Monday, July 21, 2014

SNOWPIERCER: more bits I *love*…

A rambling list of more moments, details, and zany extrapolations that I love in SNOWPIERCER…

Nam/e-calling… =)

My Korean comprehension is far from tip-top, but I love that Minsu's first words to/at the Tailies who free him are about their cluelessness as to his name. I *believe* he uses some unsavory words (unrecognized by the translator =) to address them for being so idiotic as to not know what name to call him by. Something like, "Nam? Nam? My family name is Namgoong! And my first name is Minsu, by the way… You bleeping idiots… "

I *do* feel that the choice of Namgoong is unusual, tho. So it's maybe a wee bit of entrapment to force the issue?

In any case, I like to think that Bong Joon-ho (Joon-ho Bong) is having Minsu express a pet peeve of his, a bit of culture cluelessness when Korea meets West. Like, I'm going to say this one more time, people, and after that, I can't be held responsible for what happens!

Of course, I have absolutely no facts or background story or even hearsay to back that up. I just like to think it.

Cuz my so-called brain.

Yona's clairvoyance.
I believe she does in fact have some for of extra-sensory perception, and not just enhanced sensitivity to sound and vibration. I don't doubt that many on the train, train babies and Earthwalkers, have developed that ability, but Yona has more. You can see it when she looks into Marco the Elder's eyes. It's like the Shining. She can read people, and when she reads him, its like staring into the abyss, y'know? She knows the dark acts of which he's capable. Knows that he doesn't care anything about anyone except for the ways they can die.

She sees the shortest distance between the menace of Marco the Younger and his death. The tipping of a spear inches in front of her.

She can read Marco the Elder thru the CC video, when Marco the Elder executes Gilliam. And what's worse, he seems capable of turning her ability into a two-way signal. There is a black hole of a connection there. Marco the Elder has killed Gilliam, a morale destroyer to all of the Tailies, but when he looks up at the camera, he is looking at Yona.

Not convinced? How about when she runs into the Engine to get the fire from Curtis. He doesn't cooperate, but it's not like he fights her. She just has to look up at him and she can see that he is on the edge—if not over it already—of taking his place as Wilford's apprentice. He doesn't have to say anything, no one does. And she immediately turns away, back to her father, but then she reads someone that she doesn't see in front of her. Timmy, the human cog in the machinery below the floor.

When she goes at the tiles with a fork, Curtis is roused, remembering the earlier evidence of her abilities. If she is scrabbling at the floor, then there is something important beneath, and surely enough, there is.

Cinematic clairvoyance…
1. The one-armed crucifix in Gilliam's quarters. ---> Curtis vs. the Machine.

2. Curtis and Timmy sharing a "blow it up" dap greeting. ---> Blowing up the Snowpiercer.

3. Timmy demonstrating being a "very nimble five year-old" and eluding Edgar in the nooks and crannies of the Tail section. ---> Timmy being transformed into a cog of the Engine.

A couple more…

The view from the Engine looking back thru the open gate. Curtis and Wilford are like gods standing on high, in the clouds, looking down upon the misery of humanity. It's a view of a hell from a heaven. From cool blue and white to fiery red and black. From order to chaos. Beautiful.

The art on the matchbook. I never got a good look at it, but the impression of it was palm tree/s, tropical, and maybe "Fiji?" It instantly flashed me to the images of Shell Beach in DARK CITY. Later, AGENT OF SHIELD's T.A.H.I.T.I. cross ref'd itself into my so-called brain as well. I wonder where Minsu picked up those matches… Maybe there's a backstory that involves Yona's mother? Or a chance LOST-like convergence at a bar, pre-Snowpiercer, with Wilford, Gilliam, or maybe a young punk Curtis? That would be fun. =)
Fight your way to the front!

Keep on keepin on~

Sunday, July 20, 2014

SNOWPIERCER: more reflections…

More *SPOILER*ful thoughts and crazy talk concerning bits and pieces of the immersive world created in Bong Joon-ho's SNOWPIERCER…

"Blow it up!"

