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Monday | 7:30 p.m.

October 18, 2021

This event is free. Registration is required.

Bong Joon-ho’s third feature, The Host (2006), is the first mainstream South Korean monster film that fancifully visualizes his unique genre imagination: what if a monster suddenly attacks the center of Seoul? This hypothesis, however, serves as a platform for social critiques that draw particular attention to the government’s irrational security measures against citizens. The main characters’ struggle with state power as well as the monster makes us question the relation between the biopolitical system and its apparent enemy, evoking the 1980s dissident movement in Korean geopolitics. Bong’s generational background matters here to highlight the local context of historical traumas and societal shifts allegorized in political, cultural, and ethical ways. This talk focuses on The Host in this regard while briefly mapping Bong’s later films, including SnowpiercerOkja, and Parasite.


Seung-hoon Jeong is Assistant Professor of Film and Electronic Arts at California State University Long Beach. He wrote Cinematic Interfaces: Film Theory after New Media (2013), co-translated Jacques Derrida’s Acts of Literature into Korean (2013), co-edited The Global Auteur: The Politics of Authorship in 21st Century Cinema (2016), guest-edited an issue of Studies in the Humanities “Global East Asian Cinema: Abjection and Agency” (2019), co-edited Thomas Elsaesser’s The Mind-Game Film: Distributed Agency, Time Travel, and Productive Pathology (2021), and is writing Global Cinema: A Biopolitical and Ethical Reframing (forthcoming in 2022).


Sponsored by the Asian Studies Program, International Studies Program, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Department of Visual and Performing Arts, and the Department of Communication

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