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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Friday, July 03, 2020

entry arrow10:00 AM | The Film Meme No. 69

[69th of 100]. This 2019 film is the freshest title in this list, and its newness in our collective consciousness was something that made me rethink over and over again its eventual placement -- because will this film hold up as a classic? Time has not been kind to many things acclaimed in their time, only to relegate many to the cobwebs of forgetting. But I thought of the film as a culmination of sorts to the cinema of Bong Joon-ho, and as such it cannot be denied. It came like a seismic presence, the quake of its Cannes win resulting to year-long tremors in its wake, ultimately leading to the earthquake of its unprecedented Oscar victory, thrilling cinephiles and beguiling so many more with its sharp critique of capitalism and the tentacles of class conflict. Given the world that gave birth to it, it is very much a film of its time, not just zeitgeist but also merciless judge. [Although some did miss the point. Remember that guy who tweeted his enthusiasm for having concocted with the most expensive ingredients the closest approximation to the film's iconic bowl of ramdon?] Much has been said about its production design, its editing, its performances, its themes -- and all of those contributed to my estimation of the film -- but I really do think its the worthiest follow-up to his filmmography of despair over steep social barriers, from the sly and dark comic turns of Barking Dogs Never Bite [2000] to the tight serial killer tensions of Memories of Murder [2003], from the monster epic of The Host [2006] to the elegy to motherly devotion of Mother [2009], from the sci-fi class allegory of Snowpiercer [2013] to the strange consumerist fable of Okja [2017]. Almost all of these films are masterpieces [I'm cool on Barking Dogs Never Bite and Okja, though], and it feels like Bong Joon-ho sampled all of them, from technique to themes, to produce the undeniable power of this tale of three families coming to a crashing reckoning because of the disparities in their lives and the desperation some of them resort to have a slight taste of the good life, even if its just some special ramen and udon dish. What's the film?

For the introduction to this meme, read here.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich