Two Koreans have been chosen as TIME 100 most influential people of 2020. These were Jung Eunkyung, the “Virus hunter” who saved millions of Koreans from this unrealistic movielike-pandemic situation, and Bong Joon-ho, the filmmaker who always portraits the absurd reality in his films. Interesting thing here is the ironic relationship between the realistic movie and tumultuous movie-like reality.
Correlation between Cinema and Life
As a big movie fan, I think of them as a reflection of life, just like a mirror held in front of our life. When we see ourselves in the mirror, we often think that it shows us the exact reality. But from a different perspective, it presents us a symmetry image which is actually the exact opposite. The same applies to movies. Regardless of whether it resembles or contradicts the reality, at the moment the ending credit starts rolling, the audience are inevitably thrown back into reality, eventually shedding the light to the vivid contrast this cinematic experience offers. This inevitable relationship is what makes movie meaningful to us.
L’art du piksari: in Cinema and in Life
There are numerous reasons behind the global audiences’ support for Bong’s films. Among all others, the most appreciable characteristic can be defined as his unique touch of “Black Comedy”. Bong’s films always have a cliffhanger scene that makes your palms sweat, but somehow it faces trivial and often ridiculous mistakes that bring significant change to the story. After building up suspense, oftentimes the protagonist trumbles in the middle of an important scene.
A Renowned French film magazine <Cahiers du cinéma> has defined this style of Bong as ‘’L’art du piksari’ (The art of piksari). What is a “Piksari”? “Piksari(삑사리)” is a korean word that means voice cracking or being out of tune while singing. It is used as a symbol and a slang for ‘ridiculous mistakes’. This Piksari in Bong's film resembles our life, concerning that Piksari is the essential element that runs through the core of life: its uncertainty.
We are now under an unprecedented situation where the entire society is experiencing a Piksari called “COVID-19”. This society is going through enormous changes and suffering from fatigue and helplessness. It’s been months since this newnormal began, and it seems like we’ve hit rock bottom with nobody seeing it coming. We were all planning miles ahead to be better and faster than others, so it is quite natural to think that COVID-19 has ruined our entire life.
“Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei”.
My favorite actor once said, a German phrase meaning “Everything has an end, except for sausages which have two ends”. As the saying goes, everything has an end and COVID-19 won’t be an exception. So we must stay strong until the end, and must understand that Piksari is an inseparable part of life. When it comes to life, we think we hold the ship’s wheel but we are merely sailors floating the sea of infinite possibility. Being in charge of the wheel makes it seem like we are in control, but we can never know where the treacherous wave of Piksari will take us.
If Life gives you lemons, grab the vodka!
Intrinsically, life is a sequence of Piksari and we cannot tailor our life to our plans. So maybe it’s time to look on the bright side. Piksari opens our life into infinite possibility. It is on you whether to choose a race or an adventure. If you choose to believe that life is a race, Piksari will merely be an obstacle. But if you believe in adventure, Piksari will direct you to amazing detours leading to a totally unexpected view. Although the wave of Piksari may be ruthless, still we get to choose where to sail and the how to view our life. Remember, the choice is always yours. Lead your own way.