Saw this animated GIF earlier today (7/19/14)

And immediately thought to myself—Dayumn! That is baddass! That is, like, EdgarWrightian* badass! I mean—"Blow it up!"? That, plus the one-armed crucifix in Gilliam's quarters, that's pretty much the end of the movie right there! Will have to keep my eyes open for more signposts on a next screening—I love this movie more and more!

*Not that Edgar Wright invented foreshadowing, or whatever you want to call it. He only perfected it is all. =)

How do the matches get into Curtis's pocket?

I didn't think of it until after the movie, of course, because it certainly didn't bother me in the flow of the film and storytelling. But okay, that's a legit question.

A legit, but probably not very satisfying answer—There is ample time between on-screen events for off-screen activity to account for getting the matchbook from Chan in the tail up to Curtis in the Water Supply section. After the Battle of Yekaterina Bridge, they clean up and sleep in the Water Supply car, so Gilliam, Curtis, or Edgar, realizing that there are going to be more tunnels, could have ordered the matchbook be passed up to the front line.

So, yeah, seriously, lotsa time and opportunity for that to have happened.

But, okay, it would've been nice to have seen Grey catch Curtis's eye, toss them to him, Curtis maybe surprised, and then Yona explaining, "He says there will be more tunnels… He's right."

Bent spacetime in "My Dinner with Wilford…?"
If you listen, the conversation in the Engine between Curtis and Wilford flows at a regular pace, but as you watch, the action appears to jump in places. It's somewhat hidden by cuts to activity in other parts of the train, and maybe cuts to reaction shots in the Engine, but to me it is striking, conspicuous, perhaps meaningful. A little disorienting if you're paying attention, but I *like* it.

It also speaks to me about a possible psychological side effect of the Engine itself, maybe even a physical (as in physics) one, too. After all, what do we know about the energies involved in a perpetual motion engine, right? Also about Curtis's state of mind, his exhaustion, and potential susceptibility to Wilford's words.

One memorable jump… Wilford is at the grill, cooking up his steak, speaking at Curtis. He's monologuing, and to illustrate a segment of his philosophizing, we get a cut or two to the Kronolheads massing at the narrow bridge, and suddenly (it seems to me), without missing a beat in his speechifying, he's at the table, eating, opposite Curtis, who now has a full plate in front of him (but of course, he does not touch any of his food, we never see him eat).

Does time flow differently around the works of the Engine? Does the Engine itself/herself ("She's getting sensitive lately."), choose and cause time to jump as it/she wishes? A demonstration of power? Or a manifestation of the Engine's respiration? Could the engine be an entity? A "sensitive" perpetual motion machine. What would such a creature want most? To continue, I should think.

Perhaps the closer you are and the longer you're exposed to the Engine's power, the more crazy/Wilford-like you become. The Engine needs an Engineer to maintain it, and the Engineer needs everything and everyone in its place to do that. The Engine needs the system, the balance, the population control, and the population.

The time skipping triggers a flash of deja view to the end of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, in which Bowman experiences aging/time jumps in the presence of the Monolith.

Chef Paul…

This is a detail I didn't really get until after a second screening…

The way Curtis, Edgar, and other Tailies speak of Paul when they encounter him in the Protein Block section is a little puzzling. They recognize him, but he looks way different somehow. It's been some time since they've seen him. First I imagined he was drafted from the Tail section for his expertise in some part of food science or processing or such, the way that Jerry was taken for his skills as a violinist. So, Wilford must have put Paul to work on an alternative to long pig, because the Fronters weren't going to share their livestock and the Engine was losing potentially valuable spare parts to the Tailies' bellies.

The timeline is kind of funky, tho. If he was drafted to *create* a food solution for the Tailies, that was almost 18 years ago, because the first protein blocks showed up at least two months after the Snowpiercer started its endless journey. How and why would so many Tailies recognize a man they only knew for two months at best? So, maybe he was drafted to take the place of the original chef-scientist? MAYbe… But I think that we should listen to exactly what Paul says to everyone when they first meet him. That this (the turning of a valve) used to be done automatically, but since a part went extinct, it has to be done manually now. That's not just small talk. That's the explanation of his entire purpose on the train, as dictated by Wilford.

