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Movements in Cinema: Watching Parasite in the Era of Mukbang (Zoom)

October 19, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Location: Zoom Videoconference

Join us for a Movements in Cinema talk, presented by Professor Kyung Hyun Kim, a scholar, film producer, and creative writer who is currently a professor in the Department of East Asian Studies, UC Irvine.  Professor Kim will focus on the film Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho, and probe the reasons why it became one of the most successful films ever made outside Hollywood.


Examining some of the themes of this crime thriller – comedic wordplay, con-artist schemes, and food drama – Kim will explore how these themes not only highlight the division between real and fake, as well as the tension between haves and have-nots, but also allow us to look at how food has lost its social or even cultural significance and has instead assumed a negative, and almost undesirable association with gluttony that relates to a cultural phenomenon called mukbang. Mukbang, or a live video of a host eating considerable quantities of food while interacting with the viewer, began in Korea but has since become a global trend. The talk will also explore the career of writer/director Bong Joon-ho and contextualize Parasite within the Korean Cinema of the new millennium.

Professor Kyung Hyun Kim is a creative writer, a scholar, and a film producer, who is currently a professor in the Department of East Asian Studies, UC Irvine. He has worked with internationally renowned directors such as Hong Sang-soo, Lee Chang-dong and Marty Scorsese, and also with American film producers Jason Blum and Steven Schneider. Professor Kim is author of Virtual Hallyu: Korean Cinema of the Global Era, The Remasculinization of Korean Cinema, Hegemonic Mimicry: Korean Popular Culture of 21st Century, all of them published by Duke University Press, and a Korean-language novel entitled In Search of Lost G (Ireo beorin G-reul chajaso, 2014) about a Korean mother combing the US in search of her missing son during his junior year in a Massachusetts prep school.

He has coproduced and co-scripted two award-winning feature films: Never Forever (2007, Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Main Competition) and The Housemaid (2010, Cannes Film Festival Main Competition), and his co-scripted film screenplay, The Origins of a Detective (Hyeongsa eui kiwon), won the cash prize by being selected for the 2019 Best Film Development Project by the Korean Film Commission. He has also written The Mask Debate, his first theatre screenplay, which premiered in February 2021 through UCI’s Illuminations: Chancellor’s Initiative in Arts and Drama YouTube channel.

Professor Kim’s most recently published article analyzes Netflix’s new Korean horror drama, “Squid Game.”





October 19, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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