‘The bro­mance of the cen­tury’: Trump’s bizarre trailer for his sum­mit with Kim

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

The US pres­i­dent pre­sented North Korea’s leader with an ac­tion-movie trailer as part of their Sin­ga­pore meet­ing. The Guardian’s chief film critic isn’t im­pressed

*Deep bass voice* “In a world … where can-do guys and deal-mak­ers get be­trayed at ev­ery turn by whiny Cana­di­ans, fin­ger-wag­ging Ger­mans and trai­tor­ous so-called re­formist un­cles who sadly needed to be ex­e­cuted for their own good, two men stood tall. Two friends. Two he­roes.”

“They knew that to­gether they could save the planet. The world was against them. The fake news media had placed a lot of un­due em­pha­sis on out-of-con­text re­marks like ‘lit­tle rocket man’ and ‘dotard’.

But only th­ese hom­bres could de­nu­cle­arise the Korean penin­sula. Or some of it any­way. This sum­mer … check out the bro­mance of the cen­tury. Check out Kim and Don­ald’s Po­tent Sum­mit. They feel the need. The need for diplo­macy. Get some!”

This, any­way, was the mes­sage of the bizarre pseudo-Hol­ly­wood trailer that the White House un­veiled at the Sin­ga­pore sum­mit. It is a trailer to boost the vi­sion for a tri­umphant sum­mit, a trailer to chivvy the starstruck North Kore­ans into sub­mis­sion, not to men­tion the South Kore­ans and the Chi­nese.

A trailer, in fact, for a movie that Trump is propos­ing to write, pro­duce and di­rect and in which “Chair­man Kim”, as he is in­creas­ingly called, will have noth­ing more than sec­ond billing, en­joy­ing the ma­te­rial fruits of a non­nu­clear, sanc­tion-free fu­ture.

Maybe even a tar­iff-free fu­ture. The trailer shows Kim ap­pear­ing in still image over the catch­line: “We no longer have to tighten our belts.” Wow. Vi­sion­ary.

There are loads of stir­ring images of goa­head peo­ple do­ing ex­cit­ing things in boom­ing economies, in­ter­spersed with grim black-and­white footage of what the poor old DPRK is gonna look like if wrong choices are made.

It looks very much as if it was made on the novelty Movie Trailer pro­gram on the iMovie app, us­ing out­takes from a 1998 ad for En­ron. The film’s ti­tle ap­pears to be A Story of Op­por­tu­nity. But that ti­tle doesn’t ac­tu­ally ap­pear on screen.

The boom­ing nar­ra­tor’s voice says stir­ring things like: “Only a few are called on to make a dif­fer­ence...” There are death­less in­sights like: “The past doesn’t have to be like the fu­ture. Out of the dark­ness can come the light. And the light of hope can burn bright.”

Chair­man Kim might well be a bit of­fended by the crude­ness of this trailer. He comes from a movie-mad fam­ily af­ter all.

His father, Kim Jong-il, fa­mously ab­ducted the renowned South Korean di­rec­tor Shin San­gok, in 1978, as well as his ex-wife Choi Eun-hee, and af­ter a spell in ide­o­log­i­cal re-ed­u­ca­tion, they were set to work in the North Korean film in­dus­try for eight years be­fore they de­fected back to the west while attending the Vi­enna film fes­ti­val. Per­haps this trailer’s up­beat vibe will fi­nally ef­face the mem­ory of that awk­ward­ness.

As for Don­ald, he’s had loads of movie cameos, in­clud­ing a scene with Hugh Grant in Two Weeks No­tice (2002). So both th­ese guys are film-savvy.

The point of any film’s trailer is to whet the au­di­ence’s ap­petite and give them an idea of what sort of film it is – with­out spoil­ers. Is this what A Story of Op­por­tu­nity does? We’re get­ting sold an ex­cit­ing ac­tion-ad­ven­ture in which the good guys (Amer­ica) con­vince the bad guys (North Korea) to come over to the side of de­cency.

But it could be more like Wag the Dog, Barry Levin­son’s 1997 satire, star­ring Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoff­man, about cyn­i­cal politi­cos who con­coct a big for­eign sideshow to dis­tract every­one’s at­ten­tion from prob­lems on the home front. At any rate, it looks weirdly bor­ing.

Photo: The Guardian

Still from the video.

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