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Parasite (2019)

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59 minutes ago, benteen said:

So is that a crime worthy of death?

Um, I certainly did not say that. And I don't think anyone in here did. Majority here have actually said that it was wrong of Mr. Kim to kill Mr. Park, whether him snapping at the end was understandable or not.

And it's not like Mr. Kim got off scot free. He got a punishment more severe than being brought to justice and in an actual prison.

What some of us are saying is that, it's not black and white to just simply say "well, if you don't want to be poor, then just go find some work and earn money". As much as you don’t believe the movie didn't attempt to explain why the Kims are dirt poor despite their skills (I disagree, I think the movie explained that), the movie also didn't delve into how the Parks got filthy rich, except that he's a CEO of an IT company (whatever Mrs. Park does/did is anybody's guess). But the bias is thinking they got rich just by plain old hard work, not questioning whether if they stepped on someone else's toes along the way.

In this current society where the wealth inequality has just been getting wider and wider, I don't think the solution is as simple as "If the poor do not want to be poor, they just have to work hard and they can be as rich as the rich."
 

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To me, that's not good enough (in regards to Joon-Ho not explaining anything).   I honestly don't know why this family, who have skills to lift themselves out of poverty are living in poverty.   Joon-Ho just says to the audience audience "Poor=Good and Rich=Bad."  Even that doesn't make sense because the actions of the Kim family in this movie prove that they don't deserve their recent spate of good fortune.  

Maybe Mr. Park is a corrupt individual who screwed over people on his way to the top.  As far as I'm concerned, this movie didn't show me anything to back up that assumption.

Edited by benteen

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4 minutes ago, benteen said:

Joon-Ho just says to the audience audience "Poor=Good and Rich=Bad."

That is not at all what he is saying. That is far too simplistic a read of Joon-Ho’s work, IMO. He doesn’t cast anyone as the hero or the villain, which makes this movie all the more great.

Edited by PepSinger
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I also find it interesting how it’s the Kims who are the “bad ones,” yet what about the housekeeper and her husband? The husband is living in someone else’s house. Why aren’t they able to improve their status? Again, opportunity. I find it fascinating how people have more sympathy for the housekeeper and her husband than the Kims.

At the end of the day, though, the Parks, Kims, and housekeeper husband/wife all lost someone, so no one wins. I like pondering what that says about life. My guess is that no one wins under this economic structure. 

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1 minute ago, benteen said:

To me, that's not good enough.   I honestly don't know why this family, who have skills to lift themselves out of poverty are living in poverty.   Joon-Ho just says to the audience audience "Poor=Good and Rich=Bad."  Even that doesn't make sense because the actions of the Kim family in this movie prove that they don't deserve their recent spate of good fortune.  

Maybe Mr. Park is a corrupt individual who screwed over people on his way to the top.  As far as I'm concerned, this movie didn't show me anything to back up that assumption.

I'll be honest, I wasn't that impressed with the film, but I don't think the message was nearly as simplistic as poor=good, rich=bad. If that was the intion, the Parks would have been presented as clear villains. Here, we basically have everybody with any noticeable screentime being messed up in some way. Really, the only ones who seemed completely alright were Min and the original driver, although by the end of the movie I had no doubt it was because of just because they weren't focal. I'm convinced something happened between Min and at least one of the female Parks. Probably both, to be honest. 

So, if it's a condemnation of anything, it's of the system that's stacked so crookedly. 

I think my main problems were too high expectations - it was a fun, not vapid movie, with a real story, but nothing earth shattering IMO - and the pacing. I saw a lot of stuff happening beforehand, like the sauce on the tissue and the peach attack of the top of my head. Which didn't make me feel clever, but impatient for the movie to get to it and move on to something I couldn't see spelled out. 

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3 minutes ago, PepSinger said:

I also find it interesting how it’s the Kims who are the “bad ones,” yet what about the housekeeper and her husband? The husband is living in someone else’s house. Why aren’t they able to improve their status? Again, opportunity. I find it fascinating how people have more sympathy for the housekeeper and her husband than the Kims.

At the end of the day, though, the Parks, Kims, and housekeeper husband/wife all lost someone, so no one wins. I like pondering what that says about life. My guess is that no one wins under this economic structure. 

The housekeeper and her husband weren't in the right either but at least they weren't hurting people like the Kims were.

The message might have been about capitalism and class but the message came across as the poor can be just as terrible as the rich.

Ultimately I think this is another undeserving and overrated Best Picture winner which will be quickly forgotten.  

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27 minutes ago, benteen said:

Ultimately I think this is another undeserving and overrated Best Picture winner which will be quickly forgotten.  

I do think it's overrated, but on the plus side I liked it way better than Green Book. Here it simply didn't live up to the hype for me, with Green Book I couldn't have counted the number of times I rolled my eyes. 

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Ultimately I think this is another undeserving and overrated Best Picture winner which will be quickly forgotten.  

Well, simply by virtue of being the first non-English film to win BP in 92 years, I don't think the movie will be quickly forgotten.

What I never understood in the film though, is how the mom and the son got away with just probation for all the crimes they committed. I understand the father is wanted for the murder of Mr. Park, but how about the housekeeper's husband, whom Mrs. Kim killed? Self-defense? I'm surprised there were no assault charges considering what happened to the old housekeeper, but maybe because she went missing and her body not really found, they weren't able to charge for that.

I'm not familiar with the Korean justice system, so I wonder if they have the death penalty. If they do, maybe that's why Mr. Kim thought it would be better to just hide in that basement forever than either turn himself in, or do life on the run. 

Edited by slowpoked

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There is the death penalty in S. Korea including for homicide. So it's likely Mr. Kim would have been prosecuted as a capital crime. 

