For those that don’t follow the Academy Awards, Parasite, a film directed by Bong Joon-Ho, won the Oscar for Best Picture. The film was made in South Korea with English subtitles. It is the first non-English language film to win Best Picture. I haven’t seen the film yet, but I think it’s cool that the Academy, which has been under fire for its lack of diversity in its nominees, would recognize a foreign film with its highest honor. Bong Joon-Ho is considered the Martin Scorsese of Korea and he seems like a cool guy. The LA Times reported that after attending the star-studded, Vanity Fair post-awards party, he took his film crew to Koreatown near downtown LA for some late-night Korean BBQ. I can relate to Joon-Ho. After a successful event or convention, there is nothing I enjoy more than some authentic Mexican food with friends.
Diversity in film and in television is as important as it is in business and politics. People form their impressions of other people based on what they see in the media. People also tend to fear the unknown. The more that film can introduce us to the humanity of other cultures, the better. I don’t believe in tokenism or diversity for the sake of diversity, but you aren’t going to tell me there isn’t stellar talent and brilliant story tellers from all cultures. Films from India, Mexico, Turkey, and Korea are considered some of the best in the world – and it’s not just about stories from outside the States. There are great films being made today which include diverse talent and themes in America. Streaming services have made many of these films more readily available to everyone.
I plan on watching Parasite soon on Amazon Prime with some Korean BBQ tacos and a glass of wine. I’m hopeful that the financial success of the film will open more doors for other filmmakers from different cultures from both inside the USA and around the world. Looking forward to a great year in the cinema!
This week, in a brief to the judge of a major antitrust lawsuit known as Nosalek, the U.S. Department of Justice called for decoupling buyer and seller agent representation. If the DOJ gets what it wants, it would mean that listing agents would no longer be permitted to share their commissions with agents representing buyers, and buyers would have to pay out of pocket to have an agent represent them.
I was in D.C. on Friday for the celebration of life for my friend, Dave Stevens. Dave was a former FHA Commissioner under Barack Obama and an icon in the mortgage banking industry. I was lucky to know Dave as a good friend.
If you’re not familiar with the Sitzer class action lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors and several of the largest real estate brands, it centers on how real estate agents are compensated. The lawsuit claims that the practice of seller and buyer agent cooperation or sharing of commissions is an anti-trust violation and has resulted in inflated commissions paid by consumers. While a jury in Missouri has already sided with the plaintiffs, the judge has not rendered a final verdict.