Arthouse Garage Podcast

Podcast Transcript for Episode 33: Bong Joon Ho’s The Host

Read the Podcast Transcript for Episode 33: Bong Joon Ho's The Host

Read the transcript below:

Andrew Sweatman 0:08
Hello, hello and welcome back to our house garage this knob free film community where we make arthouse indie classic and foreign cinema accessible to the masses. Today we are continuing season five, which is all about contemporary Asian filmmakers. And we are moving on to our second filmmaker in the season. So far we have looked at two movies, Uncle boonmee, who can recall his past lives and cemetery of splendor, both from tie director peach at pongo, we are ethical. And today we are moving on to South Korea, to the filmmaker, bong Joon Ho. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he directed 2019 parasite, which was all the rage last year, and rightfully so. It won the Palme d’Or at con and it won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. It was kind of everywhere, and today, we’re going to look at Bong Joon Ho. We’re going to go back a few years to 2006. Looking at his film, the host, the host was extremely popular back in 2006, becoming the highest grossing South Korean film of all time. At that time. it’s since been surpassed, but it’s a monster movie. But it’s also so much more than that. It’s very human. It’s a family drama. It’s funny. It’s heart wrenching. It’s action packed, it’s satirical. It’s political. It really does a lot. And it does it well. Before we dive into the host, let’s say hello again to our guests for season five, film fanatic and podcaster Omaya Jones. Omaya is going to tell us what he’s been watching lately. But first, he wanted to follow up on something he said in one of the previous episodes about Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Omaya Hello. How’s it going?

Omaya Jones 1:51
Good. I’m glad I’m glad to be back. I wanted I wanted to say that when we recorded for Uncle boonmee, I was listening back to that in our lives. I said that I pick up Pong we’re so the Coen is probably the most well known Thai director. And I think I forgot about a film called umbach. And I know when I came out in like 2003 it was big, at least on like my college campus because it’s a martial arts film. And I just wanted to just give a shout out to that. Aside from that, I, what I’ve been watching lately, as I saw a film, it came on PBS documentary, and it’s called advocate, and it’s a documentary from last year directed by a director team of Rachel Lee Jones and Philip Philip a belay and it’s about a Jewish lawyer who takes really hard cases she defends mostly Palestinians who are caught up in the legal system. So and we’re talking about people who are arrested for what some people call terrorist attacks on Jewish air Israeli citizens It’s it’s a really tough film. She’s an idealogue. I think and that. She, she’s, like an anti Israeli occupation. Jew, who’s been doing this since like the 60s. And it’s a really interesting look at an aspect of the legal system there that I was not familiar with previously. Yeah. Wow.

Andrew Sweatman 3:27
And you saw it on PBS. You said?

Omaya Jones 3:29
Yeah, it came on PBS. Although I think the version they aired was probably edited by like 20 minutes for time. Yeah. So I’m kind of curious to see like, what all was cut out Yeah,

Andrew Sweatman 3:38
I wonder if it was one of those Independent Lens things they do. So I think if it was like, they’d have like a documentary series, that usually they stream for a while too, so I wonder if that is streaming. I’ll have a look and see if I can link that in the show notes because usually those are streaming for free.

Omaya Jones 3:54
The series is called POV Oh POV Okay, and I guess every like every other week, they show a different documentary. This is the only one that I’ve watched so far. But I’ve got a few others recorded.

Andrew Sweatman 4:04
Yeah, I definitely have heard a POV. I’m not sure if those stream or not, but I’ll find out that sounds really interesting. And you have an interesting cultural niche that I am completely unaware of which I think those are sometimes the best documentaries is going into and just soaking in something completely new. Yeah, that’s cool. Well, the thing that I’ve been watching lately actually watched several things. So here we are in the middle of pandemic. And I told you about this on my end, but I have a couple of kids and we’re all home all the time. And you know, like it’s tiring decision in a lot of different ways. So my wife and I both individually had two nights away at just Airbnb ease in the area. And she went and had like a nice retreat in the woods, and I went and watched a bunch of movies, which was great. I found an Airbnb with a nice big TV, and I watched several things. I watched 2001 A Space Odyssey, which I’d never seen before. It’s my first time and I Obviously thought it was great. It’s such a big deal in the kind of the scope of cinematic history. I watched the silence which you loaned me the Martin Scorsese film about the Jesuit missionaries, which was heavy and I liked it. We haven’t talked about that yet. It wasn’t my favorite thing that I watched on my retreat. I also watched a movie called The BET’s feast, which I’ll recommend from it’s 1987. That one was really good. My brother gave me the criterion of that last year, and I never watched it. But the thing that I watched that I loved the most was Alfonso Khurana movie from 2001 called the e tu mama tambien, which I had always wanted to see. I’m a fan of him generally. I think last week I talked about Pan’s Labyrinth, so I’m keeping my Spanish language connection going. But each mo tambien is really interesting. It’s it’s coming of age film like a road movie. It’s like a road trip between two young guys and slightly older woman who’s in maybe her 30s or something and the that you are like 18 or 19. And it’s basically they’re growing up, but it’s also really political as this narration, that’s it’s not really narrating the story. It’s just kind of telling side information but kind of painting this bigger picture. And actually, I watched a lot of the criteria and special features and alfonzo Koran talked about how that was directly from the French New Wave like guitars, narration style, he kind of pulled that out and when he was writing this, anyway, it’s it’s really, it actually has a lot of shares a lot in common with Roma from a couple years ago, that, you know, it’s kind of a love letter to Mexico and Mexico City, and it’s just really vibrant, full of life, but it kind of it’s much more lo fi is not the right word, but compared to something like Rome. I like I feel like Rome is really polished. And this was too but it’s it was kind of an inner more realistic style. Emmanuel lubezki was the Director of Photography on it. They’ve been friends a long time, apparently of it. Just recently learned, he also was director of photography or cinematographer, on gravity. And on tree of life. We talked about him a little bit on the podcast when we talked about tree of life. So anyway, a lot to love about this movie. Have you ever seen it before? My

Omaya Jones 7:13
I have. It’s been a while and I remember enjoying it, but I guess I didn’t realize I think I read after the fact that it was someone described it as a comedy. Yeah. And I think that like a lot of the humor escaped me the first time so I’ve been interested to watch it again. To see if I pick up on it more.

Andrew Sweatman 7:32
Yeah, I definitely thought it was funny. It’s at the beginning, especially the two leads are there times insufferable because they’re

Omaya Jones 7:40
they’re very immature and it’s kind of their their journey of growth throughout the movie, but But yeah, I just really thought it was a good movie. Yeah. I will say of the other films that you listed. The one that stood out to me was Bob as face just Yes, we saw that was one that we screened. Oh, I didn’t know that.

Andrew Sweatman 8:00
Yeah, I try to keep up. I didn’t know that. I just

Omaya Jones 8:03
send you my spreadsheet of all the stuff that was Yeah. And it also includes the stuff that I would have tried to screen this year. Or it not for COVID.

Andrew Sweatman 8:11

Omaya Jones 8:12
yes. I think it was like, I think it was a good list.

Andrew Sweatman 8:15
Yeah. I really liked that specific time at that, too. Yeah. So it’s cool. Like, it’s so it’s about this, this village in Denmark, and they can they have kind of a strict stodgy sort of religious community there, to the point that even things like food, they think you shouldn’t be too central about it basically, like anything beyond basic sustenance is a little too worldly, a little too sinful, maybe. And then this French housekeeper basically comes in and is a really good cook. And it’s like the it really drew a kind of a direct connection for me between kind of the spirituality of food sometimes like it can really you can have a spiritual experience with sensory experiences. And I think that, for me that was the, the most interesting about it. But yeah, what do you think about bed space?

