Snowpiercer (2014); directed by Bong Joon Ho

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In order to combat global warming, various nations on the planet decide to inject the atmosphere with a coolant. The film opens with a bright blue sky, and three planes careening by far above, leaving behind a white trail of this stuff. The coolant works better than originally planned. As a matter of fact, it is a disaster. The world is plunged into an Ice Age in a matter of months, and all life on earth (well, almost all) is eradicated. Ice and snow covers the land. Thankfully, an industrial wizard named Wilford has invented an “eternal train,” a train that circles the globe endlessly, cutting through the snow and ice, somehow transforming it into water for the people on board. The train rattles through the icy landscape. It is longer than any train on earth today. It is broken up into sections, similar to what was going on on the doomed Titanic, with third-class passengers barricaded in the belly of the ship. There are the huddled masses who live in squalor in “the tail” of the train, and they are loomed over by soldiers holding machine guns. Population control is paramount. Babies are born on the train (the train has been hurtling around the globe for 17 straight years), and sometimes the crowd needs to be thinned out. And it is. Brutally. What is going on in the head of the train? Nobody knows. The sections of the train are locked off by a series of gates. There’s no way to get through them.

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This is the premise of Bong Joon Ho’s Snowpiercer (based on a graphic novel). I have loved Bong Joon Ho’s work for years, and his devotion to genre pictures (his Memories of Murder is one of the best police procedurals I have ever seen). The Host was superb, a great monster movie. Mother was devastating, and it also was a nod to multiple genres, and it featured one of the best performances that year (or, hell, any year) by Hye-ja Kim. He’s a glorious film-maker, audacious, clever, visceral, with a hardy and talented group of regulars. I look forward to whatever he does. Snowpiercer arrived in theaters a couple weeks ago with a lot of baggage attached to it. Bong Joon Ho had been in a protracted war with Harvey Weinstein who wanted to cut 20 minutes out of the film. Bong Joon Ho dug his heels in. Weinstein finally relented, and the film is being released in its full version, but bratty Weinstein retaliated by giving it a very limited release in theaters. So it’s hard to find. It’s outrageous and unfair. It’s been playing for a couple of weeks now at only a couple of theaters in Manhattan. When Tilda Swinton spoke at EbertFest, she RAVED about the experience of making the film, and RAVED about the whole concept, and it made me excited to see it.

Dystopian universe? Familiar landscape made strange and scary by ice as far as the eye can see? The dirty rabble bonding together in order to storm the front of the train? A comment on totalitarianism? Fascism? Moral and ethical questions? And, oh yeah, one of the hottest guys who has ever walked planet earth, frozen or not?

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Count me in.

It could have been horrible. It could have been Battlefield Earth. Or Waterworld. But not with Bong Joon Ho at the helm. Snowpiercer is fantastic. The situation is so otherworldly, but the actors play it all grounded in such reality that there are sequences so tense I found it nearly unbearable. It’s got it all. It’s got a hot dirty guy being all moral and tormented and brave and a reluctant Leader. It’s got Octavia Spencer doing a fight scene. Brilliantly. She kicks ass, she’s heartbreaking, she’s tough, she’s vulnerable. It’s got a surprise bit of casting that I actually managed to not know before I went into it (the guy who plays Wilford), and so when the mysterious Wilford is revealed, like Oz behind the curtain … it was a gasp of recognition and excitement.

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It’s got Joon Ho regular Song Kang-Ho, so great in Memories of Murder and The Host, as “Nam,” a crazy wild-haired engineer who was originally hired to maintain the multitude of gates in the train before being shunned and put into a sort of cryogenic state, because basically he knew too much. He’s such a strange and powerful actor, a great listener, and phenomenal physically. He’s a big barrel-chested blurpy guy, and seeing him in action is to feel an actual threat of danger.

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Huddled at Nam’s side, is his wide-eyed nearly feral daughter Yona (Ko Ah-Sung), who is known as a “train baby”, born on the train, her whole life spent on the train.

