by our poor family. The poor family (and second poor couple) on the other hand are manipulative and violent. I mean, given the bunker-like nature of their home, and general attitude toward bad smells, I suppose the rich could be accused of being oblivious of the suffering of the poor, but I don't see how this film stands in moral judgment of them. And a film that in effect makes the poor look bad kind of doesn't work as well for the age we are in. But apparently I'm the only one seeing it this way.

1SO

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Re: Parasite
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2019, 10:04:03 PM »
As far as I can tell, the rich family here does nothing morally wrong, except to the degree that they are acting on misleading information provided by our poor family.

I suppose the rich could be accused of being oblivious of the suffering of the poor, but I don't see how this film stands in moral judgment of them. And a film that in effect makes the poor look bad kind of doesn't work as well for the age we are in.

I understand this reading of the film, which is probably close to what I saw on the surface level. I read an interesting tweet that simply said how people are making the mistake of thinking the parasites are the poor family. That got me on a different track, and when I saw the film a 2nd time I noticed how much the rich family were obliviously using their position to do whatever they wanted. This ties into the podcast discussion where they saw all three families doing bad things and completely understood and sympathized with why they were doing them.

It was the 2nd viewing, once I knew about the twists and big tone changes, that I was able to fully clue into the social satire, which is much stronger than I first realized.
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Teproc

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Re: Parasite
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2019, 02:14:19 AM »
Why would the film need to have the rich people be particularly bad in order to qualify as social satire ? They're oblivious and privileged, and that's much more effective for Bong's points, which are about society as a whole, not individuals. What you describe is exactly what makes it effective as social satire.
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Bondo

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Re: Parasite
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2019, 06:39:06 AM »
I guess if the point of the film is that extreme inequality sets the poor against each other in a way that harms everyone, I can find that in the text. And the rainstorm/flooding is reasonably effective at showing the differential impact things have...a mild inconvenience (aborted camping trip) combined with silver lining (cleaned air) compared to complete disruption of living spaces for hundreds. This is particularly important to note as it relates to the effects of climate change.

But I guess I just feel like The Purge is more effective on this point, even setting aside the bad rich people and focusing on just the idea that the rich can afford to build castles against the violence of The Purge.

philip918

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Re: Parasite
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2019, 11:33:19 AM »
I think the satire in Parasite has a lot more in common with The Rules of the Game than The Purge.

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« Last Edit: November 11, 2019, 11:38:51 AM by philip918 »

Bondo

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Re: Parasite
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2019, 11:54:28 AM »
Maybe so...I hated The Rules of the Game.

FLYmeatwad

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Re: Parasite
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2019, 10:08:10 PM »
Have heard a bunch of Shoplifters comparisons, which FLY get, but no seeing a lot of people (or any?) mentioning that this thing is very much a BJH film throughout, but ends feeling very much like a Park Chan-wook picture. I'll wait for that to be poached and show up on some thinkpiece somewhere soon, I guess.

Teproc

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Re: Parasite
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2019, 04:47:26 AM »
Have heard a bunch of Shoplifters comparisons, which FLY get, but no seeing a lot of people (or any?) mentioning that this thing is very much a BJH film throughout, but ends feeling very much like a Park Chan-wook picture. I'll wait for that to be poached and show up on some thinkpiece somewhere soon, I guess.

Just because of the violence, or are you thinking of something more specific ?
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FLYmeatwad

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Re: Parasite
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2019, 08:31:01 PM »
Have heard a bunch of Shoplifters comparisons, which FLY get, but no seeing a lot of people (or any?) mentioning that this thing is very much a BJH film throughout, but ends feeling very much like a Park Chan-wook picture. I'll wait for that to be poached and show up on some thinkpiece somewhere soon, I guess.

Just because of the violence, or are you thinking of something more specific ?

That's definitely a big part of it, but the whole tone of pretty much everything after the attack at the birthday party kind of has the same vibe as a lot of the Vengeance Trilogy films for me, or, perhaps especially, The Handmaiden. Notably the whole voiceover thing at the end, not that it's really a thing PCW uses, but the weight and sincerity of it all, the tension between the words and reality, struck more of a bittersweet feeling that he typically nails. I'd have to see it again, but as someone who is a huge fan of both BJH and PCW, this definitely felt more similar to the latter by the end.

dusty bottoms

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Re: Parasite
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2019, 03:52:40 AM »
I totally agree on the PCW comparison at the end. It did feel a tiny bit of a pastiche.
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