Quentin Tarantino, Bong Joon-ho make surprise appearance in Busan

Quentin Tarantino & Bong Joon-ho - 2013 Busan International Film Festival
At their Open Talk session on Oct. 11 at the 2013 Busan International Film Festival, Bong Joon-ho took pictures of the crowd as Quentin Tarantino greeted fans. (photo by Yuan-Kwan Chan / Meniscus Magazine)

Film festivals tend to be top-heavy, with VIPs scheduled to appear during the first half at various world premieres, galas and press conferences.  So when it was suddenly announced that Quentin Tarantino planned to drop into the 2013 Busan International Film Festival as it was winding down, many an eyebrow raised.

Quentin Tarantino & Boon Jong-ho - 2013 Busan International Film Festival
Bong Joon-ho and Quentin Tarantino at the conclusion of their joint appearance at the 2013 Busan International Film Festival. (photo by Yuan-Kwan Chan / Meniscus Magazine)

The rumor was indeed true, and with just a full day left in the program, Tarantino appeared at an hour-long Open Talk session alongside fellow director Bong Joon-ho.  The “Django Unchained” and “Inglourious Basterds” director, en route from the Huading Awards in Macau earlier in the week, had wanted to meet Bong ever since he watched the Korean director’s 2006 hit “The Host.”

“I saw it, and I was blown away,” Tarantino said of the movie.  “I felt that of all the filmmakers out there that I’ve seen in the last 20 years, Bong has that thing that ’70s [Steven] Spielberg had where he can do many different types of stories.  But no matter the type of story, there’s always this level of comedy and entertainment that is there.”

Bong, who was in town to promote “Snowpiercer,” the slick sci-fi film starring Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer, Tilda Swinton and Song Kang-ho, also had nothing but praise for his colleague.  The first Tarantino film he had seen was “Pulp Fiction.”

“When I first saw the film, I was so shocked,” Bong said.  “I think it was a narrative style that nobody thought of at that time.  It was not just me – I think all of my friends from college felt the same way.”

“After “Pulp Fiction,” of course I watched “Reservoir Dogs,”” Bong added.  “It was also a very shocking experience, especially that scene where he cut off the ear.  I thought it was beautiful.”

The two filmmakers continued to share opinions on making movies and recounted a number of familiar stories, one of which included Tarantino’s fortune in finding actor Christoph Waltz, whose two Oscars both came in the director’s films.   For more of what Tarantino and Bong had to say, watch our YouTube video below, which includes more than 45 minutes of the question-and-answer session at the Busan Cinema Center.

Video: Quentin Tarantino & Bong Joon-ho – 2013 Busan International Film Festival
video by Yuan-Kwan Chan / Meniscus Magazine