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'Parasite' Director, Bong Joon-ho, Wants to Make a Different Kind of Musical

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By Brian Morales

Bong Joon Ho is the writer, and director of the critically acclaimed 2019 film Parasite. The film cleared the Oscars (along with a bunch of other award shows as well). But as an auteur, Joon Ho has been making films since the early 2000's. With under-looked gems like Memories of Murder, and Mother, he is no stranger to writing/directing.

Parasite became the first foreign film to ever win a best picture award, which is a monumental shift for wide-range international films..

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A Different Kind of Musical

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In a recent interview with Empire, Bong Joon-Ho commented about his interest in making a musical, but not quite the kind you might be thinking of:

"I would love to make a musical" The veteran director said "Characters would begin singing, then think, ‘Oh my God, fuck this, this is too cheesy,’ and stop suddenly."

Watching some of Bong Joon-Ho's other flicks, it is apparent that taking a meta approach (or 4th wall breaking approach) to filming is definitely something the Parasite writer would indulge in.

Musical Influences

Gettyimages | Rachel Luna

Joon-Ho cites some great musicals in the past, but admits that it makes him embarrassed while watching them:

"There are amazing musical films, like Singin’ In The Rain. But when I watch them, I feel very embarrassed and start blushing. So it would have to be… different."

This is an interesting viewpoint, and could possibly be due to the culture in South Korea perhaps. It would be a fun take on the musical genre if the characters were aware of how 'cheesy' their musical numbers were.

'Singin' in The Rain'

Gettyimages | Silver Screen Collection

Bong Joon-Ho is indeed correct when he cites Singin' in the Rain in the catagory of amazing musicals. Perhaps one of the greatest musicals of all time, Singin' in the Rain is definitely one for the ages. The film stars the wonderful Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, and Debby Reynolds.

We highly recommend the watch, if you haven't already seen the classic. If you want an example of a bad musical, we would suggest watching 2019's Cats starring Jason Derulo, Taylor Swift, and way too many big stars.

'Parasite' Series, and What's next for Joon-Ho

Giphy | Madman Films

Joon-Ho is just an incredible artist, and truly hit a home run with Parasite. If you haven't seen it by now, the film follows a poor family who slowly, and intelligently begins to infiltrate a rich family by posing as a maid, a tutor, a chauffeur, and a therapist. The film, and story are masterclasses in writing, and in visual storytelling.

Parasite is set to be an HBO series very soon. After that, we will be looking closely at Joon-Ho as we wait for his next project, perhaps maybe a musical?

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