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 watch an unconventional approach to the coming of age yarn, be delighted by an unconventional approach to the coming of age yarn, come of age in an era of entrepreneurship, come of age as we manually remove landmines, and have the cops come bust down our coming of age party with military grade weaponry just cuz they can.

Moonlight Trailer

Just take a moment and stay still.

Let this trailer soak your eyes and drift into your heart. Director Barry Jenkins’ latest (his debut was 2008’s Medicine for Melancholy and looks just as enticing) appears to delve into the lives of some wildly complex people. What I am in love with the most here is how much meat there is on the bone that we can gnaw on, narratively speaking. Just feeling how taut we are led down the path of discovering who these people are and the music that guides our emotions throughout unquestionably keeps us tense on purpose. You want feel-good? Go somewhere else. I’m on edge the entire time but I am dialed in to what is being given up to us. We move through space and time without any problem. The visuals, the words, the cinematography, the questions that are raised, it’s just wildly intense. I don’t know where we’re going but I am going along wherever that might be.

Girl Asleep Trailer

Twee. But, in the best way possible.

Director Rosemary Myers may have her film-making abilities compared to any number of other filmmakers who have a very strong visual imprimatur when it comes to someone’s signature style but this feels like too much fun to care one way or the other on the matter. I think what we have in front of us is a wildly entertaining story about a girl coming of age against a backdrop of some intense visual cues. I, for one, welcome this kind of thing if only to bust up the more conventional ways we’ve seen these stories be told. What’s more, there’s a sense of humor about it all which is just refreshing as it looks like it’s been done right if the pull-quotes are to be believed. Without a doubt, this is the kind of movie you hope is as good, if not better, than the trailer which is already a treat unto itself. Set it all to The Angels’ “Take a Long Line” and you have my money.

Do Not Resist Trailer

The thing about a police force that’s equipped like the military is that they might be tempted to use the equipment.

Say what you will about the current police state and the ways in which we’re trying to ensure our police departments don’t act like extensions of an “occupying force” against the same people they’ve sworn to protect and serve but director Craig Atkinson has a timely documentary about this issue. Never mind the one visual that happens late in this trailer which is the sight of a heavily armored personnel carrier rolling down a suburban street with a plastic kiddie slide in the foreground, the real punch to the face is how we’re slowly allowing all this to happen around us. With us versus them rhetoric, the sale and use of robots that act like judge, jury and executioner, and the overall chill that has taken root in many communities when it comes to figuring out whether police truly are serving their constituencies, it all feels like it’s come to this head that needs exploration. This trailer just rolls through that without commentary and promises to be an important part in understanding how we got here and where we might be able to go from here.

Generation Startup Trailer

23 wins. 1 of those was an Academy Award.

Director Cynthia Wade won her Academy Award in 2008 for Freeheld, a 39 minute short film that eventually saw a fully dramatized version last year, and was nominated again in 2012 for the short, Mondays at Racine. The amount of accolades and attention she’s made with the stories she’s wanted to tell is more than enough reason to settle into this one to understand what caught her curiosity. Even though the statistics are showing Millennials starting companies at their lowest rate in the last 25 years, there will always be those who see forging their own path as the only path that will ever make sense. This trailer felt like a callback to the superb documentary that was all too timely in 2001, Startup.com, for all the same reasons: watching people follow their dreams to make a life for themselves on their own terms while struggling to make things work out. It just makes for great drama and Wade captures those highs and low lows. It may not be following Twitter or Facebook along their meteoric rise but these stories are the kinds of things that motivate others to follow their own passions.

Land of Mine Trailer

+2 points for the subtle title.

Danish director Martin Zandvliet, who directed an utterly incredible movie in 2009 called Applause which garnered well-deserved critical acclaim, delivers a nail-biter. I’m a huge fan of these kinds of narratives where the entire punch of the film’s drama depends on the abilities of the actors before us. Somehow this is all compelling as hell, following these young men as they have to diffuse landmines by hand. Draw a parallel with The Hurt Locker if you want as the moment we’re given at the 1:40 mark is all the convincing I need to know there is a gem of a story to be unearthed here and it looks like it could actually humanize some Nazis that have, rightly, been categorically vilified in history’s eyes.

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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