Thursday, October 24, 2019

PARASITE: Deplorables, South Korea Style


Parasite: 'On est tous le parasite de quelqu'un'
       [We are all the parasites of someone]

Though billed as a kind of South Korean anti-capitalism satire - this eat the rich outing when not eating its own at the bottom of the economic food chain, comes off more as an empty plate...

A somewhat combo tale of two families and exceedingly twisted prince and the pauper dubious Seoul mates turned sour spree, Parasite plays out as the poverty stricken bottom feeder (literally basement dwellers) Kim clan conspires together to pull off an elaborate scheme posing as hired help at the home of the patrician Park family.

All goes well until part of the ploy involving maneuvers to get rid of the existing household workers backfires into over the top mayhem. And as a kind of chaotic both external and internal bloody class warfare ensues. Essentially creating for the amusement of the giddy bourgeois popcorn audience - both consumers and critics - a cinematic 21st century gladiator spree.

Director Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer, Okja) presents a condescending, pessimistic portrayal of human nature, bereft of class consciousness or ideology. And a working class whose sole motivation is to go to extremes, or aspiring to do so, to replace when not feeding off the economic class exploiting them - and in the process eliminating any potential workingclass competitors as well.

Parasite,  a feature of the NY Film Festival.

CITIZEN K: Don't Believe The Hype

Who is Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and what is he doing as a dubious hero in this Alex Gibney documentary? And what does all this have to do with the Black October coup not collapse back in 1993, and Russia election meddling - no not that one. Rather, the Bill Clinton/CIA bromance with Boris Yeltsin that brought the counter-revolutionary candidate to power back then.

The ex-con turned Gibney martyr celebrated here as the once richest man in Russia after grabbing the wealth out of the people's coffers in that post-Soviet scam known as state vouchers, turns up in the film promoting his human rights organization out of London, Open Russia - an outfit created and funded by war criminal Henry Kissinger and UK robber baron banker Jacob Rothschild. Stay tuned...

Prairie Miller

10 comments:

  1. The last paragraph of your Parasite review summed it up well. I was gratified to read it after reading a few dozen reviews that consider this film to be a masterpiece.

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  2. I disagree. As Boon Joon Ho has said recently, "We all live in the same country now: that of capitalism." And this must be something even more overt to him as South Korea has been rapidly and radically transformed into this new country. His film expose the social, material and spiritual consequences of that transformation.

    The real parasite of the movie is capitalism. We are being shown how the system promote greed, cut throat competition, social distrust, cynicism, dehumanization, and so on. This is human nature under capitalism, where capital, the material, the commodity is ruling over us rather than the other way around. It has completely transformed the world and is eating up the planet up along with it. This is similar to how Marx compared the situation that humanity faced with the sorcerer's apprentice in a Goethe poem, who called up magic powers which he could no longer control and which turned into a threat to himself.

    It would have been a mistake for the film to simply render the working class/underclass, the Kims, as some pure symbol of the Good. In that type of movie the logic would go, they are good, and we identify with the good, therefore we are Good. The Parks are Bad and if we simply get rid of the Parks, everything would be better. A mere critique of the rich would be milquetoast reformist social democracy at best and feel-good cynicism where the entertainment functions as doing 'anti-capitalism' for us at worst (something that Capitalism has no problem with incorporating). Instead, it's more revolutionary. The parasite itself must be rooted out, and part of that process is to understand how it works in such clandestine ways. Your last paragraph shows precisely one of the spells and effect of capitalism, which is that the working class (and people in general) cannibalize each other. Class mobility for the working class is illusory and also requires a vicious cost on others and on the self. The film de-masks how capitalist ideology has embedded itself within us, the monster is not simply out 'there', it's inside of us. It's omnipresent. At the moment, humanity is on the precipice of ecological catastrophe with a global miserable underclass that is both literally and subconsciously repressed (as we see in the movie)-- the films bleakness and violence shows that the center cannot hold.

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    Replies
    1. This comment is more insightful than reviewer's reductive contranian opinion.

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    2. Much better than her review!!

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  3. I don't think you understood the plot

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  4. You really just missed the nail, like it's coming off as ignorantly as if you just didn't see the film before writing this review.

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  5. Wow, deeply penetrating. I agree with this commentor. The original reviewer is somewhat lacking in the the understandings of this film’s message.

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  6. Good for you - nice review... condescending, simplistic, absolutely unfunny and overrated. We walked out half way through wondering if it had been four hours already.

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