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: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we get all kinds of Björk’d, revisit one weird road in Italy, spend the night with a Parisian, and wonder what in the world drives some people’s creative mojo.

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Duke of Burgundy clip

Berberian Sound Studio director Peter Strickland returns with The Duke of Burgundy, but this film offers a fairly different sort of experience. There’s still a hazy, less-than-real aesthetic and sense of place, but this movie has a more focused and recognizable story at its core. The short synopsis of this movie is very simple: “Peter Strickland’s dark melodrama follows the intense relationship between two women.”

In truth, The Duke of Burgundy is a good bit more complex than that, especially as relates to the specific dynamics of the relationship. To keep things close to the vest, I’ll just say that their relationship is atypical, but the beauty of the film is that it does not treat the couple’s interactions as unusual. Their problems are the same problems any couple has; they just happen to be articulated through more eccentric means.

I really love this film and can’t wait for more people to have a chance to see it. Below, get a first taste via a Duke of Burgundy clip. Read More »

berberian-sound-studio-trailer-header

Berberian Sound Studio started doing the festival rounds last year, but IFC is going to release it in the US this summer. Toby Jones plays a movie sound designer working on an Italian horror film, and the film follows his increasingly problematic mental state. Comparisons have been made to Roman Polanski’s work, and it’s easy to see some Coppola (The Conversation) and De Palma (Blow-Out) in there, too, along with the spirit of precisely the sort of films that Jones’ character is working on.

IFC has just released a US trailer, and it’s quite a nice piece of work. It does a good job getting across the idea that the film is rather quiet and a little bit strange, but it also stands as a great assembly of footage in its own right. Take a look below. 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?

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