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165. Gisaengchung (Parasite) – This Just In (#34)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and this week with guests Graham Day and Bríd Martin, The 250 is a fortnightly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users.

This time, Boon Joon Ho’s Gisaengchung.

Drafted in to tutor the daughter of a rich South Korean family, the lower-class Kim Ki-woo enacts a cunning plan that will allow his entire family to infiltrate the lavish Park household. However, things quickly spiral out of control, leading to unpredictable chaos and disaster.

At time of recording, it was ranked the 34th best movie of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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Non-Review Review: Fight Club

Fight Club was released in 1999, and seems to perfectly capture a brief moment in the history of disemfranchised American masculinity.

Situated between the end of the Cold War and the start of the War on Terror, Fight Club is the story of disenfranchised middle-class masculinity, a cultural group gripped by sense of impotence and despair and lost amid an era of financial prosperity and material success. “We’re the middle children of history, man,” Tyler Durden informs his followers. “No purpose or place. We have no Great War… no Great Depression.” It’s a line that gets more bitterly ironic with each re-watch.

A film frequently misunderstood by a significant portion of its fans and its critics, Fight Club is perhaps the quintessential cult film of the nineties. A clever hook that encourages further viewings, a mean subversive streak and a bleak irreverence that is impossible to look away from, Fight Club manages to perfectly encapsulate a moment of shared cultural consciousness and insecurity.

Seeking a friend at the end of the world...

Seeking a friend at the end of the world…

Note: This review contains spoilers for Fight Club. Consider yourself warned.

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The Caped Social Crusader: The Dark Knight Rises and Batman’s History of Class Warfare…

With the leaked second trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, showing in theatres in front of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, it seems like we have a theme for the movie, something to connect Nolan’s final Batman film to the terrorism and liberty metaphor that underscored The Dark Knight. Giving our first real look at Selina Kyle, who I sense might be far more important to the film than Bane himself, despite her relative lack of exposure, it seems that the film will play into the sort of resentment and class divide forming in global society – the type of movement spawning the “Occupy Wall Street” and the “We are the 99%” campaigns. “You think this’ll last,” Selina taunts Bruce, in a scene that conjures Tim Burton’s underrated Batman Returns. “There’s a storm coming Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches. Cause when it hits the city you are all gonna wonder how you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”

It seems like a fascinating avenue for Nolan to explore, especially given that Batman is one of the “1%”himself. Still, it’s an angle rich for exploitation and with considerable history behind it.

The Bane of the upper classes?

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