Underwhelming PR stunts of our time: a ‘ride-in screening’ of Buck

Friday May 4th 2012


Winner of the Documentary Audience Award at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, Buck explores the life of ‘cowboy, teacher and philosopher’ Buck Brannaman. To celebrate the release of the film on DVD next Monday, Revolver Entertainment — the twisted hive mind that brought us this utterly bleak spectacle — organised a ‘ride-in screening’ of the film on Wednesday. Here’s some blurb from the press release:

To celebrate the release of new film BUCK at cinemas this week and on DVD from Monday the world’s first screening for horses was held yesterday. Over 20 horses and their riders saddled up and rode into the stable screening room to enjoy this real life documentary on Buck Brannaman – the real life ‘Horse Whisperer’. Popcorn was served in nosebags!

This obviously raises a number of important questions: where are these popcorn-laden nosebags? Why are they not visible in any of the promotional images provided? Did the riders really sit there for 88 minutes watching the entirety of Buck on horseback? Wouldn’t that get a bit uncomfortable? And most importantly, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

Here’s some baffling footage from the event:

I’m going to go ahead and say it: this didn’t happen. It didn’t. Twenty horses did not get together in a stable and watch a documentary. Oliver was not ‘glued to the screen’. Saph did not ‘love it to bits’. This is a stunt in the most cynical, pointless, insulting sense of the word. The photograph featured above doesn’t even show the riders watching the actual movie — it’s a promotional still.

What’s worse is that Buck – like Sleeping Beauty — is probably a pretty decent film. It’s got 88% at Rotten Tomatoes for fuck’s sake. It doesn’t need this shit. Can’t we save the equine screenings for films that could really use the leg up, like that new Miley Cyrus one about texting? Or Keith Lemon: The Movie?

Or better yet, let’s just stop acting like five-year-olds and admit that horses aren’t capable of cinematic appreciation. Neither are cats for that matter, but at least they look cute in the glasses.