Even four years into his term, Donald Trump can’t stop obsessing over Hollywood, this time setting his sights on Oscar winner Parasite. At a Colorado rally this week, the president mocked the South Korean movie’s Best Picture win at this year’s Academy Awards, grousing over the lack of love for Gone With the Wind, a four-hour epic that Trump, who has a famously short attention span, has definitely seen. But Parasite‘s U.S. distributor Neon was quick to hit back at Trump, mocking another thing that Trump is famous for: his inability to read.
At a Colorado rally on Thursday, President Trump criticized Parasite‘s historic Best Picture win at the Academy Awards this year, according to Variety.
“How bad were the Academy Awards this year?” he asked, to jeers from the crowd. “Did you see it? The winner is… a movie from South Korea! What the hell was that all about? We got enough problems with South Korea with trade. On top of that, they give them best movie of the year? Was it good? I don’t know. Let’s get ‘Gone With the Wind.’ Can we get ‘Gone With the Wind’ back, please?”
Gone With the Wind won the Oscar for Best Picture 80 years ago, long before Trump — who likely looked at the Wikipedia list of highest-grossing American Oscar winners to come up with that zinger — was born. I also highly doubt that Trump has the attention span to sit through the 4-hour David O. Selznick epic, but anything I say to poke holes at the president’s speech can’t compare to Neon’s Twitter burn of Trump.
“Understandable, he can’t read,” the Twitter account for the U.S. distributor of Parasite posted. It’s a perfect cherry on top to the ongoing discourse online over whether Americans should be forced to read subtitles to enjoy Bong Joon-ho’s darkly satirical masterpiece. (Spoilers: they should.)
The Seoul City government will financially support 1,500 households living in semi-basement apartments like the one depicted in the Oscar-winning film Parasite, to improve their living conditions, it said Tuesday.
Together with the Korea Energy Foundation, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will 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.
A semi-basement apartment is an affordable choice for urban dwellers in Seoul. Some 78 percent of those living in such apartments are from the bottom 30 percent income bracket, according to the municipality.
There were about 383,000 semi-basement apartments in South Korea as of 2015, with 59.5 percent of them in the capital.
As portrayed in Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s film Parasite, apartments like this tend to be cramped, damp and smelly due to a lack of sunlight and ventilation, especially when the city gets flooded in summer.
As part of the city’s ongoing project to repair old apartments, semi-basement apartments will be given priority in financial support from the municipality and the foundation.
Those who earn less than 60 percent of the median income for a Korean household can submit applications starting in March through community centers and district offices in Seoul, with the range of recipients to be expanded each year.
“Parasite” executive producer Miky Lee was celebrated at a starry dinner in Beverly Hills, Calif., hosted by philanthropist Wendy Goldberg.
Samsung heiress turned media mogul Lee — the vice-chair of CJ group — is the most powerful force in Korean cinema and entertainment, and has been behind a wave of successful movies, TV dramas and K-pop concerts, as well as being a founding investor in DreamWorks.
Those celebrating Lee at the dinner thrown by Goldberg — the wife of the late legendary movie and TV producer Leonard Goldberg — at Mr. Chow’s Thursday included Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Oscar-nominated director David O. Russell, Candice Bergen, South Korean singer-songwriter Rain, music mogul Irving Azoff and Netflix boss Ted Sarandos. We’re told even Mr. Chow himself joined the seated guests to toast Lee.
Director Bong Joon Ho’s movie was the big winner at this month’s Academy Awards, where it took home the Best Picture and Best Director statues among its four victories.
What was U.S. President Donald Trump thinking when he heaped criticism on Korean director Bong Joon-ho's movie "The Parasite" that won big at the recent Academy Awards?
It has little to do with Bong or the movie's plot ― a satire on class struggle with modern twists ― or even Bong's native nation, South Korea, which Trump openly took a jab at during his anti-"Parasite" tirade. Rather, what triggered his paroxysm of anger was the presenters of the four awards. One giveaway is that Trump's unexpected attack on the Korean film is part of ― what else ― his re-election campaign.
Jane Fonda, who gave Bong the Best Picture Oscar, is a legend in actor activism, being huge in the anti-Vietnam War campaign and very influential in social issues. She is not exactly Trump's cup of tea.
The populist and egocentric leader would not stand the sight of her and, more importantly, what she represents. Then, she is an intellectual type, the opposite of Trump's misogynistic views and his carnal inclination. In all likelihood, it is not necessary to ask the two whether they have the slightest hint of fondness for each other because the answer is a foregone conclusion.
From his record, there is little doubt that Trump doesn't care for Penelope Cruz, the Spanish actress who presented Bong with the best International Feature Film Oscar. It is public knowledge that the U.S. president has no love for foreigners ― dubbing Mexicans wetbacks who are rapists and poking fun at those from immigrant families.
Remember that Trump told four progressive congresswomen to go back to their "broken and crime-infested countries" when he didn't like what they said. The four are Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib. Omar was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and later became a U.S. citizen. The others were born and raised in the U.S.
Director Spike Lee, of "Do the Right Thing" fame, presented the Best Director award to Bong. He is an African-American who has grown up poking fun at the fallacies of White America, which is represented by Trump. There is no need to talk about Trump's main support group being a disgruntled segment of Caucasians, which is losing its grip on power with its portion of the American demographic diminishing while other racial segments are increasing.
Finally, Keanu Reeves is a Canadian born in Beirut, Lebanon, who starred in "The Matrix" franchise. In "Parabellum," Reeves plays John Wick, a Dirty Harry-style, make-my-day, macho role. But it is hard to imagine him backing Trump. Reeves presented Bong with the Best Original Screenplay award.
Of course, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Oscar giver, has been under fire for being racially bigoted and recently tried to improve its image by getting more inclusive. The "Parasite" triumph may be part of it but still the academy is listening to what people have to say. And Trump has gone after its willingness to listen.
"How bad were the Academy Awards this year?" Trump said during a reelection campaign rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado. "We got enough problems with South Korea, with trade. On top of it, they give them the best movie of the year."
Still, this is vintage Trump, who appealed to his support group who chanted "Make America great again" after the president. Citing a foreign country in his theatric jab, as in his talk about imbalanced trade, is an effective psychological tactic to make a common enemy out of a third party and appeal to supporters. Call it populist or nationalist, it will work more often than not.
For any doubters about Trump's stance on Hollywood and actors, his remark about Brad Pitt, winner of Best Supporting Actor, says it all. Trump mocked him as "a little wise guy" for showing disappointment over John Bolton ― the national security adviser Trump fired ― not being summoned to testify at Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate.