Watch: The first trailer for the black and white silent comedy ‘The Artist’ arrives

08.25.11 6 years ago 4 Comments

The Weinstein Company

I feel bad about offering this up for you without checking it out myself, but I’m seeing the film next week, and I don’t want to spoil a frame of it for myself.

Then again, I’m already sold on this one.  Jean Dujardin is an actor I truly admire and enjoy, and I love the “OSS 117” comedies he made with this director, Michel Hazanavicius.  When I heard they were making a silent black-and-white film together, I was intrigued right away.  The only reason I didn’t see this at Cannes this summer was because of an unfortunate bus schedule.  I’ve been doing my best to be patient since that point, and it’s killing me.  I’m very pleased it’s going to be at Toronto, and I’ll have a review for you from that festival.

In the meantime, though, if you want to take a look and just get an idea if this is something you’re interested in or not, you can check out the trailer over at iTunes, where it is an exclusive premiere.  Or you might not, because the people I know who have seen the film say that trailer almost ruins the entire movie.

Can I ask why companies insist on doing that?  Is it lack of confidence?  I know that Robert Zemeckis has said repeatedly in the press that he thinks you have to do that these days, but I completely disagree.  I think the best trailers are still the ones that set a hook into you without giving away anything.  Those are the trailers people talk about.  Those are the trailers people make other people watch.  When you just cut a three minute version of your whole film, you’re not creating buzz… you’re basically just numbing the audience into a sort of submission.  “Yeah, I guess that looks like a good film.  I should probably see that just to fill in the blanks.”

The Weinstein Company is busy trying to drum up some noise for “Our Idiot Brother” today with this totally nonsensical claim of “censorship” because someone didn’t want to run one of their ads, and that’s par for the course with them.  They’ve always been good at generating free advertising through empty controversy.  But I wish they’d pay more attention to the way they can damage what is by most accounts a very good movie through sheer blunt force trauma in the marketing.  Take care.  Try harder.  Don’t just download the whole film into a trailer and then assume that’s enough.  If you bought “The Artist” because you think it’s special, treat it that way and convince me to see it.

“The Artist” will be at the Toronto Film Festival, and it opens in the US on November 23, 2011.

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