September 12, 2013

CARGAS: Bleeding Book Trailers

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Last week, Thomas Pynchon released a baffling trailer for his upcoming novel Bleeding Edge. Like many book trailers, the production quality was low and the trailer seems remarkably amateurish next to the sleek, bombastic film trailers to which we’re accustomed. In the promo, we watch a young man wander around New York and narrate his daily routine and scathing and self-aggrandizing opinions of the people who surround him. His t-shirt reads “Hi, I’m Tom Pynchon” and he seems to be a spoof of a certain type of young, pretentious New Yorker — an interesting portrait, yet he has no clear link to the book itself. While going about his day, he practices yoga in a grocery store, states he’s the “king of the Upper West Side” and says that Philip Roth is “everywhere.” The trailer ends as the man drapes lox across his face, claiming it’s an exfoliant that pharmaceutical companies don’t want you to know about. The trailer is pretty nuts, and as with like many book trailers, the production and aesthetic quality seems more fitting of a student art project than a professional production. It succeeds, however, in generating buzz in a way that many book trailers don’t. Of course, this buzz is limited to a very small crowd of book nerds, but when it comes to book trailers, anything that makes it onto The New York Times’ arts blog can safely be considered successful.

By Nils Axen