Parasite (Joon-Ho, 2019): South Korea

Reviewed by Matheus Clorado. Viewed at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2020.

A METAPHORICAL LOOK AT BONG JOON-HO’S MISE-EN-SCÈNE IN PARASITE

Parasite’s first frame presents us with hung socks in the foreground, a window illustrating boundary lines in the midground, and the tar of a busy slum street in the background. This view conveys uneasiness, as if I, as the viewer, were trapped in an elevator and could see the floor where the ceiling is supposed to be. A car moves right to left breaking the trance. The credits and tranquil music are non-diegetic elements.

The initial shots introduce our protagonists in their elements, establishing recognizable frames that will be deepened later on. Jessica and Kevin are finally successful in their WiFi search by the toilet, which is at the top far right edge of the frame. This usually means insignificance but it draws attention as a dominant contrast for this toilet is at an unusual location, thus reminding us again that we are at below-street level. “Climb up here!” is one of the first lines, a sign of

Posted at 12pm on 07/15/20 | 39 comments | Filed Under: Academic Papers, Films, Santa Barbara Film Festival 2020 read on

Suspiria (Argento, 1977): Italy

Reviewed by Matheus Clorado. Viewed at the Santa Barbara Riviera Theatre.

Dario Argento’s eery classic preys on the primal human fear of the unknown. Released in 1977, Suspiria is an obligatory stop for any horror fanatico. It is visually stunning, captivating, and ultimately a complete sensorial experience.

More than 40 years after its debut, the Italian film holds its spot in film history and its status as high-art horror.

The plot is quite simple: young and innocent ballet dancer Suzy moves from the U.S. to Germany to join an esteemed ballet school. Needless to say that her plans do not go her way as the story unfolds. Mysterious disappearances, weird noises, and suspicious supervisors make up the cinematic picture of Dario Argento’s masterpiece.

Aided by a soundtrack album that’s just as important as the movie itself, the viewers’ attention is kidnapped right from the early scenes. And there is no doubt that sound and color will continue to enhance the terrifying occurrences witnessed by newcomer Suzy.

Inspired by Cat People, German Expressionism, and even Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dario Argento had a vision for this project that required a

Posted at 12pm on 07/15/20 | 3 comments | Filed Under: Films read on

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Film Review Club: Reviews of current film releases, DVDs, and revivals by student members of the SBCC Film Review Club.

Film Festival Course: FS108: Film Festival Studies: 10-days or 5-days (2 or 3 units). Field course at film festivals to study U.S. and international fiction, experimental and documentary films. Fee required.

Contact: Prof. Nico Maestu (maestu@sbcc.edu)

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