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 week, Matt continued his ongoing battle with his Criterion backlog – and although he ordered Nicholas Ray’s crime drama They Live by Night by accident, he ended up enjoying it a lot. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a good trailer for the film on YouTube, so here’s a trailer for the adaptation of the same material Robert Altman made a few decades later: Thieves Like Us.
Sadly that theme – the unavailability of trailers – continues: Alan wrote about the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers vehicle Carefree, and how a middling film can be elevated by getting one thing exactly right. Try to find a trailer for Carefree, mind you… so here’s another replacement, in this case a trailer for another Astaire/Rogers extravaganza, The Gay Divorce… or is it The Gay Divorcee… or both?
So, let’s see what other trailers we can replace by other trailers!
Matt: Opinions at Casa A Damn Fine Cup are split on the ethics of another film about Marylin Monroe. Personally, I’m not sure how interested I’d be, if it weren’t for three things: 1) Blonde is based on a Joyce Carol Oates novel, and while I’ve not read anything of hers myself, I have heard good things; 2) Ana de Armas, while she may not immediately come to mind as the perfect Monroe, is an interesting and immensely engaging performer, and 3) the film was directed by Andrew Dominik, whose The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is one of my favourite films of all time. (I’m more ambivalent about his Killing Them Softly, though I liked that one better the second time round.)
Matt: E.T. may have been the first film where I have a clear memory of the experience of seeing it at the cinema. I’d seen other films at the cinema, but sitting there as the lights went down and feeling fear for that poor little creature from another planet is something I still recollect strongly. As it’s been 40 years since the film was released, they’re bringing it back to the big screen – in fact, the very big screen: IMAX. What’s more, they’re bringing back the original version, which means: no walkie-talkies, making the danger to E.T. and his friends that much more real. I may just have to go and revisit this one – to see whether it brings back seven-year-old me.
Matt: And let’s end with a very odd one: Daisies, by Czech New Wave director Věra Chytilová, has been restored to 4K glory. I have no idea whether it’ll make it to any cinemas nearby, but I was lucky enough to see it pre-restoration a few years ago. It’s a strange film, and while some of it is fun, much of it is also grating to some extent – but it’s impossible to escape the sheer subversive power of this completely, considering the time and circumstances under which it was made. No wonder it was banned from theatres and from being exported outside Czechoslovakia at the time!