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Cinema Trailers – why?

The Glory Of The Off-White Screen

We go to the cinema quite a lot. I am not a terribly discerning film viewer – I like explosions, robots, aliens and spaceships. Those are often in short supply though, so I end up seeing lots of stuff I probably wouldn’t bother with. We also have the glorious Cineworld cards which slash the per film cost of visiting the cinema down to a trifling sum. Add to that the Cinime app which basically gives us free popcorn every time we go and it’s nearly cheaper to go out than to stay in.

Harrowing Indifference

Something I do notice more and more are the adverts and trailers which precede the main feature. I don’t just mean the abysmal Kevin Bacon mobile phone adverts, or the recent Harrison Ford has no soul efforts for Sky. Those are awful wastes of my vision and hearing, but they are on for every film and I can kind of block them out (my other half is unable to resist mouthing along to them). No, it’s the other ones – the adverts that some marketing person has decided are likely to appeal to the audience of a particular film.

The positive part of all these ads is that I’m clearly not part of the average viewer demographic as perceived by these PR wizards/liars. I’m also pleasingly immune to most advertising since I can rarely remember what the damn thing was supposed to be fixing in my mind. There are also the trailers for other films, frequently added at random to perplex and apathise (is that a word? Should be) the audience.


Sexy Melancholy Vampires With Huge Hair

We went to see Only Lovers Left Alive on Saturday. It’s a very slow and dry witted film directed by Jim Jarmusch and starring Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton. If you watch it imagining that it’s Loki and the Snow Queen then it gets even better. I very much enjoyed it. The two leads are marvellous, effortlessly inhabiting their characters. John Hurt is also reliably gravelly and perfect as Christopher Marlowe (with many jokes and references for the Dr. Faustus fans out there). The film captures the brooding beauty of the idea of vampires without making them either brutal killers or sex beasts (incredibly there is something in between). The wigs are also particularly amusing. This is all by the by…

We had three trailers (that I can remember) before the movie:

1) The Grand Budapest Hotel which as far as I can tell is a gerontophile hotel caper. I’m quite looking forwards to it.


2) Labor Day. I found this utterly baffling – it appears to be an everyday tale of Stockholm Syndrome… When a man who’s broken out of prison takes your son hostage what choice do you have but to fall in love with him?


3) 300: Rise of An Empire. This is just bullet time with boats and dripping blood. It looks worse than The Immortals but with slightly better CGI, placing it somewhere around Spartacus: Blood and Sand from off the telly.


So all three of those had apparently little in common with Only Lovers Left Alive… Except that The Budapest Grand Hotel features ageing beauties (just like vampires), Labor Day is about falling in love while you fear for your lives (sort of like in the vampire film…) and the 300 prequel has lots of blood (= just like vampires) and action scenes set in harbours… just like a conversation in the vampire film. They are all fiendishly interlinked – clearly those advertising folks have it all figured out.


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