Welcome to “Trailer Tuesday” where I talk about trailers for upcoming movies, since I’ve always found trailers to be endlessly fascinating.
Today I’m bringing you a trailer you probably haven’t seen before. It’s for The Philosophers (Note: title changed to After the Dark), and it caught my eye a while back for being something different and original. It’s set to come out sometime this year, but doesn’t yet have a firm release date. Check it out below, and then read on for some of my thoughts:
The Philosophers initially came to my attention when I read that it was Bonnie Wright’s (Ginny Weasley in Harry Potter) next film. But its cast is full of familiar faces, including Freddie Stroma (Cormac McLaggen in Harry Potter), Jacob Artist (Jake on Glee) and James D’Arcy (Tom Pullings in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World and more recently in Cloud Atlas).
The trailer for The Philosophers starts out by presenting the movie as a Dead Poets Society riff, with the cool teacher (in this case of a philosophy class) challenging his students to examine the world, all while quoting Shakespeare in a way that teachers in movies often do. As the final lesson, they’re going to conduct a thought experiment, about surviving an apocalypse. Here the film jumps from the classroom into the experiment, as the students are provided with job roles that determine their usefulness in a post-apocalyptic world, with the teacher playing a wild card.
The trailer takes a dark turn as the teacher puts a bullet into the head of a poet, arguing that a quick death is better than one from a nuclear blast, and the students all realize the stakes have been raised. I’ll be curious how much of the film takes place “within” the experiment, and how much is in the classroom, because it will be an interesting balancing act trying to maintain the tension when the audience knows the drama is hypothetical.
It also seems that there will be multiple iterations of the experiment, with the students changing the rules on the teacher. The premise of the film is a great vehicle for drama and an intellectually challenging story, and hopefully the film can pull it off. I know nothing about the writer/director, John Huddles, who hasn’t made a film since 1998. The look of the film is interesting, with an unusual color palette and cinematography, and some cool set design.
I hope The Philosophers gets picked up for North American distribution, instead of getting a limited release. The trailer makes the entire movie look uniquely intriguing, and I can’t wait to see more.
What did you think of the trailer? Does The Philosophers look interesting to you, or do you think the film will fail to live up to its potential? Are you as excited as I am by the prospect of something new and original?