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Also I don't think the purpose of the movie was necessarily a rich = bad poor = good scenario. I think there's a bigger message about how when there's such an economic inequity EVERYONE suffers. Many times people think inequity is a zero sum game where the rich win and the poor lose. Parasite makes you challenge those perceptions -- if the Parks were less filthy rich would they have been so easily scammed? If the Kims were a little less poor would they have been so aggressive with their scheme? 

In the end all three families have suffered a loss -- the Parks, the Kims, and the housekeeper. No one wins, everyone loses. That's the message of Parasite.

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5 hours ago, benteen said:

Why do the Kims deserve what the Parks have?  From what we see of the Kims, they are bad people who don't deserve good breaks.  It seems the only crime the Parks committed was being rich.  Maybe Mr. Park cheated his way to the top.  If he did, we never saw it and him being rich doesn't mean he deserves what he and his family got in this movie.

The Kims are supposed to be so smart yet they are living in poverty?  Why is that?  Again, the movie never shows us.  We're apparently supposed to sympathise with them because they're poor.  But their conduct in this movie doesn't lend itself to sympathy.  

I think one of the (many) points of the film was to show that crushing inequities of capitalism can make it hard even for resourceful clever people to establish themselves and have stable income. We're NOT supposed to sympathize with the Kim family - they've been reduced to snatching up scraps, and will do anything, even long-cons to try and get steady work. They are scammers who've pretty much tossed most of their morals out the window. 

The film shows how people at the top, even if not evil, are totally cosseted and insulated from any unpleasantness. They live in a bubble of obliviousness, while the lower classes fight each other for crumbs.

I appreciated that Bong Joon-Ho did not follow the usual Western good guy/bad guy tropes, and made his characters a bit more shaded. Characters do not necessarily have to be likeable or sympathetic to be interesting in a film.

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9 hours ago, benteen said:

As the end of the film, we learn the son is going to “work hard” despite his newfound infamy and buy the mansion.  Why didn’t he do that in the first place?  Him and the rest of his family have all these super skills.  Why are they in this position to begin with?

There's a line at the end of the film when the Kim daughter is dying and her father is trying to stop the bleeding when she says something akin to "Dad, stop pushing.  It hurts too much."  Aside from the literal this could be a take that the Kims (and the poor in general) were stuck in their situation no matter what.  Trying to force things only made it worse.

I still stand by that the Kims suck, and I don't have much sympathy for them after the half way point, but that doesn't mean they did anything to deserve their socioeconomic status.  Nor did they deserve to lose a family member any more than the Parks did.  Both things can be true.

Something that stuck out on rewatch was there was no trace evidence of Mr. Kim after fleeing the party scene?  Dude had blood all over his hands.  No way he got down to the basement without leaving something behind.  And maybe the authorities never find out about the bunker anyway but that seemed like a bit of a hole.  Also no one wondered where the housekeeper's husband came from after being missing for four years?  Sure no one at the party could have ID'd him on site but after a while the authorities would have figured out who he was as well as the disappearance of the housekeeper.  

Edited by kiddo82
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48 minutes ago, kiddo82 said:

Something that stuck out on rewatch was there was no trace evidence of Mr. Kim after fleeing the party scene?  Dude had blood all over his hands.  No way he got down to the basement without leaving something behind. 

That was my thought too. If you also remember, there was a bit where he hid the handle to the door of the bunker on top of the cabinet concealing the door when he hid the old housekeeper. He retrieved it before going down the basement. I would think he would have easily left some drop of blood or other DNA evidence there. I told my husband maybe the Korean CSIs are not that good in looking for the smallest details. 😉

On Bong's screenplay, there was a part where it was written that Mr. Kim still had the presence of mind to grab a box of water and canned goods in the kitchen storage before going down the basement, which did not make it into the film. That explains why he still had something to eat even when the Parks eventually moved out.

55 minutes ago, kiddo82 said:

Also no one wondered where the housekeeper's husband came from after being missing for four years? 

On one of the news shows the son was watching at the end, he was identified as a "homeless man". Police probably just chalked it up as a random crazy guy who crashed a party and killed people - they were probably more eager to find Mr. Kim than to identify the housekeeper's husband and why he's even there. 

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1 hour ago, kiddo82 said:

There's a line at the end of the film when the Kim daughter is dying and her father is trying to stop the bleeding when she says something akin to "Dad, stop pushing.  It hurts too much."  Aside from the literal this could be a take that the Kims (and the poor in general) were stuck in their situation no matter what.  Trying to force things only made it worse.

I still stand by that the Kims suck, and I don't have much sympathy for them after the half way point, but that doesn't mean they did anything to deserve their socioeconomic status.  Nor did they deserve to lose a family member any more than the Parks did.  Both things can be true.

Something that stuck out on rewatch was there was no trace evidence of Mr. Kim after fleeing the party scene?  Dude had blood all over his hands.  No way he got down to the basement without leaving something behind.  And maybe the authorities never find out about the bunker anyway but that seemed like a bit of a hole.  Also no one wondered where the housekeeper's husband came from after being missing for four years?  Sure no one at the party could have ID'd him on site but after a while the authorities would have figured out who he was as well as the disappearance of the housekeeper.  

Well considering the Kim son and mother only got probation I got the feeling that the Parks were very traumatized and wanted to move on and did not pursue this case very aggressively. 

Which adds another layer of tragedy -- I feel like if the Kims had been patient the Parks might have eventually hired other family members on their own accord. It's non uncommon for rich people to "help the help" -- they want to be surrounded by people they feel like they can trust. But when there's such a huge gulf in socioeconomic status there is a tendency on both sides to dehumanize the other. 

Edited by Growsonwalls
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1 hour ago, slowpoked said:

On one of the news shows the son was watching at the end, he was identified as a "homeless man". Police probably just chalked it up as a random crazy guy who crashed a party and killed people - they were probably more eager to find Mr. Kim than to identify the housekeeper's husband and why he's even there. 

