If you needed any more evidence of the increasing influence of Asian countries as we head deeper into the Asian Century, look no further than this year’s Academy Awards ceremony which saw the Korean movie “Parasite” sweep the Oscars, winning the prestigious awards of “Best Picture”, “Best Director”, “Original Screenplay” and the re-named “International Feature Film” (previously known as “Foreign Language Film”). It was tempting to think that this last award had been re-branded especially for the occasion, replacing the word “Foreign” with “International”, truly a sign of the times!
It was heartwarming to see Parasite’s Director, Bong Joon Ho, speaking in Korean with the help of an interpreter, praising the great Martin Scorsese, clearly one of his heros and a big influence on his career as a film-maker, and the Hollywood audience standing in tribute to the great man whose movies have inspired a generation. It certainly felt like a changing of the guard.
So how long will it be before a Chinese Director, inspired by the success of the Koreans, follows in the footsteps of “Parasite” and delivers the next great Asian movie to sweep the Oscars? China is already home to the largest movie and drama production complex and film studios in the world, the largest number of screens in the world and is already a major hub of business for Hollywood studios. Probably sooner than you might think!