Home Film & TV Monster (2023): On the Red Carpet in Koreatown

Monster (2023): On the Red Carpet in Koreatown

by Neil Bui

The latest film by director Hirokazu Kore-eda, Monster, had a community screening in Koreatown. Dorkaholics was on the scene covering the red carpet and had an opportunity to speak to guests about the film and its themes.

What are your thoughts on the themes of the film, as well as how you felt after watching it for the first time?

Sela Wang: As Jeffrey mentioned before, we actually didn’t watch the trailer which we thought was a pretty genius idea, so we didn’t know what to expect. I think it is a beautiful film and very interesting. The more times you watch it, the more you’ll discover through the perspectives of the film.

Jeffrey Chin: I think what’s so special is that Kore-eda is able to deal with such important family drama, but he’s able to always see a semblance of hope in it. That’s something very beautiful that all the viewers are going to enjoy. So, thank you for this opportunity.

Have you seen Monster yet?

Steven He: I’m so excited. I think East Asia Cinema has been absolutely elevating the game for the last couple of years. With titles that take over the entire planet, and I’ve always been a fan of Japanese media since Naruto when I was 12 years old. In terms of storytelling and content creation over there, I admire what’s going on. I’m very glad the whole world’s getting to see a piece of it.

To give you a hint of what this movie entails, I’ve seen it once already – emotional damage.

Steven He: It means I’m perfect here then.

The movie’s going to touch upon how misunderstandings can happen and how that turns people into monsters in our eyes. It centers on the experiences of two young children and how, as adults, we can better understand each other to help them in their struggles throughout life. What are your thoughts on this topic?

Steven He: I think it’s a topic that needs to be explored more because I have some very similar beliefs in my own life, where the majority of conflict stems from misunderstanding. My favorite proverb describes exactly that. I think human nature is similar; we are all born kind, but the paths we have come across may be different, causing misunderstandings and conflicts. The fact that we have a film that explores that makes me very excited to watch it, and I think more people should be covering this.

The movie Monster talks about people trying to understand each other better so that we don’t turn them into monsters in our minds. It also emphasizes understanding and putting in the effort to understand children better so that we can help them grow up in the best way possible. What are your thoughts on these themes?

Rome Kanda: When I was younger, I went to a school in a not-so-good neighborhood, so I felt their emotions. Both of them, so it is better to be good, to be nice people. But sometimes it happens, so we have to figure it out by ourselves how I have to be a nice person. This film is great to show all the types of Japanese periods of time, so people will know what’s going on in Japan. This is not just about Japan; it’s going to be all over the world. So we help each other, we cooperate with each other. I’m a Japanese guy living here among American people; it’s not easy, but I can face reality and I can solve it the same as this film.

What do you do here in LA?

Rome Kanda: I’m an actor, comedian, and host. In Los Angeles, I moved here 20 years ago.

Any projects you want to bring attention to at this time?

Rome Kanda: Right now, my show is called Maniac with Emma Stone. It’s on Netflix, so you have to watch Maniac.

The movie Monster touches upon themes of understanding children and the misunderstandings that happen, turning people into monsters in our own eyes. What are your thoughts on whether to learn to understand each other better or learn to understand children?

Alex Ritchie: To answer your first question, learning to understand each other better is incredibly important. It allows us to move through the world with much more empathy. I think we’d have a lot fewer problems if we did that. Understanding children is key because a lot of us develop deep-seated traumas in our youth. Trying to understand children at their level, without making them feel condescended, allowing them to be themselves, and acting as if they have value can help them grow up less traumatized and more healthy. I think a better world overall.

The film touches upon themes of people understanding each other better and not letting assumptions turn them into monsters in our eyes, as well as learning to understand children better to help them grow into their lives. What are your thoughts on these themes?

Derek Mio: There’s a lot of themes going on there. The first thing that comes to mind is that I have a two-year-old boy at home, and he can be quite a monster himself a lot of times. So, I’ll react in the moment, and I have to take a pause a lot of times and understand that he’s just a baby, acting on his natural human impulses. I make it a point to apologize to him, let him know I’m sorry, and try to see things from his perspective, understanding the world through his eyes. These are very deep themes to be dealing with, and hopefully, it makes me re-evaluate the way I interact with my own son.

Monster opened in New York on November 22 and opens in Los Angeles and Chicago December 1, with additional releases on December 15 in areas such as San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Dallas, Denver, and Washington D.C.

Where to watch Monster

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