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Film

Bong Joon-ho names his favourite horror film directors of all time

South Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho is considered to be among the greatest filmmakers working today, known for his seminal masterpieces such as Memories of Murder. After emerging as one of the most exciting new voices in his country, Bong has managed to establish a global audience for his work who have become his biggest fans.

The apotheosis of Bong’s global popularity came when his latest work Parasite won multiple Oscars, including wins for the Best International Film and Best Picture among others. Currently, he is working on an adaptation of an Edward Ashton novel which is going to star the likes of Robert Pattinson among other big names.

Growing up, Bong was always a huge fan of horror films and included the works of directors like John Frankenheimer, Nicolas Roeg and John Carpenter in his list of favourites. A lifelong fan of the genre, the South Korean filmmaker has also highlighted the brilliance of some modern directors such as Ari Aster.

Commenting on the impact of Aster’s popular horror work Hereditary, Bong singled it out as one of his top picks. “[Hereditary] goes beyond the trappings of genre and delivers true, profound horror,” he said. “A horror that is primal and inescapable. In order to survive this overwhelming horror, we cast a spell on ourselves.”

After the widespread critical acclaim that Parasite revealed, Bong was approached by many filmmakers who praised his vision. American directors like Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino urged Western audiences to watch the masterpiece but it was Bong’s interaction with Werner Herzog that stuck around in his mind.

Outlining the impact of Herzog on his own journey in the world of cinema, Bong commented: “He had such great things to say, and it was a great honour to be able to talk to him. When I was in college studying film, I remember just being incredibly—I admired him a lot, and his films like Aguirre: The Wrath Of God.”

Revealing the names of his favourite horror filmmakers of all time, the director added: “Among contemporary directors, I really admire the horror films of Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa. In the generation above that, I have affection for De Palma. But I think that if you climb up that pyramid, at the very top is Hitchcock.”

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