I'm pretty sure I've posted about this one before, but if I haven't, you're hearing about it now. I am extremely excited about this film, it looks and sounds amazing. Atleast it did, until The Weinstein Company got their grubby little paws all over it.
I have to tip my hat to Bloody-Disgusting.com, as they posted an article about this today and I felt so compelled to share my own thoughts on the matter that here we are.
Snowpiercer, directed by Bong Joon-Ho (The Host), is slaying in Korea. Released on August 1st, it sold 3.3 million tickets in 5 days. Holy shit, that's insane. It's got an incredible cast, Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton alone set it apart, and the story is even better: The film is set in a future where a runaway experiment to stop global warming has caused an ice age that killed nearly all life on the planet. The only survivors are the inhabitants of the 'Snowpiercer', a massive train that travels around the planet and is powered by a perpetual-motion engine. Over time a class system evolves on the train, with the elites inhabiting the front of the train and poor inhabiting the back of the train. Tired of their poor living conditions, the riders in the back revolt, attempting to seize control of the engine, which the elites in the front consider sacred.
And here's where it gets fun. The internet has been exploding over the news that The Weinstein Company (who have distribution rights in America) is demanding that Bong cut 20 minutes off the run time to make sure the film "will be understood by audiences in Iowa... and Oklahoma", according to film critic and programmer Tony Rayns. What the fuck?
Rayns goes on to say, "Leaving aside the issue of what Weinstein thinks of its audience, it seems to say the least anomalous that the rest of the English-speaking world has to be dragged down to the presumed level of American mid-west hicks.” According to Rayns, Bong stated that the cuts will largely affect character development, effectively turning the film into an action film. Weinstein will be adding opening and closing voice-overs, to assist those not capable enough to follow the film on their own in understanding the deep complexities of the film.
What a crock of shit. Not only is this a huge insult to the American public and their intelligence, it's a crime to jeopardize the artistic integrity of a directors film in an attempt to dull it down for what you consider to be redneck hicks in the midwest. As horror fans, this should infuriate each and every one of us because this is yet another problem that we have to deal with in the pursuit of trying to see what these directors originally intend for us to see. The Evil Dead trilogy fell prey to it and it's very sad to see that not much has changed.
Check out the trailer below, and please, chime in with your thoughts.
- Rg Lovecraft