Remember how we used to complain that previews gave away the whole movie? I'm liking how recent trailers (especially for indie movies) are less and less concerned about plopping plot-nuggets in front of you. They tell you just enough to know who's in it, and flash a few of those palm-frond things with 'CANNES' or 'NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL' in them. 'I am indie!' they proclaim. 'Who cares what I'm about?'
This one doesn't seem as vague as the one above, but when you think about it, what is this movie really about?
That's right, it's about Billy Elliott being hot and angsty. That's all you need to know, the studio has decided.
As we iPod People become more music-and-image obsessed, I wonder if we'll eventually reach the milestone where movies are just montages set to soundtracks. Shit, the last Wes Anderson movie is already halfway there. It's like how horror movies are always scarier when you don't see the monster that's chasing the virgins through summer camp or whatever. If the last five years of indie cinema are any indication, this works emotionally, too. 'Brokeback Mountain' had, what, nine lines of dialogue? 'Broken Flowers' was laconic, Gus Van Sant isn't remotely interested in how people talk, only the sun on their faces, and 'Lost in Translation's' cathartic moment came when one character whispered inaudibly in another's ear. It's like they're composed as trailers to the movie you're actually watching, in your head.
More power to 'em, I say. Just like you get sick of a song's too-literal lyrics after two listens ('Drove my Chevy to the levee…'), you can only see the same spelled-out plot a few fresh times before it goes stale.
What I'm really saying, I guess, is that that Frenchbian movie up top is never going to be as good as it is when it's out of order, two minutes long and set to Euro-synths.