• Contemporary Cinema Research Institute
no.1_04_Snowpiercer Makes a Stop at the Transnational and National Cinema Intersection
  • Writer : Admin
  • Date : 2018-10-17 15:22
Snowpiercer Makes a Stop
at the Transnational and National
Cinema Intersection

Jason Bechervaise
Dept. of Entertainment & Arts Management, Korea Soongsil Cyber University

Many of Bong Joon-ho’s films come at seminal moments in the history of
contemporary Korean cinema. Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000) was released at a
time when many other directors such as Park Chan-wook and Ryoo Seung-wan
made their mark. Memories of Murder hit screens in 2003 when some of the most
iconic Korean films travelled overseas such as Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy and Kim
Jee-woon’s A Tale of Two Sisters were also released locally. The Host has become
one of the most quintessential examples of a localized blockbuster that beat
Hollywood at its own game and released the same year the screen quota was
reduced. Snowpiercer, Korea’s first global project reflects the ambitions of Korea’s
major studios to expand their reach overseas and the success of film is also
illustrative in how the film industry is evolving both in Korea and overseas. As
such, Bong’s career is following an interesting trajectory mirroring that of the
Korean film industry. In the context of national and transnational cinema, this is
particularly fascinating as Bong’s features including Snowpiercer are part a journey
in which these two terms intersect. This essay focuses primarily on Snowpiercer
and how it can be situated at the national and transnational cinema intersection.

Bong Joon-ho, national cinema, transnational cinema, Snowpiercer, Korean film industry