Bong Joon Ho/photo by Calla Kessler, New York Times
Bong Joon Ho still isn't sure what his Oscar wins for "Parasite" means to him personally or for his country.
"It happened four days ago," the South Korean director said Wednesday during a well-timed appearance at the Walker Art Center. "It's definitely a great thing. I just need a little more time to think about it."
Bong, who was participating in the museum's long-running "Dialogues" series, was so surprised when Spike Lee announced he had been named best director that he didn't have any speech planned. His tribute to competitor Martin Scorsese and an offer to split up the award five ways with a Texas chainsaw were totally off the cuff.
"I still don't know why I talked about 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre," he said, bouncing between English and Korean throughout the two-hour event. "Very strange."
Wednesday's discussion, moderated by Amazon Studios executive Scott Foundas, touched on lots of American influences, including "Dog Day Afternoon," "Psycho" and "Jaws," all films Bong gobbled up as kid.
At one point, Bong admitted that the river monster in his 2006 movie "The Host" was partially based on the screen persona of Steve Buscemi, who he finally got to meet at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. He didn't have the time (or heart?) to tell the actor about his "tribute."
"He's such a nice person," Bong said.
One movie the director wasn't so keen on discussing was his very first feature, 2000's "Barking Dogs Never Bite." While Foundas tried to point out the film's admirable qualities, Bong started perusing a pamphlet that listed the movies the Walker had screened in anticipation of his visit.
"I'm so glad it wasn't included in the program," said Bong, flashing the same big smile that was on display throughout Sunday's Oscar broadcast. "Please don't watch that movie!"