That's fair but it just feels like if a wealthy business man is murdered in his own back yard there would be no stone unturned.  I don't think people would be satisfied with "random, unidentified, homeless man."  But that could be the Law and Order marathon watcher in me talking where no case ever goes cold.  I'm aware that's not always the situation in real life.  Also, we don't know how much time has elapsed in the epilogue so it's possible the police did search every available avenue and still came up empty.  Also makes me wonder what the interrogation of the wife and son was like.  I'm sure they just lied and feigned ignorance.  "That crazy guy?  Never saw him before in my life.  No idea why he'd murder my daughter/sister."  And the son could just plead memory loss due to neurological damage from apparent skull fracture.

Edited by kiddo82
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12 hours ago, benteen said:

I honestly don't know why this family, who have skills to lift themselves out of poverty are living in poverty.

Even in the most merit-based of situations, unless a person has the money/power to fund their own opportunities, an opportunity needs to be given to show off those skills.  And the world very definitely is biased in who gets those opportunities.  It's about class, race, who you know, wealth, gender, where you were able to go to school...etc. 

I'd posit that this whole film is about the family using those skills to lift themselves out of poverty through opportunity and creating more opportunities for themselves the only way they see possible. I get that it isn't the way we'd like to see it happen in an ideal world but even the least underhanded position the family got, that of Ki-woo becoming a tutor, highlights just what they're up against.

Ki-woo only gets that opportunity because his friend (it's so often about having the right connections) presents this opportunity to Ki-woo.  The only reason he's offering it to Ki-woo is because he wants to date the Park daughter he's tutoring and doesn't trust his university friends not to put the moves on her.  He doesn't think Ki-woo is a threat on that front. 

But even with the skills and even with his friend's recommendation, Ki-woo still needed to doctor up credentials/pose as a university student.  They know that even if he had perfect English and the recommendation of their current tutor, a poor kid from the city wouldn't cut it for the Parks. 

The way they infiltrate the Park household gets darker and darker but once there, they do have the skills to be successful.

This movie isn't about people with money being bad vs. people without money being good.   If that's the message people want to see, they can see the also very entertaining Knives Out. This movie is a commentary on class and social status in general and what it does to people. The poor have a scarcity mindset.  The rich become oblivious to the struggles of those who have less.  It's kind of ugly all around.

There's a reason why the images we saw of Ki-woo's final plan to work hard, earn money and buy the house were shown to be a fantasy.  

5 hours ago, kiddo82 said:

That's fair but it just feels like if a wealthy business man is murdered in his own back yard there would be no stone unturned.  I don't think people would be satisfied with "random, unidentified, homeless man."

I believe it because the homeless man didn't kill the rich businessman.  He killed the poor girl committing fraud and was then killed himself.  The police are putting all their energy into trying to find Mr. Kim who killed the rich man.

BTW, earlier in the thread we were discussing how we'd react if we were Mr. Park and our son had passed out--I think he loses a little sympathy because, in all the chaos and alleged worry, he was still able to turn up his nose at Geun-sae's smell.  That's what finally pushed Mr. Kim over the edge.

 

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https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-office-parasite-heads-huge-50m-us-oscar-win-1279671

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Box office analysts put Parasite's final U.S. gross at $50 million or more, the top showing for a non-English-language film since Zhang Yimou's Hero 18 years ago. Overall, Hero ($53.7 million) ranks No. 3 behind Roberto Benigni's 1997 hit Life Is Beautiful ($57.6 million) and Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon from 2002 ($128.1 million).

Great company to be in. I think Hero was criminally underrated during its awards season run ( *small voice* and I also think it was better than CTHD). While I liked Life Is Beautiful when it first came out, it hasn't aged well for me. And wow for CTHD - it's going to be awhile for a non-English film to pass that. I still love that movie. 

23 hours ago, Fukui San said:

And dullards like the Parks' kids will effortlessly be boosted up and think they earned every bit of it.

I'm glad you brought this up. It's probably one of the more underrated, unnoticed aspects of the movie, but it is there. Because this is another result of the economic inequity the world is in is that the rich just get richer and the poor either stay the same or get even poorer, and it goes on for generations.

With all the street smarts and skills the Kim kids have, who wants to bet that the Park kids will still end up being much better off in the long run than the Kim kids will be solely because of their money and socio-economic status? Some people just have better opportunities than others.

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On 2/17/2020 at 8:26 AM, Laurie4H said:

I watched this yesterday and really liked it.  I usually like disturbing movies which this was.  But best picture?  That’s debatable.  Too me it was unrealistic.  That just might be because I have trust issues and research most people and businesses online.  The first thing I thought of when Mr. Kim gave Mr. Park the Care business card was searching the business online first.  Also with so much social media it’s hard to get away with anything and pretend your someone your not.  Also there were no cameras that picked up on anything? I know the housekeeper said she cut the line to one but was that before she left or when she came back?  Maybe I missed what she said.  The Kims where hanging out on the lawn earlier before the housekeeper came to the door so I would think the security camera would have caught that (again not sure though the line was cut yet).  

The family coming home early from the camping trip was so obvious.  

Also the Morse code light.  The family obviously didn’t know it was that so you would think they would try to fix a lose wire or change the bulb.  And how did the son survive having his head bashed like that?

I thought this was a good movie but I would have gone with 1917 for best picture. I feel like Parasite left a lot of questions unanswered. I felt frustrated as I was watching and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. 

