Thursday, 11 September 2008

The Dark Art of Oscar lobbying

There's news today that Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight may be re-released in February to draw maximum attention to itself prior to the 2009 Oscars.

It's a super film but not as good as its predecessor... additionally it's too long and, in the UK at least, shouldn't have been released quite as it was in the first place, being a 15 film granted a 12A certificate.

It has a great central performance from the late Heath Ledger as The Joker, which is undoubtedly the leading hope for an award. Without wishing to sound cynical though one suspects that the success of the film has been inflated from event to phenomenon by Heath Ledger's passing; such an overlong, cruel film wouldn't have become the second-highest grossing film of all time and the IMDb all time #3 film of its own accord.

All this value judgment aside though, it would be awful if the film were re-released in order to push for a gong. Quite apart from the brazen marketing of it all, such an act would demand that others follow suit in order to level the playing field for their products (because that's what we're talking about here, product).

Suddenly February threatens to turn into a month of re-releases. In a market where we also have teaser trailers popping up a good six months prior to general release, this means that we'll have trailers for films that aren't being shown and films being shown that have already been shown. Pity the poor filmmaker who just wants to make and release a film - and the viewer who wants much the same.

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