Green Band Trailer

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 second guess a serial killer, discover I really might have ADHD, look back and judge a judge, witness the mother of all filmmaker team-ups with Steven Soderbergh and Flying Lotus, and then finish the week by getting in tight with a luchador.

Beast

A descent into true madness.

What I enjoyed most about director Michael Pearce’s feature debut is just how disoriented you are by the end of it. It’s like that game where some rube has to put their head on the end of a bat that’s standing upright and spin around and around until they’re dizzy as hell, trying to run in a straight line, but that line isn’t as straight as you thought it was. They veer down a path that seems awfully straight but then lose all sense of balance.  That’s the best way to describe this trailer. It’s dense, it’s gripping, and, by the end, you’re not really sure what’s up or what’s down. The trailer is carefully crafted to sow seeds of doubt before it devolves completely, all sides beset with violence. I’m not sure who’s to blame for what. It’s truly delicious without ever giving up so much as a hint about where we’re going to end up when it’s all finished.

RBG

I’m down on the Supreme Court.

I don’t know how some see the law through a constitutional interpretation as it was written so many decades ago, but I just feel defeated by the bickering and antics some of these judges employ in their righteous declarations when commenting on cases. Still, for the most part, it’s all a part of democracy’s evolution and directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen look to have constructed a portrait of a woman who genuinely shaped some of the more monumental legal decisions this country has seen. At the very least this looks to have provided a nice insight into one more the more colorful Justices that ever was.

Take Your Pills

Fascinated.

Director Alison Klayman, who gave us Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, and the producers behind Abacus and Life, Animated,  are back with a fantastic documentary. It’s a film that hopefully helps contextualize the relationship between drugs that help those who have ADD and/or ADHD to our current social environment. Meaning, as the trailer is sharp to point out, the kinds of drugs that are helping a generation with their output of work, be it in school or their 9-to-5, might be related to the bombardment of stimuli many people are getting as a result of this being a more connected world. Employers want more, people want more out of themselves. This is one documentary I hope is as good as the trailer.

Perfect

I don’t know either, I just know I want in.

Director Eddie Alcazar, who has executive producers Steven Soderbergh and Flying Lotus backing him up, has a unique vision. I absolutely appreciate the strangeness and rough edges we see here in this trailer and embrace this odd story. None of it makes any narrative sense, but that’s the charm here. Strap in, hold on, and be enchanted by its sensibilities. Catch it if you can during SXSW.

Lowlife

Yes, please.

One of the sheer delights of running a column like this is stumbling onto something that I think would make great post-drinking viewing after a night of hard living. Director Ryan Prows, at first, comes out of the gate with a little bit of something that doesn’t seem like much but he decides to quickly turn the Weird knob up to 10 and just lets loose with his bizarre vision. I’m equally encouraged by the fawning pull-quotes which only serves to reinforce the idea that this could be one of those under the radar gems that knows what it is and simply embraces it.

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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