Elon Musk Says His Favorite Movie of 2019 Was "Parasite" And The Concept of Irony is Officially Dead
Don't worry, folks. It doesn't matter who gets nominated for the Oscars or BAFTAs or any other awards: The debate is over because Elon Musk, The Internet's Favorite Billionaire™ has announced that his favorite movie of 2019 was Bong Joon Ho's Parasite. In a related story, Bill O'Reilly said Bombshell was his favorite movie and there's absolutely no f@#$ing way Elon Musk watched Parasite, is there?
For the uninitiated, Parasite tells the story of the Kim family, barely scraping by on the margins of Seoul society in a literal underground apartment where people regularly urinate outside their window, until they manage to ingratiate themselves into the lives of the Parks, an extremely wealthy family who live in a gorgeous palatial home. And wackiness ensues as the Kims enjoy living the high life at the expense of their employers. Wait–not wackiness. Tragedy.
It is a film, at its core, about inequality. It's complex, beautiful, disturbing– everything we expect from Bong Joon Ho, who previously gave us Snowpiercer and Okja, which both have similar themes about how the rich oppress the poor and force them to exist in a brutal society so they can live pleasantly.
Elon Musk, whose net worth is somewhere between $27 and $30 billion depending on Tesla's stock value at the moment (and what's $3 billion here or there, amirite?) is well known not only for his business enterprises and philanthropy but also his internet presence. He's well known for starting fights with the people trying to rescue trapped Thai soccer teams in underwater caves, and other wacky fights with people on Twitter. So when he weighed in on 2019's best movie, the Twittersphere and all of Film Twitter held our breath in anticipation:
First of all, thank you Renata for asking the question we all so dearly needed to know the answer to. The man who made unforgettable cameos in Iron Man 2 and Machete Kills (he sent Machete to space on a SpaceX rocket! Reminding us that in 2020 what we really need is the long-promised Machete in Space!) has definite opinions on film, and we should pay attention to them.
Also interesting here is the context, as this wasn't just like an AMA thread, this was Elon being Elon, replying to this thread. . .
So, either Elon just ingested some really excellent edibles, or he's low-key trolling here. The correct answer he should've given is Avengers: Endgame. Everybody saw it, so it's not like it's out of the realm of possibility he did. Also, he's long tried to position himself as the real-life version of Tony Stark– and this is Tony's movie. It's literally a movie where the billionaire snaps his fingers and saves the universe. That should be Elon Musk's favorite movie, and there's no shame in admitting it. Or why not Ford v. Ferrari? He's a car guy, that's definitely a car guy movie.
But he goes ahead and answers Parasite for his favorite movie. What does this mean? There are two options: he didn't see Parasite but wanted to sound cool. (He had just admitted that Cats would have more cultural salience than Star Wars. I mean, who does that? [Briefly checks Twitter because pretty sure I've said almost exactly that]) OR he did see it but totally misunderstood it.
People who want to believe option 1, there's a strong case for that. It's sort of the Occam's Razor argument. Cool guy wants to appear cool on Twitter, so mentions the movie all his other cool friends really like. Simple enough.
But for option 2, we're going to have to dive into some pretty deep spoilers to try to deconstruct exactly what movie Elon thought he saw.
So, is it possible that Elon took exactly the opposite message from the film? He saw a hard-working wealthy family being taken advantage of by conniving and violent poor people, which is, I guess, a message you could take from the movie. But it would be like rooting for Thanos, or saying Christian was your favorite character in Midsommar.
I think it's very possible Mr. Musk really likes the character of Geun-sae, who hides in the Parks' basement. He understands that he lives on the mercy and largesse of Mr. Park, literally stealing food from them–a human-sized cockroach or rat. But most importantly, he worships Mr. Park and has an entire shrine to all of his various business activities. He goes on and on about what a great man Mr. Park is. Pretty sure this is how Elon Musk thinks a lot of people feel about him.
And if Mr. Park is indeed the character Elon feels the most affinity with, what else does that say? I'm guessing there is a very high chance that, like Mr. Park, at some point Musk has commented on how a poor person smells and that it is distasteful to him.The major irony would be if this was his driver, which lead him into the space of self-driving cars so he can simply be away from smelly poor people.
We could also take Elon Musk at his word and maybe he did not only really enjoy Parasite but it did prick his conscience and he's going to do something about it. Elon could put up some of his money to finance and promote more independent cinema from artists like Bong, or Greta Gerwig, or Lulu Wang, or whomever.
Current Supervillain Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin put a bunch of his money into making a bunch of movies with Brett Rattner and Warner Bros and won an Oscar for Suicide Squad, so it's not unprecedented. (To be fair, Mnuchin also helped produce Mad Max: Fury Road, which is perhaps the only thing more ironic and less self-aware than Elon Musk liking Parasite). Anyway, put your money into movies, Elon– write Robert Rodriguez a blank check and make Machete in Space happen! Or, you know, other worthwhile art.
Or he could put more money into direct poverty relief. Help people so they don't have to live in squalid conditions that make them feel like they need to run scams just to subsist. Because the supreme irony of Parasite is that the Kim family are all eminently qualified for the jobs they do. They're hardworking, clever people. So why are they poor? Maybe because their society is unfair, Elon. And when income inequality is a great deal worse in the US than in Korea. . . maybe you should look into that?
Or he could put his money into the 2020 elections and help fix those problems. I mean, when you're worth so much.
Now we've had some fun at Elon Musk's expense here, but we're sure he can take it. In some ways, saying he loved Parasite is super on-brand for him: not extremely self-aware or thoughtful, definitely performative, even if true. . . and in that way, isn't Elon Musk like all of us online? I mean, except that he'll make more money in the next 48 hours than most of us will this year.
But still, he's just like us. So relatable– he loves that movie that we all love, or pretend to love because we haven't seen it but everyone is talking about it and it sounds like something we would like. And definitely, definitely he doesn't think poor people smell bad.
Parasite for Best Picture. Elon Musk said so. (F@#$ you, Todd Phillips)