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.
Our week at A Damn Fine Cup of Culture began with singing, dancing, rain – and Matt’s ambivalence about cinemas opening again in Switzerland, in spite of a shaky epidemiological situation. But let’s not let this distract us too much from the glory of seeing Singin’ in the Rain live on a cinema screen!
On Friday, Alan continued our string of associations in his Six Damn Fine Degrees post on the X-Men’s villain and LGBT trailbazer Mystique. Sadly, there’s nothing in any of the X-Men films that suggests the movie versions of the character share her orientation, so here’s perhaps the closest we could find to a related trailer. (Ed.: It’s not a trailer and it’s not about Mystique. Better luck next time.)
So, after that utter failure of finding an adequate trailer, let’s move on to our regular programme, starting with Eric:
Eric: So, yes, trailers are just extended advertisements. Marketing 101. Present something beautiful, something exciting or intriguing, something tragic, something moving with the bare minimum of context, scored to the right kind of music, and people will lap it right up. Exercising critical thinking gets harder to do the more effective the trailer, and the ones that sweep you away are often the most effective. Sometimes, though, it’s in service of the right message; and in this humble viewer’s opinion, interrogating the idea of the American Dream through an immigrant’s perspective can never be the wrong message. Minari‘s done well in the nominations circuit, but don’t hold that against it. When it features a Korean grandmom being told off by her tiny grandson for not doing her expected duties like baking cookies, not swearing, and not wearing men’s underpants, you can tell from her loving mock astonishment that the movie’s got a line straight to the human heart.
Matt: And talking of extended advertisements: for those who missed the big, fat slice of Zack Snyder’s work that landed on HBO Max last month, we’ll soon have a chance to watch what looks like a remarkably non-pompous film by the Friend of Martha on Netflix. In fact, this looks more like The Suicide Squad, but with Zombies than like any of the self-important, po-faced superhero shenanigans Snyder’s been responsible for. Who knows? Perhaps this is perfectly fine Saturday evening fare with a pizza or two, a bottle of wine and a few glasses of some other, more potent alcoholic beverage.