Last night Parasite maestro Bong Joon-ho sat for a Santa Barbara Film Festival interview with THR‘s Scott Feinberg. Brad Pitt drew a lot more people the night before last, but whaddaya expect? Plus Feinberg asked the right questions. A splendid time was had by all.
Besides being a brilliant director, Bong is a total film monk with an encyclopedic mind — he knows as much about Budd Boetticher, Samuel Fuller and Ida Lupino as any effete film nerd you could name (Glenn Kenny and David Ehrlich included). And so your heart goes out to him. His English is rudimentary (he mostly spoke in Korean with a translator by his side), but he’s sharp and articulate and often amusing. Feinberg didn’t ask Bong if he gets high (or if he uses a bong when he does), but he’d be a good guy to get ripped with.
Bong Joon-ho is a serious Hitchcock-DePalma devotee who knows sophisticated film language and choreography like the back of his hand, but let’s be honest — his instincts as a storyteller and scenarist are broad and populist-popcorny. Whammo visual impact elements (look at how gifted and clever I am!) always come first. He’s not Christian Mungiu.
This was HE’s final SBIFF dog-and-pony show. I’ll be pushing on at 11 am and heading back to West Hollywood. Thanks for much to Roger Durling, Sunshine Sachs p.r. and the first-rate SBIFF staffers who make this festival run so smoothly and efficiently.
The rich neighborhood where much of Parasite takes place is called Pyeongchang-dong.