SEOUL, Feb 10, 2020, Yonhap. Bong Joon-ho’s sensational black comedy “Parasite” has bagged four Oscar titles, becoming the first non-English language film to win best picture, Yonhap reported.
At the 92nd Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday (U.S. local time), Bong’s seventh feature film, a tale of class division, won the ceremony’s highest prize — best picture.
It beat out strong competition from “1917” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” for the win. Other nominees were “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Ford v Ferrari,” “Little Women,” “Joker,” and “Marriage Story.”
“Parasite” also won best director, best original screenplay and best international feature film. It is South Korea’s first Oscar-nominated film.
It is the first time that a non-English film has been chosen for the Oscar best picture award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in the more than 90 years of its history. It also is the first time that the winner of Cannes’ Palme d’Or grabs the top honor at the Oscars since 1955, when the American romantic comedy “Marty” doubled the two accolades.
The top prize winner of last year’s Cannes is a family satire that depicts the entrenched social class system through the lives of two families, one rich and one poor, with Bong’s unique humor and suspense.
It became the biggest winner of this year’s Oscars with four statuettes, outnumbering runner-up “1917,” which had three for cinematography, visual effects and sound mixing. The World War I movie directed by Sam Mendes had been regarded as the main contender until the show started.
“Joker,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Ford v. Ferrari” took two titles each.
“I feel like, a very opportune moment in history is happening now,” Kwak Sin-ae, a producer of “Parasite,” said. “I would like to express my deepest gratitude and respect for all the members of the academy for making this decision. Thank you.”
Bong accepted the award with Kwak. But he didn’t make a speech for the award since he ascended to the stage three times before to grab the best director, best screenplay and best international feature film awards.
He became the second Asian director to win the Academy’s best directing award, after Taiwan’s Ang Lee who won twice for “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi.”
“Parasite” is also the second subtitled movie to capture the best directing and best international feature film prizes at the same time, following Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” last year.
At the acceptance speech for international feature film, previously known as best foreign language film, Bong said he could feel the change in the Academy.
“I’m so happy to be its first recipient under the new name,” the director said through an interpreter. “I applaud and support the new direction that this change symbolizes.”
When accepting best director, he said he was influenced by master directors in Hollywood like Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino.
“When I was in school, I studied Martin Scorsese’s films,” he said. “Just to be nominated with him is a huge honor, and I never thought I would win.”
He also expressed his respect for his fellow nominees including Sam Mendes and Todd Phillips, joking that he wanted to divide the statuette between them.
“If the Academy allows, I would like to get a Texas chainsaw and split the Oscar trophy into five and share it with all of you,” he said.
“Parasite” was also nominated in best film editing and best production design but lost to “Ford v. Ferrari” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” respectively.