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What is a Parasite in The Host?: Bong Joon-ho’s Cinema

Dr. Seung-hoon Jeong will discuss Bong Joon-ho's Cinema in a virtual talk that focuses on The Host while briefly mapping Bong's later films.

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October 18, 2021
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7:30 pm
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8:30 pm
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Virtual
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Regina A Quick Center for the Arts
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This event is part of the "Asian Cinema as World Cinema" film series (10/6-10/20) organized by Dr. Jiwei Xiao, Dept. of Modern Languages and Literatures and Asian Studies Program. Please also join us on Wednesday, October 13 at 6:00 PM for an in-person and outdoor screening of The Host on the lawn of the Quad (rain site will be the Kelley Center).

Bong Joon-ho’s third feature, The Host (2006), is the first mainstream South Korean monster film that fancifully visualizes his unique genre imagination: what if a monster suddenly attacks the center of Seoul? This hypothesis, however, serves as a platform for social critiques that draw particular attention to the government’s irrational security measures against citizens. The main characters’ struggle with state power as well as the monster makes us question the relation between the biopolitical system and its apparent enemy, evoking the 1980s dissident movement in Korean geopolitics. Bong’s generational background matters here to highlight the local context of historical traumas and societal shifts allegorized in political, cultural, and ethical ways. This talk focuses on The Host in this regard while briefly mapping Bong’s later films, including Snowpiercer, Okja, and Parasite.

Seung-hoon Jeong is Assistant Professor of Film and Electronic Arts at California State University Long Beach. He wrote Cinematic Interfaces: Film Theory after New Media (2013), co-translated Jacques Derrida’s Acts of Literature into Korean (2013), co-edited The Global Auteur: The Politics of Authorship in 21st Century Cinema (2016), guest-edited an issue of Studies in the Humanities “Global East Asian Cinema: Abjection and Agency” (2019), co-edited Thomas Elsaesser’s The Mind-Game Film: Distributed Agency, Time Travel, and Productive Pathology (2021), and is writing Global Cinema: A Biopolitical and Ethical Reframing (forthcoming in 2022).

Sponsored by Fairfield University's Humanities Institute, Asian Studies Program, International Studies Program, Dept. of Modern Languages and Literatures, Dept. of Visual and Performing Arts, Dept. of Communication.

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