‘Parasite’ director Bong Joon-ho says ‘language barrier’ broken after Oscar nod

FILE PHOTO: 25th Critics Choice Awards – Show – Santa Monica, California, U.S., January 12, 2020 – Director Bong Joon-ho accepts the Best Director award for “Parasite”. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

SEOUL (Reuters) – “Parasite” director Bong Joon-ho said he was surprised and overjoyed when the film won six Oscar nominations on Monday, a historic first for South Korea’s film industry and a sign that language is no longer a barrier to global success.

“Parasite,” a dark comedy about the vast gap between the rich and poor in South Korea, snagged a coveted best picture nomination, best director for Bong, and best screenplay in addition to its best international feature nomination.

“Every time they announced the new nominations, it was so thrilling, because we didn’t really anticipate any of this,” Bong told Reuters Television in an interview in California.

Bong had previously discussed the challenges of international films breaking the “language barrier” around the world, but said the nominations suggest those barriers may now be falling.

“We can say that thanks to the internet, social media and these streaming services, the entire society is experiencing less of these language barriers and perhaps ‘Parasite’ benefited from that global trend,” he said.

In a video shared online by production company NEON, one of the show’s stars, Song Kang-ho, manages to not spill a cup of coffee as he and others in the room excitedly celebrate.

“The sign you’re a global superstar: You don’t spill your coffee when your film is nominated for Best Picture,” the company said.

Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Writing by Josh Smith; Editing by Sandra Maler

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