Many of us have anxiously been awaiting the release of Bong Joon-ho’s latest film, Snowpiercer, especially after the awesome trailers we’ve seen thus far. There hasn’t been any release date set in the US as of yet, but now we may have the reason as to why it’s being held up.
It’s been announced that Harvey Weinstein reportedly wants to make a few changes to the cut of the film (which is already been smashing records in its homeland of South Korea), before it gets released in the US, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, or the UK. The changes involve cutting 20 minutes from the film in order to make it a more streamlined action flick at the expense of “character detail.” In addition, voice-overs would be added to the beginning and end of the film (similar to what happened with one of the cuts of Blade Runner).
Now why would he want to ruin what looks to be a fascinating film? According to film critic and programmer Tony Rayns, the answer involves Americans being too dumb to understand it.
Here’s what he had to say on the matter:
TWC people have told Bong that their aim is to make sure the film ‘will be understood by audiences in Iowa … and Oklahoma. 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.
The film, which involves survivors of the apocalypse traveling the globe in a train, is apparently very dark, but that doesn’t begin to explain why Weinstein would think that your average American wouldn’t understand it. One of the things that tends to annoy me about action films are the completely disposable characters that are flatter than paper, so the fact that the character detail is what’s being sacrificed here is very upsetting. I’d hate to see what could be a thought-provoking action film be turned into another forgettable, mindless piece of action fluff.
If this truly is allowed to happen, it looks like we’ll have to wait to see Snowpiercer when it hits Blu-Ray, assuming that the original cut will be made available in some capacity. This is very tragic that Weinstein is allowed to butcher art like this, but unfortunately, when you’re that powerful, you don’t really need to answer to anyone when it comes to churning out movies.
(Source: The Playlist)