The first U.S. trailer for Palme d’Or winner “Parasite,” directed by Bong Joon-ho, has arrived. The Korean director’s latest comes just two years from the release of his Netflix film “Okja,” the story of a girl protecting her giant, beloved beast. Now Joon-ho directs the story of a family dramedy that navigates social class separations and nuances in Korean lifestyle, with credited writer Jin Won Han. NEON acquired distribution rights for “Parasite” back in the fall of 2018. The feature went on to win the prestigious Cannes Film Festival prize and became the talk of the circuit, with speculations of a powerful awards push as an international feature film come Oscar season.
Meet the Park Family: the picture of aspirational wealth. And the Kim Family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist, to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide “indispensable” luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks.
The film won the award for Best Feature Film at Sydney Film Festival in Australia and continues to make its rounds in the festival circles. Joon-ho’s past work includes “The Host,” “Snowpiercer” and 2009’s “Mother,” which became South Korea’s Oscar submission that year. “Parasite” sees Joon-ho reuniting with “The Host” star Kang-ho Song as part of the cast that includes Sun-kyun Lee,Yeo-jeong Jo, Woo-sik Choi, Hye-jin Jang and So-dam Park. The film currently sits fresh at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes since its world premiere on The Croisette.
NEON has been steadily increasing its distribution stardom. The company backed the Oscar nominated film “I, Tonya” and the Primetime Emmy nominated documentary “Three Identical Strangers.” Fresh titles on the company’s plate this year include Todd Douglas Miller’s stunning space doc “Apollo 11,” the festival award-winning films “Monos,” “Honeyland,” “The Biggest Little Farm” and the now-playing feature “Luce.” One of NEON’s films is bound to stretch out into awards season again and “Parasite” is shaping to be a great bet.