A Very Special Bong Joon Ho Interview at the Walker Art Center

The Walker Art Center hosts Director Bong Joon Ho interview two days after historic Oscar win.

When Parasite won six Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director earlier this year, I thought we were doomed. Of course I loved the film and was thrilled about the Oscar coup for Director Bong, and for Korea, but the historic win put an important Bong Joon Ho event at risk.

For months I had been anxiously awaiting an upcoming event in Minneapolis, MN, where Bong Joon Ho was scheduled to speak at the Walker Art Center Dialogues, a powerful series of talks with luminaries such as Spike Lee, Lili Taylor, Robert Redford, Tom Hanks and others. My wife and I had miraculously been invited to a dinner with Director Bong and his wife before the event, and we did not want to miss it.

Scheduled in the middle of winter, we always knew this event was risky, but after the amazing events in LA, we didn’t think there was much chance at all that he would be flying to the frozen tundras of Minnesota in sub zero temperatures, two days after his triumphant evening at the Academy Awards.

Bong Joon Ho Interview
Director Bong Joon Ho backstage at the 2020 Academy Awards, Los Angeles, CA.

We obviously didn’t know Director Bong. Not only did he show up, he put on a two hour extravaganza, deep diving into everything from his early family life to the nitty gritty details of each of his 6 major films.

Bong Joon Ho Interview with Scott Foundas

Director Bong’s interview was conducted by Scott Foundas, an extraordinary film critic who used his deep knowledge of filmmaking to probe into Director’s Bong’s work in the context of cinema history with a dexterity that had us dazzled.

Bong Joon Ho Interview
Director Bong Joon Ho in conversation with Scott Foundas at the Walker Art Center Dialogues, Minneapolis, MN.

Now, due to the pandemic, the Walker Art Center has released its entire treasure trove of all 30 years worth of their Dialogues. The Bong Joon Ho interview is the latest one and it’s truly worth watching the whole thing, not only to learn about his journey and creative process, but also to hear this amazingly wide ranging conversation between two professionals who really roll up their sleeves and talk shop.

Here are some of my favorite highlights from the Bong Joon Ho interview:

  • Though his translator has become quite famous for the excellent job she did during award season, Director Bong is actually quite fluent in English.
  • Parasite is all about class strife, and Director Bong reveals a traumatic event from his childhood that deeply disturbed him and with which he struggles even to this day.
  • Director Bong’s first movie was a box office disaster and he asks that you please not watch this film!
  • The monster in The Host was modeled after a certain Hollywood actor, whom he got to meet in person during the Parasite Oscar campaign.
  • Director Bong’s childhood didn’t include the usual activities like sports or vacations, rather he watched a ton of television!

don-liu-wife-patricia-liu-2
Bong Joon Ho with Don Liu and Patricia Liu, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN.

After the conversation, it made perfect sense to us that Director Bong had kept his commitment to coming to Minnesota. Throughout the years, and as his fame steadily rose, his even keeled character and dedication to his craft have allowed him to keep his work at the center of any hype and hoopla happening around him.

This insightful and thoroughly enjoyable conversation with Bong Joon Ho is now available in all its glory for everyone to enjoy. I strongly recommend watching it! Please click video below to watch.

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