1 hr 28 min

Vintage Sand Episode 27: Director's Cut: Bong Jun-ho Vintage Sand

    • Arts

Team Vintage Sand returns with Bong Jun-ho: Director’s Cut, our study of the director who, following last year’s Oscars, may now properly be called one of the world’s most important filmmakers. While "Parasite" brought him Oscars, a Palme d’Or and international fame, Bong has been making his brilliant, iconoclastic films for nearly two decades. As we examine all seven of Bong’s feature films, several things become clear. The first is that he is a true poet of dislocation. South Korea has transformed from a relatively sleepy backwater to late-capitalist tech powerhouse in only a couple of decades. While the nation appears prosperous from the outside, Bong’s films directly and implicitly tell the story of what the sudden change has meant in terms of economic insecurity, fracturing family relationships and a general mistrust and lack of respect for those in authority. But what makes Bong truly unique is that he may be the most adept director in history at making sudden and frequent tonal shifts feel organic to his stories. Working in a multitude of genres, from social and ecological allegory to police procedurals to late Hitchcock to monster films, he is somehow able to skip from intensity to lightness and back again without missing a beat. In his first feature, 2002’s "Barking Dogs Don’t Bite", the apartment super says, “Who would ever imagine that someone would live under a building?” After watching "Parasite"’s incredible twist featuring another man living under a building, we salute Bong with the same word that that half-crazed, creditor-dodging, knife-wielding soul repeats constantly: Respect!

Team Vintage Sand returns with Bong Jun-ho: Director’s Cut, our study of the director who, following last year’s Oscars, may now properly be called one of the world’s most important filmmakers. While "Parasite" brought him Oscars, a Palme d’Or and international fame, Bong has been making his brilliant, iconoclastic films for nearly two decades. As we examine all seven of Bong’s feature films, several things become clear. The first is that he is a true poet of dislocation. South Korea has transformed from a relatively sleepy backwater to late-capitalist tech powerhouse in only a couple of decades. While the nation appears prosperous from the outside, Bong’s films directly and implicitly tell the story of what the sudden change has meant in terms of economic insecurity, fracturing family relationships and a general mistrust and lack of respect for those in authority. But what makes Bong truly unique is that he may be the most adept director in history at making sudden and frequent tonal shifts feel organic to his stories. Working in a multitude of genres, from social and ecological allegory to police procedurals to late Hitchcock to monster films, he is somehow able to skip from intensity to lightness and back again without missing a beat. In his first feature, 2002’s "Barking Dogs Don’t Bite", the apartment super says, “Who would ever imagine that someone would live under a building?” After watching "Parasite"’s incredible twist featuring another man living under a building, we salute Bong with the same word that that half-crazed, creditor-dodging, knife-wielding soul repeats constantly: Respect!

1 hr 28 min

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