28 March 2009

Trailer: Where the Wild Things Are (with Theoretical Addendum)

Another exciting preview, the trailer for this year's adaptation of the beloved eponymous book by M. Sendak doesn't fail to be as escapistically fantastic as its literal source. Let's hope the same will be true of the complete product. Click here to watch.

A marketing-related sidebar to this post about the trailer: The use of music in it is particularly interesting, since (a) it is yet another instance (see here and here for the others) of a choice song designed to lift a trailer, whose referential story is already well-known, to a peak of exciting wonder otherwise unattainable for a piece whose referential story has been revealed so much already and since (b), more specifically to this instance, it seems to me to bring the piece a cadence and feeling that would ordinarily not be reserved for films drawn from the children's genre. That is, the cadence and the feeling that the music does bring seem apt to deliver the piece much more strongly to the people of my generation and older, perhaps through their 30s, people who likely grew up with the plot points of the original story as significant episodes in their own real lives and who therefore now have a nostalgic affinity for the story embedded into their minds and inextricably woven into their fascinations with kid-culture, than to the true present-day children, aged 0-10, who may be experiencing the story firsthand now. While such an approach is not entirely new (as the cool factor [for children] given by the activities of people only a bit older than the children themselves is a long played-upon phenomenon [e. g., Saved by the Bell, Gossip Girl, which regularly feature(d) people legally regarded as children in situations considered far more mature and therefore cooler than the situations in which the show's primary audience (i. e., "tweens") does(did)]), I argue, this manifestation of the cool factor defies precedent and seems to eschew having an ultimate audience of children at all after its would-be-ulterior audience of twenty-somethings and other such people in the throes of post-adolescent, new adulthood. For a more grounding comparison, if you find it difficult to believe what I'm arguing so far, see the 2005 teaser trailer for Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette (2006), which (setting aside the late appearance in the trailer of sex, quarter-life ennui, and rebelliously stylized text and focusing more on the initial presentations [i. e., of running horses, rushing trees, dancing]) I estimate uses similarly tuned music and thus similarly effected action to deliver a product for the appeal of certainly not actual children, but certainly rather such twenty-somethings and related whom I have just mentioned. Furthermore, beyond the cadence and the mere feeling, the trailer for Where the Wild Things Are, when it does picture the adults in the story, pictures them tentatively, through a child's eyes, as if romance, responsibility, etc. were internally perceived unsettling outgrowths of a situation purely external, purely physical and not in any way psychical or psychically representative - a double-sided dynamic, I'm sure, many people in that new-adulthood age-bracket that I've mentioned would not consider elementally foreign from their experiences. Though one may argue that such a claim may be highly subjective and/or highly speculative, I defy that one to prove it untenable. As a last note, it would be interesting to know before what films and in what trailers' company this trailer (for Where the Wild Things Are) is/will be playing; such evidence could also bring still further ground to my theory, if it testified to the coevals of films like Away We Go etc., which (based on my estimations) play on the same double-sided, transitional, and metaphysical topics. (Leave me a comment if you know!) For now, though, the appearance of it, the visual and audial cues and the portrayal of adulthood, may be enough alone.

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