Things you notice the second time you watch Parasite

Cristopher Centers

Through the twists and turns, ups and downs, and altogether overwhelming puzzle box narrative of Parasite, it certainly takes at least two viewings to dissect the framing and composition present in the collaboration of Bong Joon-ho and cinematographer Hong Kyung-pyo. Bong is especially well known for his extensive storyboarding on his […]

Through the twists and turns, ups and downs, and altogether overwhelming puzzle box narrative of Parasite, it certainly takes at least two viewings to dissect the framing and composition present in the collaboration of Bong Joon-ho and cinematographer Hong Kyung-pyo. Bong is especially well known for his extensive storyboarding on his projects, and as a result, there’s exquisitely precise thought going into each shot, each level of production design, and even in the specific architecture of each scene.

This is all an elongated means of saying that maybe you didn’t notice that the film’s opening and closing shots are practically one and the same. At the beginning of the movie, starting from the ceiling of the Kims’ home, socks hanging to dry, the camera focuses on the semi-basement view of the apartment, then pans down to Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) on the couch, struggling to find a Wi-Fi connection. By the end of the film, when we come back to this same shot, this time with Ki-woo writing to his father in hopes of freeing him from his basement prison, the film has tied itself off in a bow, perhaps signaling that Ki-woo is stuck in a cycle he has no hope of escaping from.

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