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When we first meet the passengers in the tail, we understand that a plan is already afoot to storm the gates. The plan is to somehow get through all the gates until they reach the head of the train. Because whoever controls the engine, controls the train. Curtis (the aforementioned hot Chris Evans) says, “We control the engine, we control the world. Without that, we have nothing. All past revolutions have failed because they couldn’t take the engine.”

Okay, you talk like that, and you have MY love and attention, big boy.

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Curtis has two co-conspirators who help plan the revolution, one being the one-legged, one-armed Gilliam (hat tip to Terry and “Brazil” perhaps?) – played by John Hurt, and one being a tough English kid named Edgar (Jamie Bell, who was so awesome in Nymphomaniac, Vol. II). They come up with a plan. And hell, it is ingenious. But how to make it happen when they are loomed over by guards, when they are tortured at will to teach the crowd a lesson, when they are never left alone?

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On occasion, a representative from Wilford Industries stalks into the “tail” of the plane to give the huddled dirty masses a pep talk/threatening monologue. This is Mason, played by a nearly unrecognizable Tilda Swinton. She is clearly terrified of the mob in front of her, probably hates what they smell like, and tries to be both friendly and threatening at the same time, which makes the overall effect tremendously awkward. It’s a beautiful piece of pantomime, this character. She is not suited to authority, and yet isn’t that so often the case, those who have power just don’t have the stomach or character for it. She’s a reprehensible character.

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The train barrels along over treacherous mountain passes, with dizzying abysses below, it plunges into long tunnels, it crashes through ice in its way. There are some CGI effects used in these train sequences and I found them haunting and beautiful, not too slick, but just enough to give us a sense of the true scope of the damage out there.

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The not-knowing what is up in the front of the train, the fact that nobody has ever left the tail, adds to the tension of the slow move forward. They are moving into the unknown. And what they find, as they progress through each car, is increasingly strange, increasingly bizarre … You won’t believe it until you see it. And even when you see it, you won’t believe it.

The production design of the film is unbelievable. The entire thing takes place on a train, so each “set” for each car is a certain width. Bong Joon Ho and his production team clearly reveled in those limitations, and never once do you forget that you are on a train. Because of the Ice Age, things have gone extinct. When Nam is brought out of his frozen state, he pulls out a battered pack of cigarettes, only two left. The crowd looking on is agog. There are no more cigarettes in their world. Octavia Spencer breathes, as though she is in the presence of the Holy Grail: “Marlboro Lights?” When Nam lights up, the entire crowd leans in to get a whiff of second-hand smoke, a welcome and funny tonic to the attitudes towards smoking today. There are no more bullets, as well, so that calls into question the shot guns held on the people in the tail, and also means they have to improvise when it comes to their own weaponry. When the huddled masses fight back, they have to use tools, and axes, and pipes, and sometimes, thrillingly, torches, hurtling them across the train to the enemy. It’s brutal and medieval, chaotic and bloody.

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I just have to give a shout-out to all of the actors, as well as the massive stunt doubles, because these fight scenes are terrifying, and completely lacking in the glitter and gleam of CGI superhero violence. It looks like it’s really happening. It looks like at any second the axes will crash through the windows, letting in the deathly freezing air. It looks like actors could possibly be getting actually hurt. They’re NOT, but that’s how real it looks. The frame is filled, end to end, with violence, mob on mob violence, all contained in the walls of a little train careening over a mountain pass.

All of this could seem quite silly. Maybe it is. It sure hit me in the sweet spot though. It’s earnest, in the best sense. It’s earnest in the way all disaster movies are, cliffhangers involving a group of disparate people trying to get out of a burning building, or trying to survive a plane crash, or trying to band together against a common foe. The actors are all on the same page with their creator and with the material. It is a life-or-death struggle, first of all, but it is also a struggle to insist that we, as humans, get to CHOOSE how we live, or how we die. Maybe there’s a way to live out there in the tundra if they were allowed to figure it out for themselves. Maybe there’s a chance. Or maybe they’ll all die. But that should be up to the individual.

