The sociological character of the films of the South Korean Bong Joon-ho (September 14, 1969) makes him one of the most experimental film directors of the modern era. Whether through drama or social satire, Joon-ho has managed to connect with viewers from all corners of the world, which is hardly unusual for South Korean directors. Before watching any of his films, we recommend reading the biography of Bong Joon-ho, the man who is revolutionizing the world of cinema.
Bong Joon-ho biography
Bong Joon-ho was born in the modern city of Daegu, South Korea, on September 14, 1969. The artistic streak of his family marked Joon-ho’s childhood. His father, who was a renowned graphic and industrial designer, left him an early interest in art and images. Likewise, her maternal grandfather was the famous South Korean author, Park Taewon, from whom she undoubtedly inherited her literary skills.
Given his closeness to the art world, Bong Joon-ho grew up surrounded by stimuli that would not only define his cinematic future but would also shape his style as a director and screenwriter. In 1988, after his family moved to Seoul City, Joon-ho studied sociology at Yonsei University. At this time, the South Korean began arduous participation in protests and social unrest.
Along with his university studies, Bong Joon-ho studied filmmaking at the Korean Academy of Film Arts. Around this time, around 1994, the director released the short films White Man and Memory Within the Frame. With the latter, he came to participate in the Vancouver International Film Festival of that year.
Bong Joon-ho: An Experimental Director
Bong Joon-ho’s innovative character was evidenced in the anthology film Seven Reasons Why Beer is Better Than a Lover, where he served as a screenwriter. It was not until 1999 that the South Korean released his first feature film, Barking Dogs Never Bite (barking dog, little biter). Despite having had a fairly minimal reach at the South Korean box office, the film was a success at the San Sebastián International Film Festival.
In 2003 Bong Joon-ho released his second film Memorias de un asesino (Chronicle of a serial killer), with which he again arrived at the San Sebastián International Film Festival and won the Silver Shell for best director. In this film, Joon-ho majestically unfolds the story of South Korea’s first serial killer.
Bong Joon-ho net worth
Anthology films, or also known as omnibus films, are a set of short films that start from the same theme but are directed by different directors. Each short is part of a whole. That is, although each one tells a different story, in the end, they all come together to create a kind of film compilation. His net worth is about 30 million dollars.
Towards international recognition
It was not until the arrival of the movie The Host (2006) that Bong Joon-ho broke the language barrier and spread through the international market like dynamite. This feature film, which experiments with the horror genre, was taken to the Cannes Film Festival, where it was praised for its magnificent cinematographic quality. Bong Joo-ho’s filmic language was something that Anglo-Saxon and European audiences had not seen before.
Bong Joon-ho’s international conquest continued in the following years. He participated in the film Omnibus Tokyo! and released his first film for the North American market The Fear Express (Snowbreaker), starring actor Chris Evans. Also, in 2017 he joined Netflix to produce the science fiction film Okja, in which he collaborated with actors such as Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Bong Joon-ho’s cinema moves through the cinematographic genres to talk about social inequalities and discrimination; everything he does includes a strong social background.
However, it was not until the arrival of Parasites (2019) that Bong Joon-ho caught a glimpse of overwhelmed world recognition. The feature film, which shows an in-depth analysis of South Korean social classes, won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Also, in January 2020, the film won the Golden Globe for best foreign film and Bong Joon-ho became the first South Korean director to be nominated for best director at the Oscars of that year.