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A stalker-y sailor as movie promotion?

August 6, 2010 |  2:57 pm


We can imagine reporters all over town receiving the above creepy-clever postcard written entirely in Morse code and feeling a little weirded out (and, because reporters aren't known for their absence of ego, a little special). That it came from and featured a landscape photo of Los Alamos, with all of the place's nuclear-bomb overtones, didn't help.

After some sleuthing with our colleague Geoff Boucher, who received the same note (also with an affiliation that was slightly off), we learned that the message translated to "I must be gone and live, or stay and die." (The Times has a telegraph operator on staff.) That quote, which comes from "Romeo and Juliet" (we, er, also have Google) made us feel even more weird (and special) until we noticed that the postcard was bought at the Otowi Station Science Museum in Los Alamos ... where Overture filmed the Chloe Moretz-Kodi Smith-McPhee movie "Let Me In," the remake of vampire movie "Let the Right One In."

It turns out that the line wasn't an absent musing but the message Eli wrote to Oskar in a note from a critical scene in the original, and which is also included in the remake. So, yep, Overture was sending out postcards to reporters as part of a viral campaign, promoting the movie in the most abstract way imaginable. Certainly it's the only piece of movie marketing ever to encompass Morse code, Shakespeare and a piece of Swedish dialogue. (Hey, it worked at least a little, because we've spent the better part of an hour deciphering it.)

A compare-and-contrast of the two notes showed different handwriting, making us wonder how many kids exactly Overture had brought in to scrawl these Morse code messages (not Moretz and Smith-McPhee, we hope).

But here's the kicker: When we handed the postcard to the photo department to snap a shot for this post, the back of the card turned out fine, but the front turned out blank. "There's nothing here," the photographer said as he looked through the computer files. "It's like there was no photo taken." Now we're really getting the chills.

-- Steven Zeitchik


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