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 ponder the sociological importance of the selfie, get morally confused with Joel Edgerton, have a gay old time, step out on our animated wife, and try and understand why music can dust the cobwebs off the elderly.

Felony Trailer

First, if you haven’t go see 2008′s The Square. People will bring up film noir but besides the labels people put on the picture, the Edgerton brothers, actor Joel and director Nash, are a true double threat. That film was surgical in how well it was constructed, shot, and written.

Interesting that director Matthew Saville was brought in to film, which is based on Joel Edgerton’s screenplay, this but the trailer does not disappoint. It has that emotional draw that pulls you in but it’s smart in the way it keeps two feet in front of you by dropping narrative crumbs, pushing forward. It’s smartly weaves in pull-quotes without being intrusive and doesn’t allow interstitials to gin up any of what you’re seeing. It’s a movie that feels fresh if only because there’s been a dearth of movies like this, much like The Place Beyond the Pines, that get back to interesting storytelling. It’s a shot of adrenaline to figure out which way this is going to zig or zag as the build-up occurs and, delightfully, it pulls back its hand without revealing anything more than the moral quandary our protagonist finds himself in. Without any current release date set for America it’s one of those movies that make you wonder what is the issue with being able to get more promising foreign fare like this onto our shores without having to wait many months, if ever, to see for ourselves.

Pride Trailer

It’s just out in the open.

Sometimes, these kinds of trailers either hit and miss (which is most of the time) or there’s something worth pointing out. In this case it’s more of the latter and director Matthew Warchus, who hasn’t made anything since the stinker in 1999 called Simpatico, uses a rather bland directing style but takes on an interesting subject. So, then, this trailer really is dependent on selling a good story and it does that delightfully. The juxtaposition in itself, miners and the gay community, is something that’s ripe for comedy, and there’s no shortage of wacky, zany, and unintentionally inappropriate comments that are used for comedic effect that certainly gets some eye rolling from me, but it’s the real emotional core of what this true story was about that made me enjoy the presentation. In much the same way that The Full Monty exaggerated a situation those men found themselves in, this trailer establishes the times in which these people were living in and how this group of individuals wanted to help. Bill Nighy is a delight and is used so well to sell the story and Imedla Staunton reveals comedic timing that is at the same time interesting and surprising.

Cheatin’ Trailer

The San Diego Comic-Con is coming up and what better way to orale all of us into the insanity coming our way than with a trailer that’s been out there, unbeknownst to me, for almost 11 months?

Bill Plympton is flat out one of the best animators working today. His work has always been a touchstone for many who admire work that can convey emotion but also communicate ideas, thoughts, and raw imagination in ways that normal narrative storytelling cannot do. It’s here, then, where we find ourselves admiring a movie that seems to transcend those visual barriers that we’ve come to use as the yardstick for what constitutes “great animation” in 2014. Bill’s approach has evolved but everything he’s produced has been distinctly his own for decades now. It doesn’t feel dated or tired or worn out.

In fact, this trailer is amazing.

We are treated to a trailer without words. A trailer that is only set to the oft-used vocal stylings Nicole Renaud but is able to deliver everything we need to understand what’s at stake for everyone in this feature. From there, the other-worldliness is unleashed and your only directive is to let it go. Feel the music wash over your ears and soak in the visual weirdness that conveys what is essentially a story of a man who cheats on his wife. The story may be as old as time but the level of humor and emotion that’s jammed into this makes you appreciate the fact that someone like Bill is still out there making movies this way.

Alive Inside Trailer

I’ll be turning 39 this week. I am old, I get it. I don’t understand a lot of the pop culture goings on like I used to and the thought of losing my immaturity, which I am holding onto tightly, frightens me terribly.

Director Michael Rossato-Bennet’s debut feature has won many accolades for its level of quality even though its subject matter is quite sad. It socks you in the face at first, explaining how you begin to lose pieces of yourself as you get older but weaves in the notion that music is something that can drive itself to your core unlike any medium out there, but then it relents a little. It establishes some of its reason for being and then builds on it by focusing on people who are in genuine need of being touched, emotionally. It feels, as we go through this, that we’re seeing real connections being made to something primal and real. There’s a change in behavior in some of these people that you can’t help but be curious as to what it is about music that is digging below the superficiality of someone’s present condition and giving something that medical science cannot provide. It’s flat out heartwarming and promising to see such a thing and it’s absolutely profound in the way it lets us finish off things by hearing from a woman who is genuine in feeling the power of what she was exposed to.


{How Do You See Me?} Trailer

Documentarians Wend Baker and Matt Biggs are tackling something current and frightening.

For any of you who are interested in how the youths of the world are tackling life online, there is an amazingly insightful documentary called Generation Like that details the way in which teens are growing up online in this day and age. It’s an ecosystem of Likes and Shares and kids’ identities are starting to be intertwined in the notion that this is way to show how popular you are. We all could play the part of being the crotchety old people, sitting on our collective porches, pontificating on how easy the young’uns have it but the fact is that if you take a step back and look at the ways in which online activities are helping to curry influence, and how marketers are using this against them, it becomes not something to laugh at but something to understand much like a sociological phenomenon. The upside to this trailer is that this will be a free film that will eventually expound on the frank discussions that teens have about what it means to share themselves online and that the little taste we get here should be bitter and not very appealing at all. That’s the point. And all we can do is try and understand.

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:

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

.

Please Recommend /Film on Facebook

blog comments powered by Disqus