To those who’d like to see Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer and don’t currently live in Korea, I’ve got some bad news. The film still has no release date for the Western world, but Harvey Weinstein, eager to add insult to injury, has just stepped in to make things much, much worse. According to film critic and programmer Tony Rayns (via Australia’s Inside Film), Weinstein, who’s in control of the film’s international distribution, has instructed Bong (The Host) to shave 20 minutes off his 126-minute film, or it won’t see a release in North America, the UK, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.
That’s awful. But what’s even worse is Weinstein’s reasoning behind the cut. Rayns tells why: “[The Weinstein Company] people have told Bong that their aim is to make sure the film ‘will be understood by audiences in Iowa … and Oklahoma.’” Reportedly, the cuts would come from the film’s character work, leaving Snowpiercer as a bare bones action flick.
So, according to the Weinsteins, the American Midwest is a region inhabited solely by people who will naturally flock to see a Korean import about the socioeconomic implications of an apocalyptic future but then will become confused and upset when they don’t understand what’s going on. The whole idea is baffling to the point of causing a migraine. The people that the Weinsteins worry won’t understand Snowpiercer will not be seeing Snowpiercer in the first place.
Here’s a bold new idea. The original cut of Snowpiercer is receiving heaps upon heaps of praise. It’s barreling through box-office records in Korea. Maybe just release that version?