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Bong Joon-Ho Remains Diplomatic On 'Snowpiercer' Edits, Says Weinsteins Have Been "Pretty Soft" On Changes

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by Kevin Jagernauth
August 29, 2013 10:04 AM
5 Comments
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Snowpiercer

Fanboys can be a curious bunch, both highly protective and critical of things they haven't seen. We've already witnessed the embarrassing reaction to the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman in "Superman Vs. Batman," while earlier this month, there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth about rumored deep cuts being made to Bong Joon-Ho's "Snowpiercer." Even though that report was mostly based on hearsay, a flurry of reaction ensued, particularly given early rave reviews for the movie, and the fact that it has become a runaway hit in South Korea. Well, maybe people should just chill out a bit?

Indeed, the director himself has finally been asked about the cuts being made, and he's fairly diplomatic about the process. "I came [to Denmark, where the film premieres this week] after editing for the American version. I’ve never produced a new version for overseas premieres, and this is the first time I’m making a new version," he told MSN. "Weinstein is actually being pretty soft toward editing, probably because it’s noticed how critics have praised the film and know how angry movie fans get over new edits. They even asked me which parts I want to include in the film."

So, in summary? It looks like it's as collaborative a process as you can ask for in this situation, and let's again remember, international edits aren't always for the worst. Wong Kar-Wai's "The Grandmaster" arrived on U.S. shores, ten minutes shorter than it's international cut (where are the fanboy tears about that?) and as the director told us himself, he had no issue with that. "I didn't want to do it just by cutting the film shorter or do a shorter version by trimming and cutting out scenes because the structure of the original version is actually very precise...I just wanted to tell the story in a different way," he said. "So now the American version is 108 minutes, and we have 15 minutes of new scenes, and the story is more linear. So instead of a shorter version, to me it's a new version."

Perhaps this is an opportunity for Bong Joon-Ho to turn lemons into some lemonade or find a slightly different way to tell this story? Anyway, we'll wait until we see the thing before coming down one way or the other. Now what about that release date, Weinstein Company? [via Bleeding Cool]

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5 Comments

  • james | August 30, 2013 12:12 AMReply

    Why does this writer consider people who like Bong Joon-Ho's work "fanboys"? That's one of those stupid internet meme words. It's essentially meaningless.

  • huffy | August 29, 2013 11:30 PMReply

    What else could he have done than be diplomatic? If he said "Fuck you" to Harvey the cuts would still happen and he would have annoyed one of the most powerful men in Hollywood.

  • D. M. | August 29, 2013 11:06 AMReply

    The problem, of course, is that the American/Weinstein version of Grandmaster is a significantly weaker film than the original cut. The Wong Kar-wai example does not offer any reassurance at all. On the contrary, it is but the latest example of how little respect Winston has for his audiences and for these justly celebrated artists.

  • A-Man | August 29, 2013 10:23 AMReply

    "Perhaps this is an opportunity for Bong Joon-Ho to turn lemons into some lemonade or find a slightly different way to tell this story?"

    Why should he when it's received RAVE reviews? It's a shady move being done for a perceived audience of inherently racist white men and women who studio execs believe do not want to see multiple ethnic characters. They want "white saviours" and nothing else.

    That's my biggest fear for this movie, that they'll edit it to make it "Captain f'kin America on a Train" and sell it based on his white face alone.


    Secondly, Wong Kar-Wai had no problem with The Grandmaster being re-cut because it didn't perform exceptionally well in his local territories, especially critically (I think a lot of us were hoping it would be a tour-de-force return to form...) and part of that was that the narrative was apparently quite jumbled.

    White countries (white white white, again!) are perceived as wanting something much, much simpler and easier - they just want the fight-scenes and the slo-mo rain-fall action shots. And it'd be much easier to tell him to do it, because his film was not as big of a success.

  • huffy | August 29, 2013 11:32 PM

    Why are you bringing up the race card? Where is it suggested that the cuts were made in order to put more spotlight on Evans? Its much more likely that they were made in order to shorten run time or simplify the film's political overtones.

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