Snowpiercer Extensively Shortened for Americans
Together with his brother, Harvey Weinstein owns and leads the well-known film studio The Weinstein Company. Last year, he refreshed his image as one of the loudspeakers in the industry as he started a public battle against the MPAA which gave the documentary Bully the "R" rating. He created a big debate that led to heated discussions but in the end, he had to cut the film down for the "PG-13" as the MPAA stood by its decision and Weinstein wanted to reach a bigger audience. Harvey as the passionate fighter for his films, he surely liked that touch.
But there's a flipside to his handling of films to which he owns the distribution rights and this side now resurfaces. The film Snowpiercer was directed by South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho (Mother, The Host) and stars Chris Evans, John Hurt and Ed Harris, among others. It was mainly filmed in France and South Korea and is currently experiencing an astounding wave of sympathy by critics and big box office numbers in Asia. Normally, that would mean that international customers should keep an eye out for this film.
Now the curtain rises for Harvey Weinstein. He is obviously worried that the quite dark film might be too complex for parts of the American audience and ordered the director to cut a whopping 20 minutes out of the film (which has an original running time of 126 minutes). Twitchfilm quotes a film critic:
So, it appears that Weinstein thinks that the American audiences might be too dumb to grasp what Snowpiercer is all about in its entirety. That's bad for other countries, as well, where the distributors buy the film from TWC and thus only supply their markets with the heavily shortened version of the movie. Let's hope that the upcoming DVD/Blu-ray will feature the Director's Cut which enables those viewers who think they are intelligent enough to decide which version of Snowpiercer they're most likely to understand.