The best Bong Joon-ho movies
South Korean film director Bong Joon-ho swept the awards ceremonies of 2019 and 2020 with Parasite (2019), his most recent movie, with which he won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, the award for Best Foreign Language Film in the Golden Globes and four Academy Awards in the categories of Best International Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Film.
Although he did not gain big commercial popularity in the West up until recent years, Bong Joon-ho is one of the most respected directors of the new generation of Korean filmmakers. His work is strongly focused on class issues and power relations, where he explores the dynamics between oppressors and oppressed both in realistic and dramatic films, as in fantasy and science fiction films. His contributions to cinema have been recognized by the Sundance Film Festival, where he served as a member of the jury in 2011, and the Cannes Film Festival, where he was part of the main jury of the Caméra d’Or section that same year. In addition, his victory at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival with his film Parasite made him the first Korean director to win the prestigious award.
For his mastery in creating stories and films of great artistic merit, in MFC Playlist we invite you to enjoy the best Bong Joon-ho movies.
Memories of Murder (2003)
Starring Song Kang-ho and Kim Sang-kyung, Memories of Murder tells the story of two detectives with the task of solving the most heinous series of crimes in the history of South Korea.
The movie is inspired by the true story of the first serial killer known in Korea, whose crimes took place between 1986 and 1991. The film won the Asian Film Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2003. It is considered one of the best South Korean films of all time.
The Host (2006)
The Host is a monster movie starring Song Kang-ho, Byun Hee-bong, Park Hae-il, Bae Doona and Go Ah-sung, in which a horrible creature kidnaps a man’s daughter while causing panic in the city.
In addition to being a horror movie, The Host contains hard political satire and deep criticism to the South Korean and the United States governments. The film was internationally acclaimed for its themes and special effects and won a position in the TOP 20 of the best films released since 1992 according to Quentin Tarantino. The Host is one of the highest-grossing films in South Korean history and won the award for Best Film at the 2007 Asian Film Awards.
Okja is an adventure film co-written by Bong Joon-ho and Jon Ronson, with a cast consisting of Ahn Seo-hyun, Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano and Steven Yeun. It tells the story of Mija, a young girl who develops a close relationship with Okja, a creature that belongs to a new species of super pigs, and that seeks to rescue her from the hands of a corporation that wants to use it to produce food.
In addition to standing out for its production design, cinematography and avant-garde special effects, Okja is a film that investigates issues of great contemporary value such as the ethical consequences of animal exploitation and environmental health, sending a deep message against speciesism.
Snowpiercer is a science fiction film starring Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Ah-sung Ko, Jamie Bell, John Hurt and Tilda Swinton, among others, based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige. The film takes place aboard the Snowpiercer, a train that travels eternally through a devastated world and in which the last members of humanity survive, sorted into a complex system of classes in which the inhabitants of the back of the train live in abysmal inequality compared to those who live in the front.
Snowpiercer‘s story delves into common themes in cyberpunk literature, where society is studied as a machine that depends on the correct predestined function of each of its parts and the consequences of stopping a system of oppression. With a budget of almost $40 million, Snowpiercer is the most expensive Korean production in history.
Parasite features performances by Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik and Park So-dam. It tells the story of a poor family that, using cunning and lies, gradually becomes part of the workforce of another more privileged class family.
The film uses exquisite composition and cinematography techniques to tell a story full of dark humor and deep social criticism. It is considered a cinema masterpiece and was awarded in the category of Best Foreign Language Film in the Golden Globes 2019, Best International Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Film in the Academy Awards 2020 and it’s the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, among many other accolades.