“I think we did the whole thing in probably two or three takes. But the trick was having that bit at the bottom where we could go through something. All you’ve got to do is have one frame that’s black or covered enough, and you do the cut. And then, hopefully, match the move of both the camera and the guy pushing that little trolley of paperwork, and match their movements. That’s how it works. It was very satisfying, that shot.
When I interviewed Chase for the book, he declined to answer the same question Nochimson asked, but he did talk about the impulses behind presenting the final scene of his masterpiece in that way:
“It just seemed right,” he suggests. “You go on instinct. I don’t know. As an artist, are you supposed to know every reason for every brush stroke? Do you have to know the reason behind every little tiny thing? It’s not a science; it’s an art. It comes from your emotions, from your unconscious, from your subconscious. I try not to argue with it too much. I mean, I do: I have a huge editor in my head who’s always making me miserable. But sometimes, I try to let my unconscious act out. So why did I do it that way? I thought everyone would feel it. That even if they couldn’t say what it meant, that they would feel it.”
“In the Eighties, when I was in college in 1988. That was almost the end of the military dictatorship. I was a student protester. I was part of a lot of demonstrations against the government and I would have to run away from riot police. In one particular instance, I ran away and opened a random door and ended up in a very classy, high-end hotel. I found myself in this lobby where there was piano music and just two seconds ago they were shooting tear gas at me. There I was listening to Mozart and guests were dressed up in nice clothes drinking coffee as if nothing was going on. I was just in a daze, thinking ‘where am I’? That feeling is definitely a part of the sushi bar scene.”—Bong Joon-ho (x)