Duality of the Railways: Popular Culture Representations of ‘the Train’ in Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer and Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan
Railways have always held the attention of the world from the very first day of its inception. This technological marvel was seen with wonder, fear, and suspicion. They have often proved themselves to be synonymous with technology serving as symbols, images, and metaphors to denote a technological world. This imagery has often brought out a duality, one of both life and death. They act as guardians offering safe passage and as vehicles of doom carrying one to their death. The paper examines this binary of technology as both saviours and villains in popular culture adaptations from South Korean auteurs - Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer(2013)and Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan(2016) arguing that Durkheim’s theory of Collective effervescence operates in the trains which act as a microcosm of the world when a crisis strikes.