After ‘Parasite’, ‘Watch’ The Wailing ‘, an impressive epic possession of South Korea

It seems that the film community is still on top of Bong Joon-ho and Parasite Great night at the Oscars not long ago. Can you blame us Parasite It is a film so uniquely special, of the kind that is rarely recognized at this level in the Oscars (if they recognize it). If the rumor on Twitter is an indication, fans around the world are channeling that energy to dive deeper into international cinema, with a particular emphasis on Parasite native of South Korea. It’s always something special when a movie can act as an entry drug into the new world of cinema, and Bong is right: once you overcome the one-inch subtitle barrier, there is much to discover.

Even the most casual movie fans may have dipped their fingers in the Korean movie before Parasite. Movies like Older boy Y Train to Busan They have been particularly accessible over the years thanks to the strong word of mouth in the case of previous and constant availability on Netflix for the second. When it comes to world cinema, it is a cult that has a fairly high profile compared to other nations outside the United States. However, much of it is still not explored by the American public, although it seems to be prepared to change in the wake of the Oscars.

Among similar characteristics to these and the multitude of lists and threads that circulate on social networks this week, there are some clear things: one, there is not a single film that can summarize the entire Korean cinema. To affirm that it exists harms both the spectators and the film community. It is also worth noting that, while Bong Joon-ho is still one of the greatest modern directors of all time, his films are not the end of all that Korean cinema has to offer. Pretending that the nation’s production is contained in its filmography is a narrow way of thinking about things. As such, it seems pertinent to suggest that if you’re in the mood for some discovery (and you’ve already been through Bong movies), you should really consider giving the epic possession of 2016 Lament one shot.

Lament it’s the perfect postParasite movie not because it resembles the movie in tone or narrative but because it does many of the things that they do Parasite Great but in totally different ways. One of the common points of Parasite’s praise is how skillfully the film juggles a variety of tones and genres, which makes it incredibly difficult to classify without putting a handful of words together (does a social comedy thriller feel good ?) This act of juggling is not exclusive to Parasite. The deeper you go into Korean cinema, the more you will find that it is a common practice.

Korean movies like I saw the devil, The hostY Lament I feel little need to be just one thing, a type of movie. Instead, they incorporate elements of a variety of genres, leading to films that feel much more unique to Western audiences that have grown up in a cinematic world that prioritizes gender clarity. Lament It is, as noted above, best classified as an epic possession. It is a long film, which lasts a little over two and a half hours, and focuses on a police officer who investigates a series of horrific diseases that lead to more spooky murders in his town.

But even that description sells little what is happening in this movie. In the course of his long time of execution, he takes his characters (and the spectators with them) through a dense and complicated story about demons, faith, sin and the battle between good and evil. On top of that, there is an intimate story about a father trying to save his daughter, which seems to be an allegory about xenophobia and fear of the other, and a police procedure.

I like ParasiteIt’s hard to imagine that Hollywood relies on any director to do something so risky on paper. But that’s the thing, nothing about Lament he feels risky He is executed with such grace and precision by director Na Hoong-jin that at the same time he will be surprised that it works as well as he does and furious that Hollywood does not allow to tell stories like this in our film market.

You’ve never seen a possession movie like Lament, not because it is more or less graphic than the classics of the American genre as The Exorcist or because he reinvents the narrative from scratch, but because he simply manages each troop of the genre a little differently. The protagonist Jong-goo serves as a microcosm of this lack of ties with the tropes. An American version of Lament I would position Jong-goo as chief of police or detective, either a hypercompetent firearm or a guy on the ice thanks to past mistakes. He would have a deeper personal bond with the greatest mystery, he would have a more complicated home life than in the version of the movie we have. Instead, Jong-goo is just … a boy. It is a kind of fool, deeply simple and normal. He is competent enough as a policeman but idiotic enough to understand the way he moves through history. That’s crucial apparently Lament It should be about how ordinary people react when faced with the evil of another world, something existentially bigger than them. Jong-goo’s simplicity gives more credibility to his actions and emotional arc, which in turn makes him feel as a more authentically human creation than he is likely to find in most movies of this scale.

The film also defies terror conventions remarkably. There is a minimum score at all times, which means that musical cues do not influence the creation of scares. Speaking of which, there are not even real scares in the sense that we are used to watching them play. There are no jumps of fear and pieces centered around the construction until a climate scare. Lament. Instead, each set contains more horror, sometimes silent and sometimes bombastic, each of which integrates seamlessly into the next and creates two and a half hours of pure terror: the climatic scene is one of the scariest scenes that the half produced. It is based on everything that comes before and handles every complex turn, turn and revelation so easily that you hardly realize how much work you must have invested.

Hollywood will never produce a movie like Lament, just as they can never do what Bong Joon-ho does in Parasite (even if that new version of HBO ends up happening). There are many reasons to explore the world of cinema outside our country, but one of the most rewarding is the way in which you can open your eyes to what can be achieved in the middle of the movie when you get away from the tropes, narratives and archetypes of characters that we have been conditioned to expect. You can transmit Lament in Shudder now and see for yourself.

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