It’s no secret that filmmaker Bong Joo-ho is quite unhappy about the edits that Harvey Weinstein has made for the US release of his film Snowpiercer, an unhappiness that he’s expressed on several occasions now.
Twenty minutes of footage have apparently been cut from the film for its release here in the States, yet another victim of ole Harvey Scissorhands.
But why? Why did Weinstein feel the need to butcher a film that is getting rave reviews in South Korea and France? Bong Joon-ho opened up in an interview with website Vulture. At the Museum of Modern Art’s Film Benefit last Tuesday night, they pressed the Korean filmmaker for details about the cuts. “It’s a matter of tempo,” Joon-ho told Vulture. “They think of the movie as a[n] R-rated movie, so it’s not a matter of violence, some carnage or something. It’s just a matter of duration and tempo and speed. There’s no set number of required minutes to be cut or anything like that. We’re just playing with it, and they let us choose.”
In addition to the cuts, Weinstein ordered that a voice-over be tacked on to the end of the movie, which Joon-ho feels is unnecessary. “I understand their situation, their point of view,” Bong said. “They want to make it easier for the audience to understand the ending. But, at the same time, I love a little bit more ambiguity.”
Joon-ho feels that the success of the director’s cut will perhaps get Harvey to change his mind and release it unedited here in America. We can only hope he’s right about that.
The Weinsteins expect to release Snowpiercer sometime in 2014.
The English-language directorial debut of Bong Joon-ho (The Host), the film stars The Avengers’ Chris Evans, The Help’s Octavia Spencer, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Alison Pill, Tilda Swinton, and Song Kang-ho. Based on the graphic novel Le Transperceneige, Snowpiercer is set in the not too distant future, where a new Ice Age has wiped out most of the human race. With a revolt brewing onboard, the Snowpiercer is a train of Earth’s lone survivors that travels around the cold world.
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