In her essay, “Making the Global Visible: Charting the Uneven Development of Global Monsters in Bong Joon-Ho’s Okja and Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal,” Ju Young Jin examines the entanglement of the global and the monstrous in two recent films that position Korea on the cusp between Cold War politics and global capitalism: Bong Joon-Ho’s Okja and Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal. The Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho and Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo offer viewers films that challenge conventional notions of monster by fusing it with a coming-of-age plot of the female protagonist that takes place on a global scale, which contests the bildungsroman form that valorizes the nation-state in tracing a person’s growth and social integration. By using the critical frameworks of postcolonial bildungsroman and Kaiju (Japanese monster films such as Godzilla) genre, I highlight how these films stage the broader tensions and radical discontinuities of globalization informed by the complex Korea-US relationship. My term “global monsters” is meant to refer, on one hand, to the discursive act of charting the uneven development and mobility of the monsters shown in the two films and, on the other hand, to the indexical act of making visible the process and force of globalization. Exploring the entanglement of the global and the monsters in the two films then is tantamount to delineating an abstract space of globalization and radical discontinuities therein writ large.
Jin, Ju Young.
"Making the Global Visible: Charting the Uneven Development of Global Monsters in Bong Joon-Ho’s Okja and Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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