It’s worth it, too, to find it … if you can … playing on a big screen. The visuals are unbelievable.

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24 Responses to Snowpiercer (2014); directed by Bong Joon Ho

  1. JessicaR says:

    It makes me happy that despite Weinstein attempts to bury it it’s doing very well by word of mouth. We saw it at the Charles in Baltimore with a full house. It’s an amazing film, and an example of why we need more non Western directors in event movies. Octavia Spencer was wonderful, and an actress most directors wouldn’t have considered for a part like this. And I already know I’m going as Tilda Swinton’s character for Halloween.

    • sheila says:

      Ha! Great Halloween costume! I wonder if you could glue a shoe to your head?

      • sheila says:

        Did you know going in who played Wilford? He’s obviously listed on IMDB but I hadn’t checked it and avoided reviews until I had seen it.

  2. Dan says:

    Going to see this Sunday – so excited!

  3. Helena says:

    No UK release date yet, I think, which has me grinding my teeth in frustration as I’m a big fan of Bong Joon-ho’s films from Memories of Murder onwards.

    God, just give him the next Batman or something.

    And the cast looks amazing. I adore Song Kang-Ho – for me the kind of actor that whatever he’s in he makes better just by being in it.

    • sheila says:

      Song Kang Ho is great – I just love him in Memories of Murder, that provincial policeman, but good at what he does, has his own way of doing things. He is thrilling here. He seems like an idiot savant at first – like he’s almost a savage – but beneath his crazy exterior, he’s thinking thinking thinking, planning – he’s got the long view in mind. I loved his performance.

      Great great cast.

      Bong Joon Ho would be so WELCOME in the dried-up boring superhero genre. He’d bring something new to it. He’s amazing.

      I hope it gets to the UK soon, Harvey Weinstein be damned!

  4. JessicaR says:

    I didn’t, in fact I broke my usual pattern of reading every spoiler I can get my hands on and went in pretty much cold. I’m so glad I did, the film benefits from that shock of laughter at seeing Allison Pill as history’s cheeriest Objectivist monster.

    And the actor playing Wilford was great. And I loved that the film was merciless in not giving him either a moment of clarity or a screaming coward’s death. He’s just an asshole. Hilarious, and honest. Pretty much the film in a nutshell.

  5. sheila says:

    POTENTIAL SPOILERS:

    Right. He wasn’t a madman or some beatific prisoner-of-his-own-creation. He was an industrialist who figured some shit out, and then as things broke down, figured more shit out, and he’s hoping to pass on his shitty knowledge.

    The sets, though – weren’t they just incredible??

  6. JessicaR says:

    They really were. Again it’s been ages since I’ve seen a genre film that didn’t feel assembled out of pre-fab parts “Generic Dystopic Movie Set: Fits 30 plus 300 Extras” style. There were clear influences but like in all good art the film made them its own. I described it on Twitter as what would happen if Moebius, John Sayles, and Fritz Lang read Atlas Shrugged, rolled their eyes, took Molly, and made a movie.

    • sheila says:

      There was definitely a Metropolis vibe – yet compacted into this tiny space of the train.

      I also love how emotion was not sacrificed – the emotion was highlighted – the emotion is the whole point.

      Octavia Spencer screaming for her son? Goosebumps. Horrifying. It was impossible to not empathize.

  7. Jake Cole says:

    I’ve seen the film twice now under radically different contexts. The first time was two weeks ago when I saw it with a very good friend I became acquainted with on Twitter before moving back to Georgia. She and I were beyond excited to see it and we both loved it. Last night, we took some of her friends (one of whom I know quite well, the other three I just met that night) to see it, and all four of them absolutely, unequivocally haaaaaaaaated it. They were so incensed by its weirdness, its utter not-normalness that my friend and I started to feel guilty.