Omaya Jones 9:07
Oh, I love it. I think it’s delightful. we screened it. Initially, when I started doing the Arkansas times film series. We didn’t do necessarily themed programming. But when, like a year or so in, I started trying to do things like lineup films that I thought would be good for, like holidays and stuff. And so we screened that and Thanksgiving, I think of 2018 or 2019. Maybe. And I think that was actually sold out. Wow, you know, we didn’t sell out a lot of shows, but that was sold out. And I was really happy about that. We almost, you know, if it weren’t for the fact that we were screaming on physical media, we could have added a second screen to it. But especially I’d say I love like sort of the muted palette palette and the understated nature of the style of the film and then it just seems like this wonderful story about sort of Race and appreciation. And I just I just love watching, especially this the end of the film when everybody would actually enjoy the feasts and they’re, like, repress their feelings. Yeah, how they feel. But then it’s like inevitably, throughout the evening, everything sort of comes out. And it’s also it was very romantic. Yeah, I think you know, like that the various suitors who turn up again and sort of recount their history in the in that village and the effect that had on them. I just, I just loved hearing about it for the first time I saw it.

Andrew Sweatman 10:31
Yeah, I think understated is a good word. Like even the set design of the the small little village is really just simple, but kind of quaint in a way and it’s, yeah, it’s really it’s a nice little world to get lost in and yeah, I think it does have a nice message to you. Yes. So it’s not like we both recommend by bats feast, or Hell, I haven’t watched any of the criterion special features. So with that, and yet, but I want to dig into those hopefully soon, but yeah, well, we lost a lot of stuff this this, this time.

Omaya Jones 10:58
One last thing about Bobby’s feast. Yeah, I would just say so it. It’s adapted from a novella by an author named. Her pen name was Isaac Dixon. But her actual name was Karen Blixen, and out of Africa was her autobiography. So okay, let’s just say

Andrew Sweatman 11:15
that I did not know that well,

Omaya Jones 11:17
that’s very interesting. Isaac Dennison, not Dixon. Wow,

Andrew Sweatman 11:20
well watch my bowties according to what I’m looking at it is streaming on criterion channel or on HBO max. So there you go. You can watch that one. I think each moment on bn is on Netflix, if I’m not mistaken. So there’s that. All right. Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s film, which is Bong Joon Ho’s,

Unknown Speaker 11:38
the host, Mr. Kill formaldehyde, dirty formaldehyde

Unknown Speaker 11:45
for him into the sink.

Andrew Sweatman 12:44
Alright, let’s talk about the host. So as we mentioned, this is volunteering host film from 2006. And I guess let’s just kind of set the stage of kind of what it’s about so takes place in South Korea along the Han River and it kind of opens with it’s a morgue I guess a mortuary and there’s a an American doctor or scientist of some kind. And then a Korean man working there. And the, basically the American orders him to pour a bunch of chemicals down the drain formaldehyde down the drain, and the man says, Well, this is going to go into the river. We can’t do that. And, you know, it’s kind of very foreboding, it feels kind of very sci fi ish, in the first few moments, and then basically does that and there’s this great slow pan over all the bottles of formaldehyde kind of revealing slowly, just how much he’s pouring out. And then it kind of has a couple little mini vignettes showing people seeing a fish that has too many legs or something like a small fish. Then we meet our main characters, which is this family. It’s basically a grandfather, three adult children and then a grandchild. They have a small food, I guess a small like restaurant and it can be His store very close to the bank of the river, and like a small little trailer, they’re serving some people. And basically the monster shows up that basically that that’s essentially how it starts. We they there’s two people staring at something and they can’t figure out what it is and it’s moving a little bit. And you look in the distance is this large, this large thing hanging from a bridge, it swoops down, it turns out, it’s a giant mutant fish monster, essentially, the granddaughter is taken by this creature. And we’ll talk more about the details of that scene in a minute, I think because I want to discuss that, then the story for the most part is them trying to retrieve the daughter from the monster who’s taken her to his layer, essentially. And so that’s that’s kind of the basic setup. We are going to have like a spoiler section of this at the end, because there’s a lot that we’re going to not spoil, because this is a movie that I think you should have fun with. And it’s I think bangin Oh clearly wants his audience to have fun as they’re watching his films, and so we’re gonna Avoid spoiling anything for you. I think I think that’s kind of the the general setup is that. Did I miss anything big as far as overarching plot there? of I

Omaya Jones 15:09
know, I think you’ve covered it, you know that like the only thing that I would I would know. And this is her, necessarily This is the plot but just it’s interesting to me that this, this movie was inspired by an actual event. Yes. Yeah, maybe that’s something that we’ll get into.

Andrew Sweatman 15:24
Yeah, we can go there first, if you want to. It’s very political and a lot of ways I think. And so yeah, let’s talk about that background a little bit. So that there was an actual it’s a millet is like a military contractor or something who was American in South Korea, who Around this time, I think, maybe a year or something before there’s a name for this event. I can’t remember what it is that

Omaya Jones 15:46
the McFarland incident

Andrew Sweatman 15:48
the McFarland incident I guess that’s maybe the name of the the American who ordered this to happen. basically put a lot of toxic chemicals in that same river the Han River Yeah, there was no sea monster. But it was not good for the environment and there was a big scandal about it. And so I think Korean audience is watching this, like, of course, they’re gonna, that’s gonna be on their mind that’s been in the public consciousness. So I think that’s a really interesting direct tie in to. Yeah, current events. And so then the American connection continues throughout the movie. So I mean, as an American viewer, of course, I’m keying into that. So we have the American in the beginning, who orders that to happen. And then the US military is trying to solve the the issue with the monster who’s loose in the city, and they end up developing a controversial chemical substance, chemical warfare, essentially, the agent or agent yellow, which is sort of a plan Agent Orange, I think, and there’s protesting about that. And so it kind of feels real world and a lot of ways with those, those touches that you have political turmoil of it. And then I think we can talk a little more about the US connection. Once we get to spoilers because the the Americans end up it basically this movie is not thrilled with America, I guess we could say that

Omaya Jones 17:16
I wouldn’t say was, is critical. And I think the relationship between South Korea and America is kind of complicated. Yes. You know, we’ve we’ve been there we’ve had, we’ve had a US presence, that military presence there for no 50 years or so. And one thing I would say is, I think the moment you Whoa, will critique systems, but not necessarily people, right, because of that first attack. One of the people that we see trying to do the most in terms of fighting off the monster or the creature is an American, right? And so, like, it’s very much aimed at like systems and not individuals who are just parts of you know, cogs in The system so to speak.

