Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse South Lama has a new name: Bong Joon Ho Cinema. One of the premier first-run indie theaters in North America made the name change on the last day of Fantastic Fest 2019. There, Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League during the regional premiere of Bong Joon Ho’s critically lauded family tragicomedy, Parasite. The director of many films including Snowpiercer, Okja, and The Host, Bong Joon Ho’s movies have been a favorite of Alamo Drafthouse staff and guests for more than a decade.
“Bong Joon Ho is one of the most important directors of our generation; formally dedicating our Austin flagship cinema seems a fitting tribute to one of our all-time cinematic heroes,” says League before unveiling a bronze plaque.
The plaque’s inscription, written by League, reads as follows:
In modern classics like Memories of Murder, Mother, and Parasite, director Bong Joon Ho inspires and challenges us with a pitch-perfect blend of humanity, suspense, humor, and craft. His work reminds us why we love cinema and speaks to why Alamo Drafthouse was built – we are for movie lovers, by movie lovers. For that reason, as of Thursday, September 26th, 2019, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar shall hereby and forevermore be known as the Bong Joon Ho Cinema.
“What a great honor. It makes me very happy to know that cinephiles will come to this special theater with my name on it,” said director Bong Joon Ho at the plaque unveiling. “This cinema makes me feel like I have a home to share with fellow movielovers in this wonderful city of Austin.”
League also announced at Fantastic Fest that Parasite would be the next title in Alamo Drafthouse’s curated and highly-selective Drafthouse Recommends series. Selections are made by a panel drawn from Alamo Drafthouse’s senior creative team, who then focus their efforts on helping titles reach a broader audience. Previous Drafthouse Recommends picks range from foreign language favorites to directorial debuts to eventual Oscar winners, and include The Farewell, The Favourite, Eight Grade, A Fantastic Woman, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, and Call Me By Your Name.
“With its dark twists, thought-provoking social commentary, and wild sense of humor, we believe Parasite is one of the best films of the year,” says Sarah Pitre, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s Senior Director of Programming and Promotions. “That’s why we’ve made it our next Drafthouse Recommends title, a designation we only place on films that move, innovate, and inspire.”
With a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score with 103 reviews, Parasite premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, and became – by the first unanimous vote in six years – the first Korean winner of the Palme d’Or. The film is South Korea’s entry as Best International Feature Film in next year’s Academy Awards, and is expected to be a multi-category contender. As one of the films closing out Fantastic Fest this year, Parasite earned a loud applause from the crowds in every theater is screened it. Followed by a detailed Q&A, the love for the director and his film.
NEON will release Parasite in theaters in NY and LA on October 11th, expanding to additional cities and theaters in the following weeks. Tickets will go on sale at drafthouse.com on Monday, October 2nd.