Posted on Saturday, January 17th, 2015 by Christopher Stipp
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 grow up, get drunk, get Shakespeare’d, get a life, and wonder what hides in the minds and hearts of office a-holes.
All the Wilderness Trailer
When you’re someone who is given a shot to craft something personal, professional and polished you obviously want to let the world know you’ve arrived. Director Michael Johnson is such a guy that, based on the strength of this trailer, there is no other reaction to have other than feeling compelled to want to know more about it. Yes, it’s a coming-of-age yarn that will unfurl itself in a manner that might not be incredibly original but I’m willing to forgo any presumptions as we enter this world of uncertainty and into the life of a kid who, convincingly, makes me believe there is still something to be mined in this genre. I just don’t know what takes hold when you hit the 45 second mark but there is an elevation of the usual navel gazing in the hopes of some profound breakthrough in the life of an artist as a young man and morphs into something far more interesting and engaging. I could be wrong, maybe I’m just working through some things in my own head, but this appears to be a very, very welcome diversion to the usual noise.
This looks like it was made for the kind of money you could find in the seat cushions of your AMC Pacer.
What director Joel Potrykus has crafted here appears to be born of a psyche only the most enlightened could ever hope to glimpse. It has some of the most raw energy of any movie I’ve been privy to as of late while also being about as tough to love as a trailer can get. We get the beats, we understand what’s at stake, but the real power comes from its distinctive voice and the power with which it wants to be in your face about why you need to kneel before it. By the end of it all there is just us, watching our protagonist gorge himself on a plate of spaghetti, while we try and piece together the last two minutes of our lives and wondering what it is, exactly, that we were just witness to.
A Year in Champagne Trailer
First burgundy, now this.
Last year, documentary filmmaker David Kennard brought us on a tour of wine country to look at how some winemakers in the Burgundy region of France developed this particular brand of vino. He’s back to look at champagne and I can’t think of a more understated documentary that is about to come out than this. It’s not about revolution or exposing any great truth about the world, it’s about this liquid that has been the hallmark for so many within the elite class, that is the unsung hero of many a hip-hop anthem, and for those among us who count How It’s Made as a show worthy of our collective fascination. Equally so, the footage here is alluring in its siren song beckoning us to almost taste the bubbles on our tongue. There are real people, farmers, really, who depend on the elements to keep their businesses going and there’s just enough uncertainty here to indicate that emotions will run high as we watch this process unfold before us.
I like it.
In 2011, we were exposed to director Céline Sciamma’s Tomboy. It was a small, quiet film that was genuine and moving. It exposed a wonderful chasm within childhood where some kids find themselves and the things they’ll do to hold on to something real. It was damn powerful and it showed that Sciamma had a way of being able to float within this young world and making it feel authentic. That said, this trailer for her latest only looks to continue the showcase of her abilities to drill into a moment and mine the moment for its essence. The trailer has a bubbly effervescence that captures the manic highs of a schoolgirl’s life while showing us the moments they can find themselves in that test their abilities to rise above. We don’t get much in the way of narrative or exposition but that’s OK, as what’s important here is to feel this girl’s joie de vivre and be in the moment with her. This is wonderfully put together with the way it slides in the critical praises without it ever dodging the fact you’re going to have to read in order to experience this girl’s life. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.
Know full well that the trailer for director Michael Almereyda’s last attempt at big screen Shakespeare, 2000’s Hamlet, was unquestionably bad. Ho-riffic. Sinister, even. What I see in this, though, is a shade of my former self who marveled and was swept up in the majesty of Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet, 1996’s Romeo + Juliet and even the 1993 version of Much Ado About Nothing. I love when there is a new interpretation of Shakespeare’s work that’s put to film and this is no different. I don’t know what to make of Ed Harris‘ Grease inspired look but it’s the content, verily, that’s a real treat. The trailer doesn’t linger long or let long soliloquies be its marketing hallmark and this is absolutely an improvement over the first trailer which was slightly stilted and didn’t quite sell the story well. It is difficult, to be sure, to bring something antiquated into a contemporary environment but this trailer gives me hope that there could be something special in this interpretation.
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:
- Maps to the Stars Trailer – Just the right amount of creepy.
- Run All Night Trailer – Perfect fare for a Saturday night when there is positively, absolutely nothing else on.
- Chappie Trailer – If Robocop and Short Circuit dry humped, this would be the demonic brood of that exercise.
- Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer – Soft core porn for your mom.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer – Aww yissss.
- Spy Trailer – Uninteresting and unimaginative.
- Chappie UK Trailer – What a sweet mullet.
- Clouds of Sils Maria Trailer – Intriguing and poses quite a delicious question about what’s real and what’s ephemera.