American Cinematheque is proud to present A GENRE OF ONE: THE CINEMA OF BONG JOON HO, a complete feature retrospective of BONG JOON HO’s spanning two decades. The series will take place at both the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2, 2019. The series will be co-presented by the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Bong Joon Ho will be at both locations for an in-person Q&A. The featured films include THE HOST, OKJA, SNOWPIERCER, BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE, MEMORIES OF MURDER, MOTHER, and the critically acclaimed PARASITE (99% on Rotten Tomatoes). PARASITE recently was featured at the Egyptian Theatre as part of Beyond Fest.
PARASITE has pushed boundaries, becoming the first Korean film to win the Palme D’Or at the Cannes International Film Festival. The film has broken several box office records in the U.S. since its theatrical opening on Oct. 11, 2019. PARASITE earned the title highest per-screen average for a foreign language film of all-time. The film has already amassed over $90mm worldwide.
“PARASITE is the perfect hallmark to celebrate 100 years of Korean filmmaking and we are thrilled to host a full retrospective of BONG JOON HO’s masterful 20 years of cinema,” said Grant Moninger, American Cinematheque Film Programmer.
“Director BONG is a cinematic mastermind who has amazed audiences around the world for nearly two decades with his innovative stories and singular vision,” said Wijin Park, Head of the Korean Cultural Center Los Angeles. “It is an honor to present his latest revelation, PARASITE, and his astonishing body of work to mark the 100th anniversary of Korean film history.”
The Palme D’Or-winning tragicomedy implants an unemployed family of four, one by one, into a wealthy household and the sparks fly from there. “For people of different circumstances to live together in the same space is not easy,” notes the director. “I think that this film depicts the inevitable cracks that appear when two classes brush up against each other in today’s increasingly polarized society.”
In conjunction with the complete retrospective of Bong Joon Ho’s feature films,the series will include a twelve piece exhibit in the Shield’s Gallery of the Egyptian Theatre featuring the works of South Korean artist Jung Jae Hoon (aka Zibezi), whose original painting “Parasite” is featured prominently in PARASITE. His online gallery and store can be found on his website at https://zibezi.com/
To purchase tickets, visit AmericanCinematheque.com.
The following films will be featured during the series:
Wednesday, October 30 – 7:30 p.m. BONG JOON HO IN-PERSON
PARASITE (GISAENGCHUNG), 2019, Neon, 132 min. Dir. BONG JOON HO. When Kim Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi) agrees to take over the position of English tutor for the daughter of a wealthy family from his friend Min-hyuk (Seo-joon Park), the stage is set for an epic showdown as class warfare meets black comedy, with the stakes deadlier than you could ever imagine. Working with some of the most outstanding actors in South Korea, writer-director BONG JOON HO (SNOWPIERCER, OKJA) crafts a brilliantly layered world filled with outstanding gasp-out-loud moments. An intricate blend of bravura sequences, stellar character work and narrative twists, PARASITE was the Palme d’Or winner at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. In Korean with English subtitles. Discussion following with director BONG JOON HO. Special Ticket Prices: $15 General, $13 Cinematheque Members. No vouchers.
Thursday, October 31 – 7:30 p.m. BONG JOON HO TRIBUTE
THE HOST (GWOEMUL), 2006, Magnolia Pictures, 120 min. Dir. BONG JOON HO. Much more than just a monster movie, BONG JOON HO’s third film spans the intimate and the epic, the personal and the political, in a fantastical tale about the lengths to which a family will go in recovering one of its own. Due to the negligence of a U.S. military installation, an amphibian beast emerges from the Han River, wreaking havoc on city residents and abducting the daughter of riverfront vendor Park Gang-du (Song Kang-ho). With the help of his elderly father, listless brother and archery medalist sister, Park races against time for save the girl while government authorities concoct their own, ecologically reckless means of vanquishing the creature. “A loopy, feverishly imaginative genre hybrid.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times. In Korean and English with English subtitles.
