Sunday, September 26

South Korea, cinema understood as box office and culture | Culture

The essential characteristic of Bong Joon-ho’s cinema is its use of genre to encode a socially important message. In all his movies, from Memories of Murder and evidently in The Host Y Snowpiercer and especially in Parasites, there is a speech and a look at their society. It is social cinema passed through the sieve of genre cinema with an author’s stylization. Bong is the culmination of a chain, which begins with Kim Ki-duk and Park Chan-wook, in which there are also other Korean filmmakers such as Kim Jee-woon, generations of directors who bet on super popular auteur cinema. Because the most admirable thing about South Koreans is how they manage to make tremendously popular and successful genre films in their country, and from that they erect a mark of identity. Through film noir, horror or fantasy, his films explain his society. It is an autoradiography, something that elevates that cinematography to a very peculiar movement.

The success of Korean cinema is also based on another important factor: along with the work of these directors and the support of the public, there have been decades of investment in education in the 1980s and 1990s. We have been thinking for many years that we have to imitate the cinematographic policies of France, when in reality a country very similar to ours is South Korea: in demographic, historical terms … We must remember that South Korea came out of a military dictatorship even later than Spain, being far from the economic and social average of the rest of its continent. Like Spain, it was not a leading country. What was decided was to invest in education, both in technology and in culture, especially in cinema, and that bet is paying off now. Bong is the icing on the cake. In a field of eager spectators, Bong finds local support and the catapult of international festivals. Because what distinguishes the generation of Korean filmmakers from other prestigious European authors (Mungiu, Von Trier or Haneke) is that they add to their critical success their ultra-popular vocation. Let us not forget. They bet on entertainment, they understand that cinema is as much a box office as culture. Parasites is the cusp of a system, the perfect work of this movement

This transcendence of genres is worldwide. You live in South Korea, of course, but also in Europe and America. There he is, for example, the Mexican Guillermo del Toro, although his Oscar finally came to him with The shape of water movie in English. its The Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), with American critics so in favor, it was released perhaps too early for an industry still too closed in on itself. That the Oscar won it on Sunday Parasites It is explained because a lot of international creators have entered the Academy. There was already a first threat last year with Roma, and that setting foot in Hollywood now becomes a punch on the table. What consequences is this going to have in the US? We don’t know yet, but we could bet that whatever comes, it will be positive. The American public has traditionally been very hermetic to subtitled cinema, to films in other languages. The Oscar to Parasites Dynamite that prejudice, it will make that audience rediscover titles that were lost from previous decades. Or the foreign classics that are yet to come. That is why it has generated so much joy in the international film community: any creator feels that today a door opens to sneak in.

I worship Bong. All of us who have had contact with him know that he is half Spanish. Who loves the cinema of Almodóvar, Carlos Saura and the series [REC]. That began his career in San Sebastián, the tribute to the Seminci of Valladolid, his talks in Madrid … The races of the Sanfermines influenced the races of the monster of The Host, Galician Bonilla potatoes in sight appear in Parasites … Bong is a bit ours.

Paco Plaza is the director of Veronica Y Who kills iron, and co-winner of the saga [REC].

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