See More on Facebook

‘Parasite’ makes Oscars history with four wins

Winning four awards at the Oscars on Sunday, including the coveted award for best picture, South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho made history with his feature film “Parasite”.

Written by

Updated: February 11, 2020

Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho made history with his feature film “Parasite,” winning four awards at the Oscars on Sunday, including the coveted award for best picture.“Parasite” became the second film ever to win the Palme d’Or and the Oscar for best picture together, after the 1955 romance film “Marty” by Delbert Mann.

The awards ceremony for the 92nd Academy Awards was held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday. Attended by renowned filmmakers, actors and figures from the film industry, the event celebrated the cinematic achievements of 2019.“Parasite” became the star of the night, as it became the first foreign-language film to win best picture at the Oscars. It also won three other awards — best international feature film, best director and best original screenplay.“Parasite” was also the first winner for best international feature film at the Oscars, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences changed the name of the category from “best foreign language film” this year to reflect a more positive and inclusive approach to movies made outside Hollywood.“The category has a new name now, from best foreign language to best international feature film,” Bong said in his acceptance speech. “I am so happy to be its first recipient under the new name. I applaud and support the new direction this change symbolizes.”Winning for best director, Bong paid tribute to Martin Scorsese, who was nominated in the same category for “The Irishman.”“When I was young and studying cinema, there was a saying that I carved deep into my heart, which is ‘the most personal is the most creative.’ That quote came from our great Martin Scorsese,” Bong said. “(In school) I studied Martin Scorsese’s films. Just to be nominated (with him) was a huge honor, I never thought I would win.”He also paid respects to fellow best director nominee Quentin Tarantino, saying “While people in the US were not familiar with my film, Quentin always put my films on his list. I love you, Quentin.” Tarantino was nominated for “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.”“Todd (Philips) and Sam (Mendes), the great directors I admire, if the Academy allows, I would like to get a Texas chainsaw and split the Oscar trophy in five and share with you,” the director said, referring to the other directors in the category, respectively nominated for “Joker” and “1917.”Bong did not forget to mention his wife. Upon grabbing the best original screenplay award, his first win of the night, along with co-screenwriter Han Jin-won, Bong called his wife an inspiration.“It is a lonely job to write a film script. I am not writing to represent Korea, but it is the first Oscar to South Korea,” Bong said “I thank my wife, who always inspired me, and the ‘Parasite’ actors who beautifully delivered the lines on screen.”After “Parasite” was named best picture, the cast of the film — Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Lee Jeong-eun and Jang Hye-jin — shared the triumph with Bong onstage.Lee Mi-kyung, vice chairwoman of distributor CJ Group, and Kwak Sin-ae, the co-producer and the head of production company Barunson E&A, took to the stage, too.“I feel a very opportune moment in history has happened now,” Kwak said onstage with Bong, hinting at a beloved line from the film. Kwak is the first Asian woman producer to win best picture at the Oscars.Other films nominated for best picture were “Ford v Ferrari,” “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Joker,” “Little Women,” “Marriage Story,” “1917” and “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood.”Black comedy “Parasite” is a social satire, depicting class divide by putting two seemingly similar families — both close-knit, happy families, but one affluent and the other poor — on the screen.Since its release last year, the film has been widely appreciated around the world. It won the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival where it made its debut, as well as Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards last month.The critically acclaimed film has also proved a relative box-office hit, grossing $161 million around the world, including in Korea. More than 10 million theatregoers have seen the film in Korea.At a press event held in April 2019 in Seoul before the premier of the film, Bong said he did not have high expectations of winning an award with “Parasite.”“I am not sure if foreigners will be able to understand this film 100 percent. There are elements that only a Korean audience can fully understand,” he said at the time. “But, of course, (from another perspective) the film can also appeal to everyone, regardless of nationality, since the issue of poverty and wealth is a universal one.”Almost 10 months since that remark, Bong has grabbed some of the most prestigious awards across the international film scene.Bong capped the victorious night Sunday, saying twice in English, “I am ready to drink tonight.”Two prizes that “Parasite” was also nominated for — best film editing and production design — went to editors Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland of “Ford v Ferrari,” and production designer Barbara Ling and set decorator Nancy Haigh of “Once upon a Time… in Hollywood,” respectively.Korean short documentary film “In the Absence,” about the Sewol Ferry sinking of 2014, which was nominated for the best short-subject documentary, failed to win. The prize went to “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl),” directed by Carol Dysinger and produced by Elena Andreicheva.The prizes for best actor and actress in leading roles went to Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker” and Renee Zellweger in “Judy,” respectively. Brad Pitt in “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” won the best actor in a supporting role award, while Laura Dern in “Marriage Story” won the same prize for actress.“1917,” a World War I film by Sam Mendes, which was in a tight race with “Parasite” for best director and best film, took home three prizes in technical categories: cinematography, sound mixing and visual effects.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