Andrew Sweatman 18:01
Yeah, I think that’s true. That’s a good point. Let’s talk about opening scene because I think it sets the stage. Well, one thing that I noticed was so much so often in monster movies, you have to wait forever to actually see the monster like lay eyes on it, you just kind of get little shadow glimpses or something about like Cloverfield, or Jaws, or any some of those kind of popular is like ice monster movies. But this one, within 10 minutes, we’ve seen the entire monster in broad daylight running around and we see what it’s capable of, which is kind of an inversion. And I thought it was really, I saw that was really interesting, that actually, I watched an interview that Bong Joon ho did at a film festival, which I can link in the show notes found on YouTube. And he said he didn’t think too much about genre conventions. Like he didn’t consider too much what other sci fi movies do except for that exact thing. He hates it when you don’t see the monster for a long time. And so he said, we’re gonna do it right at the beginning. But that was interesting and it can get set up. Well, the stakes because you understand how fierce this monster is. Because sometimes in the in a monster movie, you’re not sure of that. And that’s part of the dread of it. But this is, you know, here’s a pretty terrible foe right? Right away. And you kind of see what it’s capable of. But yeah, what do you think about the monster and like the monsters design and all that?

Omaya Jones 19:23
Yeah, the monster was a big deal, because not only do they show it all, but I think you know, in American films, we are used to big special effects, big budgets and doing this sort of thing. And it was a big deal for a Korean film to be able to pull this off. And they use several different VFX studios. Some of them are located in Korea, some have included WETA. And I think there was maybe like an American studio that was also involved in creating the special effects of the monster. But you can also tell they, they put a lot of work into the design of the creature. So like they wanted it to be sort of realistic. Also to be able to do all these different acrobatic maneuvers, which is why it has these like, long athletic arms. Yeah, eggs and things and in this prehensile tail and then like the like the most interesting thing to me is like the mouth itself. Yeah. Because like the it’s like this really complex structure of all these folds and things

Andrew Sweatman 20:16
Yeah, kind of like a shark’s mouth a little bit where there’s like layers and layers of things but more closer to something like the whatever the monsters called and Stranger Things that that walks around it has mouth head thing

Omaya Jones 20:30
Yeah. Yeah. And apparently, I don’t know how accurate to the final creature at was but they built a prosthetic on set to have for like certain specific scenes where people are in the monsters mouth to have that. But yeah, I think like showing it from the start. Is is like a brilliant way to do it. I don’t know how you could film that scene any other way. Yeah, that would be satisfying.

Andrew Sweatman 20:55
Yeah, we have a pretty big action kind of set piece right at the beginning of the movie. And so in that scene to is kind of a transition, I think into one of my favorite things about bangin home as a filmmaker, this is only my second thing to see from him beyond parasite, which we actually did an episode on back. I think Episode 14 was parasite, I can link to that as well. But so I was trying to you know, draw some connections there and one of the things that I think he does so well is kind of the blending of emotional tones like you can get a lot of different emotional notes in one thing. So think about parasite if you’ve seen it. It’s hilariously funny. It’s really dark and dramatic at times. It’s got some like scary moments. It’s got, there’s like a really effective family drama. I think you could say the same thing about the host. And most striking I think of the moments when it hits to emotional notes at once or back to back, I think about in this movie, one of the like, right away at the beginning of this when he loses his daughter in the crowd and that scene that for me is one of The one of the strongest moments here, and because maybe it’s like, Father fear. He has his daughter’s hand and he’s in a crowd and they get separated for just a second. And then he grabs her again and is running and realizes he has the wrong girl. It’s a different young girl, that he’s got the hand up and then panics and looks behind. And of course, the monster is right upon her and takes her and yeah, really a harrowing moment where you go from this kind of heart pumping action to this, like, just heart in your shoes, kind of dread. That that drops in and it’s really heartbreaking to you, I think, because of Congo song who is the lead here? His performance is fantastic, but yeah, that that scene is so that comes at the end of like a really long action scene. And then you see it dive into the water with her kind of in its tail, which is this long, kind of tentacle esque tail. It’s really a striking moment and opening to this movie, I think.

Omaya Jones 23:04
Yeah. And I think there’s something about the like, the way Bong Joon ho shoots it and frames everything. So I mean, maybe we can we can talk about sort of like how he like his process some. But like there’s this there’s there’s a real like Western influence. And I know like people like Tarantino’s compared to like Steven Spielberg and his films, are there this shot in such a way that you like? He says such a strong visual storyteller, right? Yeah. And like in that shot in particular, once he realizes that he has the wrong child, like I just noticed when I was watching it again, just the way the camera stays tight on the father’s face, as he sort of slowly realizes what’s happening. He turns around, and he’s sort of, he’s running backwards, but also it’s trying to stop his momentum. And it’s just like, is really affecting because like, you see that all of like there’s emotion in his face before you actually see He, what he’s realizing which is that he has the wrong child and that this monster is coming for his daughter. Yeah. Straight at him. Yeah,

Andrew Sweatman 24:08
dang, I’m like reliving it. It’s such a good book, I think. And so that’s for me. I guess as far as among other monster movies, this one really nails the Yeah, the human drama of it with with stuff like that. And there’s some several other moments like that that I think about. So So one thing about Congo song’s character whose name I’m about to look up is gundu. And he’s, when we first meet him, he seems like he’s just kind of a slacker, pretty aimless in life. But there’s a great moment in the middle of the movie where his father, the grandfather, who’s a bomb, I’m probably mispronouncing these Korean names, but he gives this big speech about why you should be kind to him as your siblings because they’re, they’re kind of mean to him. And you know, he had a really rough childhood and It’s really moving speech that, you know, again, in the middle of all this monster craziness just really grounds this thing emotionally really, really well.

Omaya Jones 25:08
Yeah. And I think I don’t I don’t know how much we’re talking about right now. But like, oh, like all of every member of this family sort of has their issues. And with him, what I thought was really tight was that the first time we see him here, he’s asleep. He has this thing where he kind of just goes to sleep. Yeah, randomly. He can’t help it.

Andrew Sweatman 25:25
And they’re saying, how can you sleep at a time like this? Your daughter’s missing? Like, yeah,

Omaya Jones 25:28
but then as soon as like, in the beginning of the film, as soon as he sees or hears his daughter’s voice, he wakes up, you know, it’s like this moment where just like, he just realizes like, oh, here’s a thing that I have to, you know, yeah, I have to do I have to be there when my daughter gets back from school. And then you know, in that scene, we also find out that his brother is an alcoholic. Then we see where it’s just the sister via TV, the metal performance and like what we just sees like A family is sort of broken. I don’t know if that’s the right word, but like, they’re just like, they all have their issues with it to work through. And so it’s a structure like every character, like sort of gets an arc, you know, it’s and it’s just, it’s this really is really like tight filmmaking. It is. Yeah, it’s a full two hours long. But if it goes so quickly, well, no, I mean, just just like, is everything structured so well? And I don’t know exactly when he started this, but I was reading an interview with an editor who worked on parasite. And he talked about how, you know, he has the storyboards and which is normal for movies, people storyboard, especially in action. We would like to host you a storyboard. But because he’s so confident in the storytelling ability of the storyboards, he supposedly does not shoot master shots, and does not shoot coverage. So like, yes, yes, that wow. Right, like so like the idea of what you’re going to shoot is so specific and worked out Through the fact that the act of creating the storyboards that you just you just kind of you’re locked into it, you know? And so I think he just has this really well developed visual sense of storytelling. that not a lot of action directors necessarily have.

