For many cinephiles, the phrase “English-language remake” is a red flag — another blatant attempt by Hollywood to capitalize on the success of a popular Korean, Japanese, Chinese, etc., film. And more often than not, those remakes fall flat with both the original fans and the mainstream audiences that they’re attempting to appeal to, either because the cultural essence gets lost in translation or, more recently, because of the polarizing issue of whitewashing. When East and South Asian films are gaining a bigger presence on the world stage, why should remakes even be a thing? But the South Korean company CJ Entertainment sees an advantage to English-language remakes of Korean films. So it’s stepping in to develop them itself.

CJ Entertainment is a South Korean film production and distribution company under the broader media company CJ ENM. It’s the distributor behind Bong Joon-ho’s Cannes Palme D’Or winner Parasite, and box office hits like The Man From Nowhere and this year’s Extreme Job, the latter of which is already set to get a U.S. remake with Kevin Hart. But the difference between Extreme Job and Hollywood remakes that have failed in the past is that CJ Entertainment has a hand in developing it. That is, according to CJ Entertainment’s head of U.S. productions Francis Chung. /Film got on the phone with Chung to talk about remakes, the complicated discourse around whitewashing, and why you won’t be seeing an English-language remake of Parasite anytime soon.

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classic korean movies streaming

Already, 2019 has been a historic year for South Korean film. This year marked the 100-year anniversary of the country’s illustrious film industry, which in recent decades has rapidly risen to be the pinnacle of world cinema. And of course, there’s the Cannes Palme D’Or win for Bong Joon-ho’s critically acclaimed film Parasite, the first ever time South Korea has won the honor. But despite South Korean film’s current standing on the global stage, its film history beyond the past two decades is still little-known to much of the world. But that can easily be remedied thanks to the official Korean Film Archive’s YouTube channel, which offers nearly 200 classic Korean films streaming for free.

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parasite us release

Another Bong Joon-ho hit is coming to the United States. Fresh off his historic Palme D’Or win at the Cannes Film Festival — the first win for a South Korean filmmaker — Bong’s acclaimed black comedy Parasite has set its U.S. release. Stateside distributor NEON has set the Parasite US release for October 2019, just in time for awards season.

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Parasite Review

For decades now, South Korea has generated some of the strongest, most original cinema in the world. With a pantheon of directors that seamlessly draw from a myriad of genres, their films manage to be deeply provocative, with grand themes and subtle character moments interspersed with broad shifts in tone. Bong Joon-ho has been celebrated for his strange and dark tales like Okja, Snowpiercer and The Host, each of them equipped with high-concept sci-fi elements that create an unsettling vision of the world. With his latest, Parasite, he shifts gears once again, creating a family drama wrapped in a grifter’s guise that’s blisteringly good.

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With the English-language releases Snowpiercer and OkjaBong Joon-Ho has made some of the wildest and boldest cross-cultural films in recent memory. Now, the South Korean director makes a return to his home country — and what appears to be a return to his darker, genre-defying style — for his latest film, Parasite. Watch the trailer below.

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bong joon-ho parasite

Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho burst onto the scene with 2003’s Memories of Murder, and has grown into one of the most successful international directors working right now. His most recent movie, 2017’s environmental action comedy Okja, was bought by Netflix, where most audiences outside of film festivals streamed it. But now there’s some good news for those who love the good old fashioned theatrical experience: distribution rights to Bong’s newest film, Parasite, have been purchased by NEON, so fans will be able to see the film on the big screen.  Read More »