Posted on Saturday, December 31st, 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 are convinced the fetus inside of us is ordering us to kill, delight in some Andy Warhol sellers remorse, wonder at an environmentally friendly family drama, develop a bad drug habit, and marvel at some young kids who discover friendship and that one of them doesn’t have a heartbeat.
Nothing Grows Here Trailer
Short and sweet.
Director Lauren Belanger has made a 17 minute short that looks absolutely charming. Removed from any recognizable face and any preconceived notions about how a narrative about a young boy and young girl ought to go, the high concept isn’t at all jarring and, is in fact, completely disarming. One of the best things I’ve stumbled on this month, this trailer shows how to gin up interest with nothing but a fascinating concept and an interesting visual style.
Just read the logline and tell me you’re not interested too.
Alice Lowe, who co-wrote Ben Wheatley’s fantastically dark and delicious Sightseers, is making her directorial debut with a movie that is described thusly:
A darkly satirical slasher film in which she plays a pregnant woman who is convinced her fetus is ordering her to kill.
Yup, I’m in. I dunno what it is about this twisted little yarn that has me so wound up but it’s probably the far-out-ness of it that makes it so alluring. If there ever was an opportunity to say something has completely come off the rails, this trailer comes off the rails and all you can do is just roll with where we’re at by the end which is a very bad, very dark, place. Embrace it.
Reminds me of last year’s Animals.
Director Ashley McKenzie may not have the same style that made Animals such a top pick on my list of best trailers from last year but there is real energy here that cannot be overlooked or denied. There is rawness in the performances and the story that is trying to be told so while it may be missing some musicality to take you from moment to moment this trailer punches you in the eyes with communicating the struggles of this drug addled couple. Searing and emotional.
Brillo Box (3 cents Off) Trailer
It’s hard not to laugh.
Documentary filmmaker Lisanne Skyler charts the unfortunate path that an Andy Warhol original “Brillo Box 3 Cents Off” her father purchased for $1,000 sold for over $3M at auction but only after he unloaded it 40 years ago. These are the true moments no one would wish on anyone but to get some background on this piece and to see her dad’s response when he hesitates and you know it’s something of a difficult subject to broach it’s just too temping not to engage with this narrative. Myself, I want to know what happened here and how these eager art collectors let this one get away. I realize nothing great will be revealed but how people deal with the one that got away always seems to be great fodder for exploration.
I get it.
There are absolutely so many documentaries about the environment that I would’ve skipped this one too if it didn’t take such a personal sharp turn. Hell, even Bernie Sanders pops up for a laugh.
Documentary filmmaker Derek Hallquist has a story to tell and while the environment certainly is at the top of his list of things to explain in this documentary, the trailer mines some choice nuggets about how this story intersects with his life at home. To be a crusader and have your kids look on as you do it is an interesting dynamic and one that ought to make for a great story.
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:
- Alien: Covenant Trailer – Take your haterade somewhere else, I’m thoroughly delighted.
- Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Season 9 Trailer – Sure, why not.
- Taboo Trailer – I’m not sure what’s happening here but I need this in my life.
- I Am Michael Trailer – Compelling, to be sure, but not sure that’s enough.
- Crashing Trailer – Rough around the edges. Nice.
- Between Us Trailer – Tried to muster enough emotion to care about these people. I failed.
- Leap! Trailer – Nope.