Lionsgate’s advertising team (led by co-marketing chiefs Tim Palen and Sarah Greenberg) have gone with a Saul Bass-ian, Vertigo-like one-sheet for Rodrigo Cortes‘ Buried (9.24). Which everyone likes or admires or both. Me included. Any sort of Bass tribute gets my vote.
I reviewed Buried at last January’s Sundance Film Festival. It’s a highly claustrophobic (to say the least) exercise about an American contractor in Iraq (Ryan Reynolds) who’s been kidnapped and buried alive in a wooden box. Cortes uses Hitchcock-like ingenuity in telling this story, but the bottom line is that Buried refuses to deliver the kind of ending that any popcorn-eating moviegoer would want to see.
“You may assume going in that Buried will be a harrowing mental ingenuity/physical feat/engineering movie about a guy managing to free himself from a large coffin-sized crate that’s been buried two or three feet underground,” I wrote. “But what it is, really, is a darkly humorous socio-cultural message flick about selfishness and distraction — i.e., how everyone is too caught up in their own agenda to give a shit about a person who really needs help.
Reynolds’ character “manages to speak to several people on a cell phone that he’s found inside the crate. The prolonged joke is that each and every person he turns to for help (with the exception of his wife) tells him that they first need him to address or answer their needs before they”ll give him any assistance.
“Boiled down, the movie is kind of a metaphor for dealing with tech support or any corporate or bureaucratic employee who specializes in driving complaining customers crazy. Everyone Reynolds speaks to patronizes him, tells him to calm down and speak slowly, asks stupid questions and in one way or another blows him off or fails to really engage and provide serious assistance.”