‘Parasite’ director Bong Joon Ho wins best director Oscar

'Parasite' director Bong Joon Ho wins best director Oscar
Bong Joon Ho accepts the award for best director for "Parasite" at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Writer-director Bong Joon Ho made Oscar history Sunday night, capturing Oscars for best director and best international feature with his dark comic thriller, “Parasite,” the first South Korean film to win an Academy Award in any category.

In capturing the best director Oscar, Bong beat out a cast of previous winners and film legends that included Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Sam Mendes, and he paid tribute to all of them in his acceptance speech.

“When I was in school I studied Martin Scorsese’s films. Just to be honored was a huge honor. I never thought I would win,” he said. “When people in the US were not familiar with my films Quentin always put my films on his list.”

He added he wished he could take a Texas chainsaw and cut the Oscar into five pieces so all the nominees could share it.

The category featured two previous winners in Scorsese and Mendes and a previous two-time nominee in Tarantino. This year’s nomination was Scorsese’s ninth.

The category was also one of the most highly criticized this year for the fact that no women were nominated, including previous nominee Greta Gerwig, whose film “Little Women” was up for best picture. Gerwig herself received a nomination for best adapted screenplay.

Also snubbed was Marielle Heller, whose “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” garnered Tom Hanks a supporting actor nomination.

Only five women have been nominated for best director in the Oscars’ 92-year history and only one, Kathryn Bigelow, has won, for 2009’s “The Hurt Locker.”

This year’s competition marked the first director nomination for “Joker’s” Todd Phillips and for Bong.