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Over the past half-decade, Damien Chazelle has emerged as one of the most promising young directors in Hollywood. Ignoring his first forgotten film, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009), his two other features – 2014’s Whiplash and 2016’s La La Land – were both nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Additionally, both were nominated for Writing awards at their respective ceremonies and the latter film won Chazelle the coveted Best Director Oscar.
All of this was building up to his upcoming feature, First Man, which is a typically Oscar-baity, critic-pandering, awards-attempting period biopic about Neil Armstrong: the first man to set foot on the moon. It was to mark the first time Chazelle stepped out from his comfortable jazz milieu (the subject of all three of his feature films thus far) and into weightier, more dramatic territory. Many saw it as an opportunity for him to come out as a director: to live up to his promise as a truly great director outside of his narrowly-defined comfort zone.
Trailer - Kind - Perception - Anything - Misfire
And… then this trailer finally hit, kind of shattering the perception of this being anything other than a drastic misfire months before anybody gets to so much as see the movie.
You see, the trailer for First Man is bizarre. Really bizarre. It doesn’t feel like this grandiose, sweeping epic about a man who quite literally “slipped the surly bonds of earth [to] touch the face of God.” It doesn’t feel like a fact-driven tour through one of the most dynamic and eventful periods of American – and indeed, world – history. It doesn’t feel like an intimate look into the private life of a man suddenly cast to the forefront of the global stage.
What it actually feels like, hard though it may be to believe given the director and the...
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