Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Trailer Park Tuesday: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.

The trailer for Marisha Pessl's sophomore novel Night Film has gotten so much airplay--an "exclusive" sneak peek in Entertainment Weekly, a featured segment on CBS Sunday Morning--that it's enough to turn a struggling midlist writer's eyes green as jade.  Pessl is the proud owner of one of the slickest book trailers of the year and I want to hate her for that.  But the fact of the matter is, I can't begrudge her too much because--well, because Night Film the Mini-Movie is damned good.  Boasting sexy production values, knife-sharp editing and a killer soundtrack, this video is what every book trailer dreams of being when it grows up.  The premise is simple but haunting: as an armchair scholar talks about the enigmatic filmmaker Stanislav Cordova, we watch a masked man chase a girl in a red dress through an abandoned factory.  Without having read the book, I'm guessing this is supposed to be like a trailer for one of Cordova's films; but it could also be showing us the murder at the heart of this literary thriller.  Night Film is all about journalist Scott McGrath's investigation into the death of Cordova's daughter Ashley.  From all I've read in the inescapable buzz the book has been getting this summer, the plot jolts and jounces and zigs and zags until readers are tied in knots.  Or so I've heard.  I'll have to read the book to find out for myself.  In the meantime, all I have to go on is this trailer I hate to love. Kirkus Reviews seems to sum it up best in the way it describes the novel itself: "An inventive—if brooding, strange and creepy—adventure in literary terror.  Think Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King meet Guillermo del Toro as channeled by Klaus Kinski."

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