Created by Javier Sanchez
"A zeitgeist-defining sensation". That's how the Criterion collection speaks about the 2020 Academy Award-winning film Parasite. The film not only achieved recognition amongst international critics but its thrilling suspense plot captivated mainstream audiences as well.
In PARASITE we are introduced to the Kims, a basement-dwelling family that slyly infiltrates the lives of the wealthy Parks. One of the most impressive aspects of this class inequality tale is its use of space. 66% of the film takes place in the Parks’ house. The impressive household was built specifically for the film as a one piece set by production designer Lee Ha Jun. Wide rooms, endless stairs, and secret passages:a maze designed for the characters to traverse.
This house plays a defining role and the way that the protagonists inhabit it tells a lot about them. In this visualization, we try to understand the importance of architecture in the film and how it embodies a character’s class and intentions.
How does this building shape the characters? What does the way they move and the rooms they stay in reveal?
HIGHS AND LOWS
" The vertical structure of the house reflects the relations between the three families, with Geunse at the bottom. Whilst Park 's family mostly only go up the stairs, Kim and Geunse' s families move up and down repeatedly. That 's the essence of this film." . Lee Ha Jun - Interview with dezeen.
The character that introduces us to the house is Ki Woo, likewise he is the character with more screen time. If we count the time that we see all the characters in the house, Ki Woo’s appearances account for 15% of the total.During Moment 5 , the Kims fantasize about being the owners of the house. Paradoxically, as a family, they are the ones taking up more screen time (47%) at the alien Parks’ house.Things get more interesting when we understand what areas of the house the characters occupy.
The data visualized was obtained from a Dataset that I created addressing moments in the film. Please, feel free to use it. I am looking forward to seeing the possibilities that it offers! In exchange, please cite the source/me. The dataset created addresses actual character screen time in the film. When there are some parallel actions taking place (eg:conversations over the phone, scenes with a lot of movement...) we count all implied character locations even if they are not on screen at the moment. The film takes place in different locations:Parks' house (66%), Kims' house (14%)... (you can see them all in the dataset). Here we only focus on the Park's house. In the Locations mode we brush in a 0 to 100 timeline. This range represents the total time that the house is on screen (rather than the duration of the film). In the bottom left legend we see the action distribution (%) among rooms. There, we only display room's contribution above 10 %. There are some locations in the house (the toilet & sauna room) that were not included in the house visualization, as it was not clear where they are located and represented a minor time screen (less than 1%). In the heatmap, on a family level, we see Floor level distributions (%) of occupancies and actions. On a character level, we see the contribution (%) of each family member to the family distribution. The first Visual is inspired in the Parasite's Criterion Collection DVD/Bluray edition.
The text extracts were obtained from a Deezen interview with Parasite's production designer Lee Ha Jun.
The house drawing was made by Illustrator Jisu Choi and used in the French Blu-ray cover.
The inspiration of the whole scrollytelling article is The Pudding visual essays.