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"I do expect it will cease to be divided": First Trailer for Lincoln

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | September 11, 2012 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | September 11, 2012 |

I’ve always been one for the great speeches, for the magic that the spoken word has for shifting the course of men’s minds. Speeches are this rare intersection between the island of the individual and the sea of society. The words of a great speech speak straight to your heart and to your mind, moving you as if the speaker is staring straight into your eyes and persuading you and only you. But that’s only half the magic. A great speech is also a social experience, a snowballing of your own emotion and passion into the storm of those around you.

At its worst, this brings out the worst of humanity, riling us into mobs that lynch and burn. But at its best, it forges ties, builds a single character out of disparate individuals. We are moved by the words as if they are whispered in our ears, but join hands with everyone around who was moved in the same way.

So when I hear that there is a first teaser for Lincoln, and that it quite naturally is but lines from the Gettysburg Address, I get quite excited. And of course I am disappointed.

This trailer has me conflicted, a house divided against itself, if you will. On the one hand, it nails that mood, that brooding somber tone of a film taking seriously the responsibility of portraying one the great men of history with all the weight of the world on his shoulders. On the other hand, it’s a damned trailer advertising when the actual trailer will be released, and spends just as long telling us with a white screen and text about their stupid advertising event as it does showing us anything about the movie.

Oooh! A Google hang out! With Steven Spielberg and JGL! Bless my twisted heart, but I just don’t give a damn.

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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