Wednesday, June 12, 2013
The rarity of Korean science fiction movies is something I've talked about before and a topic I have strong feelings about. I like sci-fi as a genre and I really think Korean filmmakers could do it very well. For whatever reasons, the genre is not popular in Korean films. Hopefully, maybe, this will change in the future.
Director/writer Bong Joon Ho's 'Snowpiercer' is the latest addition to the genre. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, when the Earth is going through a new ice age and the few survivors are all living aboard a train powered by a sacred perpetual motion engine. The conflicts arise from the fact that there is a gap among the classes existing within, with the richest top class living in luxury while the lower classes suffer.
Co-written by Kelly Masterson ('Before the Devil Knows You're Dead') and staring Chris Evans, Song Kang Ho, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris and John Hurt (among others), 'Snowpiercer' is based on the French graphic novel 'Le Transperceneige'.
If you're thinking "Boy, that's very international", you would be absolutely right. It doesn't stop there either. The film was entirely shot in the Czech Republic and about 85% of it is in English. Due to a handy, albeit overly convenient device aboard the train, the Korean-speaking and English-speaking characters can understand each other. Given I hate dubbing, I'll take this with pleasure.
While this international nature can mean miscommunications and possibly risk the integrity of the work, learning to cooperate with others and create less culturally biased films is definitely a step forward in movie making. Clashing is inevitable, of course, but different cultures and mindsets can also bring valuable insight. What I am saying is, we all mostly watch Hollywood movies, made by and for Hollywood movie mentality. Imagine how much we are missing due to this.
While I have had my issues with Bong as a writer and the promotion for this has been extremely poor from the company's side, I am hopeful and thankful for 'Snowpiecer' and I am definitely looking forward to it.
Posters and Stills:
Source: Youtube User 명준 김
Image source: Hancinema