Alan Bell's comment about trailer ethics was interesting. I was so swept
up by MIB I didn't catch the fine point that he did, but he's undoubtedly
right. Are people generally aware that trailers for films are not only
*not* made by the people who make the films, but very often not made even
by the production company which makes the film. There are creative
boutiques in Beverly Hills, which specialize in lobby cards, film
posters, newspaper ads, trailers, etc. For a package price you can get
all of it. You give them footage. Period. They don't have to know what
the film is about, they just have to know who's in it and when it's being
released. We might here in fact be talking about boutique ethics, but it
honestly doesn't shock me much to see that Sonnenfeld had his film cut
one way and the trailer came out another.
One more quickie. I often these days go to a film and think to myself,
"Jee, the *entire* film was in the trailer!" (Or: You didn't need to go
see it, you sucker!) And that's really an interesting case of unethical
misrepresentation to my feeling at least, given that I come from the
"old(er)" days, when there was no question about it: you made a point of
NOT showing much of what was in the film in the trailer, because the
point of the trailer was to tease you into the theater. I think the
trailer now is not so much trying to tease you into the theater as to
dare you to stay out of the theater. In the 50s, then, we were being
courageous in going to see the film. Now we are being timid.
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama.