Going to the movies, streaming a title on Netflix, and watching a flick on HBO or Showtime just don’t cut it like it used to. You have to be on the wave of trends. It’s not enough to get lost for two hours in the glow of cinematic wonder. You have to find ways to make movies a larger part of your life. At least, that’s what current movie trends would have you think. With social media and movie-devoted websites, each week brings a new trend to follow and to take part in.
The fanmade trailer
There’s an entire community on Reddit devoted to fanmade trailers, some ranging from cleverly recut clips of already released movies and previews to poorly made fan trailers for future films. Most are not done for parody but as a tribute to the actors, franchise or style that are celebrated over a two-minute span. For example, in November 2016, YouTube user beleng movie released the video “Suicide Squad 2 Official Trailer 2019 Fan Made.” Despite featuring obviously lifted clips of Viola Davis from “How to Get Away with Murder,” short clips from the first “Suicide Squad” and poor, lo-fi rendering, the video has racked up more than 5 million views. There are comments from users who are upset about Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) not appearing in the fake trailer, thinking that she has been wiped out of the real sequel. There are several other “trailers,” including one for “Captain Marvel” that doesn’t even claim to be fan made and another for “Avatar 2.”
One of the biggest tricksters of all is YouTube user Omer Menashe. In January, Menashe uploaded a high-definition trailer for the 2019 live-action movie “Cruella” with Emma Stone. Only he didn’t mention that it was fake in the title; only if viewers hit the “SHOW MORE” link would they know that the fake trailer is a collection of a blond Stone in older movies and clips from the Glenn Close-starring “101 Dalmatians” with music and dialogue lifted from other films. He even claims that his “ode” is for fair use, so he is not violating copyright laws. With more than 3 million views, Menashe has fooled many with this one. Menashe has also made “unofficial” trailers for “TinkerBell” with Reese Witherspoon and “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” with Elle Fanning.
There is another category of fanmade trailers in which fans stylize a preview in the way of another. A popular format this year has been a model after “Mission Impossible: Fallout.” YouTube user Irrelevant Person crafted a recut trailer for the James Bond flick “Skyfall” to the tone of the upcoming summer blockbuster, all the way down to the music.
Working for the weekend
Social media trends are tracked on a 24/7 cycle, but for cinephiles, Fridays and Sundays are our days. Letterboxd, a social network of movie lovers featuring lists, reviews and more, has a weekly feature called LetterBoxd Showdown. Each week, usually Friday morning, the site posts a challenge for its members to come up with a list of movies that go with the week’s theme. From best cinematography to buddy cops to favorite remakes, a mountain of lists is published and updated throughout the days until late Thursday, when the movies appearing on the most number of lists are tallied and placed on a leaderboard. Last month, members were asked to make a top 10 list of movies set in New York City. Letterboxd user Ben Hibburd pays homage to 1970s New York with his top 10 list, kiki_witch explores the city’s female protagonists, and I give a shoutout to my home borough of Queens (you can find me under the username tamaradulva).
This week, the theme is movie musicals in preparation for the “Mamma Mia” sequel.
On Sundays, Bright Wall/Dark Room, an online film magazine, runs a themed hashtag looking for gifs or stills from movies related to a topic. With nearly 11,000 Twitter followers, there is a big range among possible answers, and BWDR retweets its most popular and unique responses. Last week’s topic was #filmstorms, with examples including “The Little Mermaid,” “The Quiet Man” and “Jurassic Park.”
— Bright Wall/Dark Room (@BWDR) May 7, 2018
— Mike X. Nichols (@mikexnichols) May 6, 2018
— Cade Onder (@Cade_Onder) May 6, 2018