Posted on Saturday, June 18th, 2016 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 come of age, head into a war zone as a refugee, wake up blind, rage against the machine, and deal with ALS.
Closet Monster Trailer
I don’t know where director Stephen Dunn has been hiding but I’m bowled over. To wit, after I watched this I looked up the trailer for his previous effort, Life Doesn’t Frighten Me, and was equally charmed by the visual flourishes that poured from the screen. Here, though, while we’re awash in coming-of-age stories this feels like a fresh angle that digs into its subject head first with how we’re presented with the narrative.
Notes on Blindness Trailer
This is the first of two trailers that will remind you about the fragility of life.
Directors Pete Middleton and James Spinney have created something wholly unique in taking one man’s recordings about going blind and essentially dramatizing the totality of the experience through artistic interpretation. What is so innately enjoyable about this trailer is just how, at the same time, grounded in reality and fantasy it is. You’re given just enough narrative to get going and the rest is fantastical in its presentation. Here’s hoping it can deliver on the promises it makes.
Heads up: June 20th is World Refugee Day.
How this is important in knowing what you see the above trailer is that Bafta award winning director Daniel Mulloy decided to create a 20-minute short starring Jack O’Connell about a family living in safety who then go to a war zone. The narrative twist is meant to highlight the issues facing those who are living under extreme conditions across the world due to war, fighting or escalated violence and this trailer does a gripping job of illustrating the gradually intensifying level of malevolence when you’re going the other direction. Preachy it’s not, as it’s subtly effective.
I, Daniel Blake Trailer
Ken Loach is back at it again.
We just talked about Loach here in this column last month regarding his oeuvre, and how his work reflects a social realist perspective, so it should be no surprise that he’s back at it again with something that feels weighty and has something to say. It’s heartbreakingly stark in its narrative that follows an older man who finds himself displaced in a society that, technologically speaking, has moved on. An unintentional luddite, he’s caught between two worlds. How that meshes with the B and C stories that involve others who are working to make their way through this world is not certain but, without question, the subject it brings up is absolutely germane even if does take place in another country.
If you ever tell anyone about Steel Magnolias, I’ll kill you. It would take a robot not to cry at that movie. — Bill McNeal, NewsRadio
Here’s the thing: This most likely will induce sadness. Director Clay Tweel does the right thing here in just letting the audience float on the back of what is a personal journey and struggle for one person who was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 34. While there are other stories to be told, and will be told, of those who are struggling to make it through this sinister disease the trailer here is commendable for its simplicity and intimacy. These kinds of video, documenting human life that is meant to be left and viewed by those who don’t yet know how valuable they will be, are devastating. Something like this is meant to be treated with reverence and the tone that’s struck here does exactly that.
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:
- Moana Trailer – Hmm.
- The Night Of Trailer – I’m interested.
- Kevin Hart: What Now Trailer – Kneel before your populist comedic demigod.
- Morris From America Trailer – Big ups.
- Ben-Hur Trailer – A swords and sandals we could have done without.
- Pete’s Dragon Trailer – Seems like passable family friendly fare.
- 31 Trailer – Hahahaha
- Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Trailer – God bless Tom Cruise’s sheer determination and drive to be our hero. Seriously.
- Denial Trailer – Yes, go on.
- Almost Christmas Trailer – About as enticing as a holiday gift of peanut brittle from granny.
- The Young Pope Trailer – Unmoved.
- All Eyez on Me Trailer – Biopic worthy enough to show late at night on VH1.
- Storks Trailer – Not sure where the appeal is.
- Middle School Trailer – A burning dumpster would make for better viewing.
- Anthropoid Trailer – Ripe with intrigue.
- Roseanne for President Trailer – Sight unseen and only based on this trailer? I would rather watch Weiner again.
- Outlaws and Angels Trailer – Pass and then pass some more.
- David Brent: Life on the Road Trailer – Not as good as the first trailer, unfortunately.
- I, Daniel Blake Trailer – Impactful.