×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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.”

Popular on Variety

“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.

More Film

  • My Zoe

    'My Zoe': Film Review

    There are two films in Julie Delpy’s ambitious, sharply-made but unbalanced “My Zoe.” There’s the scabrous relationship melodrama, about bitter exes sharing custody of a beloved child, which contains the story’s most potent emotions. And there’s the sci-fi-inflected ethical-dilemma grief movie, which houses its most provocative ideas. Both have much to recommend them, not least [...]

  • Richard Jewell

    The Big Lie of 'Richard Jewell' (Column)

    For a man who was so enraged at the administration of Barack Obama that he spent his 2012 Republican Convention speech lecturing an empty chair, Clint Eastwood has made a number of conventional, level-headed — one might even say liberal — political dramas. Films like “Invictus” and “J. Edgar” and “Midnight in the Garden of [...]

  • Oscar Isaac Star Wars The Rise

    Oscar Isaac Has Never Felt Like a 'Star Wars' Insider

    Unlike his “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” co-stars Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, Oscar Isaac had already established a long and acclaimed acting career before J.J. Abrams cast him as ace X-wing pilot Poe Dameron in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” including standout roles in 2006’s “The Nativity Story” and 2011’s “Drive,” and [...]

  • Les Arcs to Showcase New Projects

    Les Arcs to Showcase New Projects by Jonas Alexander Arnby, Agnieszka Smoczyńska

    Denmark’s Jonas Alexander Arnby, France’s Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, and Poland’s Agnieszka Smoczyńska are among up-and-coming directors from across Europe whose latest projects will be presented at the 11th Coproduction Village of Les Arcs Film Festival. This edition of Les Arcs Coproduction Village will showcase a total of 22 European projects spanning 19 countries. [...]

  • Chez Jolie Coiffure

    'Chez Jolie Coiffure': Film Review

    Shortly before the credits roll on “Chez Jolie Coiffure,” a customer in the eponymous hair salon asks her stylist, Sabine, if she has any plans to go home this year. Out of context, this sounds like the kind of standard, empty small talk one often makes while having one’s hair cut: what good movies you’ve [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content