Parasite Effectively Shows the Contrast Between the Rich and the Poor: Here’s a Look at the Houses of the Families in the Film
A film is only effective if it touches the audience in ways unexplainable, it leaves a mark on the viewers, and it further tickles the curious minds.
While this may be the ultimate potion to attaining an ideal picture, it requires tons of works from both the team behind and in front of the camera. We always hear about how it is necessary to have a good story and versatile thespians, but one thing is almost always forgotten – the set.
Just how important are the location and the set in the effectiveness of storytelling? It adds to the ambiance, tone, and mood of the film, and therefore extremely necessary to achieve the overall theme of the movie. Is the character rich?
A production designer, typically an unsung hero, is tasked to make the house look as if it is owned by an affluent. Is the lead star’s life in ruins? Then the set should hint to the viewers that a troubled person lives there.
This year’s biggest winner in the Cannes Film Festival is a Korean film called Parasite, which touches on so many emotions. It tells the story of two families on the end extreme ends of the spectrum – one rich and another poor. As per director Bong Joon-ho, the much-talked-about ending is a mere reflection of the times we are living in.
It premiered in this year’s Cannes and bagged the prestigious Palme d’Or award, the first Korean movie to ever received the accolade and the first to have gotten a unanimous decision since 2013, when Blue Is the Warmest Color achieved the feat.
The Kims family lived in a semi-basement apartment, which the director explained emits the vibe that there is still hope because the sunlight still reaches those inside and that it gives off the fear that the residents could even fall deeper.
Lee Ha Jun, the production designer, visited ghost towns to mimic it to the set of Parasite. The rugged, crowded street where the Kims’ residence was located as well as the mess in the house were all inspired by the visited properties.
Apart from the shabby apartment of the Kims, one that’s gaining popularity was the Parks’ grand abode, where most scenes were shot. Of course, the residence speaks a lot of the sophistication and wealth of the clan. Because it was told that the house was previously owned by an architect Namgoong, the production designer was tasked to make the set look like it was made by an expert.
The first floor has a glass wall that gives guests a full view of the backyard and the minimal living room with a few couches and coffee-tables that don’t take away the sight of the greenery. But the details are what takes away the prize: an artwork called Maya by Seung-mo Park, who also made another painting of cats on the second floor, is a scene-stealer.
Scattered throughout the house are abstract artworks supposedly done by the youngest child because the matriarch boasts about her son’s talents. There’s also an aesthetically pleasing display of posh plates and glasses across a wall and in the middle of which is a staircase.
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