Sunday, 13 July 2014

Snowpiercer Sorrow (VOR #19)

Perth, Western Australia. The city where I live. It's a sleepy sort of place. Plenty of natural beauty. We have Cottesloe Beach and the Swan Valley. There's even some cool touristy places like Hillarys Boat Harbour and the Bell Tower.

One thing we don't however, is Snowpiercer. And that makes me sad. Very sad.

Pretty much cut off from the outside world, Perth is kinda like that town in Under the Dome but less extreme. The rest of Australia regularly jokes that Perth is 10 years behind the rest of the country. We don't have Starbucks, H&M or 7-Eleven. Heck, someone setting up a petition to bring Krispy Kreme to Perth makes the bloody news.

From Kanye not coming to town to Stan Lee vetoing Perth when he made the trip Down Under for Oz Comic Con, it's fair to say we miss out on a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff that I don't really care about at the end of the day. No Starbucks? Big deal. But no Snowpiercer? Now that's the final straw.

For whatever reason, Snowpiercer is not coming to Perth. Not one screen or showing in the whole city. And I'm demanding answers.

A science-fiction movie from Joon-ho Bong, Snowpiercer has been receiving widespread critical acclaim from reviewers.  It currently sits at 94% on Rotten Tomatoes and 83% on Metacritic. Reviews include quotes like, "The best action film of 2014, and probably the best film, period" and "One of the few surprises of the summer and one that deserves a much wider audience."

Needless to say, going from the positive word-of-mouth, I was super keen to see Snowpiercer. Whilst I'm not familiar with the director's other work (Korean cinema isn't my strong point), I was eager to see this acclaimed sci-fi flick. It stars Chris Evans (you know, the dude from a little film called Captain America), Jaime Bell, Tilda Swinton and John Hurt. Hardly small name actors, with Evans big enough to sell a movie with his name alone.

Perth has no shortage of independent cinemas keen to show the
latest indie flicks - so where is Snowpiercer?
But, much to my dismay, the movie isn't opening in my city. It garnered hugely favourable reviews at the Sydney Film Festival. But does that warrant a release in Perth? Nah, pass. This isn't a new thing, many indie films skip straight to DVD when distributors think there isn't an audience for a theatre release. Another highly-acclaimed film, Enemy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal only just found its way onto DVD this week after bypassing the theatre.

Its not like Perth has a shortage of independent cinemas. There's no question of where would it play - plenty of indie theatres in Perth would play Snowpiercer. Hell, the last two weeks have seen the Perth International Film Festival bring plenty of smaller releases like Locke, Under the Skin and Joe. Locales like Luna Leederville draw huge audiences, especially during Oscar season when the big multiplex's don't bother screening things like Her or Dallas Buyers Club in favour of something wondrously shit like I, Frankenstein or Ride Along (but that's a column for another time).

Right now, Roadshow Films have only announced showings of Snowpiercer in two cinemas in Australia, one in New South Wales and one in Victoria. Movie distribution isn't my forte, so the ins and outs aren't something I can speculate upon. From the foraging I've done online, it's easy to see that audiences are being pretty much left in the dark about the tiny distribution for Snowpiercer. It's a shame, because small movies like this could do with all the screen time they can get.

It'd be a big shame for such a well-received movie to completely bypass theatres both in Perth and across Australia. One Facebook page setting up a petition might not be much, but it's evidence of an audience clamouring to see what is being heralded as one of the best films this year without a long tedious wait for DVD, or resorting to piracy.

For now, I'll just keep my fingers crossed for a wider release at some point in the future. Maybe I should launch some kind of hashtag to get this thing going viral - #BringSnowpiercertoPerth or something like that...


  1. Damn, that sucks it isn't coming to your town. Hopefully you'll be able to find a way to see it, though. :\
    I'm all for that hashtag, btw, lol. You never know, the way social media works these days, it just might take off!

    1. I've read that Roadshow are floating the idea of an expanded release later down the track, but I won't hold my breath. Looks like its the hashtag or nothing! :)

  2. Are you able to watch it on VOD? I noticed it got released through iTunes last week (in the US at least). I know it's not as good as the theatre, but if you have an itch it's worth it.

    1. Yeah I did check out VOD but it's really not an established here in Australia, so it isn't on there. Same story with iTunes, I doubt it'll be on there for a while :/ Looks like I'll just have to wait for it to come around eventually :) Thanks for commenting Zach!



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