If you want to read about the film locations for the Korean film ‘Parasite‘ just scroll down to the middle of the post.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, we wrote posts about other film locations of Korean films here.

Parasite (Korean: 기생충; RR: Gisaengchung) is a 2019 South Korean comedy thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Han Jin-won.  He also worked on Snowpiercer another popular South Korea film.

It stars Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Jang Hye-jin, and Lee Jung-eun.  The film follows the members of a poor family who scheme to all become employed by a wealthy family by posing as highly qualified individuals unrelated to each other.

The Korean film Parasite premiered on 21 May 2019 at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, where it was voted as the first South Korean film to win the Palme d’Or.  Less than 9 days later, it released in South Korea by CJ Entertainment on 30 May 2019 and was considered to be one of the best films released in 10 years..

According to Metacritic, the film grossed over $264 milion worldwide with a film budget of $11 million to make, becoming the 42nd highest rated film of all time and becoming the highest revenue grossing film from South Korea.

 

Cast Members of the Korean Film ‘Parasite’

Song Kang Ho

Song Kang-Ho as Ki-Taek

• First Name: Kang Ho
• Family Name: Song
• Native name: 송강호
• Also Known as: Song Gang Ho
• Nationality: South Korean
• Gender: Male
• Born: January 17, 1967
• Age: 53

Jang Hye Jin

Jang Hye-Jin as Choong-Sook

 Name: Jang Hye-Jin
 Hangul: 장혜진
 Born: June 5, 1975
 Birthplace: South Korea

Choi Woo Sik

Choi Woo-Sik as Ki-Woo

• First Name: Woo Shik
• Family Name: Choi
• Native name: 최우식
• Also Known as: Choi Woo Sik;Choi U Shik;Edward Choi
• Nationality: Canadian
• Gender: Male
• Born: March 26, 1990
• Age: 30

Park So Dam

Park So-Dam as Ki-Jung

• First Name: So Dam
• Family Name: Park
• Native name: 박소담
• Nationality: South Korean
• Gender: Female
• Born: September 8, 1991
• Age: 29

Lee Sun Kyun

Lee Sun-Kyun as Mr. Park

• First Name: Sun Kyun
• Family Name: Lee
• Native name: 이선균
• Also Known as: Lee Seon Kyoon;Lee Seon Gyun;Lee Seon Gyoon;Lee Sun Gyun
• Nationality: South Korean
• Gender: Male
• Born: March 2, 1975
• Age: 45

Cho Yeo Jeong

Cho Yeo-Jeong as Yeon-Kyo

• First Name: Yeo Jung
• Family Name: Cho
• Native name: 조여정
• Also Known as: Cho Yuh Jeong;Jo Yeo Jeong;Jo Yu Jeong;Jo Yu Jung;Jo Yeo Jung
• Nationality: South Korean
• Gender: Female
• Born: February 10, 1981
• Age: 39

Jung Ji So

Jung Ji-So as Da-Hye

• First Name: Seung Min
• Family Name: Hyun
• Native name: 정지소
• Also Known as: Hyeon Seung Min;Jung Zi So;Jung Ji So;Jung Jiso;Jung Ziso;Hyun Seungmin;현승민
• Nationality: South Korean
• Gender: Female
• Born: September 17, 1999
• Age: 21

Jeong Hyun Jin

Jeong Hyun-Jun as Da-Song

• First Name: Hyeon Jun
• Family Name: Jeong
• Native name: 정현준
• Also Known as: Jeong Hyun Jun;Jeong Hyeon Jun;郑贤俊
• Nationality: South Korean
• Gender: Male
• Born: November 8, 2011
• Age: 9

Parasite Movie Scene 2

Source: Visit Seoul

 

