Joon-ho Bong


For director Bong Joon-ho, the future looks bleak. Based on the French graphic novel, “Le Transperceneige,” Snowpiercer takes audiences a mere twenty-six years into the future when an attempt to stop global warming leaves the world frozen and uninhabitable. The only humans left alive now exist on a self-sustaining train that endlessly circles the earth making their new home feel more like prison than salvation. For those segregated to the back of the train, life is a constant struggle where every meal (and moment) is regulated by a select few lucky enough to have boarded at the front. The Snowpiercer is ruled by it’s omnipresent inventor, Wilford, and his unflinching rules are upheld by Mason (Tilda Swinton) who is equal parts comical and terrifying. Trying to survive under this constant oppression, it is not long before those in the back of the train decide it is time to overthrow their self-appointed rulers. This rag-tag army, as led by the surly Curtis (Chris Evans), band together to push their way to the front and try to figure out why they are being treated like second-class citizens.


Tilda Swinton and John Hurt

South Korean director Joon-ho Bong is set to make his English language directorial debut with a train thriller set in an ice covered world called Snow Piercer. Normally if you told me there was a movie about train travel on an ice covered world called Snow Piercer, I would assume that we were talking about a Syfy channel original with a B-list cast and some hilarious attempts at digital effects; but that’s certainly not the case here. Joon-ho is pretty much the man when it comes to moviemaking skills, so despite its outlandish premise, Snow Piercer is very rapidly amassing an impressive cast. I mean, duh, Hollywood actors have probably been lining up around the block to audition once it was announced they could work with this guy.



Now that his stoic role as Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger and the upcoming The Avengers has successfully washed the taste of Chris Evans’ failed early career attempts at being the wise-cracking comedic actor out of my mouth, it’s time to start figuring out what he’s going to do next. And according to a report from Variety, it sounds like he’s being pretty wise in taking his next step. Apparently the handsome young fella is negotiating to star in a movie called Snow Piercer, which is going to be the first English language feature from The Host and Mother director Joon-ho Bong. For those of you who don’t usually watch foreign films, Joon-ho Bong makes some awesome movies, so this is a project that should be taken seriously; even if the title and premise, that of a group of people trying to travel by train on an ice-covered world, sound a little lame.



Headphones on. DVD player loaded. Blank page open. That’s right, folks. It’s another edition of Commentary Commentary, our weekly look at a film’s commentary track and all the amazing anecdotes and discernment that come with it. This week we’re going international for the first time here in Commentary Commentary. We’re headed all the way to South Korea and all the way back to 2006. Not exactly sure which of those two settings are further away, but we have them right here on this pressed, metal disc. This week we’re listening to Bong Joon-ho‘s commentary on his monster movie, The Host. Does he end up revealing in it how much he hates everything America stands for? Spoiler alert: he doesn’t, but I’m sure this article isn’t going to help matters. So take a look at what I learned. I suddenly have a craving for Kimchi and Soju.



As a convenient companion piece to our interview with Joon-ho Bong today, posted a new teaser trailer as well as two new posters for the director’s upcoming thriller Mother.



Director Joon-ho Bong only has three feature films to his name since his debut in 2000, but he’s considered my many to be one of South Korea’s best directors. We caught up with the busy director via email and asked questions to which he graciously responded.

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published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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