On the face of it, the documentary short The Politics of Competitive Board Gaming Amongst Friends doesn’t sound like such serious business: A group of friends get together to play Settlers of Catan, and occasionally get on each other’s nerves. Really, it’s difficult to think of anything more frivolous. But as anyone who’s ever gotten competitive against a loved one can attest, these things have a way of just blowing way the hell out of proportion.

Directed by Jay Cheel (Beauty Day, How to Build a Time Machine), The Politics of Competitive Board Gaming Amongst Friends is a half-dramatic, half-comedic look at the high-stakes emotions that can spill out during a low-stakes game. Fans of Cheel’s work on the Film Junk podcast will additionally be amused to see that the short prominently features recurring Film Junk guest Reed Farrington, a.k.a. Gerry Eng. Watch the ten-minute video after the jump.

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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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