I have been seriously looking forward to Across the Universesince it was announced a few years ago. I think Julie Taymor's previous two films (Titus; Frida) were visually brilliant (and not too bad in the non-visual departments), I think Evan Rachel Wood is a terrific young actress (I hope Marilyn Manson doesn't ruin her career), I love the Beatles' music and I love "the '60s" as a subject and a setting (even in the form of cheesy amalgams like Forrest Gumpand The '60s). More specific to this film, though, I think the trailer captures all these things I love together in a beautiful little montage. I don't see how I could possibly not love the whole package when it arrives in theaters this September.

But recently I've been growing more and more worried about the film. In March, we learned that Taymor and Revolution Studios were fighting over the final cut of the film. The director even threatened to remove her name from the film because she isn't happy with Revolution's editing the pic without her involvement. Some of us sided with Taymor, while others explained in detail why Taymor shouldn't be allowed complete control. Now we get this bland poster, which provides no hint of how stunning the pic will look. The strawberry frame makes sense, as it is part of the film's original logo (where did it go?), but otherwise the poster seems to be advertising a simple love story. Maybe that is the best way to sell this romantic musical, but following the posters for Titusand Frida, both of which I would be happy to put in my dorm room -- if I lived in one -- the poster for Across the Universe is just not that aesthetically interesting.

I know, it's just a poster. But the marketing decisions for the film continue to make me wonder if Revolution's cut is really going to pander too much to a wide audience. With the trailer, this was fine, in keeping all the artsy images short and at the end, it left me wanting more. I just hope that the actual film doesn't also leave me wishing for more of Taymor's imaginative imagery and less of the studio's need to cater to a less art-minded crowd. Feel free to argue for the business and the storytelling; sometimes I just want the mind-blowing eye candy -- on film, and on the poster.
categories Movies, Cinematical