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'Parasite' Filmmaker Bong Joon-ho Admires Another Writer, Admits He’s Exhausted After the Oscars

Gettyimages | Robin L Marshall
By Jenna Cartusciello

How does a filmmaker as successful as Bong Joon-ho go about his life after winning an Oscar for best picture?

According to Bong, it's back to the basics: sitting quietly in the corner of a coffee shop, writing.

On Wednesday, Bong discussed the art of screenwriting and post-Oscars life on a four-way Skype call with “Atlantic” writer David Sims, independent film director Kelly Reichardt and translator Sharon Choi. Reichardt and Bong had plenty to talk about, from their writing processes to their admiration for each other.

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Bong Joon-ho Deeply Admires Filmmaker Kelly Reichardt

Gettyimages | Araya Diaz

Reichardt, who is well-known in the independent film world for her minimalist style, first met Bong Joon-ho at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Bong won the Palme d’Or for “Parasite,” and Reichardt played a part in the win: she voted for his film as a member of the jury.

Bong recalled approaching Reichardt on the festival award stage with the words, “I’m a huge fan!” He explained that this was a risky move, as the festival discouraged directors in competition from speaking with members of the jury.

Reichardt revealed how much she appreciated the comment. Apparently, she had been overshadowed by Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos (who directed “The Favourite”) all day.

Reichardt is “Intimidated” by Bong, Who Says the Oscars Left Him Exhausted

Gettyimages | Rachel Luna

Reichardt admitted at the beginning of the conversation that she was intimidated given Bong’s recent success.

“Where do we start, Bong, my goodness! Congratulations!” she exclaimed. The two revealed that they hadn’t spoken in some time, so this interview was a welcome opportunity to reconnect.

Reichardt then asked, “are you able to do any work now that you’ve stopped going around with ‘Parasite?’”

“Now that I finally have time, I’m trying to get back on it,” Bong replied. “But I’m so exhausted, mentally and physically. I’m just a shell of a human.”

Bong Talks Writing Preferences

Gettyimages | Kevin Winter

According to Bong, the best place to work is in a coffee shop with plenty of noise. Why?

“I always end up sleeping if I write at home,” he confessed.

“But you can’t go sit in a coffee shop now! You’re too famous! You blew it!” Reichardt joked.

“There’s always corners where I can hide!” Bong replied.

Writers and fans, take note! A famous South Korean filmmaker may be lurking in your local café, writing his next project on a trusty iPad and wireless keyboard.

What’s in store for Bong and Reichardt?

Gettyimages | CHRISTOPHE SIMON

After the major success of “Parasite,” Bong believes his next films will be smaller productions. He revealed that he’s working on two projects, one in Korean and one in English. Reichardt will continue teaching and working on her own projects as well.

Upon further discussion of Reichardt’s projects, Bong said, “whenever I watch your films, I always want to visit Oregon, but I’ve never been able to. I’m curious what that place means to you in your body of work.”

Reichart quickly gave him the green light. “Please come visit! We’ll show you everything!” She continued, “there’s no show business there, we can just go out to eat ... and I will just take you out into the woods.”

Now that these two powerhouse filmmakers are discussing an informal get-together, who knows? Some sort of collaboration may be in their future.

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