Bong Joon what? A Korean film with subtitles beating Tarantino, Scorsese and ‘1917? Have they gone crazy in Hollywood? Here are five reasons that can explain the historic triumph of ‘Parasites’ at the Oscars, perhaps not as surprising as it may seem.
In Spain, Bong Joon-ho’s seventh feature film was released on October 25 by the independent distributor La Aventura, which should congratulate itself for having brought the original version to theaters to more than 400,000 spectators. His international career began with nothing less than Palme d’Or in Cannes, the award of the most prestigious festival that exists. ‘Parasites’ has been released in more than a thousand theaters in the United States, where it has grossed more than $30 million (160 million worldwide). Despite not speaking English, Bong Joon-hoo has campaigned relentlessly to promote the film in the Oscar race. The short woman who went up to collect the statuette for best film is none other than Mikey Lee, the main businesswoman in the entertainment sector in South Korea, owner of an empire valued at more than 4 billion dollars, an ally of Spielberg’s Dreamworks company that owns movie theaters, produces films and series and owns stadiums where groups play Korean pop or K-pop.
2.- The voting system in the Academy has been able to favor it
Since 2009, the Hollywood Academy has chosen a variable number of nominees for best film, between five and ten (this year there were nine). Since that year the call was imposed preferential vote, in which the best film category is about seeking consensus, although that does not mean the film with the most votes wins. For example, when it comes to voting for best actress, it is clear that this year Renée Zellweger has received the most votes and, consequently, is the winner of the Oscar. But in the jackpot the operation is more complex. The votes for the least liked films are not thrown away, but are redistributed and count as first place among the ballots that are in second place. That is to say, if a film sweeps among academics there is no problem. But If there is a division of opinions, as has happened in a year when a duel between Tarantino and Scorsese was presumed, It may be that a film that saves the first vote and has a majority of second places will end up prevailing. Just what happened to ‘Parasites’.
3.- Hollywood needs to open up to the world
Five years ago, the Hollywood Academy saw the need to leave the borders of the United States. Since then, 1,500 non-American members have joined its ranks, among them, without going any further, Sergio Pablos, the director of ‘Klaus’. Antonio Banderas already warned: «They are expanding because they want to turn the Oscars into global awards. “That’s happening faster than people think.” A year ago, Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Roma’ already aspired to the Oscar for best film and, although it did not win, it became the first film not spoken in English to give its director a statuette. A clue about what could happen last night was provided by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for Best Picture for ‘Parasites’: for a reason The electoral union is the most represented in the Academy with 1,324 members.
4.- It is not yet time to enthrone Netflix
“When I was young and studying film, there was a saying that I engraved deep in my heart that said: ‘The most personal is the most creative.’ “Martin Scorsese said it.” This is how Bong Joon-ho thanked his Oscar for best director, who managed to get the seats of the Dolby Theater on its feet to honor the author of ‘The Irishman’, which left empty-handed with ten nominations. If ‘The Irishman’ had been produced by a traditional studio, perhaps today we would talk about its victory at the Oscars. But no ‘major’ wanted to pay Scorsese for his twilight portrait of gangsters in whom there is no longer an iota of glamor or sympathy. Netflix will have to wait to get its long-awaited Oscar.
5.- ‘Parasites’ is a film free of controversy
Virtually all the films that aspired to the Oscar have been involved in some type of controversy in these times of political correctness. Both ‘Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood’ and ‘The Irishman’ were accused of being sexist for its female portraits, not to mention the political comments on ‘Joker’, which according to some American analysts almost He called for revolution in the streets. ‘Parasites’ appeals to all types of viewers, even those who have never seen a Korean film. His satire does not save either the new rich or the poor who, as Buñuel already showed, do not always have to be good people. If we add that it is one of those few films in which It is unknown what will happen in the next scene. We will obtain a transgressive fable for all audiences, despite its gore excesses in the final part.