|THE BEST SOUTH KOREAN FILMSSOUTH KOREATHE BEST|
The South Korean government is taking an active step to improve the lives of low income households by vowing to financially support 1,500 families living in semi-basement apartments. The news comes after the record run of Boon Joon Ho’s “Parasite,” the first South Korean movie to win the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or and the first South Korean film to win Oscars, including Best Picture. A semi-basement apartment is one of the film’s most important settings and is the home where the Kim family lives. During one of the film’s most intense set pieces, the Kim’s semi-basement is destroyed by a flood caused by a rainstorm.
According to The Korea Herald, the South Korean government is partnering with the Korea Energy Foundation and the Seoul Metropolitan Government to offer “up to 3.2 million won per household to enhance heating systems, replace floors, and install air conditioners, dehumidifiers, ventilators, windows, and fire alarms.” The Herald notes that 78% of householders occupying semi-basement apartments are from the bottom 30% income bracket.
Semi-basement apartment householders who earn less than 60% of the country’s median income will be able to submit applications to the government to be selected for renovation. The plan is for the range of recipients to expand each year. There were approximately 383,000 semi-basement apartments in South Korea as of 2015.
Before “Parasite” became a box office hit in the United States with nearly $50 million, it was first a box office sensation in its home of South Korea. “Parasite” grossed a huge $72 million in South Korea, which is nearly 43% of the movie’s $164 million international total. As of this writing, “Parasite” has grossed a remarkable $204 million and counting around the world.
“Parasite” fever has hit South Korea so strongly following the movie’s history-making Oscar wins that there is even a movement to get a Bong Joon Ho statue erected and a Bong Joon Ho museum built in the director’s hometown of Daegu. People are also lobbying for Daegu to rename streets in honor of the South Korean filmmaker, whose additional credits include “Memories of Murder,” “The Host,” and “Mother.” Bong was born in Daegu in 1969 and lived there before his family moved to Seoul while he was in elementary school.
“Parasite” continues to play in theaters while also now be available to rent digitally. The movie will be available o stream on Hulu beginning April 8.
Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week we go point your attention over there while we discuss movies about magicians over here!
Movies about magicians come in all shapes and varieties. To be clear, I’m speaking of films about the performers, those who do magic tricks and illusions, as opposed to the wizards you find in fantasy films and late-80s Fred Savage movies. They range from documentaries Make Believe, 2010 to comedies The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, 2013 to biopics Death Defying Acts, 2007 to Swedish genre-benders The Magician, 1958 to BDSM noirs Lord of Illusions, 1995 to the best movie about a magician you’ll ever find The Prestige, 2006.
/Film’s own Peter Sciretta previously compiled a list of the best films about magic and magicians which includes a few of the titles mentioned above, but readers of this column know the goal here is to recommend ones that are far less celebrated. To that end, keep reading for a look at six great and/or entertaining movies about magicians that you probably haven’t seen.Eternally Yours 1939
Anita is engaged and in love, but all of that changes when she meets a popular stage magician named Arturo. The two are quickly married, and she joins his show as they travel the world, but the big smiles she puts on for the crowds is hiding a growing concern behind the scenes. She’s concerned about his safety as he finds himself involved in some dangerous tricks, but worse, she worries he might be unfaithful.
David Niven can do charming in his sleep, and Loretta Young exudes warmth, and together they deliver a compelling romance of sorts. She’s wooed into his life but quickly grows leery of that life on the road, so she leaves him – which in turn triggers a years long effort on his part to get her back. Does he deserve her? That’s arguable, but the journey between them offers some delight and fun all the same.
The film’s billed as a dramatic comedy, and while neither half hits particularly hard or heavy the result is still a sweet little tale about love at first sight – something magical in its own right – that takes a hit when real-world concerns start to play a role. Arturo’s career as a magician takes a hit too as his illusions and trickery falter. Without Anita in his heart, it seems his heart isn’t quite in anything at all. Toss in some parachute stunts and fisticuffs with Broderick Crawford, and you have some charming entertainment.
Eternally Yours is currently available on DVD and to stream.The Mad Magician 1954
Don is a showman at heart, but he works behind the scenes inventing and designing illusions and tricks for stage magicians...