Bong Snowpiercer

After some protracted disagreements with the Weinstein Company, Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer will finally hit theaters this weekend in the form that Bong intended. I’ve been a huge fan of Bong Joon-Ho since I saw Memories of Murder on DVD years ago. I find that he’s able to deftly balance wildly divergent tones in his films, from the zany to the serious, from the fantastical to the relatable.

While I had a few issues with Snowpiercer’s script (particularly some of its third-act exposition), it’s a singular film that’s like nothing else out in theaters right now. If you are lucky enough to have this film playing in a theater near you, definitely check it out.

I had the chance to chat with Bong Joon-Ho when he was here in Seattle hosting a Q&A for the film. We spoke through a translator and discussed the use of violence in Snowpiercer, his script-writing process with Kelly Masterson, and his struggles to get final cut. This interview has been edited for length and clarity, and to eliminate spoilers.
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Tilda Swinton Snowpiercer

This week, audiences in the US finally get to see Bong Joon-ho‘s post-apocalyptic sci-fi film Snowpiercer. It is a terrific movie — an intense tale of social strife with a spectacular cast and a real aesthetic vision. (It also has some of the best action scenes in a film so far this year.)

Even with all the great stuff Snowpiercer has going for it, one asset really stands out. Tilda Swinton can be relied upon to give an attention-getting performance in just about anything. Here, she throws herself into the material, putting some dental appliances to good use and spitting out dialogue with a conviction that could wither just about any onlooker. But not Chris Evans; in this clip, Swinton’s speech only angers him, and makes him more determined to act. Watch below. Read More »

Snowpiercer US trailer

After playing squeaky-clean Captain America in The Winter Soldier, Chris Evans gets to play a much grittier sort of hero in Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer. Some of that grit is literal — Evans’ Curtis looks like he hasn’t had a shower in a good long while — but mostly, it’s spiritual.

The dark thriller is set in an Earth that’s been ravished by a new ice age. The only humans left are the inhabitants of the Snowpiercer, a train that endlessly circles the globe. Inside, however, there’s trouble brewing. The lower classes in the back of the train, led by Curtis, are plotting an uprising against the rich folks in the front. Watch the new Snowpiercer U.S. trailer after the jump.

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snowpiercer red band trailer

Bong-Joon Ho‘s film Snowpiercer is finally on the verge of being released in the US, and in its original cut, to boot. To announce that imminent release, The Weinstein Company has released a new Snowpiercer red-band trailer. And it’s a good time for the promo, as the film’s star, Chris Evans, is riding high on the success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. If there was ever a time to put out an explicit look at this film in which the remnants of humanity break down into class warfare aboard a train that keeps them all alive, it’s now. Read More »

‘Snowpiercer’ U.S. Release Set for Summer 2014

Snowpiercer US release date

Last month, we finally learned which version of Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer we’d be seeing in theaters. Now we also know when we’re going to see it. The Weinstein Co. have set a summer 2014 release date for the chilly sci-fi actioner, which had its world premiere in South Korea last summer. Hit the jump for more details on the rollout.

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Snowpiercer_st_02

The exhausting back-and-forth between Bong Joon-ho and The Weinstein Company over the final U.S. / U.K. cut of Snowpiercer has finally come to an end. Bong’s acclaimed sci-fi thriller will come to the States in its full, uncut glory, just as the director had wanted. The catch? It’s now getting a limited release instead of a wide one. Hit the jump for more details on the truce.

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Snowpiercer

After several months, the battle between Bong Joon-ho and The Weinstein Company over the U.S. release of Snowpiercer remains unresolved. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess when Stateside audiences will finally get to see the film, or what shape it’ll be in when it gets there. But folks in other countries have been luckier, and today we have a new trailer from Japan that shows a bit of new footage. Check it out after the jump.

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Snowpiercer

For the past four months, we’ve been getting worrisome reports about what U.S. distributor The Weinstein Co. is doing to Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer. The Weinsteins wanted to chop up the movie, despite great reviews from Korea and France, because they were afraid that “audiences in Iowa and Oklahoma” wouldn’t get it. While the director initially assured press that the cuts were “pretty soft,” he’s since become more vocal about his displeasure.

Today, the most detailed report yet reveals a bit more about the behind-the-scenes struggle between the director and the distributor. Among other things, the Weinsteins blocked the film from playing on the fall festival circuit, and suggested to Bong that he add bookending voiceovers penned by Neil Gaiman. Hit the jump for the latest on this battle.

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snowpiercer-comic-english-header

Briefly: We have no idea when we’ll see Bong Joon-ho‘s film Snowpiercer in the US, or what form the film will be in when we do get the chance. But now English readers will have a chance to dig into the original version of the story.

The French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, written by Jacques Lob and Benjamin Legrand, and illustrated by Jean-Marc Rochette, provided the inspiration for the film, but the book has not ever been published in an English translation. That changes early next year, when a two-volume translation will arrive from Titan Comics. Volume 1: The Escape is set to street on Jan. 29, 2014, and Volume 2: The Explorers will be available on Feb. 25, 2014. Presumably there will be a one-volume collection down the line, likely with a few extra bits, but for now we know only of these two volumes.

Check out a page of art below. Read More »

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Snowpiercer_st_02

Not only do American audiences not know when we’ll get to see Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer, we don’t even know what form it’ll be in when we do. Back in August, word got out that U.S. distributor The Weinstein Company was cutting 20 minutes out of the film. Bong initially seemed pretty chill about the whole thing, but then other reports indicated that he was actually quite furious in private.

As of now, the struggle between Bong and the Weinsteins over the final cut is “still going on,” according to the director. And the director is willing to fight for his vision, claiming that his version has actually fared better with test audiences in the States than the Weinsteins’ shorter cut did. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

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