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Suing Drive over a bad trailer?

Drive.jpgYou know on some levels I agree with Sarah Deming of Michigan, trailers can be very misrepresentative of films, and you could watch a trailer, decide to go and see the film, and when you come out you wonder what the connection was. Usually though it's because the trailer looked good and the film was rubbish.

However I'm not sure if you need a class action law suit to try and get the studios to change their ways. Yet it's not as clear cut as the press is making out, it's not simply about the trailer not representing the film.

This is the confusing part for me, for the law suit that Sarah Deming has raised against Drive seems to hit on two parts. The first is that there's not very much driving in it and it's not really about that, and the second is that she claims it is anti-Semitic.

The Guardian have a quote from the suit which says that the film is...

"...substantially contained extreme, gratuitous, dehumanising racism directed at members of the Jewish faith, and thereby promoted criminal violence against members of the Jewish faith"

The film related aspect of the suit is that the film...

"...bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film...having very little driving in the motion picture."

Well I have to say when I watched the trailers I was under no illusion that it would be a chase film or about loads of driving, that might be in there and there could be a number of scenes about it, but I didn't think that the film was going to be a car based film.

It seems her real issue is with the title and the blurb, describing the leading character as a man who drives cars for the film industry during the day, a stuntman in other words, who moonlights by driving getaway cars in the evening. These things together present an idea of a film about cars and driving, but the trailer definitely pulled away from that.

The other aspect of this is that she believes the film...

"...substantially contained extreme, gratuitous, dehumanising racism directed at members of the Jewish faith, and thereby promoted criminal violence against members of the Jewish faith."

I'm curious as to what affect the alleged promoted violence against Jewish people had, and if that was contained in the film if it really was viewed as anything more than part of a story, part of the character.

I can't really defend the film since I haven't been to the cinema to see it as yet, I know I should have but life has been full of real life obstacles the past few weeks, but I'm sure that Nicolas Winding Refn wouldn't have been throwing these kind of aspects into characters and the story unless they belonged in context.

Deming hopes that in true U.S. of A. style, her law suit will earn her a lot of money for nothing and also become a class action so it will earn lots of other people loads of money for nothing.

There's a worrying trend here, and it's not the ongoing desire to sue someone or a company over the merest whiff of something not being right, for if the trailer misrepresented the film and that's what she felt, she could just walk out of the cinema, go to the ticket desk and ask for her money back.

In the UK we could certainly do that and easily cite the Sales of Goods Act, the goods were not as described, i.e. the trailer made you think you were getting one product and you received another. Refund ticket, head home, thank you. No need to sue and try and put people out of business.

If you really wanted to hit the company you could complain to the Advertising Standards Authority and see if something more could be done.

No, that's not the worrying thing, the real worrying thing about all this is the continuing pressure on film-makers to not insult anyone about anything. Would she sue Steven Spielberg for making Schindler's List or would someone sue Shallow Hal for upsetting fat people? - that's just the first thing that came to mind.

I can understand if it really is a film that incites violence against people, but we're really talking something like a Terrorist propaganda video aren't we? Where does it all end? With film-makers taking the easier option time after time?




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