On a virtual master class with Chapman University’s Dodge College this week, filmmaker Bong Joon-ho discussed the rise in violence against Asian-Americans. “I’m far away in Korea and I have to see everything in the news from an outsider’s perspective, but as someone who is a part of mankind, as a person, it’s quite fearful to watch the hate crimes against Asian-Americans and the BLM movement,” the Parasite writer and director said, speaking through a translator. “I do think about what the film industry can do at this time. With films, creating a film takes a lot of time and a lot of money; it’s a big unit that can’t really respond quickly to issues that are currently happening in society.”
Bong wants more filmmakers to “be bolder with dealing with issues and they shouldn’t be afraid to confront them,” like Spike Lee did with Do the Right Thing. “That film came out in 1989; it was three years before the LA Riots but almost predicted the riots were going to happen,” he said. “I think that’s the role creators and artists can play, not necessarily to predict what will happen in society, but to use your insight to portray the issues that are currently boiling underneath the surface of society that can explode later on.”
With Parasite, Bong “tried to take that approach,” as the Best Picture winner “talks about the haves and have-nots of our current society. It began with a question of ‘what does it mean to be poor or rich in our current times?’ As creators and artists, you sort of have to see through the essence and the central questions in our society through the days that you live through and send a reply to those questions through your work.”
It’s good advice, especially from someone who wakes up at 5 a.m. (!) every day.
BONG JOON-HO IS TALKING TO MY SCHOOL TODAY!! he said he gets up at 5am and watches a movie in the morning almost everyday omg pic.twitter.com/Qh4zOfMFJN
— kaila ren (@kaila_ren) April 8, 2021