mikasaackerman (mikasaackerman) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

"Parasite" director praises BTS (& why do Western critics love Bong Joon-Ho but dismiss BTS?)

A summary of the PopDust article, "Why Does Parasite Director Bong Joon-Ho love BTS?":
- Bong Joon-Ho, the director of Parasite, was asked "How does it feel...for your country to be leading the way in creativity and vision?" at the Golden Globes Awards, where Parasite became the first Korean film to win the Best Motion Picture in the Foreign Language category. Bong Joon-Ho responded "Although I'm here at the Golden Globes, BTS has three thousand times the amount of power and influence that I have." He added, "I think Korea produces a lot of great artists because we're very emotionally dynamic people."

- Besides giving BTS praise at the Golden Globes Awards, Joon-ho also expressed praise for the boy group when he appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Joon-ho said in Korean, "I particularly enjoyed the episode BTS was here."
- Fans of both Bong Joon-Ho and BTS recognize the parallels between their creative content: social commentary and critiques of the class divide. A fan tweeted "I can see why he would love them. BTS's lyrics often criticize materialism, capitalism and classism in society which is exactly what director Bong did with Parasite."
- Both Bong Joon-Ho and BTS have faced challenges with stigmas surrounding non-western culture. BTS was mocked for their lack of fluency in English by western media and for not writing lyrics in English, even though they have gained a global fanbase. RM, the most fluent member in English, explained to Time Magazine: "We don't want to change our identity or our genuineness to get the number one. Like if we sing suddenly in full English, and change all these other things, then that's not BTS."

- Bong Joon-ho, on the other hand, disregards language barrier and still prefers to write his own stories in Korean despite working in the industry since 2000. He advocated for more recognition for international art during his Golden Globes acceptance speech and suggests that Americans should be more open to foreign-language movies, "Once you overcome the one-inch barrier subtitles, you'll be introduced to so many more amazing films."

A summary of the MTV News article, "Why do critics love Bong Joon-Ho and dismiss BTS?:
- Both BTS and Bong regularly explore sociopolitical themes in their work. BTS has explored social issues in their songs, from Korea's youth-stifling education-industrial complex in their song "N.O." to capitalism and class structures in their song "Spine Breaker". Bong has also addressed various social issues in his works like Snowpiercer and Parasite.

- With both gaining global recognition in the entertainment industry, BTS and Bong are challenging the outdated, largely white perceptions of Asian media in the West. The author, however points out that, "unfortunately, it seems that mainstream Western media and culture only has room for one Korean entertainment virtuoso at the table."
- Western critics have been lauding Bong's film "Parasite" a masterpiece, receiving numerous prestigious film awards. However, BTS — although very well-received and have won awards from MTV's VMAs, AMAs and Billboard Music Awards — continue to only receive awards that are culturally marginalized or in social media-centric categories, and their artistry continues to be largely ignored by American awards shows that seem to reserve marquee categories for western artists.

- BTS's music, even their most well-received and well-crafted albums, remain to be regarded as pop culture fluff by most critics, which may be related to how Western media views the group’s diverse, yet largely young and female fanbase.
- Although BTS doesn't need Western validation, their exclusion from more recognized categories reflect how their artistry are perceived by Western critics. Nevertheless, Western response to Korean-made and Korean-starring media like BTS’s music and Bong’s Parasite contribute to increased representation for Asians and Asian Americans because "Validation increases visibility".

- Variety journalist Jae-Ha Kim notes, “There are some major important music outlets that have given [BTS] favorable reviews, but there's really not a lot more that BTS can do to endear critics to them, because they have done everything right. (...) The language barrier is something many critics aren't going to want to deal with, unfortunately — which is a shame, because their lyrics really are beautiful.

SOURCE 1 | 2 | 3

i suck at summarizing, so i'd recommend checking out both write-ups at their sources

m(_ _)m
Tags: bts, cpop / jpop / kpop, film - foreign, film director, race / racism

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