Snow Steam Iron (2017) by Zack Snyder: Saturday Night Short Film #16
The purpose of Saturday Night Short Film is to showcase the baby brother of the feature length film, the short film. In general these are overlooked and that’s a travesty because there’s a lot of wonderful work being done with the medium. These articles aren’t meant to be reviews but instead act as more bite-sized commentary. Snow Steam Iron is Saturday Night Short Film #16.
While there’s no general formula that I follow when selecting short films for this series, I do tend to run the gamut from indie directors to household names. That’s by design. I’ve detailed first time output such as Hopeless Romantic, visited the work of legendary directors that aren’t mainstream such as with Food, and I’ve finally sat down and watched early flicks by directors that release blockbusters today, like when I posted about Doodlebug.
Well, today we’re tackling Zack Snyder, a director for whom I have an intense admiration for but others… well, not so much. I’ve written about Batfleck, died on a hill for Snyder and featured him prominently in a Top 5 Tuesday article. Outside of 300 I’ve adored everything I’ve seen from him, even Sucker Punch. He doesn’t need my help but I’m giving it anyway.
I was unaware of Snow Steam Iron until a couple weeks ago when I went searching for some of his other work. I wanted to attempt to tie the Saturday Night Short Film article into him; why, with Justice League being released this week and everything. So, happily, this appeared.
While the title makes sense, it’s pretty uninspired. Yes, there is snow, steam and–you guessed it–iron, but it’s such an undramatic and boring title that it doesn’t really demonstrate the creativity within. I suppose film titles have never been his best attribute, but you could always chalk it up to a lot of them being based on known property. Even with an original work such as Sucker Punch, that title does not do the content much justice.
Oh well, the flick is essentially all things Snyder condensed down to a 4 minute slice. Slow motion is abundant, it’s rather violent and, despite taking place on Earth, it feels a little otherwordly. He deeply zooms in on objects in order to enlarge them, exhibiting a larger than life, cinematic aesthetic. Some people criticize him for how serious his superhero films are, but that same criticism is a feature in my eyes and I believe it’s one of the core reasons why his are among my favourite in the genre.
If you don’t dig what he does this will not sway you over to his side. One has to accept that you’re either in or out with him; you think he’s a brilliant filmmaking or he’s a hack who imposes too much gravitas into characters and scenarios that don’t require them. I’m clearly in the former and oppose the latter, but it is what it is.
His favourite Snyder movie is Watchmen, followed by Dawn of the Dead.