Wednesday, December 18, 2019

trailer talk

Few things, in my experience, are more euphoric than a well cut trailer. An average film is about 2 hours long. A good filmmaker concentrates years of thought and craft into those 2 hours, which is probably why walking out of a good film can be so impactful. It feels like we've lived a long time in those two hours. But imagine the power of those two hours packed further into a 2-3 minute trailer. Do it well and it gives a high like no other1.

I grew up on Web 2.0 and had the fortune of accessing film, books and music from across the world, mostly via peer-to-peer networks, for free. The flipside of having access to those enormous mountains of information is that there's the constant background feeling of missing out on something more awesome while doing what I want to do now. As the pile of 'acclaimed' films in my hard disk kept mounting, I felt more and more conflicted between wanting to start watching what I already had and keep looking for more awesome stuff. The method I discovered to ease this anxiety was to watch trailers and read reviews of undiscovered films as a substitute for watching the film. And as I got more addicted to trailers, the less entertaining films themselves seemed. Although as a consequence of all that trailer-watching, I got really good at appreciating well-made trailers and conjecturing the quality of the films2
The reason for this discussion right now are a couple of recent trailers that I really liked. So I thought I'd jot down a list of some of my favourite trailers, with explanations of why I like them and what I think of the film, in no particular order. I also hope to keep adding to the list occasionally.

  • The two popes
  • Top Gun: Maverick
  • La Grande Bellezza
  • Arjun Reddy
  • Haider
  • Mukkabaaz
  • Skyfall
  • Falaknuma Das
  • Isle of Dogs
  • Marriage Story
  • Call my by your name
  • The Meyerowitz Stories (New & Updated)
  • The King (2019 Netflix)
  • Once upon a time in Hollywood
  • Vice
  • Haraamkhor
I picked these from my YouTube Liked Videos list and looks like the number of films is too long, and just listing them out is quite boring. 

Abandonus indefinitus.

1 Two quotes come to mind, and I will paraphrase here, when I come across a well made trailer. Ofcourse the quotes themselves maybe imaginary but I remember reading/ hearing something like from the attributed sources: 1. "A novel is to be structured like a musical piece." -Milan Kundera; 2. "Don't make a habit of cutting with the beat, that's boring. Keep it out of sync for as long as you can." -Quentin Tarantino
2 On the other end of the spectrum are people like my friend Ram who, when he knows a film of a favourite director is coming up, refuses to see the poster or trailer of the film lest it be adulterated by the expectation

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