Facts about Bong Joon Ho

Bong Joon Ho is 51 years old
Birthplace: Daegu, South Korea
Best known as: The Oscar-winning director of Parasite

     

     

Bong Joon Ho Biography

Bong Joon Ho is the South Korean director who was the winner of four 2020 Oscars for his film Parasite: best original screenplay, best director, best international feature, and best picture of the year.

Bong Joon Ho, the grandson of 20th-century Korean author Park Taewon, grew up in Seoul. He became fascinated by film as he studied sociology at Yonsei University, where he graduated in 1995 after doing his two mandatory years in the South Korean military. He studied at the Korean Academy of Film Arts and then began working in the film industry as a writer and assistant director.

His first film, Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000), wasn’t a hit but offered the first hint of what became Bong’s signature dystopian take on modern life; The New York Times later called his outlook “a deeply humane vision of rotting humanity.” Memories of a Murder (2003) was a crime drama based on real Korean serial murder case; it won best picture and best director at the Korean Grand Bell awards.

Snowpiercer (2013, starring Tilda Swinton) was the wild futuristic tale of a society endlessly circling the Earth on a train, with poor people in the back and the rich in the front. A strange and intense take on modern capitalism, it brought him international fame and set the stage for the even more intense Parasite (2019), in which a clan of poor Koreans bamboozles its way into the home of a wealthy modern industrialist, with unsettling results.

Parasite (2019) won the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The next year it swept all four Oscars it was nominated for at the 2020 Academy Awards. Parasite is the first foreign-language film ever to win the best picture Oscar. Bong Joon Ho’s other films as a director include The Host (2006), Mother (2009), and Okja (2017).

Extra credit

봉준호 is the Korean spelling of his name, per Wikipedia… His name is also rendered in English as Bong Joon-ho and Bong Joonho… His grandfather, the author Park Taewon, moved to North Korea in 1950 and remained there until his death in 1986… The “best international feature” category at the Academy Awards was formerly titled “best foreign language film”; the name was changed in 2019.


     

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