While I was at Vancouver, I didn’t see Screen International for Sept 15, but I’ve caught up since I got back. SI reports extensively on Bong Joon-ho’s The Host. Budgeted at $11 million, it has become the top-grossing Korean film of all time (in unadjusted dollars). It was released in July, and 38 days later it had 12.37 million admissions in its domestic market, beating The King and the Clown. The subsequent Asian rollout has yielded a total gross of $77.8 million as of 15 Sept. The Host will open in Europe in November, and in the US, distributed by Magnolia, in late January 2007.
Mr Bong was kind enough to give me a CD of the soundtrack, and it’s a lively and varied score. I recommend it. When we first met in 1995, he told me that Film Art was widely pirated in Korea, so at Vancouver I gave him a copy of The Way Hollywood Tells It. This is the source of his comments in the inscription: “To David Bordwell! Thanks for your amazing book! (My legal version copy!) Good luck!” Maybe some of his luck with The Host will rub off on me….