Companion piece to the Coming Attractions segment in episode 19 of the podcast.
Trailers. Teasers. Coming Attractions. Whatever you call them, they’re impossible to avoid if you spend any time at the local multiplex–especially now that the studios are paying to have their trailers run. These days it’s not unusual to sit through as many as ten trailers in a single screening, and far from being an enticement, the whole experience feels more like an endurance test.
There is a strange inverse logic to trailers. A bad trailer is often an indication of a good film that can’t easily be reduced to a few eye-grabbing scenes. A good trailer, on the other hand, can be the sign of a film that needs to give everything away in the hopes of luring in an audience. While these trailers appear to promise more, they have already ransacked the films they’re promoting for every laugh line and action set-piece in them. Trailers can also act as a kind of shell game, slanting the expectations of a film that’s tested poorly. A trailer can draw you in with the promise of one kind of movie, only to have it turn out to be something completely different when you actually pay to see it.
Companion piece to the Dogville Shorts review in Cinema Misfits, episode 18. For those who doubted such a series could exist, go ahead and stare in disbelief and wonder at the stills and clips. And for those who just can’t get enough of Dogville (and you know who you are, even if you won’t admit it), we offer Nancy’s appreciation of the series.
Ah, the Dogville Shorts. I clearly recall stumbling across one of these gems on a hot summer afternoon about ten years ago. It was quietly tacked on the end of a TCM film offering, and when it appeared, unbeknownst and unexpected by me, my first reaction was unmitigated incredulity. Was it the heat, I pondered. Was I dreaming? Did I need to adjust my medication? Or could this be real…dogs of all shapes, sizes, genders, and breeds, dressed as humans, acting out parodies of popular film genres?
Film and stage actor, Carleton Carpenter, is featured in episodes 17 and 18 0f the Cinema Misfits Podcast. I interviewed Carleton for “The Islander,” a segment where I get to know interesting people by asking them what ten films of DVDs they would take with them if they were stranded on a deserted island.
Here’s Carleton with Debbie Reynolds (in her film debut) in a number from the MGM musical Three Little Words (1950). Check out the podcast to hear Carleton discuss his Islander film choices as well as his career during the golden age of the Hollywood musical.
A mummy movie is never a good idea. Why? Because the only way to make a mummy seem threatening is by having it lumber after a woman who appears to suffer from some kind of inner-ear disorder. Incapable of sustained equilibrium, the woman always stumbles and falls for no apparent reason as she runs in a blind panic, even when a brisk walk could easily outdistance her bandaged assailant.
Faced with the prospect of making a mummy movie, there are really only two choices. Either (a) go the Stephen Sommer’s route and jettison altogether the idea of a slow-moving, ancient Egyptian prince wrapped in bandages, or (b) don’t make the movie at all. Really. This should always be the default choice.