An iconic pioneer in the South Korean New Wave of filmmaking, Bong Joon-ho is a force to be reckoned with and revered by fans and critics for his engrossing sociopolitical commentaries and thrillers like Memories of Murder and Parasite. The director carved out a brilliant creative legacy with the latter film. Parasite was the first-ever foreign-language film to have won the Best Picture Award at the Oscars, besides the awards for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best International Feature Film etc.
He recently revealed some of his favourite 2021 releases to the Korean film magazine FILO. While he has handpicked most of the films, forming an eclectic list across various genres, two Netflix Original releases have supposedly caught the acclaimed auteur’s eye.
From Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car to Audrey Diwan’s Happening and Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You, the list of eight films also comprised the likes of Don’t Look Up and The Mitchells vs. the Machines.
The Mitchells vs. the Machines was one of the two animated films on the list, the other being Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Danish film, Flee.
Directed by Michael Rianda, this was considered to be one of the best Netflix originals of 2021. It revolved around the dysfunctional Mitchell family, who embarked on a road trip to reconnect. However, their reunion dreams are short-lived when they are disrupted by a robotic apocalypse where robots seek revenge on humans.
To save humankind from the wrath of the robots, the family must stick together in a quirky and bizarre turn of events. A light-hearted exploration of dysfunctional family relationships and the ensuing complexities, the film also touches on topics like coming out of the closet, coming to terms with one’s identity and burgeoning sexuality against the backdrop of flailing humanity.
Adam McKay’s satirical disaster comedy, Don’t Look Up, which hit the streamer on December 24th, 2021, too, made its way onto Bong’s list of favourite films. With the likes of a prolific cast, namely Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Timothee Chalamet, Rob Morgan, Tyler Perry and other talented actors making up the enviable ensemble, the film was an allegory of the global climate change crisis and a biting critique of the varied socio-political responses to an impending disaster.
As Dr. Randall Mindy and his PhD student, Kate Dibiasky, chance upon a massive asteroid hurtling itself towards the earth with the potential to destroy the planet, they embark on a daunting odyssey of warning the world regarding the inevitable doom. What ensues is darkly hilarious and unsettling chaos that divides the world into two.
Watch the films on Netflix now.