‘Parasite’ just won the Oscar for Best Picture becoming the first non-English language film to ever win the Academy’s top prize. The film which is about class struggles between a poor family and their rich employers is also the first title from South Korea to ever get nominated for an Academy Award.
It was one of this year’s favorites leading up to the award ceremony where it was also notably nominated for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Film. Prior to the Oscars parasites also won the Cannes Film Festival as pull Madore.
This really is a horribly fascinating film, brilliantly written, superbly furnished and designed, with a glorious ensemble cast put to work in an elegantly plotted nightmare. Its narrative engine hums with the luxurious smoothness of the Mercedes-Benz that one character is fatefully given the chance to drive. The Screen Actors Guild Award for Best ensemble and motion picture and the BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay.
In an interview with the New York Times, director Bong Joon-Ho said, “I think it just shows that ‘Parasite’ isn’t a film that came out of nowhere. Korean cinema has a very long history and ‘Parasite’ is a continuation of all the Korean films that came before. It’s an extension of our history.”
Parasite is a movie that taps into a rich cinematic tradition of unreliable servants with an intimate knowledge of their employers, an intimacy that easily, and inevitably, congeals into hostility. Joseph Losey’s The Servant invokes a comparable transgression, nightmarishly amplified here by the subterfuge and by the sheer numbers of people getting up close and personal.