In a historic moment that almost never happened because the key organisers on both sides are the greatest manbabies in contemporary politics, yesterday North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and purported US President Donald Trump held a summit intended to heal the rift between their two nations.
The United States and the DPRK have been mortal enemies since the 1950s, when the US intervened militarily in the Korean Civil War and played a major part in dividing the country into two: the communist North, ruled since by increasingly mad dictators with designs on obliterating the rest of Korea, and a free South that’s been constantly bricking it ever since.
One of the highlights of yesterday’s momentous covfefe, aside from a moment where Kim Jong-un – a murderous tyrant who once ate so much cheese his ankles shattered under the weight – looked at Trump like he was the insane one, was when an already-infamous fake ‘trailer’ prepared by Trump’s team played before the meeting.
This action movie-style trailer, intended to influence movie fan Kim into giving capitalism a chance and easing up on the nuke threats, looks like a parody – of Hollywood cinema, the current American administration and reality in general. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Here’s a list of 10 of the most bizarre things about it.
1. The authentic Trailer Man voice
The Trump-Kim summit trailer will leave you with many lingering questions – foremost perhaps being, simply, “Why?” – but most intriguing is the Trailer Man voiceover that narrates the assembled footage of happy Americans, miserable North Koreans and both Kim and Trump doing their best Mussolini impressions.
Just who is the guy doing the (actually very authentic) trailer voice that acts as a bed for the Clockwork Orange-esque montage of imagery? How did he get the gig? Is providing trailer voiceovers his regular job? How much did he get paid? And so on.
2. It looks like a mixture of propaganda and The Parallax View
The influences in the Trump-Kim summit trailer are obvious. The Trailer Man voice, fast editing and Hans Zimmer-style score all suggest a blockbuster disaster movie, albeit one that involves a real-life impending disaster.
The other callbacks are likely unintended. The monochrome shots of military might echo Leni Riefenstahl-style propaganda, while the conflicting assemblage of images of peace and war brings to mind the video used to brainwash Warren Beatty in The Parallax View.
3. “Only a small number will leave a lasting impact”
Apparently, Trump’s big idea behind the summit trailer was to flatter Kim from the off at their meeting. The trailer does this by suggesting Trump and Kim are destiny men, here to make history, while implying the rest of us serfs comparatively will be lucky to even make a dent.
“7 billion people on planet Earth. Of those alive today, only a small number will leave a lasting impact”, says Trailer Man, simultaneously bigging up Kim and The Donald while making their loyal subjects appear absolutely insignificant.
4. The condescending tone probably made Kim even angrier
“The light of prosperity and innovation has burned bright for most of the world”, says Trailer Man cheerily, as the trailer contrasts footage of a prosperous West with a ruinous, Blade Runner-style North Korea.
It’s uncertain, but suggesting to America-hating despot Kim Jong-un that glorious capitalism has turned the world into a plentiful utopia while commie North Korea has remained some medieval hovel since 1953 might not have appealed to his proud nationalism.
5. The script reads the way Trump talks
Trump’s tiny fingerprints are all over the summit trailer, with the script reading remarkably similar to the way he talks. Which is to say that the wording of the voiceover is a mix of endless grandiosity, repetition and utter nonsense.
Some choice lines include “Can history be changed?”, “the past doesn’t have to be the future” and “what will he choose, one of vision and leadership? Or not?”, none of which sound quite right.
6. The imagery is astoundingly literal
Subtlety isn’t the strong suit of the man who once declared “I could shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters”, and given that Trump’s DNA is all over the summit trailer, what we see and hear is predictably, gobsmackingly literal.
“In a meeting to remake history, to shine in the sun”, says Trailer Man, as we cut to an image of the sun; “Will he shake the hand of peace?” we hear, as we’re shown footage of Trump’s hand being raised. It plays a bit like a Sesame Street learning exercise, or an introduction to planet Earth made for a visiting extraterrestrial.
7. It’s all basically just a passive-aggressive threat to war
“There can only be two results” in the negotiations between the US and DPRK. These, according to the trailer, are “moving forward”, which apparently would mean North Korea leaving the dark ages to embrace the clammy hand of globalisation, or the more ominous-sounding “moving back”.
The discussion of this “moving back” is accompanied by random shots of desolation – a North Korean supermarket with sparsely stocked shelves, a rusty bicycle for some reason – and war, with rockets firing and warships gathering. Nothing says ‘let’s make peace’ quite like a threat of total annihilation.
8. A shot of horses running through the sea!
Why, halfway through the trailer, is there suddenly a shot of horses running in the sea as if over the water, like they’re fantastical creatures who can Christ their way across the ocean? How does this relate to relations between the US and NK?
Does Trump think they’ve never seen horses before in North Korea and is trying to trick Kim Jong-un into thinking they’re magic? Did the person cutting the trailer together just leave this shot in by accident? What is happening?
9. Sylvester Stallone’s cameo
As Trailer Man talks of “friendship” and “respect”, a photo of Trump and his staff sharing some entirely unforced giggles in the Oval Office appears on the screen. There’s somebody else there, too: none other than geriatric action star Sylvester Stallone.
You just have to assume that the Trump team is trying to appeal to the 80s movie fan within Kim Jong-un here. Maybe they’re hoping the hint at an opportunity to meet Rocky will convince Kim to become Trump’s friend, too.
10. ‘Destiny Pictures presents’
In a bid to make it look as authentic as possible, the Trump team make a number of inspired artistic choices for the trailer. The climax of the video sees Trump and Kim set up as lead ‘stars’ of the story, while at one point a reel countdown runs across the screen.
Appropriately, the Trump team also invented a fake movie studio that ‘produced’ the film in question. The studio is called Destiny Pictures. Based on the evidence, you have to suspect this is their last movie.