BONG JOON HO’S ACADEMY-AWARD WINNING PARASITE, MEMORIES OF MURDER TO JOIN THE CRITERION COLLECTION
NEON and the Criterion Collection are excited to announce that Criterion will issue special editions of two Bong Joon Ho masterpieces, the four-time Academy Award-winning Parasite and the breathtaking crime drama Memories of Murder. Parasite just made history as the first foreign language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, and the first Korean film to win Best Director, Best International Film, and Best Original Screenplay. Parasite was also Nominated for Best Production Design and Best Editing, and previously won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
Bong Joon Ho brings his singular mastery home to Korea in this pitch-black modern fairytale. The film is set amidst the two families, the Parks, the picture of aspirational wealth, and the Kims, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist, to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide “indispensable” luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks. By turns darkly hilarious and heart-wrenching, Parasite showcases a modern master at the top of his game.
Memories of Murder was released in 2003 and marked the first of Bong Joon Ho and Song Kang Ho’s collaborations, and has gone on to be considered one of the most thrilling and haunting crime dramas released this century. NEON recently acquired the rights to the film and will be re-releasing the film in theaters before its home video release.
Parasite debuted at Cannes where it became the first Korean film to win the coveted Palme d’Or and has since gone one to play at festivals across the country, including Telluride, Toronto, and New York Film Festival. Parasite is being hailed by critics as the best film to emerge this past fall, earning 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. NEON released the film in theaters on October 6, 2019 where it has gone on to gross over $35 million, becoming one of the Top 10 highest grossing foreign language films ever released in the US.
Parasite was written and directed by Bong Joon Ho and features a SAG Ensemble Award-winning cast including his long time collaborator Song Kang Ho, Choi Woo Shik, Park So Dam and Jang Hye Jin.
A little less than 3 years since inception, NEON has garnered 10 Oscar nominations and already grossed over $150M at the Box Office. It continues to push boundaries and take creative risks on bold cinema such as Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, which made history winning four Academy Awards®, becoming the first non-English-language film to claim Best Picture. The film, which also unanimously won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, has amassed over $38M at the domestic box office and broke multiple records including highest per screen average of the year and highest per screen average for a foreign language film of all time. Other noteworthy NEON releases include: Double Oscar nominee Honeyland; Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11, 2019’s highest grossing documentary with a worldwide gross of $16M; Tim Wardle’s Three Identical Strangers, winner of the Sundance Special Jury Award for Storytelling which surpassed $13M at the box office; and Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya, which garnered multiple Academy Award® nominations, one win for Allison Janney and amassed over $30M in domestic box office.
The company continues to be an impressive force at festivals, with recent Sundance acquisitions such as Max Barbakow’s sought after Palm Springs starring Andy Samberg, which NEON acquired with Hulu, and Josephine Decker’s Shirley starring Elisabeth Moss. Recent releases include: the critically acclaimed Cannes hit Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes® and Independent Spirit Awards; Tamara Kotevska and Ljubo Stefanov’s award-winning and record-breaking Honeyland, which is the first non-fiction feature to land Academy Award® nominations for Best Documentary and Best International Feature Film in the same year; Alejandro Landes’ cinematic thrillerMonos (the Colombian selection for the Academy Awards®); Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz‘s horror film The Lodge starring Riley Keough; Julius Onah’s Luce starring Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer; Tom Harper’s Wild Rose starring Jessie Buckley; John Chester’s The Biggest Little Farm; Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency starring Academy Award® Nominee Alfre Woodard; and the electrifying documentary about Aretha Franklin, Amazing Grace.
After their successful collaboration on I, Tonya in January 2018, 30WEST (Dan Friedkin’s and Micah Green’s strategic venture) partnered with NEON’s Tom Quinn (Founder & CEO) and Tim League (Co-Founder) to become majority investors in the company.
ABOUT THE CRITERION COLLECTION
Since 1984, the Criterion Collection has been dedicated to publishing important classic and contemporary films from around the world in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements. No matter the medium-from laserdisc to DVD and Blu-ray to streaming on the Criterion Channel-Criterion has maintained its pioneering commitment to presenting each film as its maker would want it seen, in state-of-the-art restorations with special features designed to encourage repeated watching and deepen the viewer’s appreciation of the art of film.