Presented as part of the Academy's series spotlighting recent film festival standouts.
Tilda Swinton in SNOWPIERCER
Making his English-language debut, Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Mother) has crafted a darkly lavish science-fiction thriller that boasts an esteemed international cast led by Tilda Swinton, Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Octavia Spencer and Korean stars Song Kang-ho and Ko Asung.
Humanity’s fate after a second ice age hits Earth is confinement in a state-of-the-art train as it races around the frozen globe. For the survivors in the train’s forward compartments, the endless voyage is a breeze. But for the poor sequestered in the back of the rumbling express, the picture isn’t as rosy. Crammed in a state of permanent Dickensian squalor and subsisting on gooey protein blocks, they are closely monitored by armed guards and hectored by a bespectacled, snaggletoothed overseer. But when a band of desperate rebels begin to force their way to the front of the train, life as everyone has known it goes off the rails. Bong Joon-ho’s film astounds with its array of interior landscapes, hairpin narrative turns, mordant wit and breathtaking set pieces all within the confines of thundering railcars.
A box office smash in Korea and France, Snowpiercer arrives in America at the same time as its source, graphic novel Le Transperceneige, is translated into English, 30 years after it was published in France.
2013, 125 minutes, color, DCP | Directed by Bong Joon-ho; written by Bong Joon-ho and Kelly Masterson; with Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Ewen Bremner, Ko Asung, John Hurt and Ed Harris.