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🎬 1917 and Parasite (again)

🎬 1917 and Parasite (again)
By Eric Johnson • Issue #51 • View online
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Congratulations to 1917, the first and only new film I’ve seen in 2020, which puts it at number one (out of one) in the list of what I’ve seen this year.
🍑 Parasite
Pictured: It's not delivery, it's 디지 오르노!
Pictured: It's not delivery, it's 디지 오르노!
Parasite was my second-favorite movie of 2019, and this week I convened a group of friends to watch it together; we even got Korean food delivered to make a night of it. Much like my #1 of the year, Knives Out, Parasite got even better upon a re-viewing. Here’s what I wrote when I first saw it:
I went into PARASITE with sky-high expectations and it … might have still exceeded them? This was my first Bong Joon-ho movie and I — having a vague sense that he might have some surprises in store — made a point of learning only as much as was in the trailer, a strategy which I can recommend to everyone. This is a masterfully directed and acted film, which walks the line between crowd-pleasing and thought-provoking with an acrobat’s precision. If you can, I’d also recommend watching it in the theater while it’s new, with a crowd that hasn’t seen it yet. I’m grateful I had the chance to share the laughs — and, uh, the rest — with a room of strangers.
🐀 1917
Pictured: A trenchant shot.
Pictured: A trenchant shot.
Unfortunately, I went into 1917 knowing about its most unique filmmaking technique, and if you don’t know what it is you should stop reading this and go see the movie, because it is magical. I could totally see 1917 cleaning up at the Oscars because this is a movie for cineasts and filmmakers — an impeccably filmed and edited war movie with a dead-simple story, putting all the focus on Sam Mendes’ direction and Roger Deakins’ cinematography. Presumably anyone who doesn’t know yet that it is filmed to look like one long shot already stopped reading this (because I told them to), and I don’t think the effect has ever looked better. I wish the trailers hadn’t given away one of 1917’s best shots, but even having seen it a dozen times I still caught myself involuntarily leaning forward in my seat, transfixed by the action on screen. On the negative side, the characters are underdeveloped and some of the cameos are distracting (my audience literally laughed at two of them), plus the simple story is a double-edged sword, because the movie never musters the courage to say anything original about war. But the visuals alone are so compelling that I can’t forget them. Recommended.
🤔 And now, a word about the 2020 Oscar nominations
The Farewell was robbed. Please watch it. Thank you.
🏆 Every New Movie I've Seen in 2020 (So Far), Ranked
(new additions in bold)
  1. 1917
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Eric Johnson

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