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~

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