In the continuing saga of Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer and whether or not it will get an un-truncated America release, screenwriter Kelly Masterson has decided to weigh in. His appraisal? Don’t let them cut it!
Masterson recently told Indiewire that he hopes the Weinsteins see their way clear to not cutting Snowpiercer for American audiences.
Here’s what he had to say:
It’s such an amazing film, and he’s such a great guy. We had met once — he was a judge on the jury at Sundance a few years ago, so we met when he was on his way to L.A. Then we would Skype every Monday morning. He’d be in Seoul, where it’s seven o’clock at night, and I’d be in New Jersey where it’s seven o’clock in the morning. We talked every Monday morning and worked on it for about six months — a very collaborative, wonderful experience … I’m very proud of the film — and horrified that Harvey Weinstein doesn’t want the English-speaking world to see Bong’s beautiful movie. I just have my fingers crossed that they will solve their problem and that some way we will get to see Bong’s cut of it.
It’s not really a surprising statement coming from the screenwriter of the film. It also echoes what most critics who have managed to see a version of the film have remarked: that the Weinsteins should not be cutting it up for American audiences.
But what is all the fuss about? Well, Harvey Weinstein reportedly wants to cut about twenty minutes out of Snowpiercer and add on a voiceover, presumably to explain some plot points that us hicks from hickville would not understand. The idea is that American audiences just won’t get what Bong Joon-ho is trying to say in the film, or something like that. The film comes in at more than two hours, so there might also be a supposed need to streamline it down.
I’ll join with the rest of my fellow bloggers, critics and film fans to call shenanigans. In an age when we allow films starring buff men in tights to go on for 2+ hours, there’s no reason to cut down what is by all accounts a truly great work. The other objection – that American audiences won’t get it – is just offensive and not worthy of comment.
We’ll see what comes of all this controversy, though. Harvey Weinstein himself has yet to address the issue, though we can be certain to hear from him before too long. Maybe it’s all just a ploy to drum up interest in Snowpiercer on this side of the Atlantic. I certainly hope so.