Bong Joon Ho: “It’s wonderful to change the history of the Oscars”

Parasites makes history in Hollywood by winning the Oscar for best film, but it also won 3 other statuettes for best director, best screenplay and best international film. Never before had a non-English language film been nominated and won the Oscar. Today all North American newspapers consider the awards for Parasite and its director Bong Joon Ho as a historical milestone that can forever change the constricted structural system of the North American Academy.

When he released the film, the only thing he wanted was for the public to receive the message, now that he has conquered Hollywood with it. What do you feel?

I am a very strange person. What is happening seems surreal to me. I think someone is going to hit me and I’m going to wake up from this weird dream. It’s fucking crazy.

Parasites is a story from Korea that has nevertheless been accepted wherever it has been released, it is a universal story

Parasite is a Korean production that has caused more enthusiasm than my previous film, which was an English film. That makes me think that, perhaps, we don’t have to look outside to attract an international audience.

As a child, did you ever dream of winning an Oscar?

I’ve seen Scorsese lose this award many times, he didn’t know me then but it frustrated me to see him lose. I remember when he won for The Departed, I was excited and seeing myself nominated alongside him has been a great honor. I find it hard to believe

Does the fact that in the United States they award a foreign film with subtitles for the first time in the best film category, does it mean a radical change in Hollywood?

During the Golden Globes I mentioned the barrier of subtitles, but I feel that the public is overcoming that barrier thanks to platforms and social networks. We live in an environment where we are all connected. Naturally, the day came when a foreign film won. In the future it will seem normal to us, I hope so

We are facing a historic moment, not only for the Academy and the Oscars but also for South Korea

It is the first time that a Korean film has been nominated for the Oscars, winning an award would have been a huge celebration, but winning 6 Oscars in total in 4 categories, I can’t even begin to explain it. I can’t imagine what it will be like in Korea right now or what will happen there when we return. Winning best picture means that it has been voted for by a large number of members and that is an example of the structural change that the Academy has made towards international cinema. It is historic not only for Korea and, in that sense, it is wonderful to win

His award means a lot for Korea, but also for international cinema

Yesterday at the Spirit Awards another Asian film won, The Farewell, and I was very happy. I think it is not necessary to separate or put margins on artistic creation. It doesn’t matter whether a film comes from Asia, Europe or the United States, the important thing is to pursue the beauty of cinema and concentrate on the individual charm of each piece. Then we will overcome all our barriers

Have you already planned your next project?

Yes. I have a plan. I’m going to get to work because this is what I do. I have been working for the last 20 years without thinking about the Cannes awards or the Oscars. I have had two projects in hand for 2 years and I am going to continue with them. Nothing has changed or will change with this award

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