It strikes me as fairly useless to cut a traditional trailer for Bellflower as much of the film, if taken out of context, would do more to send audiences away than bring them in. Sure, you could cut together some somber montage of fire and yelling and storming through doors to indicate the drama and darkness, but a small taste of the tone of the film and some evocative review quotes works well enough.
When Diddy decided to randomly donate $1,000 to the cause of Bellflower –or more specifically the director’s gas fund– I mentioned that there is a weird meta-textual focus on Medusa and the DIY construction of the film from props on up to the cameras used to shoot it. I also mentioned that that shit won’t matter to someone who never gets to “meet” the car in real life, or doesn’t care about the behind-the-scenes.
So what happens when those people see the film and find out how much of it is pure, almost documentary-style relationship drama? I think there’s plenty of spectacle and darkness permeating the film and that most won’t feel like the rug has been pulled out from under them, but there’s also the danger of making people think this is a Mad Max movie, which isn’t the case either. Of course, by focusing the promo material on Medusa and fire, then maybe they’re doing a little of that meta-work by loading up those symbols with weight before people see the film. The film operates on fever-dream levels of fairy tales and mythology, so making the big symbols stick out more may work in the film’s favor. Who knows?
I don’t. Here’s my review and all the words/ideas I threw at the wall after seeing Bellflower, but watch the moody trailer and let me know how it makes you feel… What do you expect from a film advertised this way? Is it evocative? Do you expect true-blue apocalyptic chaos from grainy this slow-mo spin-out?
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