Locating a Transnational Film between Korean Cinema and American Cinema: A Case Study of Snowpiercer (2014)


This article argues that Joon-ho Bong’s  Snowpiercer (2013) is a transnational film. It identifies how
categorizing it as either Korean cinema or American cinema falls short of accounting for its unprecedented
mode of production, distribution, and storytelling. This is a case study that compensates for the existing
literature on the movie that often omits its significance in Korean cinema, neglects the ongoing
discourse on transnational cinema, and dismisses the filmic text as having nothing to do with the idea
of the nation. This study situates Snowpiercer in the larger context of Korean cinema by identifying the
heritage it belongs to, shows that the filmic text embodies the complex notion of nation in today’s world,
and argues that cultural signs in the film indicate a transnational imaginary. The results contribute to
identifying how national cinema is changing in relation to increasing transnational film productions and
theorizing what the transnational may be for a useful framework. .