Well, that and passing on the Informant's message capsules/bullets.

I imagine Claude showing up with security a few years earlier and asking for people who'd worked in factories or food processing. They would step forward and maybe Claude would pick out the three tallest individuals and then ask them to jump as high as they could, maybe to touch the ceiling. And Paul was the lucky winner, escorted from the tail section to the Protein Block car to learn his new place in the World.

Crazy crazy talk…

This is SO far out of the SNOWPIERCER ballpark, it's somewhere in orbit, but that is where my head likes to go sometimes—outer space.

What if the world of SNOWPIERCER is somehow virtual? Powered either by electronic or psychic/oneiric means, it doesn't really matter. Would it be one individual's world? A shared world or dream? I can easily imagine metastories that would support both possibilities, but let's not go even farther out. If the frozen apocalypse IS a WORLD ON A WIRE or SOLARIS-type sim, it might allow for technological or mental hacks, like matches appearing when needed, the jump-starting of the elder Marco killing machine, or the time skipping disruptions (or super speed?) in the Engine.

Fight your way to the front!

Keep on keepin on~

Monday, July 07, 2014

SNOWPIERCER: bits I *love* about it…

Rattling off some things I *LOVE* in the film, probably followed by the rambling and tangent-hopping…

*SPOILERS* follow!

"A blockbuster production with a devilishly unpredictable plot." — Wilford.

The whole world of the Snowpiercer is a metaphor. There doesn't need to be any subtext or metadiscussion. Of course, there is, and it's fun and meaningful, but man, it's ingenious in its simplicity as a device that also works as an environment and world.

The broken one-armed Jesus/crucifix figure in Gilliam's quarters.
Take 1: A representation of Gilliam, one-armed spiritual leader to Curtis and the Tailies.
Take 2: Foreshadowing of Curtis's dis-arming in the Engine.
Take 3: A red herring foreshadowing of Curtis's role as savior. He's not truly a messianic savior type, but he is an agent of revolution and change. (I've gotta lock down my definition of "savior.")

The "laying of the pipe" that begins the Tailies' revolution, with Grey's ninja parkour delivered coup-de-grace as a beautiful kinetic climax and finish.

Seeing the American "doctor" from THE HOST as the Snowpiercer's bug bar chef.

The reveal/appearance of the masked axemen as the gate opens, just as Yona yells not to open it.

The Sam Sheepdog/Ralph Wolf break in the Battle of Yekatarina Bridge to acknowledge the new year.

"Surrender" and "Die" tattoos on "Snake Eyes" Grey's arm. So wish we got more of him, and the significance of his other tattoos. "Coffee?" "Tea?"

That Yona is "clairvoyant." Might've been nice to hear Nam try to explain it to Curtis at some point. "Sometimes she just knows things." or "She's lucky." Still, pleased that it's treated as subtle and wasn't over-explained.

Spark: Hrm… I'd dismissed Nam and Yona being addicts as a cover, for the most part, but is it the Kronol that enables or enhances her ability?

The running of the fire from the rear of the train to the Battle of Yekatarina Bridge. It starts in the dark of the bowels of the train's tail, the strike of a match in the hands of the young thief, Chan, who lights the torch. He starts to movie it forward and then hands it off to Andrew, who roars with it thru the darkness. I think it's "Snake Eyes" Grey who carries it next, and when the fire arrives at the Battle, it has spread and multiplied into dozens of torches in the hands of a swarm of fighters. When it begins, it really does feel like it starts in a cave, even underground, and in a primordial past. It could be many things—hope, love, knowledge, change, fury—and maybe it is one or many of those things in each Tailie's hand. In the end, it makes for a gorgeous and powerful visual sequence and a simple and brilliant tide-turner in the battle.

Slipping on the fish = BJH moment. Everybody slips, everybody falls.

