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Film

Bong Joon-ho names the one film he would love to remake

Showered in success from almost every corner of the globe, Bong Joon-ho’s sensational Palme d’Or and Best Picture-winner Parasite captured the imagination of critics and audiences alike, with the film praised for its powerful social commentary. An intricate drama spiked with deep-rooted moral concern, the 2019 classic opened the door for fans to further explore the world of the South Korean filmmaker. 

Experimenting with genre, humour and surreal opinions on social issues, Joon-ho is a wonderful creative with a meticulous eye for detail and an innate love for the art form, having created seven different films that each challenge the art form. Though Parasite is certainly his most celebrated movie, the likes of Memories of Murder, The Host and Okja are also worthy of equal praise. 

As well as a seasoned filmmaker, Joon-ho is a purveyor of the craft, previously citing the likes of Orson Welles, Robert Altman, Nicolas Roeg, John Carpenter, Alfred Hitchcock and Mike Leigh as some of his favourite filmmakers of all time. Such rings true throughout his filmography too, with Parasite infused with the influence of a Hitchcockian thriller and Okja being something of a modern-day Carpenter oddity.  

When asked by W Magazine about the one film he would love to remake if he got the chance, however, Joon-ho replied with an inspired choice, bringing a 1975 classic to the table. “I would remake Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon,” the director stated, referencing the influential Oscar-winning crime movie that stars the likes of Al Pacino, John Cazale, Sully Boyar and Penelope Allen. 

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Based on a remarkable true story, the movie follows three amateur bank robbers who plan a simple heist, only for their plan to go horribly wrong. (Spoilers!) Unfortunately, the group don’t manage to evade the police for the runtime of the movie, with the film coming to a close with Pacino’s Sonny being stuffed into the back of a patrol car. 

In Joon-ho’s world, though, this movie would have ended far differently. Further explaining how he would change the classic movie if he had the chance, the South Korean creative announced that he would “help Al Pacino and John Cazale succeed in escaping after robbing the bank”. 

As much as we’d love to agree, with the proposed ending being the fairytale Hollywood fantasy, Dog Day Afternoon is made all the better by the fact that they don’t escape, with the group’s madcap plan coming to an almost comical end in predictable fashion. Winning screenwriter Frank Pierson the Academy Award for Best Original Script, it’s clear that the Academy also saw the moral crime tale as the perfect package. 

Recognised as one of the greatest movies of the 1970s, Dog Day Afternoon joined Lumet’s remarkable filmography of the decade. Joined by the likes of Serpico and Network, the director became one of the era’s most significant filmmakers, though was never honoured with an Oscar for his work, being nominated five times only to lose out every time.