Bong Joon-ho (Daegu, South Korea, 1969) was until this year one of the best kept secrets of moviegoers who enjoyed his films in the original release circuits. It has been twenty years since the San Sebastián Festival discovered him with his first feature film, ‘Barking Dogs Never Bite’, and three years later he was awarded the Silver Shell for best director for his next film, the gripping ‘Memories of Murder’, a thriller that followed the investigations of a detective sent from Seoul to a provincial city shaken by a series of brutal rapes and murders.
Joon-ho is also a name regular at the Sitges fantastic film festival, where he presented ‘The Host’ in 2006, a very original monster film with a gigantic creature that terrorized a city and which became a social phenomenon in his country, with more than 13 million viewers. In reality, ‘The Host’, as with ‘Parasites’, had to be seen as an allegory of a country in transformation, dominated by fear. “The real monster is the state and the system,” defended the author of ‘Mother’, who decided to become a filmmaker when he was in high school, influenced by a family of artists (his father is a designer and his grandfather was a writer ).
The director of ‘Snowpiercer: Snowbreaker’, a very expensive epic aboard a futuristic train, is the most prominent representative of a powerful cinematography with names like Park Chan-wook, Kim Jee-woon and Kim Ki-duk, which flourished with the arrival of a democratic government in 1987. With a screen share greater than 50%Korean cinema tackles big-budget projects, triumphs at festivals and turns its directors into international stars like Bong Joon-ho himself, who three years ago competed in Cannes with ‘Okja’, the story of a girl and a monster affable produced by Netflix that was already spoken partly in English and had the British Tilda Swinton in the cast.
More than 3,000 compatriots went to welcome him at the Seoul airport when he landed with the Palme d’Or for ‘Parasites’, award that for the first time went to a Korean film. “I wanted to portray what it feels like to enter another family, something that I experienced when I was at university and worked as a tutor for the children of a millionaire family,” told EL CORREO when the film premiered in Spain on October 25. «Her house was something I didn’t imagine existed. “I felt like I was infiltrating another family, while receiving money for it.” The international success of ‘Parasites’, which lands on the auteur cinema platform of the movie this Friday, It is because its message about class struggle is universal. The disdain with which the nouveau riche speaks of the smell of the poor is recognizable anywhere in the world.
Bong Joon-ho’s ability lies in transcending genre cinema and turning his works into social satires about the future of a country in which he enjoys million-dollar audiences. In ‘Snowpiercer’ she had to endure the interference of Harvey Weinstein himself in the editing room, so the brand new winner of four Oscars already knows what it’s like to move around Hollywood. The funny and terrible adventures of this offspring that steals the Wi-Fi from her neighbors have conquered the planet and provided its author with a future that will undoubtedly pass through Hollywood.