OK. Exhibit one, the trailer for FUNNY GAMES, Michael Haneke's upcoming remake (shot-for-shot, apparently) of his 1997 classic:
And now the trailer for Stanley Kubrick's A CLOCKWORK ORANGE:
Needless to say, there are some striking similarities. And I suppose it's not actually all that important when you think about it. After all, this is just one trailer copying another trailer. The only people who would make note of it would be movie lovers or CLOCKWORK ORANGE fans, and while there are certainly plenty of them out there, it's not enough to really raise a fuss over the issue. The offending party, if you really want to use that term (oh wait, I just did), isn't Haneke but rather someone at the Warner Independent Pictures trailer department, and someone with a good memory, at that.
Originality has to account for something. The CLOCKWORK ORANGE trailer was cut by Kubrick himself (who cut all his own trailers) and obviously the guy knew what he was doing. It's still a great trailer, one that's enticing even if you've seen the film countless number of times, and if you're going to steal, why not take from the best? But I find it irritating that someone over at WIP thinks that I or any other film lover doesn't know that trailer and that it's OK to pilfer from it. The advertising world takes from itself more often than not, but something like this, as minor as it seems, feels to me like they're thinking they just take from past trailers and it isn't a problem. Hey, maybe the trailer could have been Haneke hosting a tour of the film's locations or maybe make the trailer in 3-D. No one remembers those things anyway, so it's finder's keepers, right? Right?
I know it's just a trailer and it's not like the film itself will be stealing from A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. It doesn't take away from my enthusiasm about seeing the 2008 FUNNY GAMES or will dissuade me from seeing any more Warner Independent Pictures films. But I'm more than turned off by this idea of taking from another trailer to a classic film (especially A CLOCKWORK ORANGE) and making it the campaign to your film. Just because FUNNY GAMES is a remake doesn't mean the trailer has a right to be, too.