Thursday, August 3, 2017

Okja (2017)


Last year, when we were polling readers and critics in order to make a new Pantheon of great directors, I really wrestled with whether or not to include Bong Joon-Ho on my own list. The decision to omit him is something that I think of often. Were I to be making my list today, after seeing Okja and remembering why I love this man's cinema, I would absolutely drop Alexander Payne to make room for Bong.

Nobody out there today handles tone as deftly as Bong Joon-Ho. He can swing from tender, to crass, to horrifying, and back to tender all within the same scene. And it all feels like a unified whole. The current slate of Marvel and Star Wars films log to be this emotionally diverse. Hopefully Okja is a big enough hit to make someone who actually gives a damn about theatrical distribution put up the money for his next film. Bong's imagination is too large for the small screen.

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