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.
MEMORIES OF MURDER / THE HOST / other films by BJH…
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~