Quentin Tarantino’s Love Affair with Korean Cinema

Exploring JSA, The Host, and Memories of Murder

Neil Shah
3 min readMay 30


Renowned filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is known for his impeccable taste in movies, often drawing inspiration from various cinematic gems across different countries and genres. Among his diverse influences, three Korean movies hold a special place in his heart.

He always puts foreign movies on top of his top favorite movies list whenever he is talking on shows or in interviews. Even director Bong Joon-Ho has also mentioned the same openly on the stage of the Oscars.

Via IndieWire

Let’s dive deep into why these three Korean movies that are on his list deserve appreciation and attention.

JSA: The Tale of Bordering Friendships:

Via Mubi

Released in 2000, Joint Security Area, directed by Park Chan-wook, is a gripping drama set in the tense demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. JSA weaves together elements of mystery, drama, and political intrigue, which are themes Tarantino often explores in his own work.

JSA delves deep into the complexities of human relationships, depicting soldiers from both sides forming a genuine bond despite their political differences. The film’s nonlinear narrative structure and compelling characters resonated with Tarantino’s own approach to storytelling, highlighting the power of a well-crafted plot and memorable characters.

The Host: A Monster Masterpiece:

Via Vox

Directed by Bong Joon-ho and released in 2006, The Host is a genre-bending creature feature that captivated audiences worldwide. Tarantino has praised the film’s unique blend of humor, social commentary, and thrilling action sequences, which struck a chord with his own cinematic sensibilities.

The Host’s central theme of government negligence and environmental destruction struck a chord with Tarantino’s interest in…



Neil Shah

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