Todd Walton: Trailers

tTrailer photo by David Jouris

From TODD WALTON
Under The Table
Mendocino

One of my hobbies in these days of societal collapse—most of us in denial about how far the fungus of cultural disintegration has progressed—is watching trailers for recently made movies, American and foreign, and from the totality of these filmic synopses spotting trends revealing what our overlords want us to see and think and feel. My hobby is made easy by the iTunes Movie Trailers page presenting the latest trailers for blockbusters as well as medium and low-budget films.

To gain a place on the iTunes trailers page, a film must have some sort of distribution deal, which means someone in the movie biz (likely an idiot) thinks there is money to be made from that movie. This means thousands of new films are not exposed on the iTunes trailers page, and for the purposes of my hobby that makes no difference. I do not watch trailers for horror films, vengeful slaughter films, movies about Nazis, or movies starring famous people who cannot act, but I do take note of those films for the purposes of pondering the national gestalt, so to speak. These trailers of horror, slaughter, Nazis, and the talentless add up to well over half the movies released to the public. By avoiding them I only have to watch a handful of trailers each week, which takes but a few minutes of my time.

A sub-hobby is predicting which of the movies will be commercially successful and which will bomb, predictions I monitor by checking Box Office Mojo, a remarkably thorough box office web site. Having pursued this hobby for several years now, I can predict the success or failure of movies with uncanny accuracy, or so I delude myself. A movie’s success has virtually nothing to do with quality and everything to do with how large a collective nerve the story and characters strike, the most frequently struck of these nerves residing among the lower chakras.

Perhaps the most distressing trend of the last few years is how few movies about multi-dimensional women are made available to a wide audience, with the vast majority of women portrayed in the movies that arereleased being one-dimensional sex objects, murder objects, or helpless ninnies. The current box office hitThe Other Woman is about three beautiful not-very-bright women taking revenge on a sociopathic twit who cheats on all of them and embarks on an affair with a fourth not-very-bright woman. This movie is being hailed as the first made-for-women movie of any note to be released in a long time, and is also notable because none of the stars, judging by the trailer, are forcibly raped and/or murdered. Revealed: our overlords fear strong, intelligent, independent, creative, complicated women.

Another trend is that animated films featuring talking animals and movies based on comic book super heroes, video games, and children’s toys are the largest budget and most popular movies in America. Nearly all the current talking animal, video game, comic book super hero, and toys-come-to-life movies are sequels or reboots of recent movies about the same animals, heroes, games and toys. Revealed: our overlords want us to remain infantile and easily manipulated.

In every movie about comic book super heroes, civilization is threatened with extinction, and humans are powerless to stop the onslaught of aliens and/or evil mutants driving our extinction. Revealed: our overlords don’t want us to know they are causing the destruction of our planet, and they want us to believe our best hope for salvation is supernatural violence.

Several films have come out recently, and more will soon be released, about the earth after global warming and other human-caused environmental disasters have destroyed civilization. In some of these movies, humans have either left earth or are trying to leave in order to keep the human genome going somewhere else because earth is kaput. Revealed: Don’t worry about wrecking this planet, we’ll just find another one that hasn’t been wrecked yet.

But in most of the after-collapse movies, dystopian societies have risen from the ashes and everyone in those societies is totally fucked except for 1% of the population that has everything. The only hope for the suffering 99% is the birth of a super hero who will save us. Revealed: Yes, humans have destroyed the earth. We didn’t mean to, but we did. The future is bleak, but at least we have the super hero savior myth to give us hope.

Movies about World War II and Nazis slaughtering Jews (with a sub-genre of non-Jews savings Jews from Nazis) have been released every month for as long as I’ve had this trailer-watching hobby. Revealed: Great fear, perhaps justified, resides among many movie makers that the masses will forget about the Nazis and the Holocaust unless they are constantly bludgeoned with movies about those things.

There are many movies released every year, so-called comedies, about vastly stupid and insensitive white men and the asinine things they say and do. When any such moronic comedy is a box office hit, a sequel is in the offing. The point of moron movies is to exalt male stupidity and insensitivity, especially regarding how these morons relate to women. Revealed: Stupidity is the basis of American humor, and no matter how stupid men are they rule the world and there is nothing women can do about it.

Comedies about middle-class black Americans are hot these days, as are vengeful slaughter movies starring black men. And in most new big budget super hero movies, black men play supporting roles as sidekicks to white super heroes. Revealed: Black men can be just as insensitive and idiotic and violent as white men, but they can never be quite as powerful as white men.

That was the thousand-word trailer for the fifteen-hour epic Exploring Contemporary National and Global Myths and Propaganda Through Inspired Synergetic Digestion of Mainstream Movie Trailers. Rated R for Suggestive Thoughts, Brief Nudity, Profanity and Proposals For Shifting Dominant Paradigms.

(This article appeared in the Anderson Valley Advertiser May 2014)
~~

One Comment

You’re a writer & cultural critic worth envying.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,555 other followers