    But I found their arguments to be fascinating, and in some cases, they raised my already high estimation of the movie (which I’d still nonetheless rate nearer the bottom of Bong’s filmography than the top, if only because this is the same man who made Memories of Murder, The Host and Mother). A few of them were fixated on the film’s gore and blood, which I was mesmerized by because, for an R-rated film about a wholesale slaughter on a train, there’s almost no blood! I have some issues with some of the jitter-editing of the early action scenes, but I gained a new appreciation for how much the violence in this movie, even when obscured, feels harsher, more consequential than similar techniques to ensure PG-13 ratings. The way you see the hammer connect with that guy’s frozen arm but then cutaway before the shatter, that split-second tilt up into a low angle as Evans puts a bullet into Mason, letting the amped-up sound of the shot do the work instead of some gory, head-exploding effect. A bit of a long story behind why she said this, but one of my friend’s pals said she found Cabin in the Woods less violent than this, a film in which a hallways is literally covered entirely in blood and people are visibly ripped in half on-screen! But that violence is meaningless, even pitched as a sick joke, whereas in Snowpiercer every blow feels like it has a consequence, even when the film incorporates a manic humor of its own (slipping on that fish!).

    And in general, this whole film feels like a complete overhaul of the American blockbuster, to the point that it almost feels like the Koreans invented the concept and one had to come over and show us how to do it properly. I love that Chris Evans plays the sexless superhero and is teased throughout about how much he needs to get laid; it’s twice as funny when you think of his Captain America work, where he’s all duty and no booty. And the world-building is fluid and forward-moving, not lugubrious and unimaginative as it is in so many Marvel movies and the like. We don’t spend too long in any one section, but the film lingers just enough to register the shock of each new area. I mean, the film hasn’t even been going for five minutes when that woman enters wearing the yellow coat, and even then, I’d gotten such a feel for the dank, dark, cramped, dirty rear cabins that her coat alone felt shocking, like an alien landing among the people. Maybe it’s because our big films in general are so muted now, by dreary, “serious” color palettes and again by dimming 3D, that the woman’s coat practically reversed an entire aesthetic outlook, not just the film’s chromatic parameters.

    I also love its nihilism. All the film’s talk of closed ecological systems becomes an obvious metaphor for human social engineering. I was interested to find out that in the French comic book, Evans’ character actually does take over the train as its new engineer, whereas this film makes a lateral move and suggests that the only way to break this permanent cycle and social food chain of haves and have nots is through willful extinction. That’s a radical (literally) notion for an American production to have; compare it to the politics in, say, Nolan’s Batman or the new Captain America, both of which are wary of surveillance states yet ultimately resolve with the notion that the real issue is that the “wrong” people might do this, not that the self-appointed “just” may. My friend’s friends were so angry at the ending for being so bleak, but I found it oddly compelling, even refreshing.

    And I’m not even getting into how much I love Tilda Swinton in this. And Alison Pill! Complete show-stealer. And how great is it that a film that sets up the usual arc of the unwashed masses rallying around a stoic white male is basically one long feint for a Korean father/daughter addict duo to enact their own plans, especially when that duo is Song Kang-ho and Go Ah-sung?

  8. brendan says:

    holymolywhatamovie

  9. mutecypher says:

    Snowpiercer is available now on iTunes to rent or buy, if you don’t want to wait, or don’t want to trust Harvey to let it come to your town.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/snowpiercer/id891829986

    Helena, I don’t know if it’s available in the Land of Angles.

