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 get fancy, drink wine until our teeth turn red, shine a light on the redemption of prostitutes, go surfing on a rocket, get giddy as we revisit an already comprehensive look at Wes Anderson, and battle robots in Northern Ireland.

Fight for Space Trailer

Interstellar was one of the best movies I saw last year.

Point a finger, giggle a bit, drag out your digs and derision, there is just something about the exploration of the vast enormity of space, and the postulations of possibilities inherent in that, which sinks its theoretical hooks into my psyche. To that end, director Paul Hildebrandt just ran a successful campaign on Kickstarter that raised over a $100,000 for a documentary that explores this notion of how we’re going to get from where we are to where we want to go. This trailer manages to cut through the noise of SpaceX, rocket launches, and the general bickering occurring around our current situation as it pertains to the exploration of the solar system. This feels like a step back, with regard to perspective, and we’re able to take it from the top in going over how this all began and why we’re in our current predicament of wondering what’s really next. Where should be go, what should we do, these are all inherently interesting questions that deserve answers and a great trailer should tease and stir you, emotionally, as it makes those connections. This one, without question, connects and now I’d like to hear the rest of the story.

Dior and I Trailer

I can barely dress myself and my only cultural reverence for anything coming close to fashion couture is this Kids in the Hall sketch which sums it up pretty well.

This is a fact: I get prior approval before leaving for the day from my house. It’s not that I need to but it’s because I’m terrified of having put the wrong things together and being exposed as a 9 year-old who should know you can’t mix stripes and solids. (At least I think that’s how it goes?) See, I’m a mess. Director Frédéric Tcheng, though, is taking that 9 year-old who doesn’t understand squat about couture and, if the trailer is any indication, is trying to put some context around it. Much like The September Issue or Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s I’m transfixed by the loveliness that comes out of people who put way too much into ephemera that are exorbitant in cost, resources, and, like any fashion trend, sloughed off and tossed in 12 weeks when a new season brings with it another rodeo with these larger-than-life nabobs of narcissism. The trailer gins up that excitement around a guy who has to make his mark in a very tight time frame. Coupled with the fact that people are producing physical objects that somehow are supposed to be representative of his vision, coupled with the impending insanity when everything goes south, there is no way I am not going to watch this. It’s a shiny spoon and I’m but a single brain-celled goofball who barely is able to tie my shoes to these people. That said, I’m still waiting for the flats made from boxes of glass that the Kids in the Hall all but assured me would be a hit on the runways of Paris one of these seasons.

SOMM: Into the Bottle Trailer

I don’t know what my obsession is with these kinds of documentaries.

From wondering why one of the Koch brothers are on a crusade against counterfeit wines, to watching endless programs devoted to figuring out how to pair the best wine with whatever is on my Grillmaster 5000, director Jason Wise is back for another crack at a documentary that just came out a little more than a year and a half ago. Of course the subject is wine, and all the minutiae that goes along with it, so it stands to reason that as a winemaker stands before us, and declares how much B.S. goes into the development of wine, it has my full attention. We simply zip through this thing and it’s a delight. There isn’t anything in here that will make anyone’s Top 10 list but what it lacks in technical finesse it more than makes up for it in the manner in which we meet our film’s subjects. The language is down to earth, the worst suppositions we all have about it are put on the proverbial table and when we take a moment to ingest its message there is nothing to do but delight that this could be one of those moments where we’re going to have a peek behind the pomposity and get at the reason why so many seemed consumed with this singular delight.

Robot Overlords Trailer

Look, I wouldn’t have thought it up, either.

When you come up with an idea for a movie and it’s about aliens who attack a small hamlet in Ireland and the only defense is to be absolutely schwasted it’s just a matter of time before the populace decide whether it’s a good idea or not. Turns out, people dug it. A lot. Director Jon Wright is back for some more sci-fi adventure in a movie that doesn’t seem to have that same edge but looks like it could be a movie that could blend family entertainment and big robots quite well. In an interesting turn of perspective, I’m actually less interested in knowing whether this is just another paycheck for Sir Ben Kingsley and more interested in trying to see if this could be a 21st century homage to films like Monster Squad or other films of that era when it was about adventure. Distilled adventure without any pretense that it has to be any deeper than a genuinely fun ride.

Dreamcatcher Trailer

Should deeply resonate with anyone possessing a soul.

One of the things you notice about filmmaker Kim Longinotto’s examination into the underworld of sex workers in Chicago is how the trailer manages to capture its message without it ever being overpowering or too much of an emotional powder keg. It eases you into this life of a bustling city where millions live their lives while a segment of this society subsists on its perimeters. Much like those who help put water stations in the desert for migrants crossing the border, we’re introduced to the subject of this narrative. She is inserted into these moments as someone who is trying to help women who are working in the oldest profession known to man by giving them the kind of emotional support they lack in their own lives. There is no braggadocio present, the touting of this movie as an affirmation of the human condition by some pull-quoting reviewer, that is absent. What we are left with are moments with women as they try and elevate themselves from a life not worth living into a life led out loud, on their own terms. Powerful.

The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel Trailer

Out of all the making-of books I bought when growing up, Empire Strikes Back, for one, springs to mind as was the behind-the-scenes tome for Krull which I esteemed far too much, Matt Zoller Seitz‘ book The Wes Anderson Collection is one of the best collections of photos, interviews and perspectives on Anderson that you can currently get your hands on. It seems, though, that Seitz’ comprehensive guide was a smidge too late to squeeze in The Grand Budapest Hotel but he’s rectifying that with another addition to this collection and it could not look more inviting. If ever there was a quintessential way in asking you to invest in the continuation of what was started with the first book, this would be it. It’s honest, tells you straight up what’s going to be inside, is absolutely cheeky, and before the trailer was done I was already klick-klacking away on my keyboard to give him more of my money.

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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