It's horrible, but Edgar's death. Not because he dies, but because Curtis makes the decision to go after the high-value target, Mason, and leave Edgar to fight for himself. Strategically, it's a smart move, because with Mason in hand, the battle is ended. (We saw that it wasn't enough to take a ranking officer—"Surrender or die?" ---> "Shit.") It is a general's decision.

The Gill-ford population control plan requires that Nam is in a prison drawer. Maybe Nam was framed for a crime. Maybe Nam was extorted into participating (Wilford could use Yona as leverage). Thing is, Wil-liam think they have him right where they want him, but in fact, Nam is exactly where he wants to be. He's played the players wonderfully. I wonder if Gilliam, who's on the scene when he's revived, joins them, and moves forward, has any inkling.

Spark: Remixing Wilford and Gilliam—Is "William Gilford" (or Guilford?) somebody?

The arm-freezing as punishment. Horrible and clever. Also a great way to explain any conspicuously missing limbs among the Tailies before Curtis reveals the truth behind the early days of hunger, violence, and cannibalism in the tail section.

Everything about the shoe. That it's a shoe, which was chucked at G.W. years ago as a vile insult, a cultural learning moment for the U.S. That Mason turns it into a know-your-place teaching moment. And that it is placed on Mason's head by Andrew when they are ready to move forward.

The pause to record/draw the revolutionaries. All of the illustrations made by the Painter as records.

The sushi break in the aquarium car. A magical break at an oasis in the apparently endless desert of violence, misery, and injustice. Also a nice opp for a teaching moment about balance, population, and control. The aquarium as a microcosm of the microcosm of the Snowpiercer.

Everything about crazy banana pants school. The Wilford bio video. Teacher's mania. The Eternal Engine spirituals, and call and response routines—We all freeze and die! Probably most especially Tanya cracking her new year's egg on the head of the bratty little girl, tho.

Nam explains to Yona how the leader of the Seven is an Inuit woman who taught him about all the different kinds of snow there are, but he does not reveal that she is her mother. At least, that's my belief. Think about it… When he's at the window and begins to speak—"There's a woman at the front…"—aren't you just certain he's talking about the woman he loves?

The showdown between Franco and Curtis across that looping hairpin turn in the tracks. They each see the bullet that could have killed them, embedded in the train cars' windows. However, you'll note that Curtis got his shot off first. Respect.

What was Curtis at age 17 on Earth that he's such a remarkable shot?

That Curtis IS ready to take over for Wilford. He never wanted to be the leader, insisting that Gilliam would and should be. But from the start of this revolution (when he forces security's empty hand by holding the gun barrel to his own head) he's made the hard decisions of a leader, reluctant tho he may be. The math of it weighs heavily on him and while he resists, the survival mantra of Wilford and the spell of the Engine prove very compelling.

Spark: Hrm… If we're to believe in the Gill-ford partnership, then Gilliam chose and groomed Curtis for his role in the revolution and as eventual successor to Wilford. Is it possible that Wilford does not know that Curtis was the man whose attack inspired Gilliam to sacrifice his limbs? Wilford *does* refer to Gilliam's remark about it being better to hold your lover with two arms, but that just means that Wilford knows that Curtis didn't/couldn't give up his own arm, not that he was the man who killed the mother of the child who grew up to idolize him. So, maybe Gilliam's selection of Curtis as revolutionary leader and next Engineer was designed to truly change the system. Could the man who had witnessed this "miracle" of sacrifice (by Gilliam and the others who followed him) to save the children of the Tail ever be a man who uses them to replace machinery?

That Yona is the one to snap Curtis out of Wilford's and the Engine's spell. Yona comes to Curtis seeking fire, and when she looks into his eyes, she *sees* that he's lost, or nearly lost, to the Engine. Then—knowingly?—she turns her gaze to the floor and *sees* Timmy, performing as a cog of the Engine, and she scratches at the panel to reveal the horrible truth. Curtis has the sense to understand that Yona has *seen* something important, and helps, and it is exactly the thing that he needs to see to break the spell.

