Sunday, June 29, 2014

"Snowpiercer": I am very offended by belonging to the tail


Snowpiercer” ("Seolguk-yeolcha") seems like a revolutionary film – pun indeed – and it is also a great satire – pick your totalitarian system.  The film, in English and Korea, and made in many international studios (including the Czech Republic) is directed by Bong Joon-ho, and is based on the French graphic novel by Jacques Lob, "Le transperceneige." 

A few decades in the future, most life on Earth has been destroyed by a high altitude global warming fix gone wrong – and we wound up with Snowball Earth.  But Wilford (Ed Harris) had taken his boyhood passion for model trains to the limit, connecting all the world’s railways with a train that runs on a perpetual motion engine, piercing through tunnels and mountains and all obstacles (the CGI is spectacular – see this on a big screen, although it is convention aspect), and has taken some thousands of survivors on the endless journey.
    

There is a strict caste system, and an ideology of social hierarchy (a predetermined order that enables a society to survive indefinitely into future generations) related to position on the train.  In the beginning of the film, most of the action is at the end, in grim surroundings.  Curtis (Chris Evans) aspires to break the system, and is confounded by the authorities, like Mason (Tilda Swinton).  The script gets deliberately comical in ways hard to describe.  Arms and body parts roll, partly to feed cannibalism.  Curtis makes gradual progress through the train, and the world he finds becomes fascinating to the eye.  One of the powerful points of the film is that tyrants pit underlings against one another “to control the population.”
  
There have been many train films, like “The Last Passenger” (reviewed here in April, 2014), others mentioned there, “Transsiberian”.
  
I have a few screenplays based on train ideas. These include “Baltimore Is Missing” (where the railroad is in a parallel world), a DADT script where the train runs on a space station above Titan, and a script “Prescience”, where the train runs in the annular transition zone on a tidally locked M-star planet, populated in part by abductees.  I am covering these on my Wordpress blogs.

   

The site is here, (The Weinstein Company and CJ films), and the tagline is “I belong to the tail”. I could add, “just for authority”.  Where do I fit in a world and how should I feel about those above and below me?  There are real consequences for how just one person handles this, and sometimes it has to get personal to set an example.  

The film sold out Sunday night at the Angelika Theater on Houston St in Soho in New York City, a theater that appears to have been an older property that does not have stadium seating.  I was lucky to get a ticket after NYC Pride.

Walking to the Angelika, through the East Village, I came across the Film Archive, which happened to be showing old Italian movies. 

No comments: