Friday, March 16, 2007


When Studio Marketing Departments Do Their Job Too Well: Julie Taymor’s ‘Across the Universe’

Late into the trailer for the upcoming Julie Taymor movie “Across the Universe,” a fantastical period drama about young lovers (Jim Sturgess and Evan Rachel Wood, pictured left) caught up in the 1960s anti-war movement, some choice words come bursting into view: “THE MOST ORIGINAL, EXHILIRATING, GROUNDBREAKING MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR!”
Good movie marketing is about hype and making an impact. The fact that I’m even writing about a trailer means the folks at Sony Pictures have done their job building anticipation for “Across the Universe.” Yet, I wonder, is calling a movie groundbreaking some six months before it reaches audiences – “Across the Universe” is due in theaters in September — a kiss of death?
I’m a longtime admire of Julie Taymor’s work greatly, from her films “Frida” and “Titus” to the opera productions “The Magic Flute” and “Grendel” but the bold blurb still made me laugh. The folks surrounding me; itching to watch Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle in the 9/11 widower drama “Reign Over Me,” reacted with similar amusement. When a film is labeled as “groundbreaking,” the chances for disappointment only skyrocket. Of course, in this case, I’m hoping to be proven wrong.
Check out the trailer yourself at

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