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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Timing perfectly with the release of his latest film, Parasite, American Cinematheque is presenting a complete retrospective of director Bong Joon Ho’s work. So, if you’ve always wanted to get into the recent Palme D’or winner’s body of work, now may very well be the time.

“The series will take place at both the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2, 2019,” the announcement states. “Co-presented with the Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles, as it celebrates 100 years of Korean cinema, the internationally renowned writer/director will showcase his work and participate in an in-person Q&A at both venues.  Films to be featured include THE HOST, OKJA, SNOWPIERCER, BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE, MEMORIES OF MURDER, MOTHER and the critically acclaimed PARASITE (99% on Rotten Tomatoes).”

“Director Bong is a cinematic mastermind who has amazed audiences around the world for nearly two decades with his innovative stories and singular vision,” said Wijin Park, Head of the Korean Cultural Center Los Angeles. “It is an honor to present his latest revelation, Parasite, and his astonishing body of work to mark the 100th anniversary of Korean film history.”

“Director BONG is a cinematic mastermind who has amazed audiences around the world for nearly two decades with his innovative stories and singular vision,” said Wijin Park, Head of the Korean Cultural Center Los Angeles. “It is an honor to present his latest revelation, PARASITE, and his astonishing body of work to mark the 100th anniversary of Korean film history.”

In addition to the retrospective, the Korean Cultural Center Los Angeles and American Cinematheque will be featuring a twelve piece exhibit from South Korean artist Jung Jae Hoon (aka Zibezi). His painting “Parasite” is featured prominently in Bong’s Parasite.

For tickets to the event, click HERE, but you can check out the schedule of screenings down below.

EGYPTIAN THEATRE – 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028:

Wednesday, October 30 – 7:30 p.m.                   BONG JOON HO IN-PERSON                    

PARASITE (GISAENGCHUNG), 2019, Neon, 132 min. Dir. BONG JOON HO. When Kim Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi) agrees to take over the position of English tutor for the daughter of a wealthy family from his friend Min-hyuk (Seo-joon Park), the stage is set for an epic showdown as class warfare meets black comedy, with the stakes deadlier than you could ever imagine. Working with some of the most outstanding actors in South Korea, writer-director BONG JOON HO (SNOWPIERCER, OKJA) crafts a brilliantly layered world filled with outstanding gasp-out-loud moments. An intricate blend of bravura sequences, stellar character work and narrative twists, PARASITE was the Palme d’Or winner at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. In Korean with English subtitles. Discussion following with director BONG JOON HO. Special Ticket Prices: $15 General, $13 Cinematheque Members. No vouchers.     

 

Thursday, October 31 – 7:30 p.m.                        BONG JOON HO TRIBUTE

Double Feature:

THE HOST (GWOEMUL), 2006, Magnolia Pictures, 120 min. Dir. BONG JOON HO. Much more than just a monster movie, BONG JOON HO’s third film spans the intimate and the epic, the personal and the political, in a fantastical tale about the lengths to which a family will go in recovering one of its own. Due to the negligence of a U.S. military installation, an amphibian beast emerges from the Han River, wreaking havoc on city residents and abducting the daughter of riverfront vendor Park Gang-du (Song Kang-ho). With the help of his elderly father, listless brother and archery medalist sister, Park races against time for save the girl while government authorities concoct their own, ecologically reckless means of vanquishing the creature. “A loopy, feverishly imaginative genre hybrid.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times. In Korean and English with English subtitles.

10th Anniversary! MOTHER (MADEO), 2009, Magnolia Pictures, 129 min. Dir. BONG JOON HO. In a small South Korean town, an intellectually disabled man (Won Bin) follows a young woman (Moon Hee-ra) down an empty street at night; when the woman is found dead the next morning, authorities summarily charge him with the murder. Only the man’s mother (Kim Hye-ja), an unlicensed acupuncturist, is convinced of his innocence. As she pieces together the night of the murder and the cast of characters surrounding it, no measure seems too drastic to protect the son whose condition she has always lamented. Starkly shot and arrestingly unpredictable, MOTHER stretches parental love to its extremes, tempering violent impulses with BONG’s characteristic flashes of humor. In Korean with English subtitles.

 

AERO THEATRE, 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403

Friday, November 1 – 7:30 p.m.                           BONG JOON HO IN PERSON

Double Feature:

SNOWPIERCER, 2013, Swank Motion Pictures, 126 min. Dir. BONG JOON HO. One of the most dazzling visions of our dystopian future since Ridley Scott’s BLADE RUNNER, this sci-fi thriller takes place on a train carrying the last survivors – Chris Evans, Ed Harris, Tilda Swinton and Octavia Spencer among them – of a manmade environmental catastrophe. But a rigid class structure has been imposed on the passengers, leading to a bloody rebellion.

BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE (FLANDERSUI GAE), 2000, Magnolia Pictures, 110 min. Dir. BONG JOON HO. A mix of gallows humor and character-driven chaos, BONG JOON HO’s directorial debut stars Lee Sung-jae as a jobless academic living in an apartment complex. Driven to the brink by his demanding wife and by the persistent sound of a barking dog, he resolves to rid the complex of noisy pooches wherever he finds them. Faced with the disappearance of one beloved pet after another, the complex’s unassuming bookkeeper (Bae Donna) finds herself under pressure to uncover the culprit. Smartly satirical in its depiction of confined living, BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE both shocks and delights with a tale of two unfulfilled people and the surreal series of events that bring them into collision. In Korean with English subtitles. Discussion between films with director BONG JOON HO. Special Ticket Prices: $15 General, $13 Cinematheque Members. No vouchers.

 

Saturday, November 2 – 7:30 p.m.                      BONG JOON HO TRIBUTE

Double Feature:

OKJA, 2017, Netflix, 120 min. Dir. BONG JOON HO. A decade after biotech CEO Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) launches a contest to raise the world’s finest genetically designed “super pig,” South Korean farm girl Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun) learns that her super pig, Okja, has won the title. When Okja is hauled off to be exhibited in New York City, Mija undertakes a rescue mission that puts her in league with the Animal Liberation Front – and into the clutches of the profit-minded Mirando Corporation. An imaginative adventure with friendship and humanity’s nearsightedness at its center, OKJA is a moving reminder that courage can take small forms. In English, Korean and Spanish with English subtitles.

MEMORIES OF MURDER (SALINUI CHUEOK), 2003, Palm Pictures, 132 min. Dir. BONG JOON HO. Inspired by the first serial murders in South Korea’s modern history, this engrossing crime story is marked with textural richness and tonal finesse. After two women are found raped and murdered in quick succession, rural detectives Park and Cho (Song Kang-ho and Kim Roi-ha) are tasked with finding the killer. Their crude methods ill-suited to the task, the pair are soon joined by an urban detective who proposes to solve the case by subtler means. Gripping throughout and laced with the humor of a bumbling cop routine, MEMORIES OF MURDER invites surprise up to its final frame. In Korean and English with English subtitles.

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.