Will wonders ever cease? Really, why not edit a film that is kicking serious ass overseas as a means to dumb it down for wide release elsewhere, including the US and the UK? Thank the video gods that Harvey Weinstein is there to make sure we’re all as spoon-fed as possible.
According to IF, Bong Joon-ho’s new film Snowpiercer is the next flick that is looking to be violated by Harvey Scissorhands. The English-language film stars Chris Evans as the leader of a revolt on a train that carries the last survivors of the human race after an experiment to end global warming fails. The cast includes Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swinton, Ko Ah-sung, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Ed Harris, and Octavia Spencer. Weinstein is demanding Bong slash the running time by 20 minutes for the version to be released in TWC’s territories.
“TWC people have told Bong that their aim is to make sure the film ‘will be understood by audiences in Iowa … and Oklahoma’,” English writer and film festival programmer Tony Rayns tells the site. “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 Midwest hicks,” added Rayns, who attended the film’s premiere in Seoul and spoke with the filmmaker, whose credits include The Host and Memories of Murder.
According to Rayns, Bong said the cuts would eliminate much of the character detail, which would make the film seem more like an action movie. Weinstein is also adding opening and closing voice-overs.
“Nobody (least of all Bong himself) is optimistic that his rear-guard actions against the ‘Weinstein version’ will get his original version released in English-speaking territories, but I hope that Oz, like the UK, will fight the good fight to protest Weinstein’s cuts,” said Rayns. “If the ‘Weinstein version’ flops in theatres, it may at least speed up release of what I’m sure Weinstein will call ‘the director’s cut’ on Blu-ray and DVD.”
Weinstein earned his reputation after cutting films such as Shaolin Soccer, Hero, Inside (which was released unrated and still lost 7 minutes), and Princess Mononoke for US release. “I’m not cutting for fun,” he once told journalist Ken Auletta. “I’m cutting for the shit to work. All my life I served one master: the film. I love movies.”
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