'Parasite' Is Being Rereleased in Black and White

Without color, "the film felt more realistic and sharp as if I was being cut by a blade," said director Bong Joon Ho.
Bettina Makalintal
Brooklyn, US
Photo courtesy Neon; Editing by VICE Staff

As if we needed an excuse to see Parasite in theaters again, Bong Joon Ho has delivered one anyway. A black-and-white version of the film will be hitting theaters in New York and Los Angeles after making a debut at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Deadline has reported, and what we can expect, in Bong's estimation, is an even more heightened experience.

With early horror films like 1922's Nosferatu as inspiration, the South Korean director reportedly has always wanted to make a black-and-white movie of his own, so this special presentation of Parasite was created before the now-critically-acclaimed film even premiered at Cannes in May 2019. According to Bong, the color swap gives the film a different feel—perhaps making an already gripping movie even more intense.

"It will be fascinating to see how the viewing experience changes when an identical film is presented in black and white. I watched the black and white version twice now, and at times the film felt more like a fable and gave me the strange sense that I was watching a story from old times," Bong said in a statement. "The second time I watched it, the film felt more realistic and sharp as if I was being cut by a blade. It also further highlighted the actors’ performances and seemed to revolve more around the characters."

But while Bong has his feelings on the matter, he said didn't want to color viewers' impressions too much. "I hope everyone in the audience can compare their own experiences from the color version and find their own path to Parasite in black and white," he said. Hopefully Bong weighs in a bit more on that after the screenings hit the states, because aside from making memorable movies, he's known for his very memorable commentary.

Per Deadline, Parasite's black-and-white cut will hit New York's Walter Read Theater on January 30 and LA's Egyptian Theater on January 31, after which it'll screen at the Francesca Beale Theater in NYC until February 6. That's just in time to catch it before the Oscars, for which it's nominated in six categories, including Best Picture.