Andrew Sweatman 27:16
Yeah, well, yeah. And so on the visual side of stuff, there’s, there’s a couple of really the one kind of recurring image that I thought was really effective. And that’s kind of like, like a, an image of like mist or fog. And you see it a few different ways. Like the first thing I think that we see, is pretty striking. It’s just kind of the camera pauses and the daughter actually, or the granddaughter, young CEO is looking at this beer cam that has fallen in the grass and it’s fizzing out, just like shooting out a little fountain of beer, and it’s just kind of like an odd little moment. But then as you watch, there’s multiple moments where we see that exact same thing again from a beer can but we see mist coming out of some, like watery mist coming out of some turbines or something. And then that shot cuts directly to a truck that is got a ton of like noxious looking exhaust coming out. So it’s just a kind of a recurring motif. And then at the very end, which this isn’t really a spoiler to say, but there’s the agent yellow, we do see like this really noxious looking kind of gaseous substance. So it’s really interesting kind of visual, recurring motif. And that I think, is just kind of, for me, that was reminding me about just the issue of pollution, which this whole thing is kind of symbolic of, you know, pollution is harming people and embodied in this literal fish monster. But yeah, I thought that was a really effective kind of visual motif.

Omaya Jones 28:40
Yeah, but so going to the point, the thing about the pollution that what I thought was was funny was just that, you know, the film opens up with important chemicals into the river, which leads to the creation of this monster. But when the people who are standing by the river see the creature hanging under the bridge, and then it swims towards them, the first thing they do is they start throwing all of their food and stuff at it, and a few It

Andrew Sweatman 29:01
yeah that’s really funny that like fix throwing stuff at it and then it first thing that grabs is a beer kit I think it’s there’s a kind of recurring beer cam thing and actually, the Father gives his daughter one. And there’s kind of a funny joke about that, but that’s that’s a good point. Something else that I think that’s kind of reminded me of some stuff in parasite is kind of the symbolic so there’s like all the satirical stuff going on, but then also just like symbols with parasite, there’s that that stone you know that that represents fortune and the sun is really kind of obsessed with it. And it’s a little bit ambiguous as to how exactly the meaning of that plays into the movie parasite, but it’s there the whole time. It’s kind of a visual thing that you kind of, can grasp onto like there there’s obsessed with trying to not be poor, right? But in this there’s it’s only last I think about half the movie, but there’s this ramen cup that he’s filled up with coins. And that’s again that’s we’ve just have met him at the And realize, you know, he’s seems like maybe a slacker at work and that kind of thing. But like you’re saying, he really does care about his daughter, and he has a secret stash of coins, which, you know, just at surface level seems out of the realm of possibility of. And we don’t, we don’t expect him to be a good father, but then he just kind of surprises us that he really, really loves his daughter. And he’s very attentive. And so then he has this, this ramen cup full of coins that comes up again and again. In the movie, it’s almost like a physical representation of his love for his daughter. And at one point, it gets taken away. He has to use it, spend it on something, and it’s really heartbreaking for him to lose that. But yeah, just that, that kind of latching on to physical items that represent something bigger, I think is a really effective thing that I’ve seen now into Valentino’s films.

Omaya Jones 30:51
Yeah, you know, we kind of talked about this before. We’re gonna talk about snowpiercer more next time. I was saying how like the first time I saw it, I didn’t care for it, but I’m here. To watch it again, because the films that I’ve seen since then I have really enjoyed because of his skill. So I’m wondering if there’s something that I just missed the first time.

Andrew Sweatman 31:11
Yeah, I’ve not seen snowpiercer I’m excited. It’s it’s an English language. Pretty much. All right. Stoker serious. Yes. Yeah. sort of interesting to see, you know, an English language film from a from Korean director for next time. Back on the kind of the mixing of emotions, I think, probably the strongest moment of that. And this was where I was, like, really moved emotionally, but then suddenly, was like, trying not to laugh. And I was like, should I feel bad for wanting to laugh at this? And that’s when they’re at the memorial. They’re like grieving, right? And they’re, they’re looking at her photo, and there’s all these pictures of people that the monster is taken, which is so interesting, like, you kind of realize what kind of movie this is going to be. When you see the big monster scene that we’ve been talking about. And then you see this memorial and it’s like, of course, that’s what we would do. We put up a memorial like you know if it was 911 or something. And they are looking at her photo and they’re they’re crying and weeping and and it’s like really emotional and then they kind of fall down and are almost like wrestling and kind of writing. And it’s really funny and I was like, Oh my gosh, I supposed to laugh at this but it really felt funny and then it kind of goes back to emotional again and kind of really quickly indefinitely and it just really was striking and it also like and I almost I think if I had seen this before I saw parasite I would wonder like was that intentional? Was he like accidentally being funny there and like because he doesn’t know what he’s doing. But with parasite there’s a very similar moment for me that I’m I laughed it’s when someone is knocked down the stairs. I’ll say it because the camera movement of it is like so like it’s like just cameras glides over. And then you see this shocking push and it’s really funny, but then you’re like, Oh my gosh, like she’s probably really injured. So it was a really Similar just kind of like mixing that humor and that kind of emotional gut punch at the same moment. Yeah, so I thought that was really well done.

Omaya Jones 33:09
Yeah, you know, I think shifting tones like that, I think is some people say it’s difficult to do, but maybe the key is just to just do it, you know, it just kind of come just just do it and then see what happens.

Andrew Sweatman 33:23
You know, and actually, one thing so interviewer asked him about, not exactly that, but just, you know, how did you get the balance, right, between humor and pathos and horror and all that? And he said, actually, in a couple different interviews, he has the same kind of answer. I guess he gets this question a lot. And he said, you know, it’s not like I’m a bartender, and I have to just get 10% of this and 20% of this just to get, you know, the exact right cocktail. It just, I just write it that way. And basically, it sounds like he’s just that good at writing. But that’s not exactly the way you said it, but he just said like, I just write it that way. He said That’s kind of how humanity is, you know, you might go to a funeral, but there could be a funny joke there too. And just kind of like, that’s that’s the way humans work. And I thought that was a really interesting way to put that. There’s another moment that kind of makes is it is more of an action scene that just suddenly it’s funny, which I guess that’s not as uncommon as the other but when they’re escaping from so they are, they’re taken to a facility because basically find out anyone who had contact with the monsters probably carrying a virus of some kind. And so they are all kind of quarantined in this area, and they have to escape because he gets a phone call from his daughter and finds out she’s still alive. And the escape scene when they actually it’s almost like a little mini heist caper, and they there’s just a really funny moment like it’s all kind of funny. But then when he when the police officer who’s been so rude to them, he’s like, almost catches them and he’s just like hanging out of the van. He just like very slowly pushes his face out with really made me laugh. So yeah, just another kind of action comedy moment, I guess. That was really well done.

Omaya Jones 35:12
Right. And then I think like right after that is the scene where they’re having to deal with, like the smugglers or like the underground or the people who sort of like help them give them guidance on vehicle and weapons and yeah, I’m just I don’t I just think he’s really skillful filmmaker. And just thinking about it now just realizing how funny actually, the movie is, despite the fact that it’s also at times very affecting and a bit of a tear jerker. Yeah. It is interesting to me, the like the extent to which this is kind of changing gears because he said to which, like growing up in a culture that’s not exactly free, but like he like you’re certainly live there like, so. Korea has this long history of censorship and film bulgy who grew up in that and then became sort of more liberal as he got older. And by the time he actually entered the film industry. And so just thinking like that, in contrast to the last lecture we talked about, he doesn’t view himself as political at all. And I think that a lot of that is is like trying to avoid getting on the wrong side of the political system in Thailand, and buy like bongs is very free to like, skewer, the government, the police, the American military, and he’s Phil’s like, company that you can do that. And, you know, there won’t be any repercussions. I just like the freedom, you know, that I listen for that.