22 hours ago, PepSinger said:

I think Joon-Ho wants to give the audience a little credit. To anyone who understands capitalism and class warfare, it’s readily apparent as to why they are living in poverty. Opportunity. Once the Kims infiltrated the Park family, they could’ve eventually been middle class as well due to nothing other than opportunity. Joon-Ho doesn’t need to explain class warfare or capitalism to the audience. He’s assuming his audience is more intelligent than that. Also, for what it’s worth, it seems that there is dialogue in the film to understand the family’s situation. I prefer it when directors don’t hold the audience’s hand.

I feel like there should have been *some* clarification as to why four skilled people were reduced to folding pizza boxes for a living. The mother knows how to cook and is skilled enough where she can easily take the place of a cook that the Park family thought was great. Cooks are pretty much always needed so I really don't get why she couldn't find an opportunity prior to this.

The son is skilled enough in English to be able to teach it but he couldn't get a job either? Why? Learning English is something that a lot of people want to do so why does he even have this pizza box folding period? I feel like something was left out of the puzzle as to why everyone in the family had to rely on folding boxes until the son had the chance encounter with the tutor.

I don't feel like it's needing the director to spoon feed everything in order to have some explanation as to why all four of them are in this position. 

Then at the end after being associated with this notorious crime and being known as a fraud, the son is suddenly able to easily make so much money that he can buy the house in a relatively short amount of time? I guess. [edited to add that I stupidly didn't realize this was the son's fantasy lol]

Wrt to the theme of greed, I absolutely feel that greed was the downfall of the family. There was no need for everyone in the Kim family to be employed at this one house. Once they got the three jobs they could have made an effort to get the mom a job at another rich person's house or a restaurant or wherever. Instead, this family thought it was preferable to lie and deceive and steal a job from a woman who hadn't done anything to them. That was the moment where I lost sympathy for them as a family. 

I was also frustrated when I watched them trash the house the second the Parks were out of the door to go on the camping trip. They feel so entitled and want to take over the house as if the family had treated them horribly. Instead of using their jobs to improve their own living space, they put their jobs at risk by breaking the rules.

Also, the lack of sympathy that they have for the housekeeper when they know how tough the job market is makes their overall greed even more difficult to excuse.

I liked the movie but I'm actually looking forward to the limited series becuase I feel like some of these issues might be addressed. 

Edited by Avaleigh
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9 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

Even in the most merit-based of situations, unless a person has the money/power to fund their own opportunities, an opportunity needs to be given to show off those skills.  And the world very definitely is biased in who gets those opportunities.  It's about class, race, who you know, wealth, gender, where you were able to go to school...etc. 

I'd posit that this whole film is about the family using those skills to lift themselves out of poverty through opportunity and creating more opportunities for themselves the only way they see possible. I get that it isn't the way we'd like to see it happen in an ideal world but even the least underhanded position the family got, that of Ki-woo becoming a tutor, highlights just what they're up against.

Ki-woo only gets that opportunity because his friend (it's so often about having the right connections) presents this opportunity to Ki-woo.  The only reason he's offering it to Ki-woo is because he wants to date the Park daughter he's tutoring and doesn't trust his university friends not to put the moves on her.  He doesn't think Ki-woo is a threat on that front. 

But even with the skills and even with his friend's recommendation, Ki-woo still needed to doctor up credentials/pose as a university student.  They know that even if he had perfect English and the recommendation of their current tutor, a poor kid from the city wouldn't cut it for the Parks. 

The way they infiltrate the Park household gets darker and darker but once there, they do have the skills to be successful.

This movie isn't about people with money being bad vs. people without money being good.   If that's the message people want to see, they can see the also very entertaining Knives Out. This movie is a commentary on class and social status in general and what it does to people. The poor have a scarcity mindset.  The rich become oblivious to the struggles of those who have less.  It's kind of ugly all around.

There's a reason why the images we saw of Ki-woo's final plan to work hard, earn money and buy the house were shown to be a fantasy.  

I believe it because the homeless man didn't kill the rich businessman.  He killed the poor girl committing fraud and was then killed himself.  The police are putting all their energy into trying to find Mr. Kim who killed the rich man.

BTW, earlier in the thread we were discussing how we'd react if we were Mr. Park and our son had passed out--I think he loses a little sympathy because, in all the chaos and alleged worry, he was still able to turn up his nose at Geun-sae's smell.  That's what finally pushed Mr. Kim over the edge.

 

I get these points, I just found it difficult to believe that everyone in the family couldn't get a job. For me it would've made more sense if one of them had a job while the other three were struggling and that it was taking a toll on them as a family unit. 

As for Mr. Kim being pushed over the edge, it felt OTT for me because they basically had an okay relationship. If Mr. Park had been a total dick in general I could see Mr. Kim snapping in that moment instead of just tossing the keys but his reaction is just beyond what was warranted. 

Maybe I connected with this movie even less that I thought because I foolishly didn't realize that the son was having a fantasy about buying the house. 

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36 minutes ago, Avaleigh said:

Then at the end after being associated with this notorious crime and being known as a fraud, the son is suddenly able to easily make so much money that he can buy the house in a relatively short amount of time? I guess.

It was clearly a fantasy. The son will never be able to buy that house in his father's or his lifetime.

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Great posts, Avaleigh!  No reason to feel bad.  I didn't realize that was a fantasy at the end either.

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36 minutes ago, slowpoked said:

It was clearly a fantasy. The son will never be able to buy that house in his father's or his lifetime.

Yes, I edited my post to address this. I obviously didn't connect with this movie lol.

That being said, if I was supposed to feel sympathy for the son for not being able to buy the house so that he could free the father, then it didn't work for me. 

There are so many things that the characters could have done to not have this dark ending. I'm not buying that this was an inevitable tragedy that boils down to class division.

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46 minutes ago, benteen said:

I didn't realize that was a fantasy at the end either.

I'm just glad that somebody else gets where I'm coming from in terms of this movie being overrated. In terms of all of the foreign films that I feel have been overlooked over the years I find it surprising that this is the one thst finally won Best Picture in the main category. 

