Snowpiercer – Is the whole English speaking world too stupid for a Korean movie?

Snowpiercer is South Korean film set in a dystopian future where the world’s survivors live on a train that is continuously circling the globe.

The fact that this is a Korean film didn’t impact my thought of “this sounds like a good film, wouldn’t mind seeing that.” I haven’t watched many Korean films at all; probably my only exposure to them was at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival where Pluto was one of my favourites. To be honest what first made me aware of the film was the cast list which includes some of my favourite actors such as Jaime Bell and John Hurt. Then reading that it was a dystopian film that wasn’t based on a YA novel made me even more interested (not that YA dystopian novels are bad, just that it’s nice to have some original ideas not based of books now and then.)

I don’t know when Snopiercer is going to be released in the UK but if or when it gets a theatrical release it’s going to be thanks to The Weinstein Company. However how thankful should I be? Snowpiercer has gained great reviews in Korea where it’s currently breaking box office records. Harvey Weinstein wants to cut around twenty minutes from the film so it’ll be more accessible for cinema-goers in America, namely those from Iowa and Oklahoma. Snowpierecer is 126 minutes long to start with, while that is two hours it is not the longest film ever and reviewers so far believe that none of those 126 minutes are wasted.

As a Brit and a film lover I don’t see why I and the rest of the English speaking world have to have a chopped up film just because of potential viewers in the American mid-west. No offence to the people of Oklahoma and Iowa, but are they really Snowpiercer’s target demographic? Sure jokes are made about “dumb hicks” but are they really likely to be the ones who spend money to see Snowpiercer in the cinema when there’s the latest superhero blockbuster available instead?

I just feel that it’s unfair that the whole English speaking world have to have a shortened film and therefore a film which is not as rich in character development and world building just because of a group of people that Weinstein is effectively saying are too stupid for Snowpiercer.

Apparently the UK is fighting Weinstein’s decision and I hope we get the full 126 minute movie. But for now I’m just shaking my head a la John Hannah in The Mummy.

For more info check out twitchfilm.


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