Bong Joon Ho to guest edit the March 2020 issue of Sight & Sound

The beloved Korean director, whose Palme d’Or winning, Oscar-nominated film Parasite finally reaches the UK in February, takes the reins of our next issue.


Bong Joon Ho, our March 2020 guest editor

Bong Joon Ho, our March 2020 guest editor
Credit: Dean Chalkley for Sight & Sound

Sight & Sound today announces the Palme d’Or-winning director Bong Joon Ho as the magazine’s first ever guest editor. Bong will oversee the magazine’s March 2020 issue, available digitally on 3 February and on newsstands 6 February. This coincides with the UK release of his latest film, Parasite, a gleeful and thrilling social satire which came second in our Best Films of 2019 poll and this week received .

The issue will include a reveal of storyboards from Parasite, a career profile, a personal tribute from Bong to the late South Korean director Kim Kiyoung and his selection of the 20 most exciting up-and-coming directors to watch from around the world.


Director Bong Joon Ho says:

“I’m very happy to work with Sight & Sound. It’s a strange feeling because when I studied cinema around 30 years ago I used to read Sight & Sound magazine a lot. I read it with my Film Society members. Sometimes we even got illegally copied issues and read them. So it’s very meaningful for me and I’m greatly honoured to work on this issue as a guest editor.”

Bong both wrote the screenplay and directed Parasite, which has received critical acclaim since it was unanimously voted to win the Palme d’Or after its world premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Bong is the first Korean filmmaker to be awarded the prestigious accolade. The film received Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language at the 2020 Golden Globes and has gone on to four BAFTA and six Academy Award nominations, including Best Director. It has made history by being the first South Korean film to be nominated for both Best Film and Best International Film at the Academy Awards.


Sight & Sound Editor-in-Chief Mike Williams and Bong Joon Ho

Sight & Sound Editor-in-Chief Mike Williams and Bong Joon Ho

Sight & Sound Editor-in-Chief Mike Williams says:

“Working with Bong Joon Ho on the upcoming issue of Sight & Sound has been a great way of seeing one of cinema’s most creative minds at work. The global success of his latest film Parasite is well-deserved – as are all his awards and nominations – and I’m excited to welcome him as the first ever guest editor of Sight & Sound.

We’ve been great champions of Bong’s films and vision throughout his career, so to collaborate with him on this issue that explores his inspirations and creative process is a proud moment that says as much about the history and legacy of Sight & Sound as it does about our exciting future. Gamsahamnida, director Bong!”


In the issue

In our March 2020 issue, internationally-renowned Korean cinema expert Tony Rayns profiles Bong and takes a retrospective look at the filmmaker’s career. Bong’s second feature, Memories of Murder (2003), received international critical acclaim, was featured in the December 2003 issue of S&S and listed as one of our 30 key films of the 2000s a decade ago. The magazine has continued a long association with Bong, first interviewing him in September 2004 and covering his subsequent work including The Host (2006) and Snowpiercer (2013), both of which are among the highest-grossing films of all time in South Korea, and the Netflix-release Okja (2017).

Also in the issue, Bong handpicks 20 upcoming filmmakers to watch, who have each directed two features or fewer. These include Mati Diop, whose feature directorial debut Atlantics (2019) competed in the Cannes Film Festival official competition, losing to Parasite but receiving the Grand Prix. Bong also champions fellow South Korean director Yoon Ga-eun, whose films explore stories of young children and youth, and Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) as directors to watch. Peele’s films, like Bong’s, explore current social themes with an undercurrent of both humour and horror.

Bong puts a spotlight on Korean director Kim Kiyoung, whose films have had a huge influence on his work and who he considers to be the true auteur of Korean cinema. Kiyoung is best known for his intensely psychosexual and melodramatic horror films such as The Housemaid (1960), the first of the ‘Housemaid trilogy’, to be followed by Woman of Fire (1971) and Woman of Fire ’82 (1982).

Sight & Sound’s March cover features exclusive portraits of the director taken by British photographer Dean Chalkley, who has produced iconic images of significant cultural figures at the intersection of music, art and fashion over the past two decades.


See Bong Joon Ho’s top ten films list for our 2012 Greatest Films of All Time poll


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