erik lundegaard

The Reason They're Called Previews

Listen, no one likes picking on teenagers, but, over at The Big Picture blog, Patrick Goldstein has trotted out his summer posse to take a gander at this year's summer movies. As prognosis, it supposedly worked last year and it may work this year, too. But do they have to open their mouths? Or, if they do, does Goldstein have to quote them? The deadliest excerpt:

Molly Philbin, 15: "I'm a 'Star Trek' fan, so I'm eager to see what the movie is really like. But I wasn't in love with the trailer. It really didn't show very much of a plot or any references to any 'Star Trek' episodes. It seems like it's just about a guy taking his father's position. I wish it told me more."

Basically she encourages what I discourage: knowing too much about a film before you even get a chance to see it. Jasmine, also 15, echoes her thoughts, so maybe this is generational thing. Or maybe it's an L.A./other America thing. Either way, I would've appreciate Goldstein getting a little more involved here. Questions remain. Does the trailer still make you want to see the film? If it does, then it's a success, end of story. So are there trailers that give away too much of a story? If she and Jasmine never think that, at least we know where they stand on the issue.

My fear: It's the L.A. Times blog so industry people will read it, it's teens so they'll pay attention, and our trailers, which already give away too much of the plot, will give away even more. Because of Molly, 15. Thanks, Mr. Goldstein.

In brighter news, almost flowery news, Nathaniel Rogers, over at The Film Experience blog, has followed his April showers theme ("Psycho," "Changeling") with some May flowers, and today he's highlighting everyone's favorite flower girl, Eliza Doolittle. I first saw the film on TV when I was little and fell in love with Audrey's face and Marni's voice—not realizing they weren't the part of the same package—and I'm still in love with her/them. Mostly her. And I agree with Nathan about the slippers—God!—but I'd still have trouble ending the movie before "The Street Where You Live," which is just a beautiful, romantic song. I guess it'd be the little darling I'd have to kill. 


Posted at 10:57 AM on Wed. May 06, 2009 in category Movies  
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COMMENTS

Mister B wrote:

It might be a generational thing.

However, given that more and more people nowadays are feeding their information hunger in 140-character tweets and Facebook status updates, are more and more people expecting to find out everything they want to know in that limited amount of space (or, in the case of trailers, time) instead of looking at trailers as what they also otherwise called -- teasers?

I don't know when it started for me, but I remember seeing the trailer for "Regarding Henry" and seeing not only Ford's character getting shot, but also how his friends dealt with the character's changes and thinking, "There's no reason for me to see this movie now. I've seen the major plot point and the aftermath."

And it seems like trailers are getting longer and longer while movies are getting shorter. How much longer until we pay for trailer movies? I just hope they're not also $10.

Reading that quote above, though, I do feel quite a bit older than her.

"I wish it told me more"? Geez, sounds like the trailer worked, miss. Now go see it.
Comment posted on Wed. May 06, 2009 at 04:56 PM

Aaron Reid wrote:

As an English teacher, I find myself talking about this to my students quite often. Being in the middle of Macbeth with them (teenagers, I mean), I find myself talking about the concept of teasing plots out usually once a day in each class I teach.

It came up more frequently in R&J (which I enjoy teaching more) because of course Old Willy tells us in the Prologue the star cross'd lover will take their lives. My students complain: "We know the ending; why read it?" And yet when they see trailers on TV or before other movies, they'll complain: "That didn't make any sense; I don't understand what that movie is about."

I fuss at them for being wishy-washy. But I think that is their nature, maybe. Of course, knowing the plot doesn't mean you experienced the richness of the dialogue, characters, etc. But I tend to think movies that *completely* spoil a movie's plot have little in the way of rich characters anyway.
Comment posted on Thu. May 07, 2009 at 07:19 AM

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