Bong Joon-ho, who has been making history with his highly-acclaimed film 'Parasite', has spoken out for the first time about the moment he realized the movie had won six Oscar nominations, becoming the first South Korean film to compete at the Academy Awards in the process.
"Every time they announced the new nominations, it was so thrilling, because we didn't really anticipate this. When we were making the film, we never knew it would lead to this moment, so it was very exciting and intensely pleasing."
Among the categories it's in, 'Parasite' is up for 'Best Picture', 'Best Director' and 'Best International Feature Film' at next month's Academy Awards..
The black comedy is about the social disparity that exists in people's daily lives, regardless of their cultural or social background.
It was that theme that crossed borders and hit home with audiences around the world. But Bong says there was something more.
"I think the film felt friendly because class is something we all experience in our daily lives. But I think what's really new is how the narrative progresses and how the film explores these issues. A lot of American audience members have told us that 'Parasite' was very unpredictable and I think that's why people really enjoyed it."
Bong has been sweeping international film awards with 'Parasite' including the famed Palme d'Or and the 'Best Foreign Language Film' award at Golden Globes, where he gave a speech encouraging international audiences to adapt to subtitles so they can explore an entirely new realm of films.
"Perhaps the language barrier was, you know, broken. Maybe my speech came a little too late. The fact these nominations came while Parasite is enjoying such great box office success in the U.S., that's what's really important and makes me happy."
He added the Oscar nominations not only contribute to breaking down language barriers, but at the same time 'Parasite' benefited from the global trend of the already lowered barriers between cultures thanks to the internet, social media and streaming services.
"Things are slowly changing. I'm hopeful that through the singular language of cinema, we can overcome these barriers."
The Oscar winners will be announced at the 92nd Academy Awards on February 9th in Los Angeles.
Lee Min-sun, Arirang News.