  10. Dan says:

    I loved it. Random thoughts:
    -Early on I realized if I kept thinking of the film as a serious bit of speculative sci-fi I would ruin the experience by reflexively kicking out the under-pins of the plot (who maintains those tracks anyway?).
    -So I considered it a fairy tale, albeit one that borrowed and played with a lot of si-fi tropes, a fairy tale that was first of all a fantastic adventure, but also touched on unrestrained free-market capitalism, ‘job creators,’ revolutions and revolutionaries, class warfare, propaganda.. and that’s just me. I’m sure other folks walked away thinking it was about other things altogether.
    -I don’t particularly care for the ‘jitter-cut’ either (my bias – as someone with an interest in martial arts & fighting I like to see these things) but like Jake I liked the way the brutality of the fights were emphasized by indirection – the suggestion was much more powerful than more blood squabs would have been.
    -Jamie Bell!

  11. Todd Restler says:

    Wow, what a movie! It’s such a crazy premise that the filmmakers really needed to work hard to “sell” this story, and man did they deliver. It works on every level- script, acting, and set design all coming together beautifully.

    The screenplay often gets overlooked in a movie with such visual impact, but it’s brilliant. Little lines, like the boy in the beginning asking for a present from “anywhere in the whole wide train?”, quickly and subtly establish the setting. And the HUMOR! I was not expecting to laugh in this movie, but I did, a lot. It’s very funny, but even the jokes are smart. Like when Song Kang-Ho and his daughter steal hundreds of the “Kronos” drug in the club car, and then he still asks for his agreed upon 2 more Kronos to open the next gate. And that’s not just funny, but has an intelligent payoff.

    The set design is amazing of course, there are subtle touches of things swaying or jostling in the background of every scene. The whole movie really does seem to be taking place on a moving train, not a movie set.

    And the actors just went for it, and crushed it. Tilda Swinton, who I have always loved even in mediocre movies like The Beach, gives an amazing performance as you mentioned Sheila. Her line reading of her last line, “Because I want to live!” is just killer. And her opening monologue about the head and the foot, well, it’s one of those movie speeches I feel like memorizing, like Dr. Evil’s childhood story.

    The whole movie has an originality that is more than refreshing, it’s revolutionary. Just an amazing, unforgettable film. And so it is.

  12. sheila says:

    Todd – Yay! So glad you saw it!! You make me want to watch it again.

    // and then he still asks for his agreed upon 2 more Kronos to open the next gate. And that’s not just funny, but has an intelligent payoff. //

    Yes!!

    I still laugh when I think of everyone leaning in for a whiff of secondhand smoke. Subversive!

    I haven’t seen any “making of” docs, or anything like that – and I really should. The creation of that world was just superb. Yes, the slightly moving background – it always always felt like a moving train – and the sense that everything had to move forward – there was no up or down – just front or back. You really felt that.

    And thought the ensemble was superb, as you mention. Funny and broad, but also really heartfelt. The actors really embraced that alternate universe.

  13. Todd Restler says:

    The Blu-Ray has a ton of extras, including a “Train Brought to Life” feature and “Chris Evans & Tilda Swinton on Snowpiercer”. I will let you know what I think.

    “And so it is…” is my new catchphrase. “Want to have chicken for dinner?” “And so it is”.

    I’m sure somebody has written that before, but I can’t remember hearing it. Four of the simplest words, but in Tilda Swinton’s hands they are like the daft ravings of a right wing nut job.

    I really loved this one, will probably watch it again before I get into the features. And thanks, because I’m not sure I would have even heard of it if not for your blog, even my “movie” friends are still in the dark as of now, but this will be a HUGE “cult” favorite.

  14. Todd Restler says:

    Okay, I’ve now rewatched the movie, and seen the “from page to screen” documentary, and am convinvced that this movie is a masterpiece.

    When you asked about the “ending”, I’m not sure if you are referreing to the last few seconds and the final shot, or the last 15 miutes or so when we finally meet Wilford. Either way I loved it.

    I purposely sheilded myself from knowing the identity of the actor playing Wilford, and it’s one of those bits of casting where you are like, “Oh, of COURSE he’s playing Wilford”. I mean, who else could it have been? And he was great.

    ” We don’t have time for natural selection, so the next best thing is for one unit to destroy another unit”. The most terrifying madmen are the calm ones.

