“Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films”
Ever since Parasite won the Oscar for the best picture, people have been getting more curious about the cinema world that exists beyond the regularity of Hollywood.
Even though Bong Joon-ho finally got recognition for Parasite, he has been trying to get into the mainstream Hollywood through amazing pictures like Snowpiercer and Okja which didn't get the same recognition.
However, most Korean moviegoers would argue that Joon-ho's greatest work was highlighted in his Memories of Murder, an unknown movie to the world that still stands as a classic in the Korean cinema to this date.
Nonetheless, Bong Joon-ho's work is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of representing Korean films. Korean cinema consists of classics ranging from sassy love stories to fantasies – but arguably the most touched on genre remains thriller or crime film.
One of the best if not the best thriller of all time that South Korea produced is Park Chan-wook's Oldboy. It should not be confused with its sad Hollywood remake starring Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen. The movie is renowned for its execution of revenge in such a raw etiquette that throughout the movie you cannot help but be captivated by its story.
Oldboy has also been known for its cinematography and stunt coordination which have been studied and replicated by directors around the world for years to no fruition.
In addition to that, there are a few more crime thrillers such as Kim Yoon-seok's The Chaser, known for its brutality. The movie explores the world of prostitution and serial killers keeping the audience at the edge of their seats.
Furthermore, Kim Hyeong-jun's No Mercy has the capability to leave its audience baffled as to the point that they have to take time to process its raw essence of ruthlessness.
However, most of these films are rated R, and not for people with a queasy stomach. But not to worry, crime thrillers are not the only thing Koreans are good at. From romantic films like My Sassy Girl to fantasy drama A Werewolf Boy, Korean movies showcase a diverse set of genres.
And lastly, Lee Hwan-kyung's "Miracle in Cell No 7" is one of the most heart wrenching comedy-drama centring around the world of a father with disabilities and his little daughter.
Even though South Korea is producing such great movies, they remain severely underrated. These films not only have talented directors and unmatched stories but they also have great actors to bring them out of scripts and make you experience them in unimaginable ways.
Parasite's recognition has opened a doorway for the audience outside South Korea to peak into a different realm of cinema. But to better understand what the world could expect, we need not look any further than the words of Joon-ho himself, "Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films."