Native Title:  기생충
Also Known As:  패러사이트 , paereosaiteu , Gisaengchung , Паразиты , 寄生上流
Screenwriter & Director:  Bong Joon Ho
Screenwriter:  Han Jin Won
Genres:  Thriller, Psychological, Comedy, Drama, Family
Tags:  Social Commentary, Black Comedy, Social Problems, Hidden Identity, Family Relationship, Deception, Con Artist, Poor Family, Housekeeper, Lying
Movie:  Parasite
Revised romanization:  Gisaengchoong
Hangul:  기생충
Director:  Bong Joon-Ho, Han Jin-Won
Writer:  Bong Joon-Ho
Cinematographer:  Hong Kyung-Pyo
World Premiere:  May 21, 2019 (Cannes Film Festival)
Release Date:  May 30, 2019
Runtime:  131 min.
Genre:  Drama / Family
Distributor:  CJ Entertainment
Language:  Korean
Country: South Korea

 

Singles from Parasite: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

1. “Soju One Glass” Released: 30 May 2019

Soundtrack album by Jung Jae-il

Released 30 May 2019
Recorded 2019
Soundtrack Length 52:14
Language Korean
Label
• Genie Music
• Stone Music Entertainment

 

Awards received for the Korean Film Parasite

It received four notable awards:at the 92nd Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the first Asian film to do so. It won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature Film. It received Best Picture at the Palme d’Or, Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globe Award, Best Film Not in the English Language at the BAFTA Award and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild Award.

 

Parasite Cast Members and Directors

Source: CJ Entertainment

 

Synopsis / Plot of Korean Film Parasite

 

The Kim family are a member of four-Ki-taek is the father, Chung-sook is the mother, Ki-jung is the daughter and Ki-woo is the son.  Being very poor, they can only afford to live in a small semi-basement apartment called a banjiha.  They make povery wage as pizza box folders and are always barely living paycheck to paycheck.

A friend of Ki-woo, a university student named Min-hyuk, gives Ki-woo a scholar’s rock which symbolizes wealth.  Also, before he leaves Korea to study abroad, he tells Ki-woo to pretend to be a university student and take over his job as an English tutor for the daughter of the wealthy Park family.  Her name is Da-hye. So, Ki-woo pretends to be a Yonsei University student and gets hired by the Parks from the recommendation of Min-hyuk.  Ki-woo also gets romantically involved with the daughter, Da-hye.

 

Parasite Movie Scene 4

Source: Visit Seoul

 

Thus begins the immigration of all of the Kim family into the employ of the wealthy Park family.  Through framing, exploitation and Ki-Woo’s reference, all of the Kim family works for the Park family. Ki-woo refers his sister, Ki-jung to be an art therapist for the Park’s young son.  Ki-jung then frames Mr. Park’s chauffeur and recommends her father, Ki-taek.  Then the long time housekeeper of the Park family is fired when the Kim family convince Mrs. Park that Moon-gwang, their housekeeper, has tuberculosis.

It appears that the Kim family has achieved what they have always wanted, a stable future.  Unbeknowedst to the Kim and Park family, Moon-gwang, the housekeeper has been hiding a secret inside the Park’s residence.  That secret is discovered by the Kim’s and Moon-gwang also discovers the Kim family’s secret of all being a family and working for the Park family.  Thus, with both secrets from both sides revealed and known by both sides, a tense situation is created.  The Park family also gets drawn into the situation.  The ending has a twist that is shocking and would be interesting to see a sequel from.

Without revealing too much of the film I will say that the film follows the intense plot and story telling reputation that Korean films have rightfully earned.  You should probably watch the film to see what happens.  Check out the Parasite official trailer here.

 

Parasite Movie Scene 3

Source: Visit Seoul

 

Where Did the Idea for Korean Film Parasite Come From?

 

The idea for the movie was actually a play written by Bong in 2013.  The play was encouraged to be written by a friend of Bong during the time he was working on Snowpiercer. Bong selected the title Parasite because it fit perfectly as a double-meaning of the film.  Both the rich and poor family were parasites; the rich needing the labor of the poor while the poor needing the money of the rich.

 

Writing the Script for the Korean Movie Parasite

 

After finishing on Snowpiercer, Bong wrote a fifteen-page draft for the first half of Parasite, from which his production assistant, Han Jin-won, who was working on Snowpiercer, turned it into three different drafts of the screenplay.

During an interview, Bong said the film was influenced by the 1960 Korean “domestic filmThe Housemaid.

