Snowpiercer @ The Ross

Snowpiercer, the train

Snowpiercer, the train

Snowpiercer is the latest venture into dystopian society from South Korean film director Joon-ho Bong. Set in the near future, Snowpiercer pierces through the vein of consciousness with rapid speed. It is brutal. It is gruesome. It is cold; difficult to watch. The earth has frozen over destroying all life after a disastrous global warming experiment. Billows and dunes of snow cover the earth; it is the dead of winter–every day … always. Those humans who survived board a train whose engine is designed by Wilford (Ed Harris) to travel around the globe for all eternity. Eighteen years! Eighteen years in an iron box with 1,000 people, and you had better know your place!

Tanya (Octavia Spencer)

Tanya (Octavia Spencer)

Imagine that. Living and having your being on a train; coming of age on a train; dying on a train. Imagine a society set up in long narrow confines where bunk beds abound. Bong depicts the constellation of hierarchies formed within that space without so much as a blink of an eye. The upper crust enjoy lavish living, fine dining, and socializing in the front of the train. The poor, packed in like sardines in the tail end of the train, are tyrannized by Wilford’s minions–and they abuse the children too! Rebellions have occurred; all but one, however, have been quashed by Minister Mason, played with exquisite evil by Tilda Swinton.

Curtis (Chris Evans) fearless leader of the revolt

Curtis (Chris Evans) fearless leader of the revolt

Chris Evans stars as Curtis, the passenger tapped to lead the revolt, and hope for freedom abides not only in him but in the valiant revolutionaries aboard the train who arm themselves to fight with him. The revolutionaries exhibit an indomitable spirit, and even though you know the majority will die, their heroics are worth going through the well-rehearsed visual punishment. The fight scenes are awe-inspiring as each illustrates what the oppressed will do to gain their freedom with the knowledge they may not come back alive from the war. Evans exudes trust through his character Curtis; you know he will make it even though the odds are stacked against him and his crew.

Minister Mason (Tilda Swinton)

Minister Mason (Tilda Swinton)

Make no mistake: The Train, or the snowpiercer is the devil in film. Art director Stefan Kovacik imagines an ominous iron horse that, through Kyung-pyo Hong’s cinematography, pierces all ice it encounters on the track; it is disheartening to know it never will stop–never. Hong takes us underneath the train and lets the audience feel the wheels on the steel track; to feel the relentless speed of the demon; to see the depths of the drop if it derails. No one will hear them scream.

The Ross logo

Snowpiercer plays through July 24th at the Ross Media Arts Center in Lincoln.

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Also playing through July 24th is Big Men, Rachel Boynton’s very impressive documentary on the discovery of oil in the country of Ghana, Africa.

Watch for film television & more. In the meantime,
Catch a Movie …
Share the popcorn …
Feed your soul!

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