Andrew Sweatman 36:38
Yeah. He seems to have fun with that too. Like, like we have this this movie’s pretty unabashed, and it’s criticism of US government and handling of things there and then I think like some of that parasite is is pretty critical of like, poverty gap and that kind of thing and but at the same time, and yes, like It’s doing all these different things that we’ve been talking about. It’s funny, it’s serious, it’s thrilling. It’s like he understands that he can do these serious things like you know, criticize government systems, but at the same time, he understands the just the magic of the movie. It’s like this should be a fun experience. And so that’s not to take away from movies that are less quote unquote fun. I mean, looking at the the last few movies you talked about, like night and day as far as like the tone and I mean, this is like a popcorn movie basically is like a blockbuster compared to the art films or even watching from Thailand but yeah, just there’s a sense of a sense of fun that in this and and parasite that I sense from him, and I appreciate that.

Omaya Jones 37:42
As a as a film viewer, there was a tweet, I remember reading and kind of like, alter my perspective. There’s just saying that like in Korea, bong Joon ho is a is a blockbuster filmmaker. Right? And just like just the idea that like oh, you know, because here it’s a foreign film. Yeah, I think if you let go knowing that going into kind of close your perspective, but if you just step back and think about is like the you know, this is no different than like jaws or, or jurassic park or whatever Spielberg monster movie I can think of operates in the same continuum.

Andrew Sweatman 38:20
I had some definite Jurassic Park moment feeling feeling moments in this actually though so basically I’m talking about there’s like two two little things within about 30 seconds that really reminded me of Jurassic Park and that was so the the granddaughter, whose name is Qian CEO, and this little boy who is also taken, basically there’s a layer where the monsters he’s taking people in his mouth and then barfing them out into this sewer area, which is really gross, but he but if some of them he grabbed with his tail instead, and that’s how they’ve some of them have survived, but it’s just these two kids there. But they’re kind of figuring out a way if they can maybe escape. And then they hear the footsteps. And it just straight out of Jurassic Park with the, the T rex and the watercop. And all of that. And you see the the ripples, kind of famous moment, took me directly to that. And then shortly thereafter, they are kind of cowering, a smaller tunnel to escape from it. And it reminded me so much of the Raptors in the kitchen scene at the end of Jurassic Park as well. So yeah, I think he must be cognizant of that. And he in one of the interviews, he was talking about Spielberg quite a bit so I think he must be a fan. Yeah.

Omaya Jones 39:37
Did you catch that? So that that the first time were introduced to Gong do at the food stand and he’s asleep? There’s a little boy who is trying to still Oh, and get Yeah, yes. Yeah, his brother shows up and pulls him away. So we’re introduced to all the principal characters with like 15 minutes to film because going

Andrew Sweatman 39:59
to see them again. until maybe halfway through or so let’s talk about them cuz I think they’re really interesting characters. So it’s, it’s like a big brother and a little boy. And they are homeless, we find out and they are taking food from the food stand because they’re kind of alluding I guess you might say. But it’s really interesting and I think here’s there’s some other titans of parasite here looking at like poverty and kind of the way that affects people but they go in and they’re taking food and the sun or sorry, the sun, they’re brothers, the kid, the younger brother starts to take some money. And the older brother says, No, we’re not taking their money. We’re not thieves. And then he uses a Korean word. It was in the subtitles. It didn’t translate. And that word, I’m going to find it here.

Omaya Jones 40:49
Care SC o

Andrew Sweatman 40:50

Omaya Jones 40:51
Yeah, I was looking that up because I like the idea is that there’s there’s no direct Translation. But I found a site that kind of translated to stilling for fun. And the idea is that historically, I’m actually just reading this verbatim from the site. But historically, youngsters would still fruits, vegetables and crops to appease their hunger considered toggle action in the past, as long as their actions do not cause the farmer serious financial damage, currently is regarded as a crime. But yeah, I guess so. It used to be common, that you know, if you’re, if you’re if you’re taking food to feed yourself, because you’re hungry and you need it, it was it used to be considered as kind of like, okay,

Andrew Sweatman 41:37
yeah, I guess it’s the the big brother talks about it after they leave. He says something about, you know, what care means and he calls it an old borrowing game. So it’s sort of this idea that, you know, he doesn’t think ill of the people he’s taking from but he needs it. It’s kind of the vibe I got from it. Sort of, uh, yeah, I don’t know it. We’re all in this together kind of a feeling, even though he’s taking what he needs. But it really made me think about. So first of all, I in one of the interviews I watched with the boundary, no, he talked about kind of the power dynamics at play in the movie. And so we have it the way he explained it. And I think that sums it up, well, essentially, there’s this, this family at the center of the story, and they’re, they’re weak, and they they’re poor. And they need help from their government and at every turn their governments is stopping them as being an obstacle instead of helping them and instead of that, we have the weak helping the weak basically. So we have these, these two brothers who are experiencing homelessness, and they, you get a sense that they would have shared with them if they weren’t there to take it, you know. And then he bombed you know, also made the point that once the the two children are trapped, the older girl is taking care of the younger boy and so it’s like the week or taking care of the week. The people in power are ineffectual. Basically and ineffective. And, you know, it’s kind of what I mentioned with Pan’s Labyrinth last week, when we talked about what we’ve been watching, just like the sense that certain filmmakers like and Maybe it has something to do with like being marginalized at some time in your life, I don’t know. But like seeing, just understanding power dynamics that way and seeing the kind of shared humanity that is not uncommon and kind of putting the marginalized people at the center of the story and showing their goodness, I think, yeah, so I really like that. And then the parasite connection. For me, I think you have sort of the same thing, even though in parasite I think everyone’s kind of at each other’s throats at different moments. And this is going to be spoilers for parasite, I guess. I’ll kind of dance around it. So I don’t have to say it’s a spoiler. But essentially, you find out there’s a person in parasite who is trapped in a certain situation. You know what I’m talking about Omaya and they have the opportunity to get out of that situation and they don’t have They basically they have I think it’s sort of symbolic of poverty and cycles of poverty and how there’s, you know, I’m not an expert on like economics. So I’m going to talk about kind of a little pieces that I’ve heard him. Don’t quote me on anything here. But basically, I think there’s an attitude that, you know, if you give money to the poor, that’ll fix it. But sometimes there’s, you know, they also need empowerment, because this person who’s trapped and parasite, think this is all he knows. It’s like, the idea is that he it’s really difficult to break out of that cycle of poverty. And I think there’s a really similar moment in the host, when the younger boy finds out that he and his family owns a convenience store and they have food all around them. And there’s this great scene where he’s saying, Oh, do you have ramen? like of course we have ramen. Do you have this kind of snack and this kind of snack, it’s like, basically gas station snacks, but it’s like the best thing he can imagine and not knowing that he’s actually been in there. Or, which is a kind of a beautiful little irony there that he’s, he’s already taken food from them and they just didn’t know it. But he has a line at the end, right? Basically, he just says like, that’s the best feast he can imagine. And you see how excited he is about it. And it just like, kind of a similar idea of like, this is like the highest you can imagine. Because that’s that’s his reality. And so just showing that kind of wealth gap, I guess, again, it just really kind of, I thought there was an interesting tie in there.

