There is an image in this trailer for Beyond the Black Rainbow in which a silhouetted woman seems to crawl out of the pupil in a screen-filling close-up of a human eye. It’s beautiful and weird, and that’s the trailer in a nutshell. Watching this, I have no idea what this film is about. I do know that it is the writing and directing debut of Panos Cosmatos, and that it played a few festivals in the past couple years, premiering in the US last year at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Watching the trailer again I also know that Cosmatos is a big fan of Stanley Kubrick and early David Cronenberg, as well as probably any esoteric bits of psychedelic science fiction from the late ’60s through the early ’80s. (There’s even a vibe of Matt Howarth comics, although Howarth seems to be so close to forgotten that I don’t expect that means much to many people now.) I can tell that the film is probably very, very slow and destined to drive some audiences crazy, but that just makes me want to see it a bit more. Read More »

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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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