RETRO TRAILER OF THE WEEK
Hilarious “Sleeper” Trailer Captures what made Woody Allen’s early Comedies some of the Funniest of their Time
It’s impossible to narrow Woody Allen’s sprawling career down to a single style. That’s why his movies, stretching across decades and genres, are best considered in eras. And this trailer for his 1973 sci-fi hit, “Sleeper,” captures the brilliance of his early comedies.
In a matter of two riotously funny minutes the trailer conveys both the depth and breadth of this classic comedy. We get acquainted with Allen, the director, in an unconventional intro that grabs our attention right off. A moment later the film’s farcical premise, about a clarinet player who gets frozen in 1973 and defrosted 200 years later, is delivered in one succinct line.
In his ironic narration of the trailer, Allen uses pseudo-intellectual phrases like “cerebral” and “almost didactic” to describe broad slapstick. This juxtaposition not only captures the contrasting styles that define Allen’s early films, it also conveys the duality of “Sleeper.” This is one of the funniest films of its time not only because of the sex jokes and the slapstick, but also because of the film’s subtler wit, parodying renown works of sci-fi literature.