Omaya Jones 45:32
Yeah, yeah. There’s a funny moment that I won’t talk about because it’s literally the very end of the film, and it’s very funny. But I will say like, so like the character and parasite it is noted in that film, that they’re in debt, right? Yeah. Like I and I think there’s a connection here where once they escaped from the hospital, going back to the scene where they are, you see the father negotiating with these people who give them a vehicle. Guns, and he hands him a credit card. And I was listening to the commentary track on this with bunch of some film scholar and they were talking about how it’s just he was he hands that credit card over to them his status, his fate is sealed, right? Because there’s no way you could be able to pay that money. And I think there’s this connection there. And I would like to read more about the industry of like loan shark type organizations in Korea that essentially prey off of people by getting the middle and the depth that they can never repay, you know. And I saw like a similar thing. There was a film burning, which I think is Korean film also. Where I wanted, one of the drivers of that plot is a character like characters, women in particular, who because of the society that they’re in, are driven to accumulate large sums of debt they can really never repay. And so there’s like this culture of like bill collectors and people like trying To get you to repay this money, well,

Andrew Sweatman 47:02
I’ve heard burnings great. I’ve not seen that yet. But yeah, that’s really interesting. It seems like that Yeah, just wealth disparity and poverty Southern budget house pretty interested in so I’m curious to watch some of these other things. I wanted to tell you this only vaguely related, but like, you know, as always, makes me want to watch everything else I’ve ever made. I was streaming this through a library thing, hoopla. And I found out later that the issue was actually my internet was having an issue. But it was really, the video quality’s really poor. So I thought, you know what, I should just buy this maybe and see how much it is. I looked at iTunes to buy a digital copy of it. And it was 12 bucks, and it’s a little more than I wanted to spend but maybe, but then I looked and they had a three pack of the host and mother and what’s the though about the dog?

Omaya Jones 47:51
So the barking dog never bike correct

Andrew Sweatman 47:52
all three of those for 1499. That’s a pretty good deal. I’m gonna buy that. So I have those two demos on iTunes. Yeah. iTunes a three a little bungee cord three pack. So, um, have at it. That’s a good deal. So, uh,

Omaya Jones 48:09
yeah. I don’t want to I don’t want to sidetrack the conversation by talking about physical media. So

Andrew Sweatman 48:15
I know. I love physical media too. But,

Omaya Jones 48:18
yeah, anyway, I know for some people Speight spaces a consideration, yes. Also, digital can be cheaper. The only thing I would say is that when you buy something digitally, you don’t really own it. That’s

Andrew Sweatman 48:31
true. Yes, yeah. We could actually do a really interesting episode talking about that, because I do have a lot of conflicting feelings about it. But yes, I own them on digital. So there’s that quote, unquote, on them, right. So hopefully I get around to that before iTunes decides to take all my reviews away. But yes, so I had a nice nice crisp copy from the iTunes Store to watch the host and there’s a few special features to watch. I think to you that I haven’t gotten into yet, but all that to say it’s a good movie. So do we have anything else like not spoilery we want to talk about or should we go ahead and get into spoilers. I think we got to dive in to the spoilers. Okay, if you’ve not watched the host, pause this episode, go watch it. You can get it on iTunes for 1499 and three, but it’s actually streaming on hoopla which is like a library subscription you can get. And you can also get discs from the library, which is great. Anywho let’s talk about spoilers. So I think the big things I didn’t want to spoil yet. One was the the death of the grandfather which we don’t really have much to say about that other than I thought it was another one of those moments where it’s you know, heart pounding action directly into like, just tragedy that’s really emotionally well done. When Oh, and the circumstances of his death. You think he’s gonna make this final stand And turns out that the lead character has has miscounted the bullets and he thought he had one more bullet, right? gun do and he realizes in that moment and there’s a great moment where he’s just counting on his fingers and then yeah, but also I in a way saw it coming as well just because he had had that big the night before that big speech about Gong do and it just seemed like he’s not gonna make it out of this. He’s getting this big emotional moment and he’s not gonna last too much longer this movie. And sure enough, that was the case. But it really and it gets really violent. It’s probably maybe the most violent moment because it’s just really bloody. And otherwise we’re just seeing kind of bodies taken up by this monster but there’s not a lot of gore to it. But I think that is one of the most visceral kind of moves and then in the final scene, I think there’s some kind of bloody deaths as well but

Omaya Jones 50:50
but I feel like even though the monster when he when it kills him doesn’t even you know, it’s not like one of the people he takes back to a slayer. He just killed him when he leaves the body. There. As at the monster has some sort of like agency is like this guy tried to hurt me and this is what I’m going to do to you Let’s spiteful or vengeful

Andrew Sweatman 51:08
yeah but yeah

Omaya Jones 51:09
I guess like going back to the to the to the other thing about the debt and there’s an element of of this where once he has some his credit card that he knows he’s ever going to hear that back he realized he’s not going to get out of this yeah

Andrew Sweatman 51:22
this is ruining his life yeah

Omaya Jones 51:24
yeah but then it’s incumbent upon for the rest of the family to come together once he’s gone and there’s the there’s a part of this was almost like the Avengers right we’re all of these different family members have these particular abilities and they just had to find a way to come together to use them even have an archer in the budget Yes.

We structurally like the first one I watched a search was like this is like the Avengers. But better yet, which is not I’m not trying to throw shade on the Avengers. I’m just I’m just saying this is better for

Andrew Sweatman 51:56
Marvel is always my like, go to like yeah, we’re gonna We’re gonna talk about popcorn movies like Marvel stuff. We’re gonna talk about arthouse movies. But I love Marvel movies to enjoy

Omaya Jones 52:08
Yeah, I just love I love I love the fact that you have like these characters where there’s the there’s the loser deadbeat older brother. That alcoholic former student activists, currently loser younger brother and then the sister who’s a bronze medalist because she kicked out of her own head right. And they all have to overcome the things that are holding them back to defeat the creature at the end of the film.

Andrew Sweatman 52:38
Yeah. He sets it all up so beautifully it the whole show don’t tell thing. He does that so well. And yeah, then it is all comes full circle and it’s really great. Yeah.

Omaya Jones 52:50
They’re, like even details like the beard like the beer can right. So like. So first, like the beers uses this body element because, you know, Gong dude gives his daughter a beer. Even though she’s what 12 or 13 year old outside Yeah, I think he throws a beer in the river The monster eats it. And then when she’s in the monsters layer, the monster spits up all of the stuff. One of the things it spits up as beer can and it’s like it reminds her of home you know, it makes her feel nostalgic so are all these little visual details or

Andrew Sweatman 53:24
symbolic items which is you know, I feel like I see that very often and in movies but he doesn’t really well

Omaya Jones 53:30
yeah, this is probably like the 15th time isn’t it but it’s just it’s just you know, visual storytelling is so skillful you know

Andrew Sweatman 53:38
oh, here’s a great visual moment that it’s a spoiler so we can talk about it now is also reminded me of some stuff in parasite like that moment in parasite Okay, we’re gonna spoil parasite nephew. With with the main gets kicked down the stairs, and the camera pans over so like smoothly and it’s just like gliding and the timing of it is just so perfect. There’s a really similar moment here too, when the younger brother goes to the like the phone company to track the phone call, and the guy is helping him. And then it follows him. So I got to go in the manager’s office to get the password and to follow them across this whole office and just shot that just glides along. And he kind of seems like we might see something. And the way it kind of lingers, but then it just glides through the wall. And you see like, oh, there’s a bunch of people in here about to ambush him. And the way it reveals that I thought was so well done, and just a nice surprise that, like, I guess, I think I was sitting here by myself. Oh, my gosh. Yeah, just nicely.

