Monday, February 18, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Advertising

There was a time when I'd get really miffed to arrive at a cinema too late to catch the previews. Trailers of attractions "coming soon to a theater near you" were an essential hors d'oeuvre to whet the appetite before the main course.

Not any more. Nowadays, I still arrive at a theater in time for the preshow, but that's only because I hate ending up in the front row where you have to crane your neck to look up the cliff-face of a screen, and then spend the entire movie wondering why Peter Dinklage looms larger than Shaq at that angle. It's inexplicable that multiplexes don't allow customers to pre-book assigned seating. But I digress....

Over the years I've come to loathe trailers, which are mostly a précis of each upcoming movie with all the top action sequences and best one-liners. Last summer, for example, movie ads showed us Bruce Willis crashing a car into an airborne helicopter as well as Jason Bourne monkeying from one balconey into an adjacent porch window. It's amazing that the trailers refrained from showing the assassination of Jesse James.

So I've now decided to try an experiment: during previews I'll close my eyes and listen to my iPod. That way, I hope to be able to see "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" as well as blockbusters such as "Quantum of Solace" without having seen anything more than the movie poster. I'm keen to experience an entire feature where I watch it unspooling with no idea what will happen next. Of course, such a self-imposed blackout may be all but impossible in a media-saturated world, so wish me luck. So far I've managed to avoid the first Indy Jones preview, but if you're keen to see it, go ahead.

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