If you've read Angela's Ashes, you might not find the flooding quite as over-determined. In the memoir, McCourt's family lives in the worst house at the bottom of a lane in an impoverished Irish town in the thirties. The house's first floor is often a lake from the water streaming down the lane through most of the winter and they essentially have to live on the second floor. Then the only lavatory in the lane is in a shed right in front of their house, and every house on the lane empties their chamber pots into the lavatory and nobody ever cleans it, making the house unbearable in warm weather. Bong said in an interview that semi-basement apartments in back alleys of Seoul are common. He might've heard a story about one of these apartments and men urinating on the windows or walls and perhaps even flooding too. So even if he shows water streaming down from a luxurious house on high ground and a basement apartment flooding, doesn't mean that it's not grounded in reality to some extent as well. When I saw the dirty water coming out of the toilet I immediately thought of Angela's Ashes (the lavatory in the book might've overflowed sometimes during the flooding). That a once-in-a-decade/generation storm happens right before the climax of the film is somewhat of a coincidence, but it's the kind of artistic license filmmakers take all the time -- at least it wasn't part of the actual climax.zedz wrote: ↑Sun Oct 20, 2019 2:53 pmI think the deluge counts as "over-determined" - though I don't know if any of its detractors actually used that term - because of the way Bong films it. It's not just a sudden flood, it's a downpour that we physically follow from the upper class mansion on the hill down through the various echelons of the city to the 'lower depths', where the sewers overflow and the homes of the poor are destroyed. It's given a deliberate metaphorical weight by this presentation. The fact that floods often actually happen is no inoculation against a director using one to make a point. If this were mere verisimilitude, the flood could have been an overflowing river, or a tsunami, or just a hell of a lot of rain. Instead, Bong shows a flood that, cinematically, trickles down from the rich, unscathed suburbs to cataclysmically inundate the poor ones.
Another thought: Bong's last three films have had a strong environmental theme. Maybe he also had climate change in mind when he devised the flood.