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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Outside of Europe, Lars Von Trier got all the attention for Dogme 95, the film ‘movement’ that set down a set of naturalistic rules for directors. But the co-creator of Dogme 95 and director of the first film made under the resulting manifesto was Thomas Vinterberg. His film Festen (The Celebration) is a low-key tour de force, a portrait of family breakdown that toes a nearly undefinable line between satire and tragedy. It instantly established Vinterberg as a talent to watch.

Sadly, Vinterberg’s later films haven’t hit the same high. It’s All About Love is vaguely like a more arthouse version of Southland Tales, while Dear Wendy only seemed to anger audiences. (I think I’m one of the few people who liked it at all.)

But I remain optimistic for each new film from Vinterberg. So here’s the trailer for his latest, Submarino, which premieres at the Berlin Film Festival. Read More »

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?

Read More »

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