the trailer as art

ArticleJ. Hoberman at Artforum:

Even more than Breathless, its trailer is a kind of manifesto. Narrative parameters established, its subsequent attractions include both the specific (“Humphrey Bogart,” “Picasso,” Jean Seberg’s “nice buns”) and the abstract (“tenderness,” “adventure,” “love,” the last accompanied by the image of a book of photographed nudes), and it ends with the filmmaker’s ringing declaration that Breathless is the “best film out now!”

Godard’s follow-up trailer for A Woman Is a Woman (1961) was in the Hitchcockian mode of personal appearance: The screen flashes ATTENTION . . . ATTENTION as the artist announces, “I, Jean-Luc Godard, arrive on the set,” and he begins explaining his artistic method while Anna Karina repeatedly interjects the movie’s title. But the Breathless trailer provided a template for 1963’s Contempt (“the new traditional movie by Jean-Luc Godard”) and 1965’s Pierrot le fou (“a wonderful love story in a tragic setting”), both facilitated by looped bits of theme music. (Whoever cut the American trailer for Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in 1967 employed a similar strategy.)

more here.