Monday, February 10, 2020

Ciwt and Friend Stumblin Into Greatness --- Days 8/305.306, 307

Walks: 1. Open Houses 2. Chinatown Tongs & Thomas Reynolds Gallery  3. Day of  Oscar Recovery
Distance: 1.  2 Miles  2. 3. Miles  3. 0 & Yoga

Bong Joon Ho
So, faced with the prospect of going down to 14th street in rainy New York weather to see a gloomy play in (probably incomprehensible) Irish brogue, Ciwt and her friend scouted for an alternative for their last day in the Big Apple.  Looking at Rotten Tomatoes we saw that a movie which had just opened had a 99% rating and was very near our hotel.  Why not go?  Sure.  So off we went in New York showers to be among the first to see Parasite, whatever that was.

Approximately 3 hours later we stumbled out of the theater, stunned.  Absolutely stunned by the most original, unpredictable, staggeringly intelligent, dark movie either of us had ever encountered.  This was going to take a Lot of debriefing, so we took our chances on a restaurant right near the theater.  It turned out to be excellent and also to have a couple at the next table to ours in the exact same condition we were in.  They, too, had just staggered out of Parasite and sort of didn't know what had hit them.  So the four of us new friends spent the better part of our Italian meals discussing the South Korean one-of-a-kind, impossible to describe masterpiece we had happened into.

Maybe one of the best movies ever made; certainly one they will be teaching in Film Schools for years, but, for exactly those reasons, very unlikely to be an Oscar contender.  Maybe Best Foreign Film if it was even nominated at all.  But, in spite of its miniscule chances, Ciwt chose Parasite and Bong Joon Ho for Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture in her entry: Top Time  ---   Day 8/259.  She doesn't have a great record choosing Oscar winners, but she had so much respect for the man and his film that she went ahead anyway. 

Well, you know the rest of the story.  Last evening Parasite won 4 of the most important Oscar categories: Best International Feature Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and BEST PICTURE.  The usually parochial and pretty predictable Oscars went with Excellence even when it was an international movie by a South Korean director.  Ciwt's heartfelt (but seemingly unrealistic) selections were right on!  Decades of loyalty to that marathon, usually bloated, often disappointing ceremony paid off!  So, Yay!!  And here's a Slate write up that captures the feeling in the Oscars room.

Extra touch: Nearly everyone involved in Parasite flew over for the Oscars Ceremony.  And they all spoke so highly of what a delight Bong Soon Ho, who has quietly become one of the most imporrtant filmmakers in the world,  is to work with.

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