What image does this word bring to your mind? Fleas? Tapeworms? Or possibly a scene from the critically-acclaimed movie, ‘Parasite’? A word that simply used to mean ‘an organism that feeds off another’ has evolved, now entailing a far more complicated yet abstract notion. But first and foremost, if you haven’t watched the movie yet, head over to the cinemas right now! For those who have, continue reading!

So, what did you think of the movie? To be honest, it’s a movie experience that is quite hard to put into words. Director Bong Joon-ho, himself, even described his award-winning masterpiece as ‘just a funny and scary movie’. Well, he’s got that right!

As much as we’d like to go into full discussion mode about the movie, we’re pretty sure there’ll be no end to that. So, let’s save it for another day and rave on about the success of this movie and the impact it’s had on the world!

🏆 Awards & Nominations 🏆

bong joon ho parasite

Academy Awards

As you probably know by now, ‘Parasite’ has raked in quite a heap of awards and nominations. The most recent ones are the whopping 6 nominations from the 2020 Academy Awards (Oscars), one of the biggest awards ceremonies in the film industry! The 6 categories are as follows: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best International Feature Film, Best Production Design, and Best Film Editing. These nominations are a big nod to the Korean film industry, especially since they mark the first time a Korean film has ever been shortlisted for the Oscars.

Bong Joon-ho, himself, will go head to head with some of the biggest names in the industry such as Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) and Todd Phillips (Joker) for Best Director. So, mark your calendars for the Oscars on Sunday, February 9, 2020 and cheer him on!

bong joon ho at cannes

Other Accolades

Nonetheless, many will have predicted this unprecedented success for ‘Parasite’ since word of the 8-minute standing ovation Bong Joon-ho received at the Cannes Film Festival went out. What’s more, ‘Parasite’ took home the Palme d’Or, the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and the most distinguished award in the film industry! Cannes Film Festival is also one of the most prestigious film awards ceremonies so, that says a lot!

Since then, it’s been racking up dozens of accolades, from the Golden Globe Awards to the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA). Recently, the highly-talented cast bagged themselves another award at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for ‘Oustanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture’. It’s said to be equivalent to the ‘Best Picture’ award at the Oscars and this makes Parasite the first non-English language film to win this award, EVER!

Well, it seems like Parasite is one step closer to the long-awaited Oscars. So, let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that the Oscars make it to his list of awards!

***UPDATE! 🏆🏆🏆🏆

Director Bong Joon-ho has REALLY gone and done it! The satirical black comedy film took home the prize for Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Feature Film AND Best Original Screenplay. Bagging not just one but FOUR Oscars, ‘Parasite’ has made history, not just for the number of awards it has won, but for becoming the first foreign-language film to win the Best Picture Award in the 92-year history of the Oscars! For an all-Asian cast to steal the show at a predominantly English awards ceremony, the night at the Oscars was indeed a significant one that will be remembered for years to come! 🎉🎉🎉

Watch the historic moment below! 😁😁😁

Also, the moment Director Bong Joon-ho is named Best Director!

🎥 Filmography 🎥

If you enjoyed watching ‘Parasite’ or are into films with a tinge of socio-political subtext to them, you have to check out his other films!

Some of his other critically-acclaimed works include ‘Memories of Murder’, ‘The Host’, ‘Snowpiercer’ and ‘Okja’.

bong joon ho and song kang ho at cannes

You’ll notice that Song Kang-ho, the family patriarch in ‘Parasite’, stars in almost all of Bong Joon-ho’s films. However, this is no coincidence! Song Kang-ho is a talented actor, himself, and has earned his spot as one of the top actors in Korea but the two go way back, even before they started working on the film ‘Memories of Murder’ together. Since then, they’ve continued to work together as director-actor and with great success! It’s kind of like the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp duo.

* BONUS 1: Filming Locations in Seoul!

1) Min-hyuk offers Ki-woo a high-paying job as a tutor

Real Life

This scene between Ki-woo and old family friend Min-hyuk takes place in front of a supermarket known as ‘Woori (Our) Supermarket’ in the movie. Min-hyuk, knowing that his family is going through financial troubles, suggests to Ki-woo that he pose as an elite university student and take over as an English tutor in his stead as he plans to go study abroad. Unbeknownst to him, the student that he will come to tutor is the daughter of the wealthy Park family.

This supermarket exists in real life, located in Mapo-gu and goes by the name ‘Dwaeji (Pig) Supermarket’.

Activities to check out in Mapo-gu:

📌 Seoul Bike Tour: Bring Your Own Bike Half Day Tour

2) Ki-taek, Ki-woo, and Ki-jeong flee from the Park family’s home

Real Life

When the Park family comes back earlier than expected from the camping trip due to the heavy downpour, Ki-taek, Ki-woo, and Ki-jeong flee in a hurry back to their home in the rain. This specific scene takes place on a flight of stairs that lead down into a tunnel. This is quite a significant scene as it represents the extreme class divide between the rich (the Park family) and the poor (the Kim family) through the use of a staircase.

You can find this staircase in Buam-dong, Jongno-gu, leading into Jahamun Tunnel.

Activities to check out in Buam-dong:

📌 Design & Make Your Own Chopsticks/Spoon

3) Pizza Store!

Real Life

Do you remember, in the first half of the movie, when the four members of the Kim family are folding pizza boxes in their semi-basement home? Even when they are fumigating the neighbourhood, the Kim family continues to fold the pizza boxes with the windows open as this is their source of income.

Well, this pizza store also exists in real life, just not by the same name. Though named ‘Pizza Sidae (Pizza Age) in the movie, the real-life store goes by the name ‘Sky Pizza’. It’s located in Noryangjin, Dongjak-gu and it’s said that they have some really tasty pizzas!

Activities to check out in Noryangjin:

📌 Noryangjin Fish Market Walking Tour

* BONUS 2: Learn How to Make Jjapaguri Like the Movie Parasite!

What do you think about the success of ‘Parasite’? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

Keep up-to-date on the latest news and things to do in Korea by visiting us on, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop.

[Photo Credits]

NEON + CJ Entertainment

Festival de Cannes Official Facebook Page

Academy Official Facebook Page

Google Map Street View


IGN – Parasite – Official Trailer (2019) Bong Joon Ho Film 00:17

CJ Entertainment Official – ‘기생충’ 1차 예고편 01:00

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