Someone upthread mentioned Hero--loved that and agree about it not getting enough attention. CTHD, All About My Mother, The White Ribbon, Indochine, Y Tu Mama Tambien, etc. So many past foreign films have been overlooked by mainstream audiences so it's nice that Parasite has caused more people to check out a non English language film. 

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1 hour ago, Avaleigh said:

The son is skilled enough in English to be able to teach it but he couldn't get a job either? Why? Learning English is something that a lot of people want to do so why does he even have this pizza box folding period? I feel like something was left out of the puzzle as to why everyone in the family had to rely on folding boxes until the son had the chance encounter with the tutor.

I don't think folding pizza boxes was the family's end career goal. I think it was more of a temporary gig to bring in income while they continued to seek out other better-paying work. We see them trying to get wifi at the beginning of the film to look at job postings.  Much like people in N. America work as office temps, or do delivery work while they job-hunt. It was a way to get income to at least put a bit of food on the table. And they probably thought that with the whole family doing it (many hands) they could bring in more money. 

As for the son & daughter, yes, they were skilled, but neither had been able to afford university to get official accreditation. This would have been a major barrier to finding full-time work. Official certification is the key to open the door in many professions. When the golden tutoring opportunity was presented by the son's friend, desperation prodded them to get creative and print up fake documents.

The parents are a bit more of a mystery - we see in the film that they are not tech savvy. Their lack of education and working class background may have been more obvious to people doing hiring and may have resulted in fewer opportunities. It sounds like they had a string of failed small business attempts which may have decimated their savings, and perhaps their confidence.

 

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6 minutes ago, Cheezwiz said:

I don't think folding pizza boxes was the family's end career goal. I think it was more of a temporary gig to bring in income while they continued to seek out other better-paying work. We see them trying to get wifi at the beginning of the film to look at job postings.  Much like people in N. America work as office temps, or do delivery work while they job-hunt. It was a way to get income to at least put a bit of food on the table. And they probably thought that with the whole family doing it (many hands) they could bring in more money. 

As for the son & daughter, yes, they were skilled, but neither had been able to afford university to get official accreditation. This would have been a major barrier to finding full-time work. Official certification is the key to open the door in many professions. When the golden tutoring opportunity was presented by the son's friend, desperation prodded them to get creative and print up fake documents.

The parents are a bit more of a mystery - we see in the film that they are not tech savvy. Their lack of education and working class background may have been more obvious to people doing hiring and may have resulted in fewer opportunities. It sounds like they had a string of failed small business attempts which may have decimated their savings, and perhaps their confidence.

 

There were some hints that the father had some success in the past and I think it would have been nice to get some of that backstory. I just kept wondering if some health or work related disaster was the cause of the entire family being in this unfortunate position. 

Maybe college was in the cards for the kids at one point only for it to slip through the cracks once the family lost their financial stability. 

I think an advantage to turning this into a series will be being able to address some of these unanswered questions. 

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I don't see the point in turning it into a series to delve in to their past lives, because we already know the powerful, yet sad, outcome.  That's enough for me.

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1 hour ago, Avaleigh said:

I'm just glad that somebody else gets where I'm coming from in terms of this movie being overrated. In terms of all of the foreign films that I feel have been overlooked over the years I find it surprising that this is the one thst finally won Best Picture in the main category. 

Someone upthread mentioned Hero--loved that and agree about it not getting enough attention. CTHD, All About My Mother, The White Ribbon, Indochine, Y Tu Mama Tambien, etc. So many past foreign films have been overlooked by mainstream audiences so it's nice that Parasite has caused more people to check out a non English language film. 

I think that just comes with time and academy membership evolving, and not really a slight towards those other foreign films that probably deserved to win the award too (I would go to my grave forever arguing that Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon should have won BP over Gladiator, for instance). Over the years, the Academy has gotten a lot of flack for being too old, masculine and white. While there was progress in one year having more diversity in nominees, this past year, that progress took a step backwards. The Academy has expanded its membership to have younger members, more POC, and more international members as well, and for that, they're starting to have more recognition towards world cinema rather than just American cinema. It's baby steps, but the important thing is the movement has started.

Heck, for the major barriers that Parasite has broken, some still argue that it wasn't enough. For a movie with such great acting, no actors were nominated for any acting categories. People have speculated that this may have happened because some people still cling to that racist trope that all Asians look alike, and since it's hard to differentiate them from one another, and it's hard to have some great acting standout. It might be a crazy supposition, but IMO, most probably not entirely false. A more reasonable explanation may be that the production company just didn't have enough money to fund campaigns for the individual actors, and these actors do have day jobs in South Korea that require them to be there during the campaigning period. But who knows.

For me, at the end of the day, there can be really no consensus on THE best picture winner in a year. Different people will love different movies, and that's fine. We can't all like the same thing, or else the world would be a boring place. My own personal test for a great BP winner is that, as long as it ages well and stands the test of time, it's a great and deserving BP winner.

IMO, Parasite will age well and for that it's a good enough Best Picture winner.

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There's a little detail which the movie shows but never comment on. The picture of the Kim mother throwing a hammer with a framed medal. While picnicking at the Parks they show her throwing for fun, and the Father salvages the picture and the medal from the flood.

Just a miniscule note that all of the family are or were capable of something, even though they are in dire straits at the moment.

BTW, I don't think that the Kim kids are actually that smart. They're good at scamming and can speak English well, and the daughter is a pretty mean Photoshopper, but they're not geniuses. They could hold down a middle class job if given a chance, but they're not hidden geniuses.

Ever since I've seen this movie, I've been trying to figure out a comparable movie to them. For a while I was thinking about The Grifters and then later Shallow Grave. Small movies about people running scams and letting their morals get away from them. Then I came up with what I think is the right comparison: Fargo. A small time scam that spirals out of control.