It does make me wonder, tho, how far or long could Curtis have gone in Wilford's place? At some point, he would learn of the extinct technology that's been replaced by children like Andy and Timmy. When confronted with that, would he do the math and arrive at the same result as Wilford (a "needs of the many vs. needs of the few"), or would he F the math and do something truly revolutionary? Enlist the help and resources of the rest of humanity to come up with a solution? Manipulate someone else into taking his place and making the horrible decision? Stop the train and let humanity freeze rather than sacrifice its young.

Like I said, I love that Yona's there to wake Curtis. How desolate and despairing that other path could have been! No matter what, when you come out of the film, remember that JHB gave us a *HAPPY* ending!

Spark: Yona's part in this deja vus me to DARK CITY, THE MATRIX series and SECOND FOUNDATION. She's an X-factor that breaks a cycle and disrupts well-planned, intricately designed system.

In a pretty wonderful and beautiful embrace, Nam and Curtis shield Yona and Timmy with their bodies from the worst of the Kronol explosion and the ensuing crash. Thanks to their two dads, they survive the violent reboot of humanity.

And speaking of happy endings, heh… SNOWPIERCER's ultimate reboot proves to be a Benetton world! The end of an inhumane system run by white people (of privilege) is the beginning of a new world blanketed in white, to be built and populated by an (ESPer) Eve and Adam of color who come from nothing.

Fight your way to the front!

Keep on keepin on~

Sunday, July 06, 2014

SNOWPIERCER: some reflections…

After two screenings of SNOWPIERCER (hafta say, it's even better after a second viewing =), some top-of-my head *SPOILER*ful reflections, questions, comments…

"A blockbuster production with a devilishly unpredictable plot." — Wilford.

Jesus Christ?
Yes, there's commentary on religion and authority built into the social structure of the Snowpiercer and the events of SNOWPIERCER, but I didn't take away anything attached to a specific established religion or belief system. Jesus Christ *does* get a sort of shout-out, but for me, more as *a* savior than *the* savior. I don't see Curtis as a stand-in for JC, but I definitely see a couple of references in the film that paint Curtis as a potential savior. Why JC? How about the Yekatarina Bridge fish? The masked axemen bring out a massive trout or some such and each man dips his blade into it, blooding their axes. I had a fleeting thought—should I recognize this fish as poisonous? Definitely not a blowfish, tho, so that doesn't seem likely. Then maybe it reads literally—YOU are this fish, and we are going to gut you. And even if that idiom might have passed out of usage on the Snowpiercer (18 years of protein bars), the action definitely serves as intimidation. Of course, if you look at the fish as a symbol, in the West, its probably most recognized as standing for Christianity and Jesus. So, does Curtis equal the savior? Well, ask the broken Christ/crucifix figurine we see in Gilliam's quarters at the start of the film. You know, the one that's missing an arm? =)

In the Yekatarina Bridge battle, Curtis slips on the blooded fish and falls. When that happened, I just grinned like an idiot and thought, "THAT is Bong Joon-ho." I've had this thing about his films that I love—his characters fall. I first noticed it in MEMORIES OF MURDER, when the detectives show up at the scene and tumble down the hill from the road. It just seemed so… embarrassing, y'know? Yet completely natural. Everybody falls. Even the creature in THE HOST (and of course, all of Daesu's family =). And so does Curtis. It's a beautiful (I think) theme throughout his work.

Edgar 1.
Edgar's steak. Edgar tells Curtis that he thinks he can almost remember the taste of steak. Given that he's almost a train baby, perhaps he's thinking of the taste of Gilliam's arm?

Edgar 2.
How the heck did Edgar get that accent growing up on the train, eh?

Edgar 3/names.
IMDB trivia claims Edgar is named after Edgar Wright. Are there other filmmaker's names in the characters, a la NIGHT OF THE CREEPS? (Terry) Gilliam? The Francos (Zeffirelli? James?!) ? =)

The Francos.
IMDB tells me that the two well-dressed enforcers who accompany Mason on her trips to confront the Tailies are known as Franco the Younger and Franco the Elder. The names suggest that they are related, but the few glimpses of interaction I recall from the film (also) suggest that they are partners/lovers. The Elder certainly takes the Younger's death verrry personally and fixates on Yona for it.

