BUSAN — With hits “The Host” and “Snowpiercer” behind him, Bong Joon-ho is held in huge esteem by Korean audiences. He was exec producer of “Sea Fog,” this year’s Korean contender for the foreign-language Oscar. In Busan he’s a member of the New Currents jury and will present a black and white version of 2009 tough-love drama “Mother.”
You went to extraordinary lengths to get the detail right in “Mother.” What should we watch out for in “Mother”?
Other than the fact that it’s B&W, everything is exactly the same. I love classic B&W movies.
How do you feel about the selection of “Sea Fog” to represent Korea?
It would have been nice if it had done well at the box office, but it didn’t. I hope it will do well in overseas sales to make up for its lack of local success.
One of the highlights of Busan last year was your Open Talk with Quentin Tarantino.
We met again in L.A. a few months ago and had a fun time typical of film geeks. He gave me DVDs of 1960s TV series “Garrison’s Gorillas,” and I gave him DVDs of films by Korean director Lee Man-hee, as he kept asking me about him.
Would you work with The Weinstein Company again?
It was decided that the director’s cut of “Snowpiercer” would be released worldwide, so I’m satisfied with that. It was an arduous process, but I enjoyed working with Tom Quinn of Radius TWC.
Like many celebrities you’ve been an active campaigner about social issues.
My first inclination is to keep quiet. I don’t lead an exemplary life and I feel hypocritical. But I try to overcome that hesitation, because it’d be wrong not to take part.
What’s next as a filmmaker?
I’m writing two scripts and toying with the directing a story written by someone else. I don’t know how to define their genres. They’re all small-scale, though. Not like “Snowpiercer.”