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‘Parasite’ feeds off Bong Joon-ho’s genius

The film, a vicious satire about the widening gap between rich and poor, took home Academy Awards for best original screenplay and best international feature after winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes, a Golden Globe and two Baftas.

Agence France-Presse

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BONG Joon Ho (right) accepts the award for Best Director for "Parasite" from US director Spike Lee  during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.  AFP

South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho has been on quite a wild ride this awards season. That trip reached its climax Sunday when he secured his country’s first-ever Oscars for “Parasite”.

The film, a vicious satire about the widening gap between rich and poor, took home Academy Awards for best original screenplay and best international feature after winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes, a Golden Globe and two Baftas.

“We never write to represent our countries,” said the 50-year-old Bong. “But this is (the) very first Oscar to South Korea. Thank you.”

Later, as he accepted the prize for best international feature, he said in English, eliciting laughs from the audience: “Yeah, I’m ready to drink tonight.”

Bong — who is known for his dark and genre-hopping thrillers — already had a series of critical and commercial hits behind him before “Parasite” and is one of South Korea’s best-known faces.

This latest triumph on Hollywood’s biggest night, a rarity for an Asian auteur filmmaker, should take him to new heights.

“He’s been an established director for close to 20 years and has made exceptional films,” Jason Bechervaise, a professor at Korea Soongsil Cyber University, told AFP.

“He’s also very charming and sociable. This has been a factor, I think, in how far the film has gone — having done hundreds of interviews, possibly more, and mingling with voters and the Hollywood elite.”

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