Understanding the balletic rhythm of Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite”
In Bong Joon-ho’s mesmeric new film, Parasite, a poor family of hustlers weasel their way in the home of a wealthy Korean family. The film—which as of writing this has strong claims on major film awards—is now out on home video.
Just in time for this release, Evan Puschack (of Nerdwriter1) has put out a video essay breaking down the centerpiece five-minute montage of the film, or its “perfect montage” as he calls it.
Watch the full essay here:
In it, Puschack submits that Bong’s ways of playing with rhythm—editing, most especially—are a league of their own. Yang Jin-mo served as the film’s editor, which Puschack notes.
The montage in question is a crucial moment in Parasite. The Kims have all but successfully encroached the Parks’ home, except for the mother, Chung-sook. In the span of a handful of minutes and just as few shots, the film carries us from careful planning to fleetingly cathartic conclusion.
In the video, Puschack notes:
The tempo is perfectly calibrated. As a viewer, it almost feels like you’re surfing the story.
Parasite is one of the best films of last year. In his review, our own Geoffrey Ledesma notes how “seething tension eventually builds up to a shocking, albeit unsurprising climax that leaves you with mixed feelings of satisfaction, horror, and interestingly, even regret.”