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Korean Director Bong Grabs World’s Attention with Haunting Film “The Host”

2006/05/31 Source

A cutting-edge thriller entitled The Host by the Korean director Bong Joon-ho, was screened on May 21 at the Cannes Film Festival and received good response from audience. The world premiere of The Host at Cannes started with exclamation from audience and ended up with standing ovation until the end of ending credit.

The story line of the movie is about a monster which emerges in the Han River in Seoul and an ordinary family, making a living by running a shop beside the river side who are struggling. The movie is a remarkable mix of desperation and comedy.

In and interview with director Bong titled, "Unlike His Peers, the Director Bong Joon-Ho Likes Ideas and Metaphors", the New York Times wrote, "With a budget of just over $10 million which is not that large for Korean movie these days, careful planning meant Mr. Bong could afford hundreds of effects shots that bring the monster to life".

The article also introduced previous films by Mr. Bong, "Memories of Murder" and "Barking Dogs Never Bite" as the films which won good acclaims and awards all over the world for their observations on modern life.
In the mid 1990's, when Mr. Bong made his debut, the Korean film industry was really open-minded so that Hong Sang-soo and Kim Ki-duk also made their debut then.
"Kang Je-gyu also has revolutionized the film industry in Korea with his overt commercialism, smashing box office records twice now, but outside of Korea his films do not travel so well. Mr. Bong, however, continues to walk the line, balancing between the two sides without falling into either", New York Times commented about the continuous and balanced fame of his films.
The Host already signed contracts with over ten countries including U.S., Britain, Brazil, Argentina, Asian countries for 2.3 million dollars to export and it is expected to be released in July in Korea.

By Lee Seo-jin

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