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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

trailer break: ‘Sleep Dealer’

Take a break from work: watch a trailer…


I’m curious to see this because it’s science fiction, and because writer-director Alex Rivera will have been forced to be more creative than Hollywood typically has to be because he didn’t have a huge Hollywood budget to play with. But I’m not thrilled with this trailer. I don’t want a trailer that gives away everything — I hate that — but I think, at a minimum, we might need to know a little more about what a “sleep dealer” is.

But the trailer is hindered by the fact that it feels it must studiously avoid offering us any dialogue — after that little bit at the beginning — because it’s trying to hide the fact that the film’s not in English. (The movie was made in Mexico City, so it’s safe to assume most of the dialogue is in Spanish.) And it has to do that because mainstream American audiences are so shy of subtitles that they’ll avoid any subtitled film. That may be an infuriating reality, but must we really trick people that blatantly to get them into the movie? Anyone who doesn’t want to read subtitles is gonna be so pissed to learn that he’s been tricked that that cannot be good for business.

I haven’t heard anything about screenings of this, though, which either means that it’s not going to be playing in New York or it’s being handled by some new PR agency that has an incomplete list of NYC critics.

Sleep Dealer opens in the U.S. on April 17; no U.K. release date has been announced yet.



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movie buzz | trailers
  • Rosalyn

    Gotta admit, it looks totally intriguing…

    On another note, isn’t about time we started dispensing with the melodramatic voice-over on trailers? I’m not picking on this one in particular, but I find it increasingly sounds cheesy and even dated. It’s almost become a parody of itself.

    And why isn’t a woman’s voice ever featured in the voice-over?

  • MaryAnn

    Women are not considered authoritative, which is what you want in a trailer: the viewer should feel compelled to see the film.

    This kind of trailer — where they feel they cannot include dialogue — has to rely on the voiceover. It is particularly annoying in this trailer, though.

    I agree that the film looks intriguing, but that’s in spite of the trailer, not because of it.

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