Our “Streaming Surprises” series calls attention to good movies new and old that our board members are watching. Titles are available from various streaming services.
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For many, their first introduction to writer/director Bong Joon-ho was the Oscar winning film “Parasite”, but his somewhat overlooked 2013 film “Snowpiercer” in many ways rivals the Oscar-winning film. It is Joon-ho’s first English-language film and stars Chris Evans, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Ed Harris and Tilda Swinton. Joon-ho’s story and direction are supported by masterful performances, production design and cinematography. This post-apocalyptic, dystopian thriller takes place on a perpetually moving train that runs on a track that spans the planet. When an attempt to battle global warming goes very wrong, the world is left frozen and the last surviving humans make their home on the train. The wealthy live in opulence in cars at the front and the poor live in horrific, slave-like conditions at the back of the train. As one would expect, there are periodic moments of resistance, as the threat of death fails to quell the rebels’ thirst for freedom. History is filled with stories of revolutions fueled by misery, oppression and the struggle to attain justice. The philosophical questions posed in “Snowpiercer” are complex and could inspire hours of debate. Joon-ho examines the divide between social classes in both “Snowpiercer” and “Parasite”, although the struggle between the wealthy and the poor manifests itself in a subtler fashion in “Parasite.” The rights to develop a television series based on “Snowpiercer” were optioned in 2015, and the latest in an ever-changing stream of news indicate the series will premiere in spring of 2020.