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 over menopause, go a’ shootin’ with the ladies, feel bad about cancer, have a sexual identity crisis, and then go to Vienna to enjoy some art and old fashioned romance.

Welcome to Pine Hill Trailer

When I talked about this trailer last year in November, I was mystified by it. I didn’t know what it was really about but there was something there.

Fast forward nearly seven months later and Keith Miller’s inaugural, directorial debut, seems even more interesting than it did all those weeks ago. Even though it tells you fairly quick about why we’re all gathered to watch this protagonist, it just slaps it on the table and moves on, it’s still a mesmerizing experience if only because of how quiet it is. There is a hush that falls on everything but it works here. I’m an engaged viewer and there’s an uncertainty about where the narrative is going once we know what the thrust of the story is going to be. There isn’t any hysteria, or grandiose proclamations about how unfair life can be, or any sort of musical montage that shows how our guy is going to really live now his days are numbered. There is none of that and I’m grateful. Seems more honest and genuine that way.

A Girl and a Gun Trailer

This is certainly interesting.

With all the hubbub about gun control and gun legislation you would think this wouldn’t be a grand time to be releasing a documentary about gun ownership and the modern woman but this is a snappy trailer that gets a few points across. Director Cathryne Czubek doesn’t seem so much concerned about taking a side as he is with showing what kind of industry has been building up around this segment of the population. Getting interview footage of women talking about how guns make them feel, seeing bra and underwear sets that are adorned in pink camo, looking at the pink hilts of pistols, you start to feel how an industry is responding to a growing part of the gun business. The trailer remains steadfast on not picking a side, although it kind of feels predisposed to pointing out the silliness of the fear mongering going on. I’m always down to learn more about this part of our culture and, to focus on women, it seems like a subject whose time has come.

[Note: Filip Jan Rymsza was initially attributed as having directed this documentary. I regret the error.]

Museum Hours Trailer

 Jem Cohen.

Many may not know the name but Jem’s biggest claim to faim for this Gen X’er is the video work he did with R.E.M.. I realize this is incredibly reductionist for someone working as long as Jem has but every story has a hook and that’s mine. All that said, this looks like one of the most charming movies I’ve seen pop up this spring.

What is most enjoyable about this trailer is that it is the modern day equivalent of a slow, cool morning on the veranda, sipping some coffee and reading the paper. There isn’t a need to be flashy or showy or loud or quick or obnoxious or any of those things. This is going to take its time and let its narrative breathe out in the open. I don’t know who these people are but the puzzle pieces of this trailer fit together in a way that you want to know them more. The gentleman seems like such an honest guy, hell, the opening is good enough where you don’t know if this is a documentary or a piece of fiction, and the woman seems like someone who we all know in some capacity.

Getting to know them individually is a delight but getting to the moment where you want to know what happens when their lives intersect, that’s when it gets interesting and the buy-in is complete.

The Comedian Trailer

I still don’t know what’s going on here but I like it.

With the music being supplied by Only Real with his single “Cadillac Girl” we are thrust into a ether-like fog where movements feel like drunken steps on a cobblestone street. Or, you’re sitting on your couch, and it’s late at night, and you’re about to drift off to sleep. It’s a comfortable feeling. We have a comedian who has a boyfriend, possibly a girlfriend, and he seems adrift in his own life. Unable to commit or be honest with himself, whatever mental maladies he’s suffering from, it’s all here in a way that hides the actual from the superficial. We see the periphery, the blast zone, but that’s OK.

First time director Tom Shkolnik has a certain way he’s framing the story, just watching the trailer, and that involves a lot of darkness, bus lighting, smokey environments, and it carries over to the actual vibe of how you’re left when it’s all done. I’m so fascinated by this for reasons that it bucks a lot of the best practices when it comes to how to sell your movie but, God bless them, it comes off as an original voice.

Hot Flashes Trailer

For those of you who were wondering what the director of Desperately Seeking Susan, She-Devil, or Making Mr. Right has been up to lately, wonder no more!

Susan Seidelman is back and this time, well, it’s complete misery.

I don’t know how you get a roster of these kinds of talented actresses all together to make a movie and have it be something as trite, hackneyed and awful looking as this but I think the worst part is that it’s literally difficult to watch. I could not make it to the end without feeling awkward at times. Definitely one of the worst trailers I’ve seen this year and, if I was a betting man, I would say the movie isn’t much better.

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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