Considerable Effort

There was a time when I exerted considerable effort to avoid spoilers to certain films, ones I knew I would be watching, by covering my eyes and ears in previews and avoiding reading anything about the film at all costs. It was like traveling somewhere without knowing the famous landmarks. There would be more surprises, sometimes, but also less initial recognition. Modern trailers, when you are less inclined to be a purist about experiencing a storyline a priori, were cartographic narratives.

There’s another kind of film, though. Made of the redacted or edited trailer shots that don’t make it into the final cut of the film. In my youth, I’d watched and re-watched the film trailers more times than I could ever possibly have watched the final film itself. So when those cut scenes should have appeared in the final film, I’d have a small recognition of what was missing. An expected film that only existed in a timeline of my mind.

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