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On 2/19/2020 at 1:06 PM, Avaleigh said:

I'm just glad that somebody else gets where I'm coming from in terms of this movie being overrated. In terms of all of the foreign films that I feel have been overlooked over the years I find it surprising that this is the one thst finally won Best Picture in the main category. 

Surprising, and yet not. The Oscars have always been about "the moment." It didn't matter that Parasite wasn't actually the best movie of the year. It was its moment. (Penance for Green Book?)

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On 2/19/2020 at 5:30 PM, Fukui San said:

Small movies about people running scams and letting their morals get away from them. Then I came up with what I think is the right comparison: Fargo. A small time scam that spirals out of control.

But that's the thing with scams though, no? They always spiral out of control. The scammers don't know when to stop while they're still ahead. When the Kims have fully infiltrated the Parks, that wasn't enough for them. Sure, they were three sheets to the wind when they were discussing this, but Ki-Woo talked about marrying Da-Hye someday, and he would eventually actually be living in the house, and the Kims and Parks would now be forever related, not just by employer-employee relationship. 

I think the movie Hustlers ran a similar theme as well, though in a different setting. There was a scene there that stuck with me when Constace Wu said "I've always thought I had a magic number in my head. That if I make $100,000, or $200,000, I would stop and get out of this, and start fresh." I think all scammers have that "magic number" in the beginning, but when things are so good, they eventually think, why stop there. And that's where the trouble begins.

Edited by slowpoked
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On 2/19/2020 at 11:22 AM, Avaleigh said:

Maybe college was in the cards for the kids at one point only for it to slip through the cracks once the family lost their financial stability. 

The son's friend mentioned that the son had taken the university entrance exam 4 times.  So maybe his grades weren't high enough.  Would he have been able to afford the tuition even if he had gotten in?  I don't know how prevalent scholarships are in South Korea.

I watched the movie after it won because I was curious.  I found the movie and the characters engaging and the first half was very entertaining.  I'm not a fan of violence usually so I didn't want that type of ending, but the film did a good job of creating the tension and adrenalin rush.  I had mixed feelings about the characters, as they were very charismatic and I did like them, but it was harder to root for them after they got rid of the housekeeper who did nothing to them.  I too found it a bit difficult to believe how the gentle Mr. Kim snapped at the end, but I suppose it is impossible to predict a person's breaking point.  Still, I think the movie was extremely well crafted, beautifully filmed and had a very natural flow.  It also stayed with me for several days afterwards (partly because of the violence which affects me more than most), so it did have power and I actually want to rewatch it, which is not the case for most movies.

For a few moments in the middle, I thought the movie would continue as a comedy and it would end with the Kim's making the Park's think the house was haunted, and they install themselves in the basement as their permanent living space with no rent, or something.  

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On 2/19/2020 at 3:53 PM, slowpoked said:

Heck, for the major barriers that Parasite has broken, some still argue that it wasn't enough. For a movie with such great acting, no actors were nominated for any acting categories. People have speculated that this may have happened because some people still cling to that racist trope that all Asians look alike, and since it's hard to differentiate them from one another, and it's hard to have some great acting standout. It might be a crazy supposition, but IMO, most probably not entirely false. A more reasonable explanation may be that the production company just didn't have enough money to fund campaigns for the individual actors, and these actors do have day jobs in South Korea that require them to be there during the campaigning period. But who knows.

What I believe kept it from breaking into the acting categories: The actors were unfamiliar names/faces and it was an ensemble film in which everyone was good, no one was bad, and no one really stood out and had "that scene." In such cases, it's often the cast's fate to fall together. People will talk about the uniformly excellent acting rather than looking up the name of the woman who played Mrs. Park or the young man who played Ki-woo and giving her or him a moment. 

If Bong Joon-ho had made an English-language film on a similar theme, and the same "everyone was good; no obvious standout" reading applied, it still might have been so. Maybe some veteran actress would have got into Supporting via one of the mother roles or the housekeeper. especially if she was someone well liked who had not won already. Unfortunately, the phrase "It's who you know" does apply in these industry awards.

While listening to everyone's case against, and acknowledging that there are other good movies from 2019 (I'll take the opportunity to plug Waves, which I posted about down below), I'm still of the opinion that the Academy got it resoundingly right this time. It was both the best in the category and the best I saw from this year. And I don't think it's going to fade with the passage of time. It's entertaining, it's precise, and it's substantive. 

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6 hours ago, Camera One said:

 I too found it a bit difficult to believe how the gentle Mr. Kim snapped at the end, but I suppose it is impossible to predict a person's breaking point. 

I think Mr. Kim’s “gentleness” started to unravel after they all got stuck in the house when the Park’s returned home early and he overheard Mr. Parks talking about his offensive smell. How all people “who ride the train” ie people who are lower class smell that way. Then the next day he had to follow Mrs. Park around and assist her with buying groceries and alcohol for an impromptu birthday party for her son, while he’d just spent the previous night on a gym floor due to his house being flooded by sewage water. They return for the party and Mr. Park insists he play the role of Indian for his son’s party, stopping short of saying it was his job when Mr. Kim tried to refuse. Then the stabbing happened and Mr. Park not only found time to turn up his nose at the smell of the “homeless” man who’d committed the crime, but didn’t give two sh*ts about one of his employees who’d been gravely wounded and another being continuously attacked by the madman. 

Yes. His son had passed out, but he, nor any of the other affluent attendees at the party tried to help Mr. Kim and his family. Granted they didn’t know those were his family members, but I think it was a culmination of several incidents that made him snap, with Mr. Park turning up his nose at the smell of the housekeeper’s husband being the straw that broke the camel’s back. 

