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Cannes: Bong Joon-ho Says Competition Film ‘Parasite’ Is Hyper-Local

Having been partially responsible for the Netflix fall out with the Cannes Film Festival, “Okja” and “Snowpiercer” director Bong Joon-ho returns to Cannes competition this year with conventionally- financed “Parasite.” But the Korean-language film is a tragicomedy that Bong says may be too nuanced for the festival.

“Cannes always makes me feel excited, fresh, and nervous. I am very happy to premiere my film, which took so much work, at the hottest, most passionate place,” Bong said at an event held in Seoul on Monday. “But I doubt whether the film could be 100% understood (by foreign audiences). ‘Parasite’ is full of details and nuances that are specific to Koreans. I think the film’s Korean premiere after Cannes will be the most exciting moment for me.”

The themes that Bong has explored in his previous films, such as social class and family dynamics, will again feature. ” “Parasite’ is a story of two families from extremely different environments coming across each other. It deals with the laughter, the horror and the sorrow of people living together,” said Bong. “It might sound self-contradicting, but the different backgrounds of the two families also mirror the universal gap between rich and the poor.”

” ‘Parasite’ is not very likely to win the competition in Cannes, because there are many films by great directors,” said Bong. “But the actors have a higher chance of winning something.”

“Parasite” features some of Korea’s most capable actors in lead roles. They include Song Kang-ho, who is Bong’s regular partner since “Memories of Murder,” Lee Sun-kyun (“A Hard Day”), Jo Yeo-jeong (“Obsessed”) and Choi Woo-shik (“Okja”).

“Bong always tries to make films that are full of amazing creativity and insights. Anyone watching ‘Parasite’ will be able to see the stunning progress made by director Bong and by Korean cinema, since ‘Memories’ sixteen years ago,” said Song.

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