As a gigantic fan of Bong Joon Ho’s previous work, I couldn’t possibly describe the excitement I’ve felt for his English language debut SNOWPIERCER. However, its international release will be somewhat of a letdown thanks to the meddling hands of The Weinstein Company. At the head of this decision is, of course, Harvey Weinstein, a man known as Harvey Scissorhands thanks to his penchant for obtaining smart and sophisticated films and then chopping them into shorter and less engaging works. Zhang Yimou’s HERO and Stephen Chow’s SHAOLIN SOCCER are just two of the films that have faced the knife of Weinstein, and they are just two of the reasons I try and buy international versions of foreign films.
It is being reported that SNOWPIERCER will have 20 minutes cut from it and that will mostly be character development, because who cares about that when you can just have the fighting sequences? Film critic Tony Rayns has announced the film is to be cut to appeal to “stupid” mid-west Americans’
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.
If that wasn’t enough, opening and closing voice-overs are to be added to the film. It all smells a bit like BLADE RUNNER at the moment.
This is yet another disgusting display of The Weinstein Company treating everybody like idiots in an attempt to make as much money as possible. They’ve already lost my money, and I just hope in the future more directors will take Hayao Miyazaki’s approach, when Harvey Weinstein tried to cut his classic PRINCESS MONONOKE, Miyazaki’s producer sent a sword saying “No Cuts” on it and Miyazaki met with the man himself:
I did go to New York to meet this man, this Harvey Weinstein, and I was bombarded with this aggressive attack, all these demands for cuts. I defeated him.
It is of little surprise that SNOWPIERCER is also rumoured to be delayed until 2014 in US territories (and probably much of the world too).