In signature Bong Joon-ho style

Mother starring Kim Hye-ja and Won Bin.
Mother starring Kim Hye-ja and Won Bin.PHOTO: FESTIVE FILMS

Bong Joon-ho's Palme d'Or award is a feather in the cap for a currently active film-maker whose international stature is probably only rivalled by the likes of South Korean compatriot Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, 2003; The Handmaiden, 2016) and Japan's Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters, 2018; Like Father, Like Son, 2013).

Bong does not have Park's sense of the erotic or psychological, nor does he have Kore-eda's way with subtle family dynamics. His winning work Parasite, however, has all the Bong signature moves: class struggle, jokes rooted in pratfalls and other cartoon set-ups, and the use of movement in space - in this case, the airy, lofty rooms of the wealthy Parks' home and the Stygian dank of the lowly Kims' basement home - to tell the story.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2019, with the headline 'In signature Bong Joon-ho style'. Subscribe