Bong Joon-ho’s apocalyptic thriller, Snowpiercer, is about to play at the Berlin International Film Festival, and there continue to be rumblings of anger over Harvey Weinstein’s proposed twenty minutes of cuts to the film.
Last year it was reported that Weinstein, who acquired sales rights to the film, was planning to edit Joon-ho’s vision down by twenty minutes in order to make the film more accessible to US audiences. An insult both to the director, and the audience who will be watching the film. The director of the film has expressed his upset at the tampering with hid film, but it being very careful in his responses, and I am sure he and Weinstein are continuing to discuss these cuts.
The full length version has been tested in the US, along with an unfinished shorter version, and the uncut version tested much better. Snowpiercer opened in Joon-ho’s native South Korea last year, uncut, and became the country’s most successful film ever.
Fans the world over have expressed outrage at the proposed cuts, which have been rumoured to be predominantly story and character development, in order to give the film a faster pace. Hell, even stars Tilda Swinton, Chris Evans and even screenwriter Kelly Masterson have openly shared their disgust at the cuts. Yet still Weinstein won’t listen.
However, star John Hurt has now been added to the growing list of people angry with the idea of cutting Joon-ho’s said to be masterful vision and exceptional film. Hurt was interviewed by Hey You Guys while at the Critics’ Circle Awards in London.
“It’s a wonderful film, I’ve seen it. And I want it to be shown in the English speaking territories in its full version. And I’m not in agreement with Harvey Weinstein who wants to cut twenty minutes out of it, because I know what he’ll cut out,” he said.
Clearly very upset with Weinstein’s decision, Hurt continued “he doesn’t trust his directors”. “What I can do is support the Korean [production] company, and Bong Joon-ho, who is a consummate director. It’s a wonderful film, and I would had to see it tinkered with,” said Hurt.
The video below shows Hurt’s response in full when asked about Snowpiercer:
Snowpiercer is written and directed by Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Memories of Murder)
The cast includes Song Kang-ho, Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Alison Pill, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer and Luke Pasqualino. Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, Thirst, Stoker) produces.
The film opened on 1st August 2013 in South Korea, but no UK or US release date has been announced yet.
Snowpiercer is set in a future where, after a failed experiment to stop global warming, an Ice Age kills off all life on the planet except for the inhabitants of the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe and is powered by a sacred perpetual-motion engine. A class system evolves on the train but a revolution brews.