On Friday, June 27, some of the major cities of America will be able to sit down and watch the new sci-fi, futuristic movie called Snowpiercer. This has been almost a whole year in the process of being released. Director Bong Joon has stood for months on the belief that the epic social battle does not need a twenty minute cut of the slower, class-warfare undertones in order for U.S. territories to comprehend and appreciate it. Unfortunately, in order to keep the movie at full length, distributor Harvey Weinstein has limited the primary release to a minimum audience in order to see how well it will do at the box office. If the movie does well enough on its small scale release, the Weinstein Company will be sure to spread its distribution.
Here’s the danger; no one has even heard of it. Not kidding. Even with a brilliant and an extremely popular cast of Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt and Octavia Spencer, the film had little hype here in the U.S.
Snowpiercer takes place on a train, eighteen years after the last of humanity was saved from a mistake in attempting to reverse global warming. It is a story of humanity at its rawest effort at survival and the class-warfare that plagues the last of its kind. Harsh dialogue, vivid action sequences and bitter emotions burn through the screen that could easily make the film an Oscar winner. It could, likewise, be viewed as ‘one of those strange movies’ and be shelved by the American public.
And what would that say about us? Filmed and already released in South Korea, Snowpiercer has taken other countries by storm, called a stellar sci-fi flick and worthy enough to show every minute. Cutting out twenty minutes of the juicy stuff for an “action-cut” really dumbs down the American audience. Only by the fierce opinion of the director is the film remaining full-length and untarnished. But at what cost? Will the U.S. only prove that they are so conditioned that they cannot appreciate a movie meant to reveal and not just entertain? Will Snowpiercer, a masterpiece rivaling 1984, be overlooked and beat to death by a bunch of dense cars/robots at the box office this weekend? One can hope it won’t.