The New York Times (NYT) wrote praising words about South Korean film director Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” on Wednesday (local time). “In South Korea, where ‘Parasite’ is already a blockbuster (having taken in more than $70 million at the box office), it has contributed to that country’s continuing debate about economic inequality,” read the NYT’s Critic’s Notebook. “In the United States, where similar arguments are swirling, it has begun to turn Bong from an auteur with a passionate cult following into a top-tier international filmmaker.”
The American newspaper also said “Parasite,” which won the Palme d'Or, the highest prize in Cannes, this year and has recently become the rare subtitled release to be mentioned as an Oscar contender beyond the foreign film category. “It’s part horror film, part satire and part tragedy, conveying a sharp lesson about class struggle in South Korea and just about everywhere else,” it continued. “His characters have gravity, density, grace and a decent share of stupidity.”
The article also mentioned Bong’s previous films. The writer of the article said “Parasite” is closer to his earlier works, such as “Barking Dogs Never Bite” or “Memories of Murder,” as his most recent film is more realistic than “The Host,” “Snowpiercer,” or “Okja.” Nonetheless, the writer quickly added, “But to sort Bong’s work by genre or style is to miss both its originality and consistency.”
“You could say that he uses blockbuster means to advance art-house ends. You could also say the opposite. His real achievement, though, is to scramble such facile distinctions,” the NYT article assessed the South Korean director’s world of art. “What makes ‘Parasite’ the movie of the year — what might make Bong the filmmaker of the century — is the way it succeeds in being at once fantastical and true to life, intensely metaphorical and devastatingly concrete,” the article continued with the highest praises.
“Parasite” first premiered in New York and Los Angeles on October 11 and is now playing in increasingly more theaters for movie fans in North America. The film’s global revenue recently reached 100 million dollars (approximately 120 billion won).