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15 minutes ago, Enero said:

while he’d just spent the previous night on a gym floor due to his house being flooded by sewage water.

I agree and I think sleep deprivation could also have been a contributor.  The family had to wait until the rich couple fell asleep on the couch, then they had to deal with the flood.  They wouldn't have had much time to sleep by the time they arrived at the gym.  

On 2/18/2020 at 6:54 PM, kiddo82 said:

That's fair but it just feels like if a wealthy business man is murdered in his own back yard there would be no stone unturned.  I don't think people would be satisfied with "random, unidentified, homeless man." 

I think they would have identified him as the husband of the old housekeeper.  They could have assumed the motive for the stabbing rampage was his wife being fired.   His wife's body was never found, so they might have concluded he was responsible for her death as well.  

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One thing I liked that the film showed was that on a day to day level rich people aren't magically happier than poor people. Mrs. Park seems to do a lot of things to stave off boredom. But money doesn't magically make the world happier. Even the Parks' sex scene was a bit boring. 

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On 2/18/2020 at 12:40 PM, slowpoked said:

What I never understood in the film though, is how the mom and the son got away with just probation for all the crimes they committed. I understand the father is wanted for the murder of Mr. Park, but how about the housekeeper's husband, whom Mrs. Kim killed?  Self-defense? 

I think that would definitely qualify as self-defense.

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38 minutes ago, Enero said:

They return for the party and Mr. Park insists he play the role of Indian for his son’s party, stopping short of saying it was his job when Mr. Kim tried to refuse.

Another factor not getting talked about as much as the reaction to the smell: Mr. Park bristles at Mr. Kim's attempts to relate to him as a person, on a topic they have in common, the love of family. Twice, once in the car and another time in the backyard, Mr. Kim has asked or mused that Mr. Park loves his wife and/or children very much. Mr. Park clearly did not like the comment/question the first time. The second time, he is firmer in response: he reminds Mr. Kim that he's working.

In the couch scene for the Parks, Mr. Park remarks that Mr. Kim has come close to crossing a line but has not yet. The question about Mr. Park's love for Mrs. Park (and maybe other things like it) is what he means. He considers this presumptuous. Mr. Kim is not his friend, and not really even his fellow man. He's the help. The other. 

Edited by Simon Boccanegra
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Just an FYI--Bong Joon-ho's "family name" is Bong.  Like Martin Scorsese's "family name" is Scorsese.  He would generally be referred to as "Scorsese" by non-intimates who don't want to use his full name repeatedly.  So for the director of Parasite, it would generally be "Bong."

For the record, none other than The New Yorker got it wrong, repeatedly, in a story about an Asian baseball player once.  The New Yorker should know better, but regular people?  There's no reason most would know this.  I learned it because I did a deep dive into Hong Kong martial arts movies in the 1990s, so I dwell in a judgment-free zone on understanding Asian names.

 

On 2/21/2020 at 8:48 AM, Milburn Stone said:

Surprising, and yet not. The Oscars have always been about "the moment." It didn't matter that Parasite wasn't actually the best movie of the year. It was its moment.

Excellent point.

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3 hours ago, Simon Boccanegra said:

Another factor not getting talked about as much as the reaction to the smell: Mr. Park bristles at Mr. Kim's attempts to relate to him as a person, on a topic they have in common, the love of family. Twice, once in the car and another time in the backyard, Mr. Kim has asked or mused that Mr. Park loves his wife and/or children very much. Mr. Park clearly did not like the comment/question the first time. The second time, he is firmer in response: he reminds Mr. Kim that he's working.

In the couch scene for the Parks, Mr. Park remarks that Mr. Kim has come close to crossing a line but has not yet. The question about Mr. Park's love for Mrs. Park (and maybe other things like it) is what he means. He considers this presumptuous. Mr. Kim is not his friend, and not really even his fellow man. He's the help. The other. 

Mr. Park actually is very nouveau riche in this way of thinking, that he has to treat the help like just that -- help. Many people who have just come into a lot of money take courses on how to be, uh, rich, and how to manage staff. And they're given lines about boundaries, treating staff with respect but extreme distance, letting them know at all times that they are on the clock.

Whereas people who have been wealthy for generations often have had the same family of nannies or butlers for ages and there's a more informal relationship. Of course they can be extremely entitled and bratty too but Mr. Park's attitude is more common among people who just became super-rich.

I know I've mentioned it before but the Parks aren't happier than the Kims. I got the feeling that while the Kims folded pizza boxes they probably told some good stories and laughed together. They're a close-knit family. The Parks have all this money, and all the luxuries that the money can buy, but I wouldn't say they're happier. 

Which is another tragedy -- the Kims so want to become richer because they think they'll be happier. They don't stop and think "are the Parks happier than us?"

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10 hours ago, Growsonwalls said:

One thing I liked that the film showed was that on a day to day level rich people aren't magically happier than poor people. Mrs. Park seems to do a lot of things to stave off boredom. But money doesn't magically make the world happier. Even the Parks' sex scene was a bit boring. 

A bit? All I could think as Mr Kim was awkwardly rubbing his wife was that he was lucky to be good looking and rich. Otherwise, I don’t see him getting any invites for repeat performances.

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4 hours ago, bijoux said:

A bit? All I could think as Mr Kim was awkwardly rubbing his wife was that he was lucky to be good looking and rich. Otherwise, I don’t see him getting any invites for repeat performances.

LOL. But that part really drove home how the Kims are so envious of the Parks but there's really not that much to be envious about. Mrs. Park is a fairly nice lady whose husband is a dick. She is constantly bored and trying to do things to be less bored. But even when the Parks have sex it's boring and there's no affection or tenderness. Other than a nice house and lots of hired help, the rich aren't HAPPIER than the poor.

