In the wake of the 92nd Academy Awards ceremony, all the attention was on the Oscar-winning film “Parasite” (2019) and its director Bong Joon-Ho. The South Korean film won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Film and Best Original Screenplay. In addition, it was also nominated for Best Production Design and Best Film Editing.
Amid all the attention, “Parasite” made Oscar history as the first film in a foreign language to win Best Picture. While this was a shock to many, “Parasite” is a highly regarded film.
Dr. Melissa Croteau, professor of film studies and literature at California Baptist University, said part of what has made “Parasite” such a success is how it covers extremely relevant topics in today’s world.
“It was in many ways an original script and a risky script; it changes genres throughout and it is timely,” Croteau said. “It is talking about social class, which is an issue that exists all over the world. Even in some of the most developed countries, including the United States and South Korea and Japan. It talks about huge global issues, so the timing was right.”
Following the film’s success, director Bong recently announced he will be working with HBO to create a TV mini-series based on “Parasite.”
Although it is still in the early stages of being developed, Bong will be working with director/producer Adam McKay to create a series that expands on the world and story from the original film.
Croteau said that, unlike the film, she assumes the show will be in English.
“My guess is that it will be in English as HBO is doing it. Bong Joon-Ho said there is a lot more that he wanted to write and even that he wrote that didn’t make it into the film so he wanted to tell longer stories about these groups of people and their interactions,” Croteau said. “You can never replicate the alchemy or the magic that makes a particular movie resonate so it may work and it may not.”
Croteau also emphasized the importance of seeing films from other countries and in different languages for both students and other individuals.
“It’s important to see through the lenses of others. The film is entertaining, but it also gives you a unique opportunity to see the world through other people’s perspectives and that is always valuable,” Croteau said.
Nathan Rierson, junior film production major, said he saw the film “Parasite” and looks forward to what they will do with the upcoming TV show.
“I liked the movie so I think it will be interesting to see how that story adapts from film to television since that new format will be super different,” Rierson said.
Jonathan Cadenhead, junior film major, said he loved the original film but does not think a TV show based on it will have the same impact.
“While usually HBO does a stellar job with series, they are almost all geared toward the Western world. Part of the reason why ‘Parasite’ was so charming was the Eastern style and approach it unabashedly had,” Cadenhead said. “I’m not sure that’s something that HBO is going to let Bong Joon-Ho pull off.”
Whether the upcoming TV series is a success, the impact “Parasite” has had both at the Academy Awards and in the world of international film still stands.