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 find out what Begbie from Trainspotting is up to, find out what Rose McGowan has been doing with her free time after exposing Hotel Transylvania 2’s star Madam Panhandler’s casting directives, get some really bad news late in life, find there’s a therapeutic side to surfing, and realize there are still people in this world who will shoot little girls for funsies.

45 Years Trailer

Slow. Burn.

There was something about watching Charlotte Rampling roll through this with the kind of cautious fury that helps to sell you on the exact reason why you should keep this high on your list of summer antidotes. Director Andrew Haigh takes us gingerly through this couple’s lives but then when things go sideways he infuses everything with a heavy dread that compels you to wonder what in the world is happening to these people. How are they connected? What happened so far in the past? What is the guy hiding? None of these answers are forthcoming but it doesn’t matter because what we’re given is just enough rope to hang onto but not enough to do anything with which is a delight. Sit back and enjoy.

Dawn Trailer

This is perhaps one of the strangest ways I came upon the trailer to Rose McGowan’s first directorial effort:

Apart from the boorish and foul troglodyte-like actions that I assume go on every second of every day in this business, it prompted me to see what McGowan hath wrought as I found out that she recently had a short that went live to the world a few days ago. Wonderfully, this trailer is a hoot and does just what it needs to in 60 seconds. There’s a playfulness here that has a tense undercurrent where malevolence doesn’t seem too far off. Adding to that, everything is bathed in sumptuous tones and it’s a delight to behold with the eyes. It plays with your expectations of what should be forthcoming, instead it denies you that in order to drive you deeper into its core where you can’t tell what is going to come next. I’m not sure how much better you could craft this thing with its delicate and tasteful placement of succinct pull-quotes while giving us a few moments to breathe in this tight one minute but I couldn’t be more convinced to give up 17 minutes of my free time to see how everything goes south.

You can watch the entire short here.

The Legend Of Barney Thomson Trailer

Begbie.

My introduction to Robert Carlyle came in what is one of the most perfectly deranged characters ever crafted for the screen in Trainspotting. He was nuts, he was crazy, and he was brilliant. Carlyle took almost two decades before he picked up the camera to direct his own feature and this is the result. With notable notables like Emma Thompson and Ray Winstone helping Carlyle along it’s hard not to be tickled by what’s on display here. A little mystery, a little comedy, and Thompson laying into the words “bingo night” as if her entire performance depended on delivering it with absolute aplomb. This trailer just warms something inside of me when you see just how everyone is navigating these nonsensical waters. Good or bad, it’s nice to see the scene chewing going on here.

Curt Trailer

This is the kind of trailer that gets to you.

What director Brendan Hearne manages to accomplish is ignite genuine interest in a movie that seems more about focusing on the triumphs of the human spirit than on delving into its dark gooiness. I can’t say exactly what is so magnetic about a simple story about a grom who grows up facing his own kind of adversity, I would assume I would just have to look up and down the California coast and could find hundreds of stories like this, but there seems something poignant about this story, something fascinating about the indomitable power of spirit and positivity. Understanding that this is not Capturing the Freidmans or Dear Zachary, and that it does not mine those kinds of emotional depths, this, nonetheless, might play well as an ESPN 30 for 30 and makes a solid case why it could.

He Named Me Malala Trailer

You know the name.

Davis Guggenheim, director of An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for Superman, has delivered a narrative that speaks to the heart of contemporary conversation about what savagery still exists in the world. It didn’t have to be Malala, or anyone else, but she’s become a symbol for the kind of oppression that intros this trailer. I’m of two minds on this trailer, and that’s that while I found her story food enough on its own I don’t feel it needs the visual embellishments it takes liberties in using nor does it need to employ sweeping, musical accoutrements to somehow lift this to a motivational video-like presentation. Both these things get in the way for why I want to hear her story. She’s a woman who stood up to oppression and that’s the story I’ve come for but what I get is a mixed bag of genuinely compelling content and an overwrought EPK/sizzle reel of why she should be paid to speak at the next middle managers convention in Bumwad, Kentucky.

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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