Snowpiercer: Don’t miss this masterpiece

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SnowpiercerThis weekend, I saw the Bong Joon-Ho experience known as Snowpiercer, on hotel pay-per-view.  I’d missed its appearance in theaters, so my wife and I were glad to see it in the hotel’s new releases rotation.  And we’re so glad we saw this movie.

First, it must be said that I realize quite a few people probably missed seeing this movie when it came out, just as I did.  That’s because the distributor, Harvey Weinstein, wanted to make cuts to the movie and add voiceovers for us poor, moronic, nose-picking U.S. audiences… which director Joon-Ho refused.  As a result, Weinstein gave the movie a very limited release, with almost literally no publicity attached (I’d been keeping up with Snowpiercer‘s progress on IO9, and I still managed to miss its release).

But, just like that recently-discovered masterpiece Cloud Atlas, this is one limited release movie that you need to find and watch.  (No spoilers ahead: Track is clear.) Continue reading

Worldfarm One and the End of the American Century

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cover of Worldfarm OneWhen I originally wrote Worldfarm One—the story of a man from the United States who travels to Brazil to work, and learns the hard way how hard immigration can be—I expected there to be comments about the characters, about the sexuality and sex-role-reversals, the casting-couch business practices, the feed-the-world model, the prejudice, even my descriptions of Manaus and the surrounding Amazonian regions in the book.

I was surprised, therefore, to discover the greatest number of comments generated by the book were about the idea that the United States would, in the future, lose its status of “greatest nation of the world,” and because of economic hardships, American citizens would be forced to immigrate to other countries with greater opportunities to make a living. Continue reading