Oscars 2020: Creating history at the biggest movie awards night – Parasite became the first South Korean film to win an Oscar. The 92nd Academy Awards took a step ahead in honouring ‘representation’ and finally showing courage to erase that ‘one-inch tall barrier of subtitles’ that Parasite director Bong Joon-ho talked about while receiving a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture (Foreign Language) earlier this year.
Parasite’s win is not just a remarkable moment in the history of Oscars but it also signifies the visible efforts The Academy is taking against trending perceptions like ‘Oscars’ so white’ and how it lacks representation of people, content and talent that is not American. Parasite is the first non-English film to have bagged the award for Best Picture at the Oscars. It won in other three major categories as well including Best Direction for Bong Joon-ho, Best International Feature Film and Best Original Screenplay. It’s, in fact, the first Asian movie to win an award for Original Screenplay. Bong Joon-ho, who was certainly at the loss of words as he stepped on the stage four times to receive the big honours, summed up his feelings when he said, “We never write to represent our countries, but this is the very first Oscar to South Korea.”
Later, while accepting the award for Best Direction, he talked about legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese who was sitting in the audience. Joon-ho said he studied Scorsese’s films while learning cinema. The director moved to Quentin Tarantino, who was nominated in the same category for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, and recalled that he always showed faith in his films when the rest of the US didn’t know about his work. Here’s his entire speech:
“Thank you. After winning best international feature, I thought I was done for the day and was ready to relax. Thank you so much. When I was young and studying cinema, there was a saying that I carved deep into my heart, which is that ‘the most personal is the most creative.’ That quote is from our great Martin Scorsese. When I was in school, I studied Martin Scorsese’s films. Just to be nominated was a huge honour. I never thought I would win.
When people in the US were not familiar with my films, Quentin always put my films on his list. He’s here, thank you so much. Quentin, I love you. And Todd and Sam, great directors that I admire. If the Academy allows, I would like to get a Texas chainsaw, split the award into five and share it with all of you. Thank you. I will drink until the next morning, thank you.” (sic)
Parasite’s win at the Oscars has opened gates for the movies outside America to root for their real recognition and acceptance by the world audience. The Academy has still a long way to go to have ‘representation’ in its program and maybe having female directors nominated in the Best Director category would help next time! Until then, Parasite would definitely serve the purpose!