If you want to understand the hype around Parasite, you’ll have to head to the theater and see it for yourself.
After scoring three 2020 Golden Globesnominations on Monday—including Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Foreign Language Film—director Bong Joon-ho stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, marking his U.S. late night debut. And, naturally, Jimmy Fallon couldn’t help but rave about the South Korean thriller, albeit he did have a lot of questions about the flick. “I went in not knowing what the movie was about and just heard buzz that this was great,” Jimmy explained. “I loved it…It’s hard to describe the movie. How do you describe Parasite?”
But here’s the thing: Bong refused to answer any questions about his critically-acclaimed project. “I’d like to say as little as possible,” he said through his translator, “because the film is best when you go into it cold.”
And that was a first for the host, who was caught off guard by the answer. “Well,” Jimmy said, “this is a talk show so you have to say something.” So, he had to surrender. At least, just a little bit. “It’s a story about family,” Bong explained. “The son goes into a rich house as a tutor and the story unfolds from there.”
As Jimmy went on to describe the film’s emotional roller coaster—”You feel sad for them and then they make you laugh. Then they’re in trouble and you go, ‘Oh, this is bad.”—Bong couldn’t help but agree with him. “They’re very human,” he said of his characters. “It’s just a funny and scary movie.”
And one that’s already raked in more than $124 million at box offices worldwide. At the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, Parasite took home the highest prize awarded, making it the first Korean film to do so. Alas, Bong was less than impressed. After an eight-minute standing ovation (yes, eight minutes), Bong told quickly thanked the cheering crowd then said, “let’s all go home.”
Of course, he had his reasons.
“It was almost midnight,” he recalled to Jimmy. “The actors and I were very hungry because we couldn’t eat dinner…We all were saying to each other, ‘We’re so hungry.’ And they ended up subtitling it in the video that was later. But applause never stopped. So finally I said , ‘Let’s go home.'”
And that’s a sentiment we can always get behind.
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