Park Chan Wook

Last week at the Critic’s Circle Awards, we spoke to an incensed John Hurt, speaking out against Harvey Weinstein, following reports that the renowned Hollywood producer was set to cut out a chunk of forthcoming dystopian thriller Snowpiercer, directed by Bong Joon-ho. However it has since been revealed that following on from public criticisms from the cast and media commentators alike – Weinstein has decided not to make the changes after all.

Speaking in Berlin Film Festival preceding the film’s public screening, notorious director, and producer of Snowpiercer, Park Chan-wook offered his thoughts on the controversial issue. “When it comes to releasing a film, each different territory has to decide what works best for their territory and depending on what territory you go, it’s just as valid for each distributor to say ‘ if you just change this or that, it will work much better’,” he said. “In this case, it was a similar thing happening, where the distributor for the North American market, some changes might make this film work best for that market. Honestly, who can tell you which is the right approach? Because unless you try it and have the audience see the different version, you can’t tell whether it will work or not for that particularly territory.”

Park, famed for directing Oldboy amongst many other cult favourites, was somewhat tight-lipped on the whole affair and certainly cautious in criticising Weinstein himself, admitting that he can see why the producer has initially felt compelled to make some changes. “It was not really a matter of power play, please consider this a decision based on calculations on whether this version would be commercially viable in that particular territory, and this is the outcome. The only thing I can apologise for, is that the German audience can’t boast they’ve seen the director’s cut.”

The film has been met with incredible reviews so far, and it seems that fortunate people of America will be able to witness the same version that aired in Berlin – and given how remarkable a film this is, that can only be a good thing. “I come out of a tradition of cinema where we put the most value to the author or director’s vision, and right now these discussion surrounding the issue have all been resolved, so that the director’s version will be the one shown in different territories around the world, including North America.” Park finished.

You can read our review of Snowpiercer here, and keep up with all of our Berlinale coverage here.