Asia News Network
About the Author: Asia News Network is a regional media alliance comprising 24 media entities.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Thai students lead protests calling for political change

Wave of flash mobs triggered by court verdict to disband opposition party Future Forward. Making the three-finger salute, a gesture from blockbuster The Hunger Games, to signify defiance against a dictatorial regime and singing Do You Hear The People Sing? from the musical Les Miserables, a few hundred students at a prestigious high school known for academic excellence yesterday morning joined a wave of antigovernment protests across Thailand. For Triam Udom Suksa School, located in the heart of Bangkok, an organised protest led by the students themselves was a rare sight. “I have heard objections to why kids like us need to come out and protest. I want to ask them why they think kids cannot express our political opinions,” 17-year-old Napat

By The Straits Times
February 28, 2020

869,000 sign petition calling for Moon to be impeached

Even as the government goes all out to curb the spread of the virus, such as revising an infectious disease Act to fine people up to US$2,400 for refusing a virus test, and limiting the export of face masks to 10 per cent of the output, criticism of the Moon administration has grown. Close to 869,000 people in South Korea have signed a petition to impeach President Moon Jae-in over what they claim is the government’s mishandling of the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country. The number of infections continued to surge yesterday, hitting 1,261. The petition criticised Mr Moon for not banning all visitors from China, where the coronavirus originated, and for sending three million face masks to the country. Only visitors from China’s Hubei province are

By The Straits Times
February 27, 2020

S’pore, South Korea and Hong Kong rebound as other Asian markets bleed

STI gains on signs that the virus outbreak here seems to be largely contained. Markets in Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea enjoyed a relief rebound yesterday even as others in Asia extended losses following a global stock rout stoked by fears that the rapid rise in new coronavirus cases outside China could further dent global growth. Tokyo led the plunge with a 3.34 per cent loss after reopening yesterday, dragged down by virus fears and the Dow’s 1,031-point plunge. Sydney shed 1.6 per cent, while Shanghai lost 0.6 per cent. But the Straits Times Index gained as much as 0.9 per cent before closing up 0.51 per cent, on signs that the outbreak here seems to be largely contained. South Korea’s hard-hit Kospi index rebounded 1.18 per

By The Straits Times
February 26, 2020

South Korea reports 231 new cases

Health official leading fight against virus in Daegu among those infected; 2 more deaths. South Korea has reported another huge spike of 231 new coronavirus cases yesterday, among them a health official leading the battle against the virus in the south-eastern city of Daegu, who has admitted he is a member of the secretive church linked to more than half of the country’s infections. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 833 as of yesterday, with 14 in critical condition. The country also reported two more deaths, raising the tally to eight, while 22 people have made a full recovery. South Korean stocks tumbled 4 per cent yesterday over virus woes, as the central bank urged continued efforts to minimise the fallout from the outbreak.

By The Straits Times
February 25, 2020

South Korea’s key industries hit hard by Covid-19

South Korea’s major industries – including electronics, automobiles, retail and oil refining – are on high alert due to a surge in Covid-19 cases here, as well as the market slowdown in China, the nation’s biggest export destination. As of Monday morning, the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients stood at 763, up 161 from the previous day, and the death toll had risen to eight. The nation’s largest tech firm, Samsung Electronics, temporarily shut down its operations at its Gumi plants on Saturday after one of its employees was confirmed to be infected. The Gumi site produces next-generation smartphones such as the Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Fold. The plant resumed operations Monday afternoon after taking quarantine measures. Another chipm

By Asia News Network
February 24, 2020

China confident of virus battle victory

 Xi thanks Pakistani, ROK leaders for support, donations in phone talks. China is capable of winning the battle against the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak, which cannot undermine the foundation of China’s long-term development, President Xi Jinping said on Thursday. Xi made the remark in telephone conversations with Imran Khan, prime minister of Pakistan, and Moon Jae-in, president of the Republic of Korea. In the phone call with Khan, Xi said that the top priority of the Chinese government is to fight the disease, and the situation has developed in a positive direction thanks to the great efforts made by medical workers and people across the nation. China is confident of winning the battle against the disease, and it will minimize the e

By China Daily
February 21, 2020