    As for the very end of the movie (SPOILER), I initially felt the ending was upbeat, as our four survivers make it out of the train, and we see the polar bear, proof that life can exist outside the train, and maybe there will be a future for our heroes. On second viewing, it occured to me that pretty much everyone on the train, including those in the rear cars, perished in the crash. Not quite as uplifting. It’s a powerful ending with I suppose multiple reads.

    The history of how this made it to screen is fascinating. The comic came out in France in the 1980s and would be forgotten if not for Joon-Ho Bong. He picked up an illegal, black market copy in South Korea while filming The Host, and read the whole comic in the store.

    He knew instantly it would make a terrific movie. ” The emotional momentum was exactly in synch with the narrative momentum”. (Gems like that are reminders why he is Joon-Ho Bong, and I am not.)

    The original author of the comic visited the set and was overcome by how depressing it was. ” I just imagined this, now it’s real”. He really seemed shook up by the world he invented. Fascinating to see this writers’ work make it to the big screen 30 years after the fact.

    The casting was interesting. Tilda Swinton’s part, Mason, was written for a man, and was initially going to be played by John C. Reilly. When Swinton took over, no changes were made to the script, and there is even a line intentionally left in where the teacher played by Allison Pill refers to Swinton as “Mr. Mason”, just adding to the whole weirdness of the thing. It’s a great “making of” feature.

    And now a list of awesome things in the movie (SPOILERS):

    – The HUGE misdirection of the one-armed men in the rear of the train, how they got that way, and what it means.

    -“Babies taste best.” Great job by Chris Evans, who acted the shit out of this part.

    – The aquarium car with the sushi bar. The idea that in the middle of this movie they all stop and eat sushi is just too good to be true, only it is true.

    – Swinton’s line she keeps repeating is actually “So it is”. To me that is writing at it’s best. Don’t try to be Shakespeare, just take three of the simplest words in our language and create something memorable and terrifying.

    – Curtis putting the gun to his head and pulling the trigger to prove the guards have no bullets. To quote Dennis Hopper in Speed, “We’ve got all the balls in the world right here”.

    – Shooting from car to car across the ravine while the train goes through a long turn, only to be foiled by bulletproof glass. The sense of space is something that is lost on most directors today. Action scenes are simply not filmed this well anymore in American movies, EVER.

    – Teacher :”And what will happen if the Engine stops?”
    Students, (cheerfully) “We all freeze and die!”

    – Beware hard boiled eggs

    In case you can’t tell, I sorta liked Snowpiercer!

    • sheila says:

      Todd – Ha!! I can feel your excitement through your typed words. This is great!

      To be honest, I thought the babies line was a weak spot. I know what they were going for. But it was a twinge of “too much” for me. However, yes, Chris Evans was superb. A real leader. A natural leader. In any disaster, someone like him will arise. I thought he was just great.

      Yes, by ending I meant the last fifteen minutes – or, really, the final shot. I had this feeling of beautiful uplift as the film started to close down, once they got the hell out of that train … and then the sight of an animal, a living animal – gorgeous … and then the credits began to roll and I started thinking it out for myself (“wait, but everyone’s dead” and “still, it’s too cold to live out there”) and realized that this was really the End of the Human Race that we were witnessing.

      I found that great, though. Because all along the claustrophobia of that train, and the political implications of it (you all MUST be on this train) – was unbearable. I felt: Let them make their own choices and die on the tundra if they want to! So there was a strange dark liberating and yet totally bleak feeling in that final moment. Bold.

      // ” The emotional momentum was exactly in synch with the narrative momentum”. (Gems like that are reminders why he is Joon-Ho Bong, and I am not.) //

      Ha!

      Fascinating – but yes, I can totally see what he’s saying in terms of the story and how it is structured. (I have not read the book.)

      // The original author of the comic visited the set and was overcome by how depressing it was. //

      HA! I love that!!

