Bong Joon Ho creates history at Oscars with best director win for 'Parasite'
Los Angeles: Director Bong Joon Ho scripted history by becoming the first Asian and South Korean filmmaker to bag the best director Oscar for his sensational class satire "Parasite" at the 92nd Academy Awards.
A cleverly crafted, genre-bending story set in a sprawling house, the film helped Bong cross the "one inch long subtitle barrier" to claim the original screenplay, international feature film and the director trophies.
As charming as ever, Bong gave a shout-out to fellow nominees, singling out "The Irishman" director Martin Scorsese as an inspiration and "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" director Quentin Tarantino for always looking out for him in America when he was unknown.
"I thought I was done for the day..." the director quipped as he took to the stage.
"When I was young and studying cinema, there was a saying that I carved deep into my heart, which is 'the most personal is the most creative'. When I was in school, I studied Martin Scorsese's films. Just to be nominated with him was a huge honour, I never thought I would win.
"When people in the US were not familiar with my films, Quentin always put my films on his lists. He is here. Thank you so much, Quentin, I love you. And Todd (Phillips) and Sam (Mendes), great directors. If the Academy allows, I would like to get a Texas chainsaw, split the Oscar trophy in five and share it with all of you," Bong said through his interpreter Sharon Choi.
He joked that after the win, which culminates a busy award season for the director who is keen to go back home, he would "drink till the next morning".
The film, revolving around the Kim family who infiltrate into the rich Park family, leading to sometimes comic but ultimately tragic results, was nominated in the categories of best picture, best director, best production design, best original screenplay, best foreign film and best editing and so far has managed to win three.
Bong, 50, is not new to the western audiences and first broke on the international scene with his second South Korean language feature "Memories of Murder", based on a real incident and still considered to be his best by many fans.
The rich-poor divide has been a recurring theme in his films, be it monster movie "The Host" or his first full-fledged English-language film "Snowpiercer", starring Hollywood star Chris Evans and his favourite Song Kang Ho.
"Parasite", Bong's seventh film, also features Song as does "The Host".