Franco the Elder speaks…
Franco the Elder tells Yona "No more bullets" in non-English. Is it Korean? I couldn't make it out.

What is Grey's connection/relationship to Gilliam? Adopted son? Lover? Both?

What Nam sees…
Love how Nam puts things together in the background of all of these violent events (and set pieces). Against discussions focused on the survival of humanity in the closed system of the train, couched in flowery propaganda and doctrine, Nam is collecting hard data on the world outside and building a key/bomb to open the gate that will get them there. First, the Yekatarina Bridge plane wreck. Then, the snowflake, which he can "read" thanks to the lessons of the Inuit woman who jumped from the train. Finally, the thing that Nam sees thru the windows of the greenhouse car and *almost* tells Curtis about, the polar bear. LOVE that he just trails off and doesn't reveal that last fact.

Nam was part of the Wilford-Gilliam plan…
So, Nam must have manipulated things to get himself thrown in the prison drawers before Snowpiercer's next population control strategy. Maybe he was a legit Kronol addict? Or played one well enough (along with his daughter) to, apparently under the influence, commit a crime worthy of the drawers? Or was properly framed for such an offense? Or just plain agreed to or was extorted into playing this part in the next revolution. Kinda crazy, but also exactly the supervillain level of manipulation you'd need to choreograph "The Curtis Revolution."

Gilliam might have been ready for a real revolution…
Early on in the film, Gilliam agrees very quickly w Curtis's self-deprecating remark along the lines of "not everyone is what they seem." Curtis says it to try to discount Edgar's hero worship of him. Gilliam throws in a kind of "you can say that again" in reference to himself, playing the role of Curtis's revolutionary mentor. Once the revolution has reached the water car, and Curtis decides to split their forces, leaving Gilliam and most of the Tailies in the rear half of the train, Gilliam tells Curtis not to let Wilford speak to him. That he should cut Wilford's tongue out before he can say a word. For Gilliam, this means that he hopes that Curtis will complete his mission without learning of Gilliam's collaboration with Wilford, and follow thru without doubting anything he's learned from Gilliam. Sure, maybe it was because the pop control plan was going off the rails, and maybe Gilliam realized that Wilford would be forced to exact retribution against many Tailies and especially himself, but I think the hope was there. Unfortunately, Curtis *did* let the devil Wilford speak.

Programming the children…
So sinister. The gesticulations assigned to certain Eternal Engine propaganda seems designed to teach children to be replacement cogs and widgets for the train (the way softball pitching in P.E. might teach a child how to lob a grenade at a target =). Mason and Wilford explicitly demonstrate the motions and the children in the classroom show that they've been taught certain motions to go with their songs. Would've been good to see the Tailies get some indoctrination, tho, to sort of fill in some blanks.

What Yona sees…
Is "clairvoyance" the way to describe what Yona demonstrates? She can see thru or behind things. Not necessarily into the future. She demonstrates her ability by describing what's on the other side of the gates between cars just before they're opened. Then she sees the murder and menace in Franco's eyes. Finally, she sees little Timmy under the floor panels in the engine. Maybe final-finally, she is the first child of the train who gets to see a polar bear.

The messages…
There must have been messages smuggled to the Tailies via the bug bars before the events of the film, but the ones we actually get to see revealed (that I remember—I feel like I might be missing one) are…
  1. NAM's name, in Timmy's protein bar. Along w info that he's the security specialist responsible for designing the gate locks. A vital component to any plan to reach and attack the front of the train.
  2. WATER, in the loose capsule in protein bar fun factory car. For Gilliam, where the revolution should end. For Curtis the revolutionary, as explained by Gilliam, a strategic target. For Curtis the future Engineer: a lesson in natural resources.
  3. BLOOD, in the New Year's egg. For Gilliam, he doesn't see this message, but it is his death sentence, for letting the revolution get too far. For Curtis the revolutionary, an almost-too-late warning. For Curtis the future Engineer: the death of 74% of the Tail population, a second lesson in population control.
  4. TRAIN, freshly written by Wilford. For Curtis, a final Engineer lesson. The train is the entire world, and it carries all that remains of humanity, and the most important thing he can do is protect it, no matter the cost.
Fight your way to the front!

