Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Trailer thrash

We're used to cinema trailers that go on so long there's no point seeing the film they aim to sell, or others that feature all the movie's best moments (usually jokes; this is especially true of Woody Allen's recent offerings). The latest trend seems to be restructuring scenes, as if the featured product can be improved upon.

The trailers for a few current films have been edited in such a way that dialogue has not only been moved to other scenes but appears to be directed to entirely different people: in the trailer for Howl, Mary-Louise Parker's character appears to be asked whether she understands the meaning of the word 'blow' in Ginsberg's poem, although this is directed at someone else in the film (the trailer pretty much includes her role's entire appearance, too); in True Grit, Mattie Ross's retort that she is only 14 is delivered to a different character between film and trailer; in David Michod's remarkable Animal Kingdom (pictured), Jacki Weaver's formidable matriarch is also addressing someone else by some sleight of the editor's hand when she warns, 'You've done bad things, sweetie'.

Less forgiveably, one scene in Animal Kingdom's trailer - presumably picked because of its cinematic qualities - reveals a crucial development to a film that plays like Brighton Rock transposed to 1980s Melbourne. However, unlike the use of ELO's Mr Blue Sky in the trail for Eternal Sunshine of the Endless Mind (2004), Air Supply fans will be happy to hear All Out of Love does feature in the movie.

UPDATE I'm puzzled by the re-use of Scala's choral version of Creep on the trailer for Love Like Poison, starring Lio, when it was used for The Social Network preview late last year. It's possible it was used on the original French trail before the ad for David Fincher's film, but when it's so memorably tied to the latter now, why not choose something else.

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