For this year’s Oscars 2020 awards season, much of the talk and excitement is surrounding the film Parasite and its maker, South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho. The insurmountable amount of attention is unsurprising — the breakthrough film is, in many ways, a true work of art. A blend of genre-bends, the class-conscious film manages to twist and turn with dark, thrilling, and hilarious moments throughout — quickly rising in repute among audiences, critics, and judges around the world, while also hitting home the rather profound revelation of societal gaps and the great class-divide.
Since winning the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and winning not one, but four Academy Awards at this year’s Oscars (including the biggest win for Best Picture, making this the first non-English film to do so) Bong Joon-Ho is paving a new future for foreign films. Just as the director famously said at the Golden Globes: “Once you’ve overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”
And while Parasite seems to be the pinnacle of Bong’s 20 year career in film right now, there are some of his previous works worth mentioning too; there’s the post-apocalyptic science fiction Snowpiercer starring Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, who also appears in the Netflix action and adventure film Okja alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, among others. It is with that in mind that we thought you might like to know which Bong Joon-Ho films are worth the watch. So here it is, seven must-see movies by the award-winning filmmaker you should see right now.
Barking Dogs Never Bite, 2000
Starring: Doona Bae, Sung-Jae Lee, Ho-jung Kim and more
An idle out of work college lecturer becomes fixated and frustrated by the sound of barking dogs in his apartment building. The down-trodden man decides to take action to silence it.
Memories of Murder, 2003
Starring: Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Roe-ha Kim and more
Set in 1986, two simple-minded detectives are assigned to a double murder investigation in a small South Korean province. They struggle with their investigation to solve the case and find the serial killer.
The Host, 2006
Starring: Kang-ho Song, Hee-Bong Byun, Hae-il Park and more
The result of careless chemical dumping into Seoul’s Han River, a monster emerges from the waters and begins attacking and killing hundreds. The creature then abducts a young daughter and her family endeavour to save her.
Starring: Hye-ja Kim, Won Bin, Goo Jin and more
A widowed mother lives with her mentally challenged son in a small town in South Korea. When the body of a horrifically murdered young girl is discovered, circumstantial evidence points to the son. The mother has to do what it takes to clear her son’s name.
Starring: Chris Evans, Kang-ho Song, Tilda Swinton and more
Thanks to a failed experiment to combat climate change, the world’s final survivors are on board the Snowpiercer, a high speed train travelling around the globe. A new class system emerges and separates the upper-class citizens from the lower-class who want nothing more than to go to the front of the train.
Starring: Seo-hyun Anh, Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal and more
Young Mija has been looking after Okja, a big and brilliant beast, with her grandad for years. But that changes when a multinational conglomerate comes to takes Okja away and Mija is intent on rescuing her dearest friend.
Starring: Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo, Woo-sik Choi and more
A poor family con their way into the lives of a wealthy family by becoming their new employees. However, it gets complicated when their deception is threatened with exposure and the unpredictable occurs.