Parasite Is the Pick of the Week

Poster of the movie Parasite directed by Bong Joon Ho

Everything you’ve heard about director Bong Joon-ho’s rightly acclaimed and celebrated 2019 modern classic, Parasite, is definitely true. It’s a remarkable and truly original depiction of greed and class discrimination that remains the best and most timely film of last year. When it won the Oscar for Best Picture, I was happy but not really that surprised. It’s rare now that the Best Picture Oscar goes to an actual Best Picture. It’s a film in which I think is going to age incredibly well for years to come, if we should still exist then.

Joon-ho’s darkly comedic vision portrays the newly formed relationship between the Kim family, a poor family at their wits end, and the Parks, a wealthy family living a very comfortable existence. The Kims hatch a plan to insinuate themselves into the Parks’ lives, in order to experience their newfound prosperity that they think they deserve. At first, everything goes how they want it to, but they get too ahead of themselves and make some huge missteps, which eventually causes destruction and tragedy for everyone involved.

Viewers who are looking for a fast-paced thriller should go elsewhere because this film is a slow burn, full of delicious twists and turns and unexpected moments of sincerity and subtle clarity. It has a mixture of many genres that doesn’t fit neatly into one specific box, and that’s what it makes it truly special and a masterpiece of contemporary cinema.

When Criterion announced the release of the film, at first I thought that maybe it was too soon, especially for a new film, but then I realized that it made so much sense. Their new release easily blows the original Universal Blu-ray away, with a new two-disc special edition that contains both the theatrical and black & white versions, as well as new supplements such as Joon-ho’s new introduction to the b&w cut; trailer for b&w cut; a new program about the evolution of modern Korean cinema; footage from a press conference from the Cannes Film Festival; a master class with Joon-ho hosted by filmmaker Betrand Tavernier; and a storyboard comparison to round out disc one. Disc two has trailers; a new video interview with Joon-ho; new video interview with cinematographer Hong Kyung-pyo; new video interview with production designer Lee Ha-jun; new video interview with editor Yang Jinmo; and commentary with Joon-ho and film expert/critic Tony Rayns. There is also a new essay by critic Inkoo Kang.

Obviously, I 100% recommend this release (which I think will be of many best-of lists at the end of year) and the film itself. If you love it as much I and many other film lovers do, then please add it to your collection. I promise that you will not regret one bit. Read David Wangberg’s review.

Other releases:

Daughters of Darkness: Blue Underground releases this 1971 erotic art house thriller starring Delphine Seryig as an ageless Countess and her beautiful companion who seduce a troubled newlywed couple that obviously unleashes violence and depravity.

The Last Starfighter (Arrow): Lance Guest plays a young video game expert who is recruited by an alien into a real-life deadly battle in outer space.

High Plains Drifter (Kino): Clint Eastwood plays a gun-slinging stranger who arrives to a small settlement and is hired to bring its townfolk together to defend themselves against three outlaws who are on their way.

The Ipcress File (Kino): Sir Michael Caine plays a counter espionage agent who investigates the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists.


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