Victory for lovers of original, cerebral cinema! Well, victory of a sorts, anyway. The ongoing debate between Snowpiercer director Joon-Ho Bong and distributor Harvey Weinstein seems to have finally come to an end, and I think it's safe to say Joon-Ho Bong has come out on top.
The distributor and filmmaker have been at loggerheads ever since Weinstein suggested cutting the dystopian sci-fi thriller in the hope of making the film 'more accessible' for audiences in 'Oklahoma and Iowa'. Yeah, we're not quite sure what that means either, but on the surface it seemed like a good o'l fashioned dumbing down of a politically aware and allegorical film. Reportedly, Weinstein wanted to cut twenty minutes from Snowpiercer, including scenes which established character back-stories, relationships and motivations. The result would have been a fairly generic and formulaic action movie.
Luckily, refused to budge and since then the release of the movie in North America has been in limbo. However, the release of the movie elsewhere in the world, especially its recent German premiere at the Berlinale Film Festival, has been meet with rave reviews for Bong's original director's cut. It seems this run-away success has finally persuaded Weinstein to allow the release of the original, full-version.
But, there is a catch. Weinstein apparently agreed to this only on the condition Snowpiercer isn't given an immediate wide release. Instead, the distributor has favored a limited release, with a wider roll-out once word of mouth has spread. Although this isn't ideal, it is infinitely preferable to no release at all.
This should be considered a victory for people who value the artistic freedom and independence of film-makers over the commercial imperatives which often plague Hollywood.
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What do you think? Are you excited at the prospect of finally seeing Snowpiercer in the US? Let us know below.