Bong got partial inspiration to write the film from an incident of two live-in-maids/ Christine and Lea Pain, who murdered their employers in France during 1930.  He also used his own past experience working as a tutor for a rich family, and thinking how fun it would have been to bring all his friends in to work for the rich family.  The housekeeper’s allergy to peaches was also true, one of his university friends was allergic to peaches.

 

Korean Movie Parasite Movie Scene

Source: Visit Seoul

 

Korean Film “Parasite” Trivia.” Did You Know?

 

1.  The movie is the fourth time director Bong Joon-Ho and actor Song Kang-Ho have worked together (prior films they worked together are “Memories of Murder”, “The Host” and “Snowpiercer”).
2.  Filming began May 18, 2018 and finished September 19, 2018.
3.  There are eight (8) character posters for movie “Parasite.”
4.  “Parasite” screened in the “In Competition” section at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
5.  “Parasite” wins the “Palme D’or” award at the 2019 Cannes film Festival.
6.  An American translator, Darcy Paquet, may have created the combination word, ram-don for the word Jiapaguri?  Jiapaguri is a mix of two Nongshim noodle products; Chapagetti and Neoguri.  He used ram-don from ramen-udon.  Believing that word did not exist, he decided to go ahead and use it for the film.
7.  Photography for Parasite began 18 May 2018, finishing on 19 September 2018.
8.  The Park’s house was constructed on a set. The ground floor and garden was constructed on an empty outdoor lot. The basement and first floor was built on set. Everything above the first floor was added in VFX post-production from a green screen.
9.  Yang Jin-mo, the video editor, used Final Cut Pro 7 to edit the film?  I guess there is no excuse to having to buy expensive cameras and softwares to make a quality film.

 

Korean Movie Parasite Scene 5

Source: Visit Seoul

 

Plans For a Parasite Movie Tourist Facility in Goyang City in Development

 

The South Korean local government in Goyang City plans to restore the Goyang Aqua Special Shooting Studio set and turn it into a Parasite movie experience tourist facility.  The local government also said they will be investing $150 million to develop the Goyang Film Culture Complex into a tourist facility experience by 2026.

It will include indoor studios, outdoor set production facilities, video content locations and image research development companies.

I hope the development finishes on time!  I want to visit studio set in the near future!

 

 

And now, ‘Parasite’ Iconic Film Locations in Seoul You Can Visit Freely

 

The four main locations you can visit are:

Woori Supermarket (Doijissal Supermarket) – Stairs in Ki-taek’s village – the stairs of Jahamun Tunnel – Pizza Age (Sky Pizza)

 

Parasite Film Location

Source: CNN

 

0.  When you watch the beginning of the movie, you will see a scene showing a grimy basement home in Seoul.  In the movie, the Kim family call one these places home.  It is not a film set created specifically for the movie, these types of places (called banjiha) actually exist.

You can find a lot of these types of dwellings in Seoul neighborhoods with thousands of people calling it home.  Some of these basement homes have a history to them, they once served as bunkers for people during the Korean War.  If you want to see a banjiha, you can opt to hire a tour guide to show you one, since these dwellings will be hard to locate and get access to.  There are lots of good hotels in the Gangnam neighborhood.

 

Korean Movie Parasite Scene 5

Source: CJ Entertainment

 

1.  Woori Supermarket (Doijissal Supermarket) – This is the location where Ki-woo’s friend Park Seo-joon suggested suggested him to take the part-time tutor position from him.  The supermarket’s real name is Doijissal Supermarket, but for the film was changed to Woori Supermarket.  Thanks to the film, many tourists and locals visit the supermarket, take pictures and to buy items.  When there, you might want to get a few popular Korean snacks.  A visit to this supermarket might give you your next big idea to make money, off Youtube or something else.  Perhaps, it will bring back fond childhood memories.  Otherwise, you might just decide to bring back some snacks for yourself, friends and family.

