Bong Joon-Ho Says Don’t Let Subtitles Be A Barrier To Cinema As ‘Parasite’ Wins Best Foreign Language Golden Globe

'Parasite' director Bong Joon-Ho at the Golden Globes Paul Drinkwater/NBC

UPDATED with video from speech: Awards season darling Parasite added to its haul tonight with the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. Bong Joon-Ho’s black comedy thriller that has continued to build since winning the Palme d’Or in Cannes last May, also has Globe nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay. From the Beverly Hilton stage tonight, Bong encouraged audiences to give foreign language movies a chance, saying through his translator, “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”

Parasite, about the members of a poor family who together scheme to work in a wealthy household by posing as unrelated, highly qualified help, has grossed a fantastic $130M globally so far ($24M in the U.S. where Neon handles). The movie is also shortlisted for the Best International Feature Oscar and has already taken home an armful of prizes from critics bodies, including the top honor from the National Society of Film Critics just this weekend.

Bong recently told me he felt part of the success of Parasite is that it offers “a very cinematic experience that has restored faith in cinema.”

At the Globes tonight, he also said through his translator, “Just being nominated along with fellow amazing international filmmakers was a huge honor.” Then, in English himself, Bong added, “We use only one language, the cinema.”

Parasite was competing in the Foreign Language category with Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, Céline Sciamma’s Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables and Pedro Almodovar’s Pain And Glory. The latter two films are also shortlisted for the International Oscar.

In a cheeky moment from the red carpet earlier this evening, Almodovar was speaking to a French television correspondent who noted Bong had just walked up behind him. “He’s a demon,” joked Almodovar, “he’s everywhere.” Bong then told France’s Canal Plus, “It’s great that people are paying more attention to Korean cinema, but there is still so much more to offer.”

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