The writer/director's film Parasite had a history-making night at the Academy Awards on Sunday
Bong Joon Ho has his hands full at the moment.
On Sunday, Bong’s film Parasite cleaned up at the 2020 Academy Awards, winning a total of four awards: Best Original Screenplay, Best International Feature, Best Director and the night’s top prize, Best Picture.
The abundance of accolades was not lost on Bong, 50, who stayed humble even while getting his quartet of Oscar statuettes engraved backstage.
“I’m so sorry for the hard work,” the filmmaker told engravers in footage captured by Variety and shared later on Twitter. “There’s too many.”
During his third time on the Oscars stage, Bong accepted recognition for his directing, saying that he wasn’t expecting to hear his name called so many times.
“After winning Best International Feature, I thought I was done for the day and was ready to relax,” he said, translated from Korean. “Thank you so much. When I was young and studying cinema, there was a saying I that I carved deep into my heart, which was, ‘The most personal is the most creative.’”
Parasite‘s big night was more than just acclamation for the critically lauded film — it was history-making as well. The South Korean film, which tackles issues of classism within a twisty thriller, became the first movie in the Oscars‘ 92-year history to win both Best International Feature and Best Picture.
It was also the first non-English language movie to win Best Picture.
“We never imagined this to ever happen. We are so happy,” said producer Kwak Sin Ae via a translator while accepting the win. “I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now.”
She added, “I express my deepest gratitude and respect for all members of the Academy for making this decision.”
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In December, Bong — who previously directed films like 2013’s Snowpiercer and Netflix’s 2017 movie Okja — told NPR that he hopes Parasite‘s success brings more attention to Korean cinema.
“Compared to Japanese or Hong Kong film, the history of Korean cinema is relatively lesser known to American and European audiences,” he said at the time. “I hope, due to the opportunities that have arisen from Parasite, people will realize that Korean cinema has also had a lot of masters.”
The 92nd Annual Academy Awards aired live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.