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Bong Joon-ho Retrospective

Revisit the 'Parasite' director's past hits — and catch his huge latest flick on the big screen again.
By Sarah Ward
January 25, 2020
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Bong Joon-ho Retrospective

Revisit the 'Parasite' director's past hits — and catch his huge latest flick on the big screen again.
By Sarah Ward
January 25, 2020
  shares

The past year has been huge for Bong Joon-ho. Not only is the South Korean filmmaker responsible for 2019's best movie in Parasite, this same thrilling flick nabbed the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, took out Sydney Film Festival's top prize, won a Golden Globe, became the first film in a language other than English to win the Screen Actors Guild's ensemble award (its top gong) and nabbed six Oscar nominations — all deservedly so.

Parasite isn't just a one-off, either. For nearly two decades, the acclaimed director has been making smart movies that continually surprise and delight — and continually defy categorisation, too. Bong delved into feuding neighbours in 2000's Barking Dogs Never Bite, explored a real-life murder mystery in 2003's Memories of Murder, reinvented the creature feature with 2006 standout The Host, and used 2009's Mother to explore an unnerving family relationship.

More recently, Bong forced the remnants of humanity to fight for survival on a speeding train, with Snowpiercer enlisting Tilda Swinton, Chris Evans and Jamie Bell among the locomotive's scrambling inhabitants. And, in Okja, the filmmaker introduced the world to a cute super-pig, the girl who adores it and the ruthless corporate executive (Swinton again) looking to profit from it, as well as one incredibly offbeat TV zoologist (Jake Gyllenhaal).

If you're keen to rediscover these highlights, or perhaps catch them for the first time, The Astor Theatre is hosting a four-week Bong retrospective. Screening on Monday nights between March 2–23, you can catch everything in his cinematic catalogue except Okja — with Barking Dogs Never Bite and Memories of Murder screening as a double on March 2, The Host and Mother playing back-to-back on March 9, Snowpiercer speeding across the screen on March 16 and Parasite finishing up the season on March 23.

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