Bong Joon Ho creates Oscar history with best picture win for 'Parasite'

PTI
Monday, 10 February 2020

While "Parasite's" chances in the international category were a lock, the best picture and director win was a huge upset for British filmmaker Sam Mendes' war drama "1917". 

Los Angeles: "Parasite", director Bong Joon Ho's twisted satire on class divide, leap-frogged through 92 years of Oscar history to become the first non-English and South Korean film to win the best picture award.
 
The movie, a cleverly crafted genre-bending story, broke the "one inch long subtitle barrier" that its director Bong had talked about in the run-up to the Oscars to sweep the top categories that also included the international feature, best director and original screenplay.
 
The director, who had already come up the stage thrice and promised to drink the night away, let his producers bask in the limelight for the big finish.
 
"I'm speechless. We never imagined this to ever happen. We are so happy. I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now," co-producer Kwak Sin Ae said in her acceptance speech via interpreter Sharon Choi. 

As the lights dimmed, award presenter Jane Fonda and the audience, including Hollywood stars Tom Hanks and Charlize Theron, urged the Academy to let the team complete their speeches.
 
Bong again let Miky Lee, the South Korean movie mogul, speak about the film.
 
"I like everything about him (Bong), his smile, his crazy hair, the way he talks, the way he walks, especially the way he directs. What I really like about him is his sense of humour... he never takes himself seriously. Thank you for being you," Lee added.
 
Talking backstage to Academy's 'Thank you cam', the director called his film's sweep a "surreal" moment. 

"Four times... It's crazy. It's an unbelievable night. It's such a great honour. I feel like I'll wake up to find this all a dream. It all feels very surreal," he said. 

While "Parasite's" chances in the international category were a lock, the best picture and director win was a huge upset for British filmmaker Sam Mendes' war drama "1917". 

The South Korean film, about a poor family that worms its way into a rich household to comic and tragic results, was also up against seven other films: Ford V Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit," Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood".
 
The director once again spoke about the historic moment and how it will shape the future Academy Awards. 

"During the Golden Globes I mentioned the one-inch barrier of subtitles, but I feel like that was already a little late. People were already overcoming these barriers... We will come to a day when a foreign language film -- or not, it doesn't really matter -- a foreign language film winning this won't be much of an issue later on, hopefully," Bong said. 

"Parasite" has been on a unstoppable march since its debut at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival where it became the first South Korean film to win the Palme d'Or award.
  
The universal love and acclaim that the film has been receiving managed to warm up to even the notoriously conservative Academy voters, leading up to a historic night.
 
The film went into the Oscar race with an impressive haul of trophies at the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and the Screen Actor Guild Awards. 

Bong is not new to the western audiences and first broke onto the international scene with "Memories of Murder", a cult favourite of his fans and credited for being one of the first films of the South Korean cinema's new wave. 
 
The director will continue the "Parasite" saga in a television series, which will expand on the universe that he created in the movie.  

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