Keep on keepin on~

SNOWPIERCER: deja views…

I love going to my movies, and oftentimes, I'll get a sense of movie deja vu. That is, I'll be watching a film and have it remind me of another film (instead of, like, a real memory of an event or experience of my own like actual human beings have, bleah). As far as I can remember, this is never a bad thing. So, while screening number two is still fresh-ish, here are a few out-of-movie experiences I had while watching SNOWPIERCER…

Turn back now, for here there be *SPOILERS*…

CABIN IN THE WOODS / ESCAPE FROM L.A. / all of those ones, y'know. =)
An ultimate reboot. The protagonist/s hit the RESET button on the world, destroying the current society/civilization in favor of a blank slate and fresh start. Love that it's a Benetton slate, with Yona and Timmy as the non-white Eve and Adam in an otherwise white-blanketed world.

Yona's clairvoyance, but specifically, her almost instant reading of Franco the Elder (the psycho enforcer whose lover Yona kills) as Death/Evil.

THE MATRIX (and sequels).
Wilford's revelation that he and Gilliam are working together to maintain the balance of human beings and fear and hope needed to sustain humanity in the closed system of the Snowpiercer. Systems of control and order executed via manipulation.

A single snowflake making a difference. There's not much to compare in meaning behind the event, but given the uniqueness of the event itself, that it happens at all in each film resonates for me. In INDIGO, it floated in thru a window and into Chloe's (Audrey Tautou's) lung and only we get to see it. In SNOWPIERCER, it floated in thru a cracked window and only Namgoong saw it.

Curtis fighting his way across the car against the axemen. Felt to me like Dae-su hammering his way thru the thugs in that gangster "hotel" hallway, all side-scroller-game-like.

Yona protecting/cradling/leading Timmy out of the rubble of Snowpiercer threw me back to Hyun-seo protecting the little street urchin when trapped in the Host's subterranean nest and even when regurgitated by the creature at the end. Also, Curtis and Nam shielding Yona and Timmy with their bodies.

The presence of a propaganda system woven into the fabric of society. In BRAZIL it was Central Processing. In THE DOUBLE, it was The Colonel (I think?). In SNOWPIERCER it's the lessons of Wilford and the Eternal Engine.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (the original series/movie).
I don't remember it being so pronounced in the SciFi Channel reboot (I remember more of a focus on prejudice based on "race" and religion), but in the original, there are marked inequalities among the survivors in the different ships of the ragtag fugitive fleet. The Rising Star was a front car, and several partially radioactive cargo transports would've been the tail. The fleet was basically an "exploded" Snowpiercer.

The doctrine and reverence paid to the Sacred Engine. The call and response routines in the classroom… Teacher's, Mason's, and Wilford's recitations with accompanying signs and gesticulations… all in praise and worship of the Sacred Engine. And the front car, the Engine itself, seems an update of the Machines of Metropolis, no? Heck, is SNOWPIERCER a remake of METROPOLIS? I'm gonna hafta watch that again sometime soon.

Curtis slips and falls on the fish during the Battle of Yekatarina Bridge. It's something I've noticed and loved in JHB's films. Characters (and even a creature, in THE HOST) slipping and falling, accidentally, clumsily, embarrassingly. Surly detectives, terrified fathers, grieving families, revolutionary leaders… It's just so human and natural and a demonstration and visualization of chance, gravity, weight, vulnerability, pain, and surprise. And in the audience, it's a connection to that caveman who laughed at his friend who slipped on a banana peel, fell on his bum, bounced, and rolled down the mountain and got eaten by that sabre-toothed tiger. Or something. =)

It's kind of a great encapsulation of the genre-less-ness of JHB's storytelling, too. Life doesn't know about genres. It just happens.

Keep on keepin on~