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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We’re just a few days away from the start of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, but distributors are already scooping up films left and right. Three were acquired Tuesday and two were grabbed a few days ago. A&E IndieFilms picked up the rights to the Roger Corman documentary Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel, Sony Pictures Classics locked up the rights to Take Shelter starring Michael Shannon, HBO Films nabbed the rights to the opening night documentary Project Nim (seen above) from the team behind the Oscar-winner Man on Wire, IFC Films got the low-budget comedy Uncle Kent and Roadside Attractions will release The Music Never Stopped starring J.K. Simmons.

Finally while it’s not playing at Sundance, Sundance Selects acquired Errol Morris’s latest called Tabloid. Read more about each film after the jump. Read More »

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