What a night for Bong Joon-ho! The man behind one of 2019’s most-loved films, Parasite, the South Korean auteur is currently living the Hollywood dream, with four wins at the 92nd Academy Awards, including both Best International Picture and Best Picture. But it was during his Best Director win, that director Bong (as he’s often referred to by his crew and cast) injected some life into a rather predictable, insipid evening. Practically shaking with disbelief while accepting the award from auteur Spike Lee, he candidly admitted how he thought he was ‘ready to relax’ after his Best International Feature win.
And then came the most heartfelt moment of the entire Oscar evening, when director Bong spoke about the learning he began his career with. “When I was young and studying cinema, there was a saying I carved deep into my heart. ‘Which is the most personal, is the most creative’ – this quote was from our great Martin Scorsese”, Joon-ho said while pointing towards a visibly embarrassed Scorsese, who folded his hands as a reciprocative gesture, as the audience members spontaneously stood up.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) February 10, 2020
“When I was in (film) school, I used to study the work of Mr Martin Scorsese. Being nominated alongside him was a huge honour, I never thought I would win,” Joon-ho added, while Scorsese continued to laugh while mouthing ‘thank you’ to the Korean auteur with folded hands.
Joon-ho continued in his speech, where he expressed his gratitude to another fellow nominee. “When people in the US were not familiar with my films, Quentin (Tarantino) always put my films on his lists. He’s here, thank you so much!” Tarantino has repeatedly mentioned in interviews how Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder (2003) and The Host (2006) have been two of the most influential films in his life.
Before signing off, Joon-ho took the opportunity to thank the other two fellow nominees, Sam Mendes and Todd Phillips, who were nominated for their films 1917 and Joker respectively. “If the Academy allowed me to use a Texas chainsaw and cut this statue into five pieces and share it with you, then I would,” Joon-ho said while concluding the warmest moment at 2020 Oscars.