Director Bong Joon-ho's <Parasite> has become the first Korean film to win the Golden Globes. The Golden Globe Awards, which marks its 77th anniversary this year, is sponsored by the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association and held in Los Angeles every year. With the Academy Awards, it is one of the two marquee entertainment awards ceremonies in the U.S.
At the 77th Golden Globe Awards held in Beverly Hills, L.A. on the 5th (local time), director Bong Joon-ho's <Parasite> took the honor for the Best Foreign Language Film Award. This marks the first Korean film to win the Golden Globe Trophy, leaving an indelible imprint in the history of Korean cinema. <Parasite> has also become the first Korean film to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes International Film Festival last year.
Upon winning the Best Foreign Language Film Award, director Bong Joon-ho said, “It’s amazing. I’m speechless. I'm a film maker of foreign language, so I have my interpreter with me. Thank you. The barrier of subtitles, it is not a barrier actually. Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films. It has already been an honor in itself to be nominated with Pedro Almodóvar and some of the world's greatest film directors. I think we use only just one language, The Cinema.”
In addition, at the official press conference held immediately after the awards ceremony, director Bong Joon-ho said, “It is a film about capitalism, and knowing that the U.S. is the heart of capitalism, there was bound to be a controversial and passionate response. Although there are underlying political messages and social topics, I think that the American audience responded favorably because the charisma and appeal of our outstanding actors who delivered them in a very attractive and friendly way and won the audience over. When I was giving the award remarks earlier, I was pre-occupied with mentioning the subtitles, so I couldn't express my gratitude to our actors who showed a wonderful ensemble, the staff with whom I worked with, Barunson, CJ, and NEON (U.S. distributor). Thank you for giving me the chance to say this”
<Parasite> garnered the spotlight from the American media and critics, and was pre-released in three theaters in New York and Los Angeles on October 11th last year. At that time, the opening score of <Parasite> was a new box-office record, exceeding the average sales per theater of all foreign language films released in North America. After the release, the number of theaters quickly expanded to a maximum of 620. <Parasite> has maintained a steady box office performance even after 80 days since its opening release, and as of the 5th, cumulative sales at the North American box office exceeded US$23,900,739 (about KRW 27.9 billion). This is the top-grossing figure for a Korean movie released in North America and the 8th highest among all foreign language films released in North America. The North American box-office hit <Parasite> is expected to make waves for a while on the heels of the news of its Golden Globe win and expectation of an Academy Award nomination in February.
The box office success of the movie <Parasite> isn't just in North America. <Parasite> was released in Korea on May 30, 2019, followed by openings in 40 countries/regions around the world, including France, Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, and Japan. In 23 countries/regions such as France, Turkey, Spain, Belgium, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, Germany, and Italy, it has shown the potential of achieving the top box-office gross among all Korean films that were released locally. Other planned releases included the UK, Finland, India, Argentina, Bulgaria and the United Arab Emirates this year.
Even before the Golden Globe Awards, <Parasite> has demonstrated the powerful appeal of Korean films to the world by garnering rave reviews and articles at various overseas film festivals and awards ceremonies. Since the 72nd Cannes Film Festival in May of last year, <Parasite> has been invited to 53 international film festivals including the 66th Sydney Film Festival (June), 37th Munich Film Festival (June), 72nd Locarno Film Festival (August), 44th Toronto International Film Festival (September), 57th New York Film Festival (September) , 43rd Sao Paulo International Film Festival (October), 30th Stockholm International Film Festival (November), and 50th Indian International Film Festival (November). Among them, the movie has won various trophies at 15 film festivals, including the 72nd Cannes Film Festival (May/ Palme d’Or), 66th Sydney Film Festival (June/ Best Prize), 72nd Locarno Film Festival (August/ Excellence Award for Song Gang-ho), 15th Fantastic Fest (September/ Audience Award), 38th Vancouver Film Festival (September/ Audience Award) and 43rd Sao Paulo International Film Festival (October/ Audience Award).
In addition to film festivals, it continues to win major awards at nearly 30 overseas awards ceremonies alone. Since October of last year, <Parasite> won in major categories at the National Critics' Council (Foreign Language Film), New York Critics Association (Foreign Language Film), Los Angeles Critics Association (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor for Song Gang-ho), Philadelphia Critics Association (Foreign Language Film), Washington D.C. Critics Association (Best Picture, Best Director, Foreign Language Film), Chicago Critics Association (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Foreign Language Film), 9th Australian Academy (Best Picture), American Film Institute (AFI Special Mention Award) and National Society of Film Critics (NSFC Best Picture, Best Screenplay).
<Parasite> is director Bong Joon-ho's 7th feature film, preceded by <Barking Dogs Never Bite>, <Memories of Murder>, <The Host>, <Mother>, <Snowpiercer> and <Okja>. Director Bong Joon-ho has been constantly asking questions about society and the system, offering mind-provoking and complex fun stories that span humanity, comedy, and suspense, with a new story from the imagination that creatively breaks the mold of the existing genre. In Korea, it was released on May 30, 2019, and attained a total audience of 10,085,394 people, setting impressive targets at the box office.