Omaya Jones 54:38
Yeah, I know. There’s this commentary because I get like the relationship is that they were probably activists together when they were students or something, right. And then this guy sort of, I guess, has moved away from that and has a real job with it’s like real responsibilities, but was net Nam Hill is the character’s name that sounds right. Yeah. Like he can’t, he can’t he just has to move past this student activist days. Which comes up in the climax of the film.

Andrew Sweatman 55:09
Yeah. Yeah, there’s a little bit of a sense of like, Oh, this guy sold out. But then he also has this funny little joke. It’s a it’s a joke, but it’s also kind of born yet like, yeah, I make this much money. But you know, I’m still in a huge amount of debt. Like, that’s sort of the plan is that I still he sold out, but he’s still poor. So like, that’s another sort of commentary on that debt culture. Maybe. But, yeah.

Omaya Jones 55:32
And then that chase like this. So not only is that real funny, but it’s also funny when he like when he gets out because he does something with like, how does how does he escape? Yeah.

Andrew Sweatman 55:43
At one point he Oh, yeah, he, he’s surrounded and and the guy says, Hey, this guy, he’s a fighter or something like that, like, be careful chasing him. And he he jammed something into a power outlet, and it turns around lines, and so he’s able to escape. And he’s kind of on the outside of the building where they can see him but they can’t get to them. Then it’s so funny cuz he this guy just double crossed him big time. And he runs past him and sees him escaping and he just does this like power fist like you go. That’s like a funny little contradiction of like, yeah just screwed you over but you’re gonna make it you got this? Yeah, that’s really great. Oh and then there’s a great shot too. So there’s a little bit more of a chase in the streets and he jumps over the side of a bridge into this grass and there’s like a really clearly delineated shadow line, you know, like where he’s visible over he’s injured he can barely move and he like rolls out of the way just in time. I thought that was a really great little

Omaya Jones 56:36
tense moment as well. And then like the last thing he does because he is injured when he passes out, the last thing he does is he gets on a cell phone just made me think that cell phones go up a lot, you know, and a lot of times in movies now people try to shy away from cell phones so you get a lot of period pieces are you know, movies were throughout the country in the phones don’t work or something like that, but here like they really lean into this One thing

Andrew Sweatman 57:01
Yeah, that’s I guess it’s an interesting screenwriting challenge that you know if everyone just can text each other all the time then information just flowing so yeah it’s it’s another level of skill I guess to be able to manage that. Let’s talk about the pandemic stuff and that’s because it it was very interesting to watch this in 2020 because basically they there’s it’s presumed that the monsters carrying some sort of disease and that everyone who has been in contact with it is infected especially our lead because he had blood spray on his face from it because he hit it with a sign which is really heroic. So that’s another moment it by the way, but he seems like the slacker guy, but he, he really steps up in some moments there. But so then it cuts to or later in the movie, everyone is wearing a mask and it’s like you can have this understanding that it’s a nationwide thing. And we find that that the the American military is doing a The research about this and they’re the ones telling everyone that they should wear this mask. And there’s a line where one of them says something about he doesn’t believe it’s real. I think the younger brother and the dad, the grandfather says, Well, if the government tells us we have to do it, you know, just so funny, so interesting. And then, of course, at the end of this, it turns out that the virus is not real. So it’s sort of an inversion of the reality here in 2020. And then it’s all a big misinformation. thing. That’s kind of the last the very final moments of that movie. You hear that? And bangin has been pretty clear in some interviews, that that’s directly paralleling the Iraq war. So again, being critical of us and the ways that the weapons of mass destruction how you know, that was supposedly the reason we were invading and then it turned into a big misinformation thing that we’re all laughing about, but people are dying here, you know, yes. Yeah, a big problem and there’s something to be angry about. And it’s so much like this movie is so tied to its time period. Like it feels like a post 911 you know, kind of thing. But still has just unusual resonance here in 2020 with the the actual pandemic we have here, but yeah,

Omaya Jones 59:20
yeah. Oh, what did you think of the scene where the people are waiting like a bus stop. And they’re they’ve all got their face mask on. Yeah, and the one guy is coughing. he spits on the gutter. It’s raining so it spits in the gutter. And then this bus drives by splashes.

Andrew Sweatman 59:37
Everyone freaks out. Like, it was so funny. Like what a creative way to like spray a bunch of people. sputum but yeah, so it was really funny moment. Yeah. So many times in this I found myself wishing like, I wish we would take the pandemic, this seriously. Like people. Yeah, I and then the fact that it turns out to not be reading No, of course, like, has no bearing really on 2020 but I was just thinking like, people who don’t believe in the pandemic right now should maybe not watch this. This can just fuel their, their nonbelief But yeah, I thought that was it’s such an interesting parallel. You know,

Omaya Jones 1:00:18
one of the most effective line readings in the whole movie is probably when they’re getting ready to do surgery on on Gong do and he recognizes he like he is like, oh, he picked up on some of the English that they were speaking and he just says no virus.

Andrew Sweatman 1:00:35
Yeah, like he like he just recognizes that and that but then like at that point, like everything that he says after that just makes the situation worse, because they’re just gonna assume that he’s crazy. Yeah, man. He’s such an incredible actor like oh my gosh, so and so I’ve only seen him in one of the thing and that’s parasite Of course this is 13 years different. But and I think this is a bigger performance just in parasite ease. There’s a lot that’s really subtle. In this he’s, yeah, like screaming a lot like that kind of thing. There’s one moment where it’s like, you see the desperation of him as a father trying to save his daughter and coming out in big ways, and they just assume that it’s some sort of madness caused by this virus. Like early on, and maybe he seems a little crazy in this moment, but it was really effective to where he is trying to demonstrate how his daughter could be alive. And he puts his cell phone in his mouth and like barfs it out into a bucket. It’s like to show like the monster spinner out like, that’s what happened. But it’s really funny, but also like, he sells it so hard that it’s really affecting. But then, later in the movie, when in that section where he finds out there’s no virus and it’s just like everything he’s doing. Yeah, it’s just, he’s acting that way, perhaps because of what his grandfather said or his father’s About You know, as a child, he didn’t get enough protein or whatever. And like that’s part of his deficiencies in life. But it’s like, is he so desperate to try to escape this obviously terrible situation that is only being exacerbated by the powers that be that they’re just reading it as Oh, this must be part of the virus, it must be in his brain. And so then they’re like, oh, we’re going on the bottom of them now. It’s like everything he does is making it worse. at the hands of the American military, who are just making everything terrible, and it’s great when he escapes, finally, and they’re just literally grilling outside the door. And he’s like, you’re just having a barbecue

Unknown Speaker 1:02:43
out here.

Andrew Sweatman 1:02:46
Really, because you’re so mad at that moment alongside him. But yeah, anyway, it’s a great, I thought that whole situation was really well written and well executed. So I guess let’s talk about the final kind of fight with the monster to it’s actually has some parallels to jobs a little bit with you know in jaws is the gas tank sorry spoilers for jobs and sort of like a two part killing there where it ends up the the homeless man who is just kind of along for the ride ends up bouncing the monster with the gasoline and then she sets it on fire with her arrow. It’s a great, it’s a great final final moment in that fight that kind of a satisfying ending to that. But that whole scene is really interesting because you kind of you see the political side of this story as the protesters are there and they have you know, t shirts that say free gang duparc and it’s like oh, this is like a societal thing. And the agent yellow is about to be released and it’s supposed to be deadly are just kind of again brings in the real world stakes and like that feels like a situation we’ve seen on the news a lot here lately. You know, with protesters and police lines and all that. And then the beige, yellow doesn’t work like it seems to hurt it, but it just gets up and goes. So anyway, that that whole situation I thought, it just really it really nailed the ending of this. I think we can talk about the coda kind of the very, very ending to but what do you think about that final fight scene?

