Snowpiercer – The Transperceneige should mark the history of SF cinema [critique]

Bong Joon-ho’s film returns to television tonight.

Adapted from the comic strip by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette published in 1983, the The Transperceneigeof Bong Joon-Ho, is an ambitious science fiction film, released in 2013 at the cinema. Good news: he returns tonight on Arte. The director to whom we owe in particular The Host, Mother or Memories of Murder, filmed before this one, but also Parasitethe event film of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, took liberties with the world of comics, to better transpose its strong message to the screen.

The action takes place in a gigantic train which serves as a refuge for what is left of humanity. Following a climatic catastrophe that plunged the world under snow, the only survivors of the human species find themselves living on this kind of ark on rails condemned to roll incessantly. Inside, the inhabitants are divided into social ranks. Thus, we find the aristocracy at the head of the train in sumptuous golden wagons, while the poor live in old cars at the end of the convoy.

For this film, Bong Joon-Ho has surrounded himself with a colorful cast: Chris Evans (Captain America), John Hurt (Melancholia, The Mole), Tilda Swinton (Moonrise Kingdom, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Jbell friend (The Adventures of Tintin, Billy Elliot), Alison Pill (Midnight in Paris), Octavia Spencer (The colour of feelings) and Song Kang-Ho (The Good, The Bad and The Crazy). After intense filming, he then had to fight his American distributor, Harvey Weinstein, to keep his original cut. A crazy story to read below.

Snowpiercer: How Bong Joon-ho cheated Harvey Weinstein

Here is our review of Snowpiercernot to be missed tonight on Arte:
Snowpiercer – Le Transperceneige should mark the history of SF cinema. To tell the truth, the film does not resemble anything known. Opening sequences can evoke standards like Green Sun
(Richard Fleischer, 1974), the sequel, not at all. The nightmarish depiction of the future that the original comic offered was already chilling. Bong Joon-ho gives him a unique treatment. Of Memories of Murder to MotherPassing by The Host, the director has already proven in the past that he knows how to convey contradictory emotions in the same scene. He offers here a film that is never on track which, according to the different compartments, takes you on a journey from one tone to another (from buffoon to tragedy, from gore to farce), from one country to another. The South Korean filmmaker amazes as much by his direction of actors (Tilda Swinton, insane as a minion-creature) as by his staging ideas (camera movements, management of space). The only weakness may lie in the final twist, which sends us back to wordy digressions Matrix Reloaded on the Creator, the meaning of life, our condition of Sisyphus, etc. But no train accident for all that: like Paul Verhoeven’s SF blockbusters in his Hollywood period, the colossal means never curb the baroque madness, the taste for mystery, the poetic aims and the freedom of an artist who , behind the tinsel of the genre, swings a nasty political parable.

Tilda Swinton declares her love for Bong Joon-ho

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