A few days before President Trump’s historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, The New York Times ran an article that claimed Trump, in his own way, “has been preparing for this encounter his entire adult life.” Based on what we know about Trump’s daily routine, we can only assume The New York Times means he’s been watching a shitload of TV and movies, some of which happen to mention nuclear disarmament deals. That’s the only logical explanation for why, prior to the start of the summit, Trump presented a fake movie trailer that casts himself and Kim as humanity’s last hope and puts their diplomatic discussion in the context of a low-budget action movie.
Billed as a production from the incredibly fake studio “Destiny Pictures,” the White House-produced trailer uses editing techniques usually reserved for the “Previously on…” segments of reality TV shows and pushes the limits of the Getty Images stock video archive. Between empty platitudes and nonsense phrases (“Out of darkness can come the light and the light of hope can burn bright”), the overly dramatic voice-over places our heroes at a turning point in the future of humanity and asks the question on everyone’s mind: What will these two dummies decide to do?
It’s a surreal way to frame such a historic and consequential meeting, but not out of character for the two players involved. What little we know about Kim Jong Un suggests that he’s a fan of both American pop culture and professional basketball, beyond just his close friendship with fellow summit-attendee Dennis Rodman. So, that may explain the random footage of a man dunking a basketball at the 1:58 mark, and why, at the 2:46 mark, the word “respect” is associated with an image of Donald Trump meeting Sylvester Stallone in the Oval Office. Likely, someone at the White House believed seeding these images into the video would appeal to Kim in some way.
Or maybe it was for Trump’s benefit. Despite all his Hollywood celebrity bashing rhetoric, it’s pretty clear Trump wants to be a movie star. Perhaps presenting himself as such appealed that particular part of his ego and convinced him to at least feign interest in geopolitical strategy for the weekend. As the newfound relationship between the U.S. and North Korea continues to blossom, we can only assume there will be a sequel to this faux-summer blockbuster coming real soon. Then perhaps we’ll get an entire cinematic universe in which we don’t all die from a nuclear war.
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