Omaya Jones 1:04:21
Well, once again, an allusion to the Avengers, they all have to work together to defeat the monster, you know. So like all over the various powers, play some role, and that final battle, and I just love like seeing the brother, Neville with as long as off cocktails. He was like, Oh, that’s what being a student activists was all about. Yeah, like that’s what he did. He paid Molotov cocktails.

Andrew Sweatman 1:04:44
Yeah. I was certainly gonna hit him but he throws so many just barely misses. Yeah.

Omaya Jones 1:04:50
Yeah, well, I guess it’s hard, I don’t know.

Andrew Sweatman 1:04:54
And then the final one too, and it excellent breaks right before he throws it. Oh, no. A great little

Omaya Jones 1:05:01
Right, but that just gives Namjoon the opportunity to redeem herself for her bronze medal from the via to the film. It’s a

Andrew Sweatman 1:05:11
It’s a beautiful, full full circle for her.

Omaya Jones 1:05:13
Yeah, no like that. I think it was really well choreographed to you know, you see, like, even so the monster shows up this battle and it spits out the both of the children. And I guess pretty quickly going through realizes that his daughter is deceased. But then after the defeat the monster he doesn’t go back to her, he goes over to the little boy. And then one of the things that they said in the commentary was that perhaps, you know, like, he’s holding on to this boy, because, you know, he realizes that this boy can tell him the story of the help of his daughter what she did in her last few days. And so there’s this connection that he can get from this from this child. Yeah, I think that’s really sweet. Yeah,

Andrew Sweatman 1:05:56
that’s really cool. There’s in one of the q&a That I watched with Bong Joon ho he talked about so they asked him about the decision to, to was the daughter always going to die in the script? And they He’s like, yeah, that’s part of the story. And like I had to fight the financers on that and all that. To keep that in, but he said it was inspired by a movie he saw when he was in middle school, a Vietnam war movie with Gene Hackman, I can’t remember the name of right now. But basically, his son has been taken as a prisoner of war. And he gets the team together to go save him. And he’s been a prisoner of war for like seven years. And the movie ends with spoiling this dude. I’ve never seen a donor the movie ends when they get there, find out he’s been dead for three years. But he has a best friend there who he’s his son saved this guy’s life. And Gene Hackman and this guy have a beautiful Tinder you know, crying together moment and hug and inbound, you know, said that, that move him so much that like it’s almost like a surge. Get like, like, he understands like there’s there’s a shared connection there, even though they’ve just met. And so it was almost the same situation where it’s like his daughter saved this kid’s life. And so he now kind of takes him on as a surrogate son. Yeah, and so maybe that leads us into the coda kind of the very ending of this also, not unlike parasite has this like a very, very ending moment and it’s snowing as well which is interesting. I don’t know if that’s sort of the winter of the movie like the end of the film or something. But we find out that Gandhi was now in charge of the food stand now that his father’s dead and that he is taking care of this little boy and this little boy gets his dream of living among all this food. It was a beautiful way to wrap that all up and yeah, great great ending.

Omaya Jones 1:07:52
Yeah, I love the way that like the boy just pops up. Yeah, so the boy is sleeping and then as soon as the food is ready, he’s is right up.

Unknown Speaker 1:07:58

Omaya Jones 1:08:00
And then he’s also very adamant that they turn off the TV because there’s nothing good on anyway.

Unknown Speaker 1:08:05
Yeah. They’re

Omaya Jones 1:08:08
just as they’re about to explain something about, like, the events that we’ve just spent the two hours the past few hours with

Andrew Sweatman 1:08:14
a really effective ending. Yeah, I’m a big fan of this movie. I’m so glad I watched it. And I can recommend it just about anybody. It’s, it’s maybe a little more violent. And then something like the Avengers. So if that puts you off, maybe not for you. But I thought it was great and pretty kind of universal. But I can see why this was such a huge hit in in South Korea. And I think when Tarantino said this is like one of his favorite movies the last 20 years or something like so yeah, this, this has some crossover appeal. And I think any American audience would enjoy it. I concur. Watch the host. It’s great. There you go. I’m excited. For next time we’re going to look at snowpiercer which I’ve never seen, but I love Tilda Swinton Who’s in it and I like Chris Evans as well. It’s another Avengers connection with Chris Evans. But you can stream that I believe on Netflix so that is easy to get to. So if you want to watch that in preparation for next time I will be watching it for the first time. I’m excited. Any last thoughts there Omaya?

Omaya Jones 1:09:20
I want to echo so so I was just kind of curious about what you said about parasites I went back and I and I listened to that again because only 25 minutes to an episode.

Andrew Sweatman 1:09:31
I could do another one what point I have so many more thoughts having watched it a couple more times

Omaya Jones 1:09:34
gone? Well, what I thought was interesting as your guest at some point said the same thing that Bond’s you who ended up saying it the Oscar or I don’t know if it was the Oscars over different awards, if it’s a speech but basically say that if you can get past like the like the one inch wall of subtitles, then like it just opens up a whole other worlds the film D So just like tell people to seek out more subtitled movies, you know yeah.

Andrew Sweatman 1:10:00
take the plunge. And I feel like you know, if you are listening to this, you probably understand that but you know, spread the word to friends and family. Like, this is a movie that I think like I almost had a thought like, maybe I could show this to my parents, like they don’t watch a lot of subtitled movies, but they might like this. You know, it’s one of those movies that you can share, I think in this way, like, maybe something like cemetery of splendor is not going to be for everybody. But the host or anything, it sounds like a pipe bond, you know, just about it’s gonna resonate, and I think or each moment tambien or Pan’s Labyrinth, you know, I think there’s Yeah, there’s such a huge world out there that most American movie goers don’t give to thoughts about So, yes, watch movies and foreign languages. All right. For that we can wrap up the episode. Thank you guys so much for listening. If you want to support arthaus Garage, you can leave a rating or review on iTunes can keep up with art house garage on social media at art house garage on Twitter. Instagram, Facebook and letterbox. I’ve been doing a little bit more on Instagram here lately. So check that out. You can also find video reviews on YouTube and reviews and event coverage on the blog at art house garage comm we have an email newsletter, our house garage, comm slash subscribe and that always has a couple of streaming recommendations that are not mentioned on the show and also some good good stuff in there as well as lately some good virtual events there’s I try to cover Arkansas events but like since there’s a pandemic there’s a ton of virtual film festivals and stuff happening. So I’ll try to highlight those if you know of some actually to email me Andrew at our house garage COMM And I can include as many of those as I can. I think that will do it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening and until next time, keep it snop free

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Picture of Andrew Sweatman

Andrew Sweatman

Andrew is a writer, podcaster, and film lover who wants to help people think critically about movies. He lives in central Arkansas with his wife Allison and two children, Rosie & Beau. Andrew is the Senior Editor at Arthouse Garage and a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA). Find him at and on Twitter and Instagram: @ArthouseGarage.

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