Every year, or in the good years once every major film season, there can sometimes be the one preview that reminds me why I love the medium of film so much. Many times I can tell whose directing the film from the first several moments. I remember being stunned into silence by the visually splendorous trailers for “The Fifth Element” and “Dark City”. But it’s not always sci-fi, others have been Tom Twyker’s “The Princess and the Warrior”, which had me bleeding from the corneas, as did “Gladiator”, “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Amelie”. For me each of these films lived up to expectations. Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” and “The Cell”, sadly, did not.
It’s true that trailers are an art form unto themselves, which many studios just can’t get right. It’s a mix of visual inventiveness and music (sometimes silence), that builds and climaxes with a certain elegance and sensuality. To know when to cut and what not to show. It’s more than just a cliff notes for the movie, it is a movie unto itself, with mystery, wonder and energy. They can be so powerful sometimes they push me back in my chair and make my eyes water. If the director’s vision is big enough, all you need to show is a little. Even a trailer for a good comedy won’t give you everything (if it does, you’re usually in trouble.) Are there any trailers you can think of that really hit home and did the movie hold up or not?
This fall season (so far) has one such gem. It makes the film look to be magnificent, but a trailer is, in the final analysis, a trailer, and so feel it as a trailer, enjoy it as a trailer and love it as a trailer:
“Across the Universe”