10th Anniversary! MOTHER (MADEO), 2009, Magnolia Pictures, 129 min. Dir. BONG JOON HO. In a small South Korean town, an intellectually disabled man (Won Bin) follows a young woman (Moon Hee-ra) down an empty street at night; when the woman is found dead the next morning, authorities summarily charge him with the murder. Only the man’s mother (Kim Hye-ja), an unlicensed acupuncturist, is convinced of his innocence. As she pieces together the night of the murder and the cast of characters surrounding it, no measure seems too drastic to protect the son whose condition she has always lamented. Starkly shot and arrestingly unpredictable, MOTHER stretches parental love to its extremes, tempering violent impulses with BONG’s characteristic flashes of humor. In Korean with English subtitles.
Friday, November 1 – 7:30 p.m. BONG JOON HO IN PERSON
SNOWPIERCER, 2013, Swank Motion Pictures, 126 min. Dir. BONG JOON HO. One of the most dazzling visions of our dystopian future since Ridley Scott’s BLADE RUNNER, this sci-fi thriller takes place on a train carrying the last survivors – Chris Evans, Ed Harris, Tilda Swinton and Octavia Spencer among them – of a manmade environmental catastrophe. But a rigid class structure has been imposed on the passengers, leading to a bloody rebellion.
BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE (FLANDERSUI GAE), 2000, Magnolia Pictures, 110 min. Dir. BONG JOON HO. A mix of gallows humor and character-driven chaos, BONG JOON HO’s directorial debut stars Lee Sung-jae as a jobless academic living in an apartment complex. Driven to the brink by his demanding wife and by the persistent sound of a barking dog, he resolves to rid the complex of noisy pooches wherever he finds them. Faced with the disappearance of one beloved pet after another, the complex’s unassuming bookkeeper (Bae Donna) finds herself under pressure to uncover the culprit. Smartly satirical in its depiction of confined living, BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE both shocks and delights with a tale of two unfulfilled people and the surreal series of events that bring them into collision. In Korean with English subtitles. Discussion between films with director BONG JOON HO. Special Ticket Prices: $15 General, $13 Cinematheque Members. No vouchers.
Saturday, November 2 – 7:30 p.m. BONG JOON HO TRIBUTE
OKJA, 2017, Netflix, 120 min. Dir. BONG JOON HO. A decade after biotech CEO Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) launches a contest to raise the world’s finest genetically designed “super pig,” South Korean farm girl Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun) learns that her super pig, Okja, has won the title. When Okja is hauled off to be exhibited in New York City, Mija undertakes a rescue mission that puts her in league with the Animal Liberation Front – and into the clutches of the profit-minded Mirando Corporation. An imaginative adventure with friendship and humanity’s nearsightedness at its center, OKJA is a moving reminder that courage can take small forms. In English, Korean and Spanish with English subtitles.
MEMORIES OF MURDER (SALINUI CHUEOK), 2003, Palm Pictures, 132 min. Dir. BONG JOON HO. Inspired by the first serial murders in South Korea’s modern history, this engrossing crime story is marked with textural richness and tonal finesse. After two women are found raped and murdered in quick succession, rural detectives Park and Cho (Song Kang-ho and Kim Roi-ha) are tasked with finding the killer. Their crude methods ill-suited to the task, the pair are soon joined by an urban detective who proposes to solve the case by subtler means. Gripping throughout and laced with the humor of a bumbling cop routine, MEMORIES OF MURDER invites surprise up to its final frame. In Korean and English with English subtitles.
Established in 1981, the American Cinematheque is a 501C3 non-profit viewer-supported film exhibition and cultural organization dedicated to the celebration of the Moving Picture in all of its forms. The American Cinematheque renovated and reopened (on Dec. 4, 1998) the historic 1922 Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. This includes a state-of-the-art 616-seat theatre housed within Sid Grauman’s first grand movie palace on Hollywood Boulevard. The exotic courtyard is fully restored to its 1922 grandeur. The Egyptian was the home of the very first Hollywood movie premiere in 1922. In January 2005 the American Cinematheque expanded its programming to the 1940 Aero Theatre on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica.
Dedicated to Expanding Knowledge of Korea, the Korean Cultural Center is the axis of Korean heritage in Los Angeles. The Korean Cultural Center welcomes the general public to experience the rich traditions and history of Korea through specialized programs, sponsored events, and multiple learning resources.
Operated by the Korean government’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Korean Cultural Center is dedicated to providing insights into the rich cultural heritage of Korea. We encourage everyone to visit and learn something new about a nation with a history spanning more than 5,000 years.
For more information – http://www.kccla.org/english/home.asp.