Throughout final 12 months’s Academy Awards, Bong Joon-ho, the Korean director of Parasite, the primary non-English language Greatest Image winner in Oscar historical past, had a message for U.S. audiences:
“When you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles,” Bong mentioned following his twin win for Greatest Image and Greatest Director, “you can be launched to so many extra superb movies.”
This 12 months, he ditched the subtitles fully.
Presenting the 2021 award for Greatest Director, Bong, in a phase taped from a theater in Seoul, launched the nominees in Korean. He spoke at size with no subtitles, alone within the theater for a couple of moments earlier than his translator Sharon Choi appeared in body to ship his assertion in English — wherein he requested this 12 months’s nominees to outline directing in about 20 seconds earlier than asserting the winner of this 12 months’s Greatest Director trophy, Chloé Zhao.
It was a subversive second in an experimental ceremony, a relaxed flex from Bong that furthered his quiet struggle towards Hollywood biases that field out foreign-language cinema as one thing different.
each winner ought to simply give a speech within the language they’re most snug in
— E. Alex Jung (@e_alexjung) April 26, 2021
In an evening meant to have a good time motion pictures and the way they join us — particularly in a pandemic 12 months — the observe of awards presenters and recipients talking in no matter language they discover snug is a straightforward, transferring approach to additional converse to the empathetic energy of cinema.