Whilst Harvey Weinstein gets torn apart in court, Parasite director Bong Joon-ho is revelling in the remarkable success of his movie.
Four Oscar wins, including best director and best picture, and some classic quips on the night have made Bong a fan favourite, but it’s a lie that he told to Harvey that may have stolen the show.
Before we get to that, let’s look at two clips that sum up how you must feel when your film becomes the first foreign-language film ever to win best picture
bong joon-ho on his party plans: “i am already drunk” pic.twitter.com/3eTOoMznl7
— karen han (@karenyhan) February 10, 2020
Fair enough. Watch out for that tequila – it hunts in packs.
Bong did warn us. Check out from the 45-second mark below:
Bong’s son is also rather humble about the family’s accomplishment, as evident in this Twitter thread.
OK, let’s get to that Harvey / Bong tale, with this below from IndieWire:
Bong and Weinstein’s clash is an infamous story for fans of the South Korean master. After The Weinstein Company bought the distribution rights to “Snowpiercer” in 2012, Harvey was adamant about cutting 25 minutes from Bong’s cut. Harvey wanted “more Chris Evans,” as Bong tells [the story].
“It was a doomed encounter,” Bong said. “I’m someone who until that point had only ever released the ‘director’s cut’ of my films. I’ve never done an edit I didn’t want to do. Weinstein’s nickname is ‘Harvey Scissorhands,’ and he took such pride in his edit of the film.”
Essentially, Weinstein wanted large swathes of dialogue cut from the film, and eyed one scene in particular that he felt was ripe for chopping.
Bong wasn’t having it:
…the tense back and forth between the director and the producer resulted in one hilarious moment in which Bong duped Weinstein. The producer was hell bent on cutting a scene in which a train guard guts a fish in order to intimidate a group of rebels. The shot was a particular favorite of Bong’s and cinematographer Hong Kyung-pyo.
“Harvey hated it. Why fish? We need action!” Bong told Vulture. “I had a headache in that moment: What do I do? So suddenly, I said, ‘Harvey, this shot means something to me.’ ”
When Harvey asked what the shot meant, Bong replied, “It’s something personal. My father was a fisherman. I’m dedicating this shot to my father.”
Weinstein told Bong that family is the most important thing to him, which was the deciding factor in Weinstein letting Bong keep the fish gutting scene. “I said, ‘Thank you,’” Bong remembered. “It was a fucking lie. My father was not a fisherman.”
If you need to lie to a monster in order to save a scene you love, then, by all means, go right ahead.
Bong won that battle, and his director’s cut was far better received than Harvey’s cut, which was tested on an audience in New Jersey:
Weinstein then made the call to let Bong keep his theatrical cut, only he would bump “Snowpiercer” down from TWC to its specialized division Radius-TWC and not give it a nationwide release. Bong said, “Maybe for [Weinstein], it was some kind of punishment to a filmmaker who doesn’t do what he wants. But for me, we were all very happy. Yeah! Director’s cut!”
“The whole thing was like a black comedy,” Bong said of the entire situation. “If this was someone else’s movie and you were making a documentary of the situation, it would be really funny. Unfortunately, it was my movie.”
Well, we all know who is having the last laugh now.
One man was the darling of the Oscars, and the other is involved in a rape trial in New York City.
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