Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.
This was a remarkably busy week at A Damn Fine Cup of Culture, starting with three journeys – into pre-history, a Jules Verne-style alternate past, to the moon, and beyond! Matt wrote about his encounters with Karel Zeman’s oeuvre in the beautiful Criterion edition of three of his key films. (We would say that you should Czech this out, but obviously we’re above such cheesy puns.)
On Friday this was followed by the latest instalment of Six Damn Fine Degrees, in which Alan wrote about the experience of watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 2021. It is probably no surprise that Mickey Rooney is mentioned but does not get an appearance in the trailer Paramount issued for the film’s 60th anniversary re-release.
Also, a bit later than most months, the latest episode of our podcast went up on Saturday. It’s a wonderful trip back in time that is very different from those magicked up by Karel Zeman – Julie and Alan wax lyrical about pre-Code cinema and especially about the kind of roles and plots that were lost when Hollywood decided to follow a very specific brand of black-and-white morality.
And this is where we see what other trailers our trusty baristas have come up for this week.
Sam: I remember distinctly when in 2015, an unlikely film about the Stonewall riots in 1969, ushering in the age of the gay rights movement, by an even more unlikely director, Roland Emmerich (Stargate, Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow) was completely trashed for whitewashing its subject_ Instead of the mostly African American and Latino characters who were the actual driving force of the riots, audiences experienced the events through the eyes of a cute blonde all-American guy (Jeremy Irvine) – and critics and audiences hated the film for it. Watching the trailer for Son of the South, I was certainly reminded of that maligned strategy when seeing a cute blonde all-American guy (Lucas Till) defying his white background to march and support the race protests in Montgomery, Alabama in the 1950s. Will watching the “based on a true story” plot through the eyes of Till help move wider audiences to understand the plight for racial equality more fully? Let’s hope Barry Alexander Brown does a better job than Emmerich – even though I must say, I did enjoy Stonewall quite a bit. It’s curious how I’m sometimes immune to the sharp eyes of Kulturkampf issues before I hear people rage about them.
Matt: Okay, this is “based on true events”, which is already a step or two away from “based on a true story”. It’s also not necessarily what Martin Scorsese has in mind when he talks about “cinema” – but I have to say that every now and then this kind of well-crafted, polished genre piece that’s bursting at the seams with charismatic actors is exactly what I’m looking for. Even if director Andy Goddard’s filmography (featuring not one or two but four Netflix Marvel series!) is decidedly underwhelming.