|Who is it?||Writer, Director, Producer|
|Birth Day||September 14, 1969|
|Birth Place||Daegu, South Korea, South Korea|
|Age||51 YEARS OLD|
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter|
|Revised Romanization||Bong Jun-ho|
Bong Joon Ho was born in Daegu in 1969 and decided to become a filmmaker while in middle school. Bong Joon Ho had a highly intellectual upbringing; his father, Bong Sang Gyun, is a graphic designer and his maternal grandfather, Park Tae Won was a noted author, famous for A Day in the Life of Novelist Gubo. His older brother, Joon Soo, is an English literature professor now teaching in Seoul National University, and his older sister, Jee Hee, is a fashion designer. Despite his passion for film, he did not made it to major theater in university due to his parent's disagreement. He majored in sociology in Yonsei University in the late 1980s and was a member of the film club there. He was then a fan of Edward Yang, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Shohei Imamura.
Bong's second film, Memories of Murder, a much larger-scale project, was adapted from a popular stage play centered on a real-life serial killer who terrorized a rural town in the 1980s (and was never caught). Production of the film was a long and arduous process (the film set a local record for the sheer number of locations it utilized), but with the weather providing unexpected help with some stunning skyscapes, the film wrapped without major problems. It was released in April 2003 and proved an immediate critical and popular success. Enthusiastic word of mouth drove the film to sell over five million tickets (rescuing Cha Seung-jae's production company Sidus from near-bankruptcy), and a string of local honors followed, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (for Song Kang-ho) and Best Lighting prizes at the 2003 Grand Bell Awards. Although passed over by the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals, the film eventually received its international premiere (again) at San Sebastian, where it picked up three awards including Best Director. The film also received an unusually strong critical reception on its release in foreign territories such as France and the U.S.
In the early 1990s, he completed a two-year program at the Korean Academy of Film Arts. While there, he made many 16mm short films. His graduation films Memory Within the Frame and Incoherence were invited to screen at the Vancouver and Hong Kong international film festivals. He also collaborated on several works with his classmates — most notably as Cinematographer on highly acclaimed short 2001 Imagine, directed by his friend Jang Joon-hwan. Aside from cinematography on Hur Jae-young's short A Hat, Bong was also lighting Director on an early short Sounds From Heaven and Earth by Choi Equan, and The Love of a Grape Seed.
After graduating, he spent the next five years contributing in various capacities to works by other Directors. He received a partial screenplay credit on the 1996 omnibus film Seven Reasons Why Beer is Better Than a Lover; both screenplay and assistant Director credits on Park Ki-yong's 1997 debut Motel Cactus; and is one of four Writers (along with Jang Joon-hwan) credited for the screenplay of Phantom the Submarine (1999).
Shortly afterwards Bong began shooting his first feature Barking Dogs Never Bite under Producer Cha Seung-jae, who had overseen the production of both Motel Cactus and Phantom the Submarine. The film, about a low-ranking university lecturer who abducts a neighbor's dog, was shot in the same apartment complex where Bong had lived after getting married. Although now remembered fondly, at the time of its release in February 2000 it did not stir up much interest among audiences. Response from critics was positive but slightly muted. Nonetheless, the film was invited to the competition section of Spain's prestigious San Sebastian International Film Festival, and it would go on to win awards at Slamdance and Hong Kong. Slowly building international word of mouth also helped the film financially — over two years after its local release, the film reached its financial break-even point due to sales to overseas territories.
In 2008, Bong along with Michel Gondry and French Director Leos Carax, directed a segment of Tokyo!, a triptych feature telling three separate tales of the city. Bong's segment is about a man who has lived for a decade as a "hikikomori" — the term used in Japan for people unable to adjust to society who don't leave their homes — and what happens when he falls in love with a pizza delivery girl.
Bong's fourth feature film Mother is the story of a doting mother who struggles to save her disabled son from a murder accusation. It premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at 2009 Cannes Film Festival to much acclaim, particularly for Actress Kim Hye-ja. Mother repeated its critical success locally and in the international film festival circuit.
That same year, Bong served as a jury member for the 27th Sundance Film Festival. He was also the head of the jury for the Caméra d'Or section of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, and the 2013 Edinburgh International Film Festival.
2013 saw the release of Bong's first English-language film Snowpiercer, based on the graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jean-Marc Rochette and Jacques Lob.
Set largely on a Futuristic train where those on board are separated according to their social status, the action adventure was met with near-universal praise and strong ticket sales, both in South Korea and abroad. As of August 2014, the film had a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 95% critical approval.
In 2015, Bong's next film Okja was announced. On April 30, 2015, Screenwriter Jon Ronson announced on his Twitter account that he is currently writing the second draft of Bong's screenplay for the upcoming film. Darius Khondji joined the film as Cinematographer in February 2016. Filming for the project began in April, 2016.
In 2017, Bong premiered Okja at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, where it competed for the Palme d'Or and sparked controversy due to it being produced by Netflix. The film was met with boos, mixed with applause, during its premiere at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, once when the Netflix logo appeared on screen and again during a technical glitch (which got the movie projected in an incorrect aspect ratio for its first seven minutes). The festival later issued an apology to the filmmakers. However, despite the studio's negative response, the film itself received a four-minute standing ovation. The film was later released on Netflix on June 28, 2017 and received positive reviews. On the film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 84% based on 125 reviews, with a weighted average of 7.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Okja sees Bong Joon-ho continuing to create defiantly eclectic entertainment – and still hitting more than enough of his narrative targets in the midst of a Tricky tonal juggling act." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 76 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". New York Times critic A.O. Scott wrote, "Okja is a miracle of imagination and technique, and Okja insists, with abundant mischief and absolute sincerity, that she possesses a soul."