Sunday, October 09, 2005

Movies In Your Future

I love movie trailers. I know that that love comes from that time when there was no Internet or Entertainment Weekly, when the only news a person could get about movies was on the streets or movie trailers. Somewhere along the line, I'd come to believe that movie trailers were actually that, "trailers," something run after the movie to clear the theater between showings. While I've found nothing that disagrees with that believe I did find this little bit of expansion on the subject at Chasing the Frog, which, despite the name is a site devoted to "research[ing] the origins of some of the most popular (and not so popular) Hollywood films."
History of the Movie Trailer: The first movie preview played in 1912 at Rye Beach, New York. "One of the concessions hung up a white sheet and showed the serial The Adventures of Kathlyn. At the end of the reel Kathlyn was thrown in the lion's den. After this 'trailed' a piece of film asking Does she escape the lion's pit? See next week's thrilling chapter!" (Los Angeles Times, 1966).
The first studio to officially release movie trailers was Paramount in 1916, but initially only for their most anticipated films.
From Classic Movie Trailers at CTF. (That link will also allow you access to a number of movie trailers from 2001: A Space Odyssey to The Wizard of Oz.)

All that serves as introduction to a couple of previews for movies to be on the look out for. First, is Good Night, and Good Luck. I'm looking forward to this movie if only because it might introduce people under the age of forty (or those older who have no idea of where television news came from and how far it has fallen) to Edward R. Murrow. The only interaction I've ever had with a Murrow broadcast was third-hand: Seeing clips of "Harvest of Shame"; hearing about "Murrow's Boys"; and, to me most importantly, as Joseph Wershba wrote, "When this nation was drowning in cowardice and demagoguery, it was Murrow who hurled the spear at the terror," by showing the nation Joseph McCarthy tactics for the bullying they were.

The second trailer is for The Producers. I really enjoyed this show when I saw it on stage and I'm hoping that it transfers just as famously to film. Mel Brooks won the Oscar in 1968 for his screenplay for the original, non-musical version of The Producers and there would be some nice symmetry if the musical version became this generation's My Fair Lady with regards to Oscar wins. One interesting thing about the trailer for the musical version is that it feels a lot like the trailer for the original for the 1968 film (albeit with a little naughtier language). I don't know if that is good or bad, just interesting and I wonder if the trailer for the United States (the link is for the British trailer) will be the same.