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 plagiarize a little bit and wonder whether it’s about race, remember that one summer when puberty took over, burn our friends alive, go down under for some brotherly love, and love a cow. 

Trap For Cinderella Trailer

I’ll be honest…I have no clue what’s afoot here.

Yeah, there seems to be some racy girl-on-girl lovin’ that could obviously stir the wildes of some young men out there but, beyond that, I’m not sure whether director Iain Softley’s movie has any more to offer than some BFFs who become way too entangled with one another. Whether it’s the case that one becomes too attached to the other and can’t handle the affections that a boy appears to steal away from the tight relationship they share, I’m not completely positive. However, that all said, it’s a great trailer.

It’s because it’s slightly ambiguous that I found myself entranced by the horribly burned English patient we see wrapped up in gauze at the beginning. I don’t know exactly who is to blame for what or who is the one that was on the receiving end of a wicked fire bath but we don’t slow down for anyone here.

A Fragile Trust Trailer

Things like this are endlessly fascinating.

Liars like Jayson Blair and Jonah Lehrer are pariahs for a reason and these kinds of documentaries are excellent field guides for dissecting the moments when telling a mistruth seemed like a better idea than being honest. Documentarian Samantha Grant gives us what we want, initially, by leading off by Blair coming out saying how he lied, lied, lied. One of the things that is so scintillating about the trailer is that we get right into the particulars of Jayson’s misdeeds and let him inform us of how bad he acted. There isn’t a need to embellish or dress up or anything else. Getting straight to the point is this this trailer’s best asset and thankfully we get right to business. We’re only left wanting more, wanting to know whether he is a sociopath, why he felt the need to cheat, whether it really was a matter of race, these questions that are probably already answered but still not for some. You can count me in the latter camp and this only makes me want to finally get the start, middle and end of this whole ordeal.

The Sea Trailer

Coming of age stories, they’re a pence a dozen.

Director Stephen Brown’s own adaptation of a book that is more of a widowed man’s reflection on a particular summer when sexual awakening seems to be at the core looks like a worthy competitor in this space to be taken seriously. This trailer looks like the collision of a flashback and something approaching a mystery because we don’t really know what has brought our protagonist to this beach in what looks like the dead of winter. No matter, though, as the visuals just overwhelm you to the point that you feel the heat from the summer our man Flynn is remembering in his halcyon dream of what once was and what will never be again. The piano concerto that carries us across moments like a butterfly gingerly going from flower to flower is used effectively enough that you’re left wondering what on earth has brought us to such a serious looking old guy when his remembrance of things past appears to be colored by a pretty awesome experience. Oh well, no big matter, as the film on the whole just looks like a punch to the soul.

The Moo Man Trailer

After being taken by the simplicity and beauty in a documentary like Buck I have been on the lookout for something that could come close to showing another slice of life that could be so moving.

Directors Heike Bachelier and Andy Heathcote are taking that tack as they introduce us to Steve, our moo man. What’s so damn remarkable that besides the wonderful cascade of a score that is the sound bed for the gentle showcase of a man and his flock of heifers there is a genuineness that comes across awfully quick. We get let in that we’re going to get a story that is as universal as any others nowadays, the struggles of family farms all across this world. One of the ways we get hooked is not to just focus on Steve but to humanize the lives of the walking dead, i.e. his cows. These beasts are shown to be sweet and capable of something approaching the domesticated dog. And the pull quotes, the pull quotes are so delicately inserted and done with such a smooth flourish that they seem to pop against the backdrop of this idyllic land.

Shopping Trailer

Sometimes you find these gems after the fact.

Released last month in Australia and New Zealand, this little movie looks like it has enough heart to warrant showcasing it to you, the teeming masses, in the hopes it doesn’t fade away.

What makes this such a lush experience is that filmmakers Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland have put together a trailer and, subsequently, a movie, that seems to not focus on a straightforward story than it does with establishing the relationship between these two brothers. You immediately feel that this is a story that is more focused on the bond between these siblings and the things that happen around them. It’s an interesting way to sell a movie because you’re not left thinking that you want to find out what happens to X when Y happens. Instead, you’re sucked into the world that the brothers inhabit and how they react to one another. It’s something that feels very genuine and very sincere. It’s tough to get an honest portrait of guys who care for one another and this seems like one of the rare moments that you could see a movie where it’s the focus.

Nota bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers to possibly be included in this column, even have a trailer of your own to pitch, please let me know by sending me a note at Christopher_Stipp@yahoo.com or look me up via Twitter at @Stipp

In case you missed them, here are the other trailers we covered at /Film this week:

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