Sunday, June 8, 2014

Bong Joon-Ho's new film "Snowpiercer" at SIFF Cinema: June 27 - July 10 | Preview Screening with Director in Attendance: June 16

A little over a week away! Like SIFF's preview of "Upstream Color" last year with Shane Carruth in attendance, June 16th Bong Joon-Ho will be present to host the screening of his most recent Dystopian vision, "Snowpiercer". Most anyone attuned to international cinema knows the details of his embattled adaptation of Benjamin Legrand & Jean-Marc Rochette's French sci-fi comic odyssey, "Le Transperceneige" in which the Weistein Corporation was aiming to cut over twenty minutes from the film under the auspice of making it more viewable to Midwest America, (or some such nonsense). Invariably it would not have improved Bong's vision by losing almost half an hour of what Tony Rayns describes as "character detail" as it was reported last year, "The Weinstein Company Wants To Melt 20 Minutes Off Snowpiercer". The film has been in theaters in France and Korea for over half a year now during this protracted battle between it's creator and distributor, the only opportunity to see it in English speaking territories has been as it's toured the festival circuit. From IndieWire's review of the print that screened at the Berlin International Film Festival it appears that like the other major Weinstein tweaked foreign release of this past year, Wong Kar-Wai's "Grandmaster", Bong's most recent is going to be sprawling and possibly inchoate by degrees. His films have navigated these same factors before and have watched strange, atmospheric, comical, meandering, wondrous and disquieting by turns -- and possibly stronger for all their structural and thematic circumnavigations. Most importantly, it's now the case that we'll be getting the director's vision rather than Harvey 'Scissorhands' Weinstein's impression of what will play better to their conceived audience. Tony Rayns' coverage on Bong's battle with the Weinstein Corp and the nature of these ill-conceived western cuts of foreign films in the recent Sight & Sound "Snowpiercer: Blockage on the Line", made for hugely entertaining, scathing reading. Rejoice then that in this case, the creator's vision remains intact after eluding such commercial mastications. We'll be getting the real deal, and for one night only, with the film's director in attendance!