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72nd Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards - Press Room

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Spike Lee Taught ‘Parasite’ Director English Curse Words

As if Spike Lee didn’t already do enough for the film community, Parasite director Bong Joon-ho credits the director for teaching him American curse words.

“I came from a place very far away. I live in South Korea,” the director said as he accepted a Best Foreign Film honor at the African American Film Critics Association Awards.

He goes on to talk about his time as a student, saying, “we held several illegal film festivals where we would have unofficial screenings at local cinematheques…We would screen a lot of American indie films and create subtitles. The movies I [subtitled were] Jungle Fever and Do the Right Thing. At the time, my English wasn’t that good, so subtitling it was quite an experience. I had no idea there was such various curse words in the English language! Thanks to Spike Lee, I learned so many things!”

Clearly, Spike Lee had a big influence on Joon-ho’s life, but when they met each other recently, the Parasite director didn’t have a chance to tell him just how influential he was.

“I didn’t get a chance to tell him I subtitled Do the Right Thing. If I meet him again, I would love to tell him. If any of you are acquainted with him, please let him know.”

After sweeping at other award shows, Parasite is up for Best Picture and Best International Feature Film at the Oscars.



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