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Trailer Trash

With our youth unemployment at staggering lows and our financial security in jeopardy, now is a time where we need to find solace in the escapist wonders of cinema. Unfortunately, due to the aforementioned economic uncertainty of the post Brexit world, we have to be very selective of the films we choose to see in the cinema, if we go at all. My screening process usually involves clicking YouTube auto-play and watching all the trailers for upcoming films and proverbially judging the books by their covers. This may not always be the best way to do things, as we’ve seen with the fraught relationship between the quality of the trailer and that of the film. We saw just that this summer, with Suicide Squad’s sensationalist trailer and the actual shoddily constructed film itself. So the question remains, what makes a perfect trailer? Entire companies are built around making trailers and in some cases it seems their job is to cheat the viewer by making the film appear to be far better than it actually is. We see this a lot with comedies, where all the best jokes are shown in the trailer, sucking out all the juice until you’re left with a stale lump of disappointment.

Now although I think we can be in agreement that watching the trailer of a film isn’t always the best way to judge the film it advertises, sometimes it’s really helpful in letting you know the film is going to be a painful waste of time. During my most recent trailer binge, I came across a trailer that was so rubbish I had the urge to e-mail everyone involved in the making of the film with a simple ‘why?’ The trailer in question is for the film A Same Kind of Different as Me, which I implore you to watch. The trailer, that is, I do not by any means want you to give these people your money. It is so hilariously bad that everyone watching it with me was in hysterics. It almost reaches The Room levels of so-bad-it’s-good. Seriously, stop reading now and watch the trailer. Come back though, I’m not done. Lets put aside the stupidity of the narrative, if you want a scathing review of the trailer, I direct you to check out The Guardian’s piece written by Stuart Heritage.

What I will instead speak of is this recurring thing where you watch a two and a half minute trailer and come out of it feeling as though you’ve seen the entire film. This is also seen in the trailer for Mr Church where absolutely nothing is left to the imagination. I can’t see how anyone could possibly believe condensing a film into a mini movie and using it as a trailer sells tickets – if anything you just get to watch loads of little movies. Then you have the absurd instance where you have a terrible trailer for a wonderful film. This is less common but so annoying when it comes to trying to convince your friends to watch a film you know is good, but after watching the trailer they point blank refuse. This is the case for the French-belgian film, Love Me If You Dare don’t be fooled by the trailer or the title in this case. The title is badly translated from the original French one Joue d’enfants. Clearly translation is to blame here, just as the essence of the film got lost in the title so too did it disappear in the trailer. So I ask again what does make a trailer great? Christopher Nolan’s official announcement trailer for Dunkirk is the best trailer I have seen in a long time. It’s brevity, minimal information and stunning shots make me crave this film. Come summer 2017 I will be there, ready for Dunkirk, having waited oh so long. Unfortunately, this trailer is an outlier – in fact, it isn’t a trailer at all. It’s just the teaser trailer. The real trailer will come out a little later on. Hopefully it won’t be a massive disappointment and give too much away. Perhaps from now on, I’ll only watch teaser trailers and shun anything longer than a minute.

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