In and Around Parasite: Two Tracks to the Construction of Bong Joon-ho as Global Auteur


Thursday, October 14, 2021, 4:30pm to 6:00pm


Online (Zoom)

Kim Koo Forum

event poster

Jihoon Kim
Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, Chung-ang University; Visiting Scholar in Film and Media Studies Program, Columbia University

Jihoon Kim is associate professor of cinema and media studies at Chung-ang University, and currently a visiting scholar in the Film and Media Studies program at Columbia University. He is the author of Documentary’s Expanded Fields: New Media and the Twenty-First-Century Documentary (forthcoming in Oxford UP, 2022) and Between Film, Video, and the Digital: Hybrid Moving Images in the Post-media Age (Bloomsbury, 2018/16). He is also finalizing Post-verité Turns: Korean Documentary Cinema in the 21st Century, the first-ever English-written scholarly monograph on the Korean nonfiction film and video in the private sectors since the 1980s.

Chaired by Alexander Zahlten, Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University 

This paper investigates the unprecedented success of Parasite (2019) and Bong Joon-ho’s rise as globally reclaimed film director through the method of ‘two-track approach.’
Its first part develops the orthodox auteur criticism to unveil the film’s textual operations and Bong’s directorial control while the second takes a revisionist approach to film authorship to highlight the roles of industrial agents in elevating Bong as a celebrity in his involvement in the ‘Oscar race.’ Each part also argues that Bong’s status as global auteur is not constrained within either the classical auteur criticism or the revisionist reconfiguration of authorship: the first part explains the film’s construction of multiple entry points for viewers’ various interpretations, and the second tracks the film’s transnational or transcultural traffic and the social media hype of Bong as celebrity, including the hashtag #BongHive, in contemporary ‘convergence culture’ where the old cinephile culture and the new cinephile collide.

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The Korea Institute acknowledges the generous support of the Kim Koo Foundation.