Bong Joon-ho firmly established himself at the vanguard of Korean filmmakers with his five feature films, Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000), Memories of Murder (2003), The Host (2006) and Mother (2009), creating a global appetite for what would become 2013’s award-winning Snowpiercer. Memories of Murder dealt with a true-life serial murder case (which today remains unsolved), shattering the conventions of the traditional crime-drama. The Host, in which a bizarre creature leaps out of the Han River and takes over the capital city of Seoul, terrified audiences worldwide upon its release and transformed the creature-feature with its massive scale and creativity. He shifted direction completely by delving into the insanity of the human mind in the psychological thriller Mother, featuring an elderly protagonist who sets out to find a savage killer, and Snowpiercer incorporates elements of the action-thriller, with its unique setting of a post-apocalyptic super-train racing through icy landscapes in the near future as the last human survivors of a ravaged earth battle to survive under extreme circumstances.
Through all of his features, Bong demonstrates a propensity for bold ideas that catch an audience off-guard and present a new kind of viewing experience where suspense, humor and humanity co-exist in singular films that cannot be defined by one particular genre. Exemplified in his current project, the Netflix film Okja, a dual language global action-adventure tale, which follows a young Korean girl’s quest to rescue her best friend. This film sees Bong collaborating with Tilda Swinton for a second time, as well as working with Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Lily Collins and Giancarlo Esposito, alongside regular Korean collaborators Byun Heebong and Jae Moon Yoon, with An Seo Hyun taking the lead role.
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