Porkins Policy Radio ep. 33 Snowpiercer

On this installment of Porkins Policy Radio I was joined by Aaron Franz and Adam, co-hosts of Themes and Memes, for a discussion of the sci-fi thriller film Snowpiercer.  Dealing with the aftermath of a geo-engineering disaster, the surviving population of Earth lives on a highly advanced train that circles the world once a year.  While the rich and powerful live in the front in perpetual luxury, the tail section is composed of the poor who plot a revolution to take over control of the train.  Aaron, Adam and I break down many of the interesting themes and messages that this movie introduces.  We take a look at the inclusion of chemtrails in the beginning of the movie, and at how this is part of an ongoing trend in Hollywood to inject conspiracy-culture elements into mainstream cinema.  We move on to the socioeconomic model that Snowpiercer presents, as well as the fascist-corporatist world that the film imagines.  We then take a look at the transhumanist aspects of this film, namely the worship of the “eternal engine,” as well as the idea of a “train” in general.  Later we consider the core theme in this film: the idea of revolution.  The three of us explore how the notion of revolution is popping up more and more in contemporary films, and how Snowpiercer differs in the cookie cutter version Hollywood usually presents.  We go into depth about how the revolution in this film has been completely orchestrated by the evil Wilford, who operates the Snowpiercer in order to fulfill his eugenics agenda.  We focus on how the film puts the audience in a difficult situation, where it begins to question its own morals and philosophy in the face of the complete destruction of mankind.  We end the conversation by discussing the death/re-birth ritual that is the culmination of the movie, and at whom this may be targeted.

Download PPR episode 33

Show Notes:

Age of Transitions

Snowpiercer full movie (This streaming version is in three parts but has English subtitles for the sections with Korean dialogue.  Unfortunately the subtitles appear through out the entire film)

Snowpiercer full movie (no subtitles)

Note: I will try and provide a torrent link so that you can download the full DVD version that has subtitles only for the Korean sections



“Axe Gang” – Snowpiercer Official Soundtrack

“Yona Lights” – Snowpiercer Official Soundtrack

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  • Steve  On January 2, 2015 at 2:22 am

    When the rebels had advanced so far that victory seemed possible, Gilliam said to Curtis to strike town Wilford before he could open his mouth. Don’t let him talk, he said. Was this because he didn’t want Curtis to be manipulated by Wilford or so he wouldn’t find out about the arrangement between Gilliam and Wilford?

    Why would it be the latter though if handing over the reins to Curtis was already agreed to between Gilliam and Wilford?

    As Mason elaborated her philosophy of why things are as they are and why they couldn’t possibly be any other way it was as if she was channeling Margaret Thatcher insisting that “There Is No Alternative” to the neo-liberal, free market capitalism doctrine. It was spooky.

    That doctrine, of course is expressed in the concept of the “invisible hand” of the market place governing the economy and society. Much like the “invisible hand” of Wilford “governing” the operation of the train and the society and economy inside it. Mason wasn’t anyway near as annoying, arrogant, treacherous or obnoxious as Mrs. Thatcher was though.

    I enjoyed the discussion. I watched the movie about three weeks ago so it was fun to hear your insights.


  • Tenor  On January 28, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Will be interested in listening to this podcast. A few months ago, I watched quite a bit of the movie. The dystopian sci-fi fable of modern society, seemed quite facile/puerile to me. What I was most struck by was the unbelievable level of gore and violence — again and again, violence is offered as the only way out of our common predicament. How ridiculous. I’ve seen the New Left Movement quite eviscerated by “Weathermen,” et al., proclaiming that 1969 was the Time to Pick Up the Gun! Those who agreed that that was the only solution, but acknowledged the suicidal character of such a call, dropped out of mass political action — the masses dropped out in droves. A totalitarian or military-intelligence-industrial (okay, that’s a Sixties term, replace “industrial” with “finance capital”) state is the Olympic Master of Violence, so that’s the only alternative we’re offered.

    We are degraded by staring at such intense brutality depicted violence with eyes wide shut/open. Personally, I’ve been covering my eyes, or averting them from the screen since the beginning of these mega-violent depictions in cinema. I didn’t care to watch the rest of the film. People who watch such violence, thinking it is justified because they identify with the exploited lower classes/film victims and develop emotions of hatred towards the ridiculously evil “Thatcher” woman, are polluting their minds.

    Humans learn through “mirror neurons”. When we watch people doing things, the neurons in our brains fire off in the sequence required to actually do the deeds we’re watching. That’s how we learn to dance, etc. So when we watch cruel barbarity on the screen, especially, when we are reacting viscerally & emotionally, we are being implicated in the corruption.

    “You are what you eat” was a famous film of the 1960’s. No doubt that is partly true, but more seriously, “You are what you think.”

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