Editor’s Note: This is the first of a weekly column by Christopher Stipp, an online film journalist who also writes for Quick Stop Entertainment. At /Film, we love trailers and write them about them frequently, but it’s sometimes impossible to cover every trailer that comes out. Starting today, “This Week in Trailers” will be your comprehensive guide for all the trailers that have been released in the past week or two, with a special focus on trailers that we were unable to cover. Christopher has been writing about trailers and covering other aspects of the movie industry for over five years. For my money, he’s one of the best internet writers I know. I hope you guys will agree and that you’ll give him a warm /Film welcome in the comments. -David
Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?
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Note: I’m not calling this a review, because truth is, I only saw the first 33 minutes of this movie.
Last year at Sundance I was kinda taken by Steve Buscemi’s Interview, the first of a series of American remakes of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh’s work. Theo, the great-great-grandson of Theo van Gogh, brother of the famous painter Vincent van Gogh, was killed by a Muslim extremist a few years ago in response to one of his controversial films. Beyond that and Interview last year, I don’t know much about Theo van Gogh, although I have planned to seek out his work. Directed by and starring Steve Buscemi, Interview was for the most part a one-location dialogue-heavy film featuring two actors. Blind Date is not much different. Instead of an apartment we have a bar, instead of a movie star we have a magician.
The film also features a director who also appears as the male lead, Stanley Tucci, opposite Patricia Clarkson, as a married couple who are struggling to reconnect after the death of their daughter. They pretend to go on a series of blind dates. I’m also a big fan of minimalist films like Hard Candy, so it came as such a surprise that I just couldn’t get into this film. I was bored. The whole thing seemed so theatrical (in the off-broadway sense), and was completely devoid of cinematic drama. After the first fifteen minutes went by, members of the press started to leave the theater like a flock of birds. I decided to leave around the 35 minute mark, which is a really tough decision, because that’s almost the half way mark (the film is only 80 minutes, although my 33 minutes felt like 100) and I usually like to see a return on my time investment. But I’ve been so busy at this year’s festival and there is just no time to finish a movie like this.
I have only walked out of five movies in my life, and four of them have been during my five-years at Sundance.Â Idon’t mean to say that Sundance movies are bad, as for the most part the level of film at the festival far succeeds the selection at your normal multiplex. The fact of the matter is, there are so many great movies playing at this festival, and time is limited. If I’m watching a horrible movie at my local AMC, I’m far more likely to stay until the credits hit, just to see the conclusion. At Sundance, there are always 5 other (in this case probably better) movies you could be watching.
The line-up for the 2008 Sundance Film Festival was announced earlier this week. I just got my hands on a boat load of photos from the films in this year’s festival. We actually have too many photos to feature in just one posting, so we have divided this feature into a few parts.
Our third segment in the series takes a look at the films in the Spectrum category. The list of films includes: Anvil! The True Story Of Anvil, The Black List, Kicking It, The Linguists, Made In America, Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?, Young@Heart, August, Baghead, Birds of America, Blind Date, Bottle Shock, Chronic Town, Goliath, A Good Day To Be Black & Sexy, Love Comes Lately, Momma’s Man, Quid Pro Quo, and Red.
Also be sure to check out our Sundance 2008 Photo Previews for the Premieres and U.S. Dramatic Competition.
Check out the photos after the jump. Click on the images to enlarge.
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