Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #26. Parasite – Bong Joon-ho
Bong Joon-ho returns to South Korea for his seventh feature Parasite, which is his fourth collaboration with actor Song Kang-ho in what seems to be a genre informed family drama (though perhaps not in the same vein of his 2006 The Host). Supporting cast members include Lee Sun-Kyun, Cho Yeo-Jeong, Choi Woo-Shik and Park So-Dam. Produced through Barunson E&A, CJ Entertainment is the South Korean distributor while US distribution rights have already been pre-purchased by Neon. Joon-ho became one of South Korea’s most prominent directors in the 2000s thanks to the success of his sophomore film Memories of Murder (2003) and the eventual cult following of The Host, which premiered in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. Since then, he played in Un Certain Regard in 2008 as part of the omnibus feature Tokyo! (which included segments from Leos Carax and Michel Gondry), and again in 2009 with Mother, his last South Korean feature. The unprecedented success of his English language debut Snowpiercer (2014), which opened the Los Angeles Film Festival, led to a high-profile Netflix deal with 2017’s Okja, which premiered amidst much controversy in the Cannes competition.
Gist: From Joon-ho’s own script, Parasite concerns a family of four, each who has their own set of unique characteristics. The director notes the film does not include actual parasites or alien creatures.
Release Date/Prediction: Production on Parasite wrapped in Fall 2018. Considering Joon-ho’s established foothold at Cannes, we expect this to be a potential Cannes contender in 2019.