One day, years from now, medical experts will identify a condition in which a person is physically unable to keep from being embroiled in controversy and putting his foot in his mouth. And they will, as we do now, look back at famous figures and try to ascribe this condition to The Weinstein Company head 's life.
But today is not that day, and so Weinstein has stepped in it again, this time due to his decision to heavily edit 's hugely-anticipated, English language debut film, Snowpiercer, for consumption for American audiences. The Weinstein Company has picked up the distribution rights for the Korean film for North America, the UK, New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia, and plans on making deep cuts before Snowpiercer sees the light of day for English-speaking audiences. While it's no surprise the film is to be edited; Weinstein is notorious for no film being able to pass by him without him making changes, what's causing the outcry this time is the massive extent to which it is to be edited and why. According to film critic and programmer Tony Rayns
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.
Essentially, Weinstein thinks American Midwesterners are too simple and stupid to understand a foreign film with any sort of complexity or nuance. The fact the plot of Snowpiercer is fairly straightforward (The last survivors on Earth live aboard a train; the lower class revolts against the upper class to take control, done) only adds insult to injury. This isn't the first time Weinstein has dumbed down films for American audiences, but still, Snowpiercer has been getting screened to rave reviews from American outlets and has broken all box office records in its native Korea, so why mess with a good thing?
Among the proposed changes are 20 minutes being cut from the film, mostly in character detail, so you can say goodbye to any depth of plot as the rich sci-fi film gets gutted and turned into a popcorn action flick. Voiceovers are to be added at the beginning and end of the film to overexplain the events of the story, just in case audiences couldn't figure it out for themselves.
According to Rayns, the UK plans to protest TWC's edits, and Australia will probably follow suit. But American audiences will unfortunately have to wait for the Blu-ray and DVD "director's cut" to see the original, untouched film.
Sigh. This is why we can't have nice things, Hollywood. This is why.
What do you think of Weinstein's proposed changes? Sound off in the comments.
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