Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, one of our top three films of 2019, is the kind of daring Oscars hopeful that one expects to score a screenplay statue as the safer flicks scoop up the bigger trophies. Instead, the grisly satire’s Best Original Screenplay win was just the beginning, with director Bong Joon Ho going on to sweep the Best Director, Best International Feature Film, and Best Picture categories. This makes Parasite the first foreign-language film to win Best Picture, and the lauds are paying off: It just set the record in the U.K. for the highest opening ever for a foreign-language movie.
Bong’s an old face around these parts—do let us recommend Mother, Snowpiercer, Okja, and The Host—but the filmmaker was likely a fresh one to many watching the ceremony last night. It’s a good thing, then, that he was in rare form. We’ve rounded up a few of his best moments below.
Bong threw some mild shade at the Academy Awards last October, describing it as a “very local” ceremony. Still, he couldn’t help but be swept up in the hype last night. One of the most touching moments to emerge from the evening was a GIF of the director staring deeply, then giggling, at his Oscar, a subtle, soulful expression of gratitude and disbelief.
His amazement registered elsewhere, too. “It’s crazy. This is crazy. Totally crazy,” Bong kept repeating backstage, per Vanity Fair. After squatting to get his bearings, he reportedly grinned and declared: “What the fuck is going on?”
Bong, a genre practitioner through and through, hoped to split the award with his fellow nominees in a rather unique way. “I would like to get a Texas chainsaw, split the Academy Award into five, and share it with all of you,” he said, causing horror geeks and gorehounds across the internet to swoon for the filmmaker that much more.
The director Bong appears to revere the most, however, is Martin Scorsese, who didn’t take home any awards last night for The Irishman. “When I was young and starting in cinema there was a saying that I carved deep into my heart which is, ‘The most personal is the most creative,’” he said. “That quote was from our great Martin Scorsese.” Marty’s reaction, which you can see above, is grateful.
Backstage, per the L.A. Times, he elaborated on the shout-out. “I’ve seen Scorsese lose this award multiple times and I was so frustrated,” he said. “To be nominated with him has been such a huge honor. It’s hard to believe.”
Well, this is just adorable. And, whether you’d like to admit it or not, something to which we can all relate.
As Vanity Fair reports, Bong was thrilled to party with Lee, who presented him the award for Best Director. Bong reportedly spoke with Lee at length about the director’s 1991 movie Jungle Fever. “He told me he did the subtitles for it!” Lee told Vanity Fair, saying that Bong told him he learned a great deal from the translation. “He said that’s how he learned to curse!”
Also, Lee apparently calls Bong “boss.”
A class act.
“I’m ready to drink tonight,” he told a roaring crowd. “Until next morning.” Per Variety, he arrived at the Parasite afterparty around 1 a.m., holding his award in the air to massive applause. We’re going to assume he’s still partying.