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’re still tryin’ to make it Hollywood, become too smart for our own good, see faith in humanity restored inside Pakistan, and consider the beliefs of those we collectively call “crazy”.

All the Light in the Sky Trailer

When last we caught up with director Joe Swanberg he was turning heads and receiving critical praise for Drinking Buddies, a genuinely great film that took some people by surprise.

What’s magical about this trailer, his follow-up, is how intimate it feels. Apart from the muted way the pull-quotes once more heap praise on a filmmaker still many don’t know much about there are the long moments embedded in this that allow our protagonist’s struggles to shine through. There is the very obvious angle that here is an actress who is 45 and dealing with the issues of trying to make it a career but something more hides behind the obviousness of what we’re given. That’s what makes this such a step above what’s out there and even though there are moments that tip its hand that we’re on an indie budget it’s the passion which resonates with me the most.

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet Trailer

We’ve talked a little bit already about Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s latest effort earlier this year.

A new trailer has surfaced and it’s even better than the first. I don’t know how you would characterize a director like Jeunet but his attention to detail, to color, is on full display. While this movie is focused on the young braniac inside a family filled with characters you can get a sense of the road trip cum adventure aspect nicely in this extended view. It plays out almost like Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure with how we have someone trying to get from A to B and meeting all kinds of individuals along the way. There’s a playfulness that seems to be absent in modern film but this trailer doesn’t make this a story of some kid running away, we see his parents in this iteration in the audience for the young prodigy receiving his kudos, but looks like something where there’s an acceptance of difference in the way that Jeunet always has a knack of uncovering.

These Birds Walk Trailer

There is a beauty in this sadness.

Documentary filmmakers Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq have chosen an unlikely subject for a documentary but the trailer is like a song for the soul. No hyperbole at all, there is a gorgeousness in letting the people of this documentary be seen as they are. In the first twenty seconds we know where we are, what’s going on, what’s really at stake, and it simply allows the rest of the time to be spent in piecing together the delicate narratives going on.

Slip in the festivals it has played at, gingerly slide in the people who have raved about it.

And when you take in the situation that the adults find themselves in, the risk they take in shepherding these children, it’s emotionally wrenching. To see a boy one minute protesting and, the next, crying his heart out, it’s at the same time effective at getting its point across and heartbreaking. How do you classify a movie that show you the exhalations of youth and the misery of being alone? There is no good way to coat a documentary that will take you from side of the emotional spectrum to the next but the trailer is a class act and should instantly be on everyone’s must-see list.

A Journey to Planet Sanity Trailer

I have no good explanation for this.

Director Blake Freeman looks to have made a documentary that is devoid of any deep humanitarian or historical significance but I love the vibe of what he’s doing here. Debunking UFO apologists, psychics, astrologers, nut-balls of all stripes, while taking an old guy as his sidekick. The pacing of this trailer just hums and that’s what I like most about it. It’s cheeky and has the kind of humor you would expect out of someone who is really wanting to understand but not take these things as gospel. Soothsayers, charlatans, call them what you will, Blake looks like he’s having fun as he goes along for the ride with those who purport to have extraordinary abilities. While I do hope it goes in-depth with what these people believe I’m equally hopeful there’s a level of respect shown, or as much as you have to give someone who says they can call a UFO to appear at a moment’s notice, as it’s better to have someone give you a fair shot than point a finger a laugh at them. The trailer seems to ride that thin line and appears to be something you could pop in on a random night and simply enjoy for the entertainment value.

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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