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Bong Joon-ho Returns To Korea, Talks Oscars and 'Parasite'

Gettyimages | Michael Kovac
By Tara Lloyd

Bong Joon-ho and the cast of Academy Award-winning film Parasite have made a triumphant return to South Korea.

The film, which won four Oscars including Best Director and Best Picture, has currently grossed $206.1 million worldwide and been an awards season favorite.

Speaking at a press event on Wednesday, Bong and the cast reflected on what they had learned from the Academy Awards.

"Compared to Hollywood studios and Netflix, our Oscars campaign was smaller. Other nominees had enormous ads on billboard and TV ads," he said.

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Gettyimages | VALERIE MACON

He continued, "We, NEON, CJ Entertainment and Barunson, however, closed ranks and managed to cover the gap with our passion. There were times I found such expensive campaigns awkward, but I’ve come to think that is, in a sense, a process to examine and appreciate each film in so much depth."

Lead actor Song Kang-ho also talked about his thoughts on the campaign, calling it “a journey to learn how to communicate with artists in the international film industry, not to achieve those trophies.”

Gettyimages | Jamie McCarthy

Bong also revealed plans for a HBO adaptation of Parasite, in collaboration with Adam McKay.

“It will be a five to six-episode limited series; no season 2 or 3. We are developing it as a dense black comedy/crime series that thoroughly explores the rich-poor gap of our time,” he said.

“It is not official that Tilda Swinton and Mark Ruffalo will star in the series, as some hasty stories have reported recently. The Snowpiercer series, which is set for TV premiere in May in North America, took some five years to be aired. The HBO version of Parasite series is in a very early phase of development and will take similarly long.”

Giphy | The Academy Awards

He also revealed that Parasite will be getting a black and white release.

"I believe my audiences have the same romantic ideas about black and white films as I do. In addition, every detail and nuance of our actors’ performance will stand out in black and white," he said.

As for what is next for the director, he stated that there are new projects in the works.

"I have been developing those projects for a long time. They had started before Parasite won the Oscars. I will make them the same way I’ve made my previous films,” he revealed.

"I was already diagnosed with burnout [syndrome] when I finished Okja. But then I scraped up the pieces of my soul because I really wanted to make Parasite."

He added, "Now that the Oscars race is over, I thought of taking a rest but Martin Scorsese sent me a message this morning, saying that my break should be a short one because he is awaiting my new film."

Gettyimages | Handout

Bong's interpreter Sharon Choi has also opened up about her experiences during awards season.

She wrote a piece for Variety detailing the ceremonies.

"Truth is, there is no time to reminisce when you’re interpreting. It’s all about the moment that exists now, and I have to wipe away each memory to make room for the next," she wrote.

"This journey has been nothing but a privilege. I got to witness firsthand the roaring laughter for the comedy duo that became Bong and Song Kang Ho, the standing ovation for the Parasite cast when they won the ensemble prize at the SAG Awards, and the golden hue that fell upon the audience as Bong paid tribute to Martin Scorsese on the Oscars stage."

She also discussed her newfound fame. "Seeing my face on my social media feed has been so bizarre. I realized this was my 15 minutes of fame when I found a string of bot tweets that looped my name into the hashtag for Viagra ads," she wrote.

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