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Posts Tagged ‘consciousness’

Photo: Cinetic.
From the award-winning Korean film Parasite.

Movies can raise consciousness and lead to change, often positive change. Although the wonderful flic we watched last night, The Loins of Punjab, was mostly for laughs, I think some people would take away a heightened awareness of prejudice, and what it can be like to live in a society where too many people see a terrorist behind every brown skin.

Today’s post is about a hopeful side effect of the award-winning Korean movie Parasite, which led the government to look into the plethora of barely habitable basement apartments dividing the country’s haves and have-nots — and begin to make a plan.

As Monica Castillo wrote at Hyperallergic in February 2020, “Weeks after Bong Joon-ho’s historic win at the Oscars, his film Parasite is still making headlines. … Parasite may now pave the way for housing reform in South Korea.

“The country’s government announced it would launch an initiative to help families like the movie’s working-class Kims to improve housing conditions. The Korea Herald reports that the South Korean government, Korea Energy Foundation, and the Seoul Metropolitan Government will offer ‘3.2 million won per household to enhance heating systems, replace floors, and install air conditioners, dehumidifiers, ventilators, windows, and fire alarms’ to 1,500 families in semi-basement apartments who make less than 60 percent of the median income. …

“In Parasite, the Kims live in a cramped, dingy semi-basement apartment that becomes easily flooded when heavy rains fall. They envy the wealthier Park family that lives in an elevated area with a spacious modern mansion, and hatch a plan to get each member of the Kim family in the employment of the Parks. …

“The film’s clear class distinction between the haves and the have nots also inspired many designers. In a look at the fan art and advertising inspired by the movie, Mubi found several instances where artists visually interpreted the movie’s theme on class through metaphors. Parasite’s attention to architecture featured in a number of the pieces, as several artists incorporated both Park and Kim family homes into their designs. The works ranged from digital illustrations both intricate and deceptively simple to photographic composites reimagining the movie’s many twists and turns. 

“Even in the official movie poster, there are hints of a difference between the two families, as the post points out that the Kims have black censor bars over their eyes and the richer Parks have white censor bars. For the French release not long after its Cannes premiere, the Parasite poster featured the Kim family barefoot and the Parks in shoes, a nod to their well-heeled background.”

More at Hyperallergic, here.

At Mubu, you can check out posters the movie inspired and the emphasis on inequality. What an array! Adrian Curry wrote, “All great works of art inspire more great art and Parasite has been a gloriously fecund host for poster designers to feed off, inspiring ingenious commercial campaigns and fan art alike. The original Korean poster — the first glimpse any of us got of this soon-to-be sensation back [in April 2019] — was designed by Kim Sang-man, a film director (Midnight FM), art director (Joint Security Area), and composer. …

“Its placid yet ominous domestic scene, rendered undeniably creepy by the censor bars across the protagonists’ eyes … featured half the major players (not least that boxy, modernist home, the ultimate star of the film) and a number of significant objects (the teepee, that ornamental rock, those legs…) without giving much of the game away. One thing I didn’t register until quite recently is how the bars across the eyes are color-coded by family: black for the Kims, white for the Parks.”

I didn’t see Parasite. Did you? Did you think it made a case for affordable housing? A case against inequality?

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