An Evening At Bedford Playhouse with Parasite Director, Bong Joon-Ho

An Evening In Conversation With Golden Globe Nominated Director Bong Joon-Ho At Bedford Playhouse

Since its highly anticipated Grand Opening in 2018, Bedford Playhouse has established itself as a premiere destination for area cinephiles. In its inaugural year, the beloved landmark has hosted Q & A sessions with an impressive list of Hollywood Icons, ranging from Glenn Close and Chevy Chase, to Bedford native Rooney Mara. Their most recent coup was a private screening of the film Parasite, followed by an intimate Q & A with the director, Bong Joon-Ho, and the star of the film, Kang-Ho Song. 

GIFF was thrilled to attend the private screening of the Palme D’Or winner, which has received nearly universal critical acclaim (the film recently nabbed three Golden Globe nominations and boasts an impressive 99% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes). South Korean born Bong Joon-Ho is the rare writer-director capable of moving deftly from one genre to another, constantly subverting audience expectations in the process. Parasite begins as an intimate family drama, morphs quickly into a black comedy and then a horror movie, before completing its dizzying journey as a modern tragedy. This thought provoking, high wire act keeps Parasite feeling unpredictable and exciting. 

During the intimate Q & A session following the film, Bong Joon-Ho discussed some of his creative choices with the audience, like the way the characters used wi-fi to communicate in the beginning, but morse code in the end. Most of the conversation, however, centered around the director’s desire for the film to explore issues of modern capitalism. The Golden Globe nominee told the audience that he wanted to show the ever-widening gap between the rich and poor through the lenses of dark comedy and horror. 

The director discussed his decision to have intimate scenes between the rich and poor characters where, despite being close enough to smell each other, they did not know of each other’s “existence,” in a sense. “In reality,” Bong Joon-Ho noted, “everyone is divided by class. When you go on a plane, you’re seated by class, you go to different restaurants depending on class.” A lot of choices he made for this film were to represent different class structures. Despite the tragic ending of Parasite, Bong Joon-ho does not judge his characters. “In this film, there are no real villains.” 

After the Q&A, the Bedford Playhouse hosted a world-class reception for guests at the Playhouse Café. The reception was a very intimate and lovely way to end the kind of evening you rarely find outside of Manhattan. 

Article by Sarah Foster and Samantha Ryan

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