There’s no argument that Parasite made a name for Asian movies in Hollywood. Especially after winning Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or award and making Oscar history by winning several awards – including Best Picture! Asian cinema has had amazing movies under its belt throughout the years. However, Parasite was one of the few Asian movies that gained so much attention that everyone would’ve heard about it once or twice.
If you’ve already watched Parasite, and thoroughly enjoyed it, here are some Asian movies we’d recommend to watch after!
Bong Joon-Ho’s Movies
If you’re looking for something to watch after Parasite, the best place to start with is with the director’s old works! His directorial debut was with the dark comedy, Barking Dogs Never Bite back in 2000. By 2003, he gained fame with his movie, Memories of Murder. It was a film based on a series of murders that happened in South Korea in the 1980s. One of Bong Joon-ho’s more unique films is The Host (2006), a monster film that is both horrifying and funny.
While not South Korean productions, Snowpiercer (2013) and Okja (2017), are films predominantly told in English but you can still see Bong Joon-Ho’s style and aesthetic. Just like Parasite, Snowpiercer tackles on social class and the difference between the rich and poor. Meanwhile, Okja follows the story of a girl and her superpig on a cross-country adventure. It’s a simple film that brings the message of animal and environment preservation home.
Handmaiden is a 2016 South Korean film directed by Park Chan-Wook. If you’re looking for romance and thriller rolled into one, Handmaiden is the film for you. The film is based on a historical novel, Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. While the novel is originally set in Victorian-era Britain, Handmaiden is set during the time of the Japanese occupation of South Korea.
The film is successful in manipulating and leading the audience in what it wants to believe due to its effective storytelling. Handmaiden is told through the perspectives of Japanese heiress, Lady Hideko, and the con-artist Sook-Hee. Both perspectives are vastly different from each other, but with the two side by side, it fully tells the story of Handmaiden.
Oldboy definitely joins the ranks of best Asian movies with Parasite. It’s a South Korean film that is also directed by Park Chan-Wook back in 2003. The film gained international critical acclaim and even won the Grand Prix Award during the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. The story is based on a manga with the with the same name. It tells the story of a man’s vengeance, Oh Dae-Su, who finally becomes free after being a captive for 15 years.
While it is a standalone film, Oldboy is part of what’s dubbed as The Vengeance Trilogy. The trilogy are three films by Park Chan-Wook connected by the themes of revenge, ethics, violence, and salvation. The two other movies in the trilogy are Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), and Lady Vengeance (2005)
One of the best parts of Parasite is when the Kim family successfully infiltrates the Park family as their workers. It is about a poor family trying to make ends meet – and sometimes, even being creative about it. Shoplifters (2018) is definitely that kind of movie. If we’re talking about successful Asian movies, Shoplifters is definitely on the list with a Palme d’Or Award under its belt. Hirokazu Kore-eda is the director of this film. It is centered on the Shibata family, three generations of it, who try to survive in the bustling city of Tokyo. The film shows us a family that seems to regularly shoplift – not out of want, but out of necessity. Despite hardly scraping by themselves, they take in an abandoned young girl and take care of her.
The film could potentially go in the direction of telling the hardships of a poor family in Tokyo. However, Hirokazu also tackles the theme of family and the “widening class divide” in Japan. Shoplifters is a heartwarming story of familial bonds and at the same time, calls to attention the untold stories of Tokyo’s residents that we usually do not see.
On the bleaker side of family poverty, Pamilya Ordinaryo is a story of teenage parents who survive the harsh streets of the Philippines. Eduardo Roy Jr. directed Pamilya Ordinaryo and has won several awards, including Best Film at the 2016 Cinemalaya Film Festival.
Poverty is a prominent theme throught Pamilya Ordinaryo and it presents an extreme one. It follows Jane and Aries Ordinaryo, two teenagers who try make a living as pickpockets while raising their one-month child on the streets. However, their child soon gets kidnapped and the couple takes desperate measures to get their child back. While the story may seem dramatic and over-the-top, it’s an effective reminder of the harsh reality of the streets and the non-existence of institutions that are supposed to help these people.
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