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12 hours ago, Growsonwalls said:

Which is another tragedy -- the Kims so want to become richer because they think they'll be happier. They don't stop and think "are the Parks happier than us?"

But surely the Kims would be happier if they were richer, and could afford to live somewhere that flooding didn't bring sewage into the house.  It doesn't have to be on the level of the Parks' house.

And maybe they have fun looking for a wifi signal, but I think they would probably be happier if they had enough disposable income to have their own.

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40 minutes ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

But surely the Kims would be happier if they were richer, and could afford to live somewhere that flooding didn't bring sewage into the house.  It doesn't have to be on the level of the Parks' house.

And maybe they have fun looking for a wifi signal, but I think they would probably be happier if they had enough disposable income to have their own.

I agree with this. I just think that many times society and the media relentlessly tries to sell the idea of wealth buying happiness. You see it all the time -- from Gwyneth Paltrow selling her $90 vitamin packets and $66 vagina jade eggs to the time Donald Trump took the Apprentice candidates on a tour of his penthouse in Trump Tower.  Instagram Influencers often get paid a bunch of money to sell unnecessary glamour products.

I think Parasite is a movie that kind of peels away that mystique. Other than having a really nice house and hired help the Parks are boring and bored. 

Edited by Growsonwalls
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On 2/22/2020 at 5:37 PM, Growsonwalls said:

One thing I liked that the film showed was that on a day to day level rich people aren't magically happier than poor people. Mrs. Park seems to do a lot of things to stave off boredom. But money doesn't magically make the world happier. Even the Parks' sex scene was a bit boring. 

 

9 hours ago, Growsonwalls said:

LOL. But that part really drove home how the Kims are so envious of the Parks but there's really not that much to be envious about. Mrs. Park is a fairly nice lady whose husband is a dick. She is constantly bored and trying to do things to be less bored. But even when the Parks have sex it's boring and there's no affection or tenderness. 

One thing I noticed was that Mrs. Park seemed...afraid of Mr. Park. Not the DV kind of afraid, but more like "know my place" kind of afraid. When Mr. Park was complaining about his driver falsely having sex in his car, you could see it in Mrs. Park's face.

This is in direct contrast with Mrs. Kim who is more in-your-face with Mr. Kim. Even when Mr. Kim pretended to hit her when he was drunk, she didn't even flinch. I think it's an interesting dynamic between the two wives.

On 2/22/2020 at 5:45 PM, Simon Boccanegra said:

Another factor not getting talked about as much as the reaction to the smell: Mr. Park bristles at Mr. Kim's attempts to relate to him as a person, on a topic they have in common, the love of family. Twice, once in the car and another time in the backyard, Mr. Kim has asked or mused that Mr. Park loves his wife and/or children very much. Mr. Park clearly did not like the comment/question the first time. The second time, he is firmer in response: he reminds Mr. Kim that he's working.

In the couch scene for the Parks, Mr. Park remarks that Mr. Kim has come close to crossing a line but has not yet. The question about Mr. Park's love for Mrs. Park (and maybe other things like it) is what he means. He considers this presumptuous. Mr. Kim is not his friend, and not really even his fellow man. He's the help. The other. 

 

21 hours ago, Growsonwalls said:

Mr. Park actually is very nouveau riche in this way of thinking, that he has to treat the help like just that -- help. Many people who have just come into a lot of money take courses on how to be, uh, rich, and how to manage staff. And they're given lines about boundaries, treating staff with respect but extreme distance, letting them know at all times that they are on the clock.

I think that is just a personal attitude of Mr. Park, not necessarily the family itself. The rest of the Park family seemed fairly friendly with the help, especially Mrs. Park and the old housekeeper. When Jessica was BS'ing Mrs. Park about her son's mental problems, she didn't mind the housekeeper standing there and hearing all about it, that is, until Jessica told her to bugger off.

 

22 hours ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

I learned it because I did a deep dive into Hong Kong martial arts movies in the 1990s, so I dwell in a judgment-free zone on understanding Asian names.

I learned about the Korean and Chinese names during the reign of Yao Ming in the NBA, when I saw that his jersey name was Yao, not Ming.

Edited by slowpoked
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I was fascinated by how much English the Koreans threw into their everyday dialogue.

My biggest huh? moment was, where did the Kims get the expensive clothes that they wore to the birthday party, if their house was just flooded out?

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2 hours ago, Silver Raven said:

My biggest huh? moment was, where did the Kims get the expensive clothes that they wore to the birthday party, if their house was just flooded out?

Weren't they rifling through boxes or piles of clothes at the gym? So donations. 

But I had a huh of my own. Jessica swept up the shards below the gigantic coffee table and they ended up hiding there for hours. Yet none of the three had any cuts on them. 

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On 2/23/2020 at 7:15 PM, slowpoked said:

 

One thing I noticed was that Mrs. Park seemed...afraid of Mr. Park. Not the DV kind of afraid, but more like "know my place" kind of afraid. When Mr. Park was complaining about his driver falsely having sex in his car, you could see it in Mrs. Park's face.

I didn't so much sense fear as much as I sensed a wife who didn't have that much in common with her husband. I got the feeling that Mrs. Park might have been more in love with the money than the person and as often happens in those sorts of marriages things become stale quickly. Because as I said before, nice stuff after awhile becomes just that ... nice stuff. 

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What I got was not that she was afraid of him, but that she was the kind of person who goes along with whatever a more forceful personality says. She's very suggestible, which is one reason she's an easy mark and entry point for the Kims. She doesn't seem to have much of an inner life or a point of view on things. Before she was married, she was probably assuming her parents must be right about everything. Now it's her husband and her household staff.  

This is one reason I was impressed with the actress (Cho Yeo-jeong). That kind of character can just be a nothing, but she made something memorable of it.  

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