      Oh my gosh, I had forgotten about Alison Pill in the film. That whole scene was amazing. So frightening. Indoctrination. So incongruous.

      // Shooting from car to car across the ravine while the train goes through a long turn, only to be foiled by bulletproof glass. The sense of space is something that is lost on most directors today. Action scenes are simply not filmed this well anymore in American movies, EVER. //

      100% cosign! That one scene was magnificent. That vast vast icy space, the huge turn of the train, the vulnerability of the figures through those windows – having to shoot across that space, at essentially a moving target – but still: what we were seeing wasn’t real! Or – it was a mixture of a model and CGI, I’m assuming?

      I loved the glimpses we got of the outside world. When the father showed his daughter the buried airplane. GOOSE BUMPS.

      I loved the high-end sections of the train. The sushi bar. The aquarium. The dance club. The sauna. Crazy inventive!! It was a damn near Marxist critique of society’s hierarchies.

      You make me want to see it again, with all of the special features. Thanks for the push, Todd.

      I am always thrilled to find out about new movies from you – you’ve recommended quite a few that were off my radar – and I am HAPPY to return the favor!

      Also: it goes to show you how well the alternate universe was set up that when Chris Evans discovered what was in those jelly-bars they were fed – he still had enough humanity left in him to be nauseous and revolted and horrified – I loved that. Humanity had been so ground down – and yet STILL: when he saw what they were being fed … when there was food in the rest of the train …

      Hell of a moment.

  15. Todd Restler says:

    I love your take on the ending! It could absolutely be read as an argument in favor of “right to die” human rights, which has been in the news lately.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/07/opinion/maynard-assisted-suicide-cancer-dignity/

    There are many ways to read the ending, which is yet another great thing about the film. Here is a good article analyzing the ending with comments from Bong Joon-Ho, who himself viewed the ending as optimistic, but it’s certainly open to many interpretations.

    http://www.vulture.com/2014/07/snowpiecer-movie-discussion.html

    The babies line is already making it’s way into the lexicon. You were cool with everything else, but THAT was too much?! LOL. But I get your point about maybe a bit much, but it’s amazing to me that the hero of this action film would be not only this flawed, but really a ruined person. In fact his entire role in the movie is completely subverted at the end. I love that for its daring and originalty.

    I don’t remember seeing anything in the features about how they shot that Ravine scene, I would be curious to know. The stuff I did see was more focused on the process of getting the story to the screen. But there were some “behind the scenes” shots of the cast and crew on set, and the sets are as striking as you can imagine.

    Yeah, the shot of the airplane, another great moment.

    I’m always flattered when you take my recs, for every one I’ve given you, you’ve given me 20! I’m not sure what else I can recommend for you, I assume you have seen Kieslowski’s 3 Colors and The Decalogue? I’ll give it some thought.

    • sheila says:

      // You were cool with everything else, but THAT was too much?! LOL. //

      HAHAHAHAHAHA

      I know, it’s ridiculous. But we all have our lines.

      I definitely think he played it superbly – and yes, a ruined man as the hero. Like, beyond the pale, in his own mind – he has enough memory of humanity to know that there’s no coming back from that. He was such a great character!

      Thanks for the links – sorry – you got caught up in moderation because of them – I will read his comments about the ending – it really is a fascinating thing, because … it seems to be the end. But at least they are OUTSIDE and have chosen for themselves. So I guess you could see that as optimistic!

      I can’t wait to see the special features!

      Yes – Kieslowski – amazing – I have the Criterion box-set release of 3 Colors – I’m sure you have it too? Some excellent special features.

      Got a review coming out today of a movie I want EVERYONE to see – A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night.

      I practically feel desperate about it! I’ll put a link up to it when it goes live.

  16. Arnt Rune says:

    I would recomend that you read this blog entry http://thekoreanforeigner.blogspot.no/2013/08/the-philsophy-of-snowpiercer.html

    Perhaps youre missconceptions about the plot might be straightened out :)

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