SPOILERS ahead for Parasite.
Although Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite first premiered at Cannes last spring, the South Korean movie has particularly become popular among the masses this month when it took home Best Picture at the 2020 Oscars over the likes of 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and The Irishman, among others It’s the first non-English language film to win the Academy’s top prize, and well, it deserved it.
But there’s a specific form of torture the Kim family enacts on the Parks’ housekeeper in order to have her join the entire family con that has each of them finding work within the house: peaches. Once they realize Moon-gwang has a severe allergy to the fruit, they use it as a weapon to convince Mrs. Park she has tuberculosis. But how in the heck did Bong Joon-ho think this up? Here’s what the Oscar-winning writer/director said:
One of my college friends had a peach allergy. We all thought he was joking, and bought a peach to throw at him, and his entire body turned red. It was all very shocking, and we felt very bad. But I didn't throw the peach! It wasn't me!!
Oh, interesting. This certainly isn’t random – Bong Joon-ho has a specific memory of one of his friends being affected by a peach allergy, and it made its way into this year’s Best Picture. The filmmaker also goes out of the way to defend himself about not being the one to throw the peach at his friend. He was just collecting information for the biggest movie of his career, that’s all.
Bong Joon-ho revealed this detail during a Reddit Q&A where fans could ask him anything. In the thread, another fan pointed out that they noticed the presence of peaches in his 2003 film Memories of Murder. While answering questions to fans, Bong also talked about how he didn’t realize there are big rocks in both Parasite and his 2009 movie Mother. The director has actually been making movies for twenty years, if you’re just discovering his filmmaking. Some common threads are sure to come up.
Along with winning four Oscars on awards night, Parasite has become a box office hit, with $224 million in international earnings so far. After gaining some traction during the Academy Awards, the movie increased its presence in theaters by 234%, which is particularly impressive because it was already available to rent/buy online, and again... it’s a foreign film with subtitles.