Bizarrely Inappropriate Trailer Dept.

Not comics, as Mr Spurgeon would say.

So I start the disc for Guy Maddin’s avant-garde film The Saddest Music in the World. As is not unusual these days, the DVD plays a few trailers at the start.

The second trailer was for Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes; fair enough, it’s highly likely that anyone hiring this moving will also dig Jarmusch.

But what trailer do you think played first? Which film do you suppose that MGM thinks will interest viewers of a film that A.O. Scott called “a beguiling and hallucinatory black-and-white musical”, starring Isabella Rossellini and adapted from a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro?

Why, the remake of Walking Tall, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Johnny Knoxville. Of course!


As for the film itself, I couldn’t make it past half an hour. The conceit of the film is that it’s an old black-and-white film, made during the thirties. I could get into the concept, but the execution kept taking me out of it. The shots looked great in medium-frame, but showed themselves to be modern whenever the camera got any closer. And that sound was just terrible, sounding nothing like the thirties. A film like The Saddest Music depends on getting every detail just right, and too many just weren’t.


Now I’m off to watch Walking Tall.


One Response to “Bizarrely Inappropriate Trailer Dept.”

  1. Matthew J. Brady Says:

    I haven’t watched too much Guy Maddin, but that seems to be his style, silent movies that seem like something made in the 30s (or would that be earlier?). I don’t know if he’s actually trying to perfectly recreate the era, though, or just use whatever styles he feels like, including on-screen titles, wardrobe and hairstyles, and old-school visual effects. The one I saw most recently, Brand Upon the Brain!, used those features, but it was edited like no silent film I’ve ever seen, with lots of subliminal imagery and split-second flashes of images or scenes things before we see them fully. It certainly didn’t seem like a lost silent film, but more like a modern one that was aping the sensibilities of a previous era. But I don’t know, maybe some of his other stuff is more straightforward and less avant-garde. I’ll have to watch them and see; I think Saddest Music and Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary are both on my Netflix queue, and maybe Cowards Bend the Knee as well.

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