Best known for the black comedy blockbuster Parasite, Bong Joon-ho has emerged as one of the most exciting auteurs of contemporary cinema. The visionary South Korean director, producer and screenwriter is renowned for his deft genre-blurring and sharp societal critiques, over a career that’s been punctuated by a series of modern movie masterpieces.

Bong made his directorial debut with the 2000 film Barking Dogs Never Bite, a dark comedy that quickly cultivated a cult following. He achieved both critical and commercial success with followups like 2003’s Memories of Murder and 2006’s The Host, before making his English language debut with the 2013 sci-fi action flick Snowpiercer. In 2017, Bong teamed up with Netflix to take on the food industrial complex in the fantasy-adventure Okja. But it was 2019’s Parasite that catapulted him to global recognition, breaking South Korean box office records and becoming the first non-English film to win the Oscar for Best Picture.

While promoting it, Bong hosted a Reddit AMA where he mused on everything from working with dogs to the art of translating foreign films. Asked to name his favorite books and literature, he responded with two Hitchcock tomes, a Raymond Chandler noir, and a surreal, body horror graphic novel by Charles Burns.

Explore Bong Joon-ho’s recommended reading below, and check out the bookshelves of other legendary filmmakers here.

Bong Joon-Ho’s Reading List

Hitchcock at Work by Bill Krohn

Hitchcock by François Truffaut (also rec’d by Darren Aronofsky)

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

Black Hole by Charles Burns

(via Reddit; photo by Paolo Verzone)

Looking for an Amazon alternative? Support local, independent booksellers by shopping Bong Joon-Ho’s reading list – and hundreds of other celebrity book recommendations – through Radical Reads’ Bookshop page.

Categories: Directors