Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, a scathing takedown of capitalism rolled into a whirlwind psychological thriller, is easily one of the best films of the year. More inadvertently, it is also the source of the year’s catchiest six-second jingle, courtesy of the film’s star Park So Dam. The lightning-quick song is a mneumonic device that Park’s character, Kim Ki-jung, sings with her brother, Ki-woo (Choi Woo-sik), in order to remember the more pressing details of her alias, Jessica. The jingle only graces audiences once throughout the film, yet it managed to make a huge impression: Fans have been quite vocal about their love of both the character and the ditty—so much so, in fact, that the film’s North American distributor, Neon, released a video of Park teaching “The Jessica Jingle.”
“I dedicate this to those who want to learn my doorbell song,” Park says cheerfully before subtly slinking into character. Fingers cautiously aloft, Park begins, “Jessica, only child, Illinois, Chicago...” She even ends with a playful—yet appropriately ominous—imitation of the doorbell that will lead to one of the wildest, most anxiety-inducing adventures in cinema. Included in the post is a link to Neon’s website, which allows users to download the song as a ringtone.
Parasite was released in the U.S. on October 11 and has grossed over $100 million in global box office revenue—a first for Bong Joon Ho. It made its world premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival where it became the first Korean film to win the festival’s highest prize, the Palme d’Or. You can check out our review by A.A. Dowd here right after you read our own Katie Rife’s interview with the filmmaker himself. Side note: What do we have to do for a five-second clip of Park So-Dam and Cardi B à la “Press” volleying “ding-dong” back and forth to each other?