17 December 2009 1:45 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Movie trailers used to be pretty formulaic – just show the best bits – but, in the age of the internet viral, they're now works of art in themselves

If you're looking for art or auteurship at the cinema, you're likely to be waiting for the main feature, not concentrating on the trailers for what were quaintly known as "coming attractions". As long as they have existed, trailers have been the tool of film marketing departments aiming solely to secure the maximum number of bums on seats. Experimentation with the form has not been a big part of the story. There have been brief flourishes of artistic advancement, such as the move towards fast-edit montages led by Kubrick in the early 1960s, and periodical oddities, like Hitchcock's personally hosted guided tour of the Bates Motel for Psycho, and the mock advertisement for the Ghostbusters' services, which led to the advertised phone number »

- Jane Graham

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