Address 32, Songijeong-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Hours Open Daily from 08:30 – 24:30
Tel +82-2-393-5806
How to get there:  Take Subway Lines 2 & 5, Get Off At Chungjeongno Station, Exit 6 (10 mins on foot)

 

Dojissal Supermarket Parasite

Source: Visit Seoul

 

2.  Stairs Going Up to President Park’s House

This is the set of stairs in Ki-taek’s neighborhood that appears in the scene where Ki-jeong buys peaches and carries them to the Park’s house.  The stairs is actually located one minute away from Woori Supermarket (Doijissal Supermarket), these normal looking stairs have also become a must-visit place for Parasite movie fans.  Please do not cause any disturbance since this part of the neighborhood is a real residential area.  Close by are tourist attractions you may want to visit.  Here are the names of a few: Ahyeon-dong Furniture Complex, Seosomun Park and Songijeong Sports Park.

Stairs in Ki-taek’s village
Address 3, Songijeong-ro 6-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
How to get there:  Subway Lines 2 & 5, Chungjeongno Station, Exit 6 (10 mins on foot / 1 min from Doijissal Supermarket)

 

Stairs to Park's House

Source: Visit Seoul

 

3.  Stairs in front of Jahamun Tunnel.  Way back home in the heavy rain scene.

This is the location that the Ki-taek’s family headed to after running from the Parks’ house when the Park’s unexpectedly returned home from their camping trip due to the heavy monsoon rains.  Bong Joon chose this location because he wanted to show the social class differences of the Park’s and Ki-taeks.  It shows how the Ki-taeks were going from a high class to a low class situation and simultaneously shows the rich houses above the tunnel and just below the houses is a dark tunnel leading into a gloomy atmosphere.

There are other popular tourist attractions nearby the stairs; Gyeongbokgun Palace and the Seoul Museum of Art.  Let’s not forget the cafe, restaurants, stores and jimjilbangs. After visiting the stairs and the other film locations from Parasite, grabbing something to eat at a restaurant would be a great idea.

Stairs in front of the entrance to Jahamun Tunnel
Address 219, Jahamun-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
How to get there:  Subway Line 3, Gyeongbokgung Station, Exit 2 (10 mins on foot)

 

Stairs Jahamun Tunnel

Source: Visit Seoul

 

4.  Pizza Age (Sky Pizza).  The last place to visit after your walk tour through the locations made iconic from Parasite.

This pizzeria restaurant is owned by a local family.  Open for 17 years, it is now known as Sky Pizza.  Did you know that the owner of the pizza store showed the actors and actresses playing the Ki-taek family how to fold the pizza boxes?  Outside the store, before you go inside, is a picture of director Bong Joon-ho and the pizza store owner taken together.

Hey fans of the movie, take a picture of yourselves at this now iconic location for your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter while trying these three signature dishes:

• Deep-fried golden brown chicken
• Delicious and mouth watering gold sweet potato pizza made with real natural cheese
• Dakgangjeong made with a special secret recipe sweet and sour sauce created by the owner of Pizza Age (Sky Pizza)

Who else just got a craving for some pizza from Sky Pizza?  I wonder if they deliver or if Uber will deliver from Korea to the United States.

 

Pizza Age (Sky Pizza)
Address 86, Noryangjin-ro 6-gil, Dongjak-gu, Seoul
Open Daily 10:00 – 22:00 (Reservations possible outside operating hours)
Tel +82-2-822-3082
How To Get There:  Subway Line 1, Noryangjin Station, Exit 6

 

Sky Pizza Parasite

Source: Unreservedmedia

 

2A.  President Park’s Mansion – You won’t be able to see this particular architectural building shown from the movie since it was a set built from the ground up and using VFX effects.  However, if you want to see similar buildings, you can get an idea by visiting the Gangnam district.  Or get a tour and have a local show you around the affluent neighborhood in Gangnam.  Afterwards, get a caffeine shot by visiting one of the many popular cafes there or grab an authentic Korean food dish and treat your taste buds to a culinary experience of Korea.  Maybe both.  I would.

 

 

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DISCLAIMER:  The paragraphs above is my attempt at Korean English humor. I am a Korean-American, so I believe it is ok. If you don’t like it, then don’t read the paragraphs above. Too late, you already done it.

 

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