This Week In Trailers: Reality, The New Juarez, Night Across the Street, Chasing Beauty, God Save the Films, Into The Mind, Groundhog Day
Posted on Friday, February 1st, 2013 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 stop being polite and start getting real, try not to be beheaded by a drug cartel, look back wistfully at a time that has long since passed, get coked out with the pretty people, hit the slopes for a little R&R, reflect on 20 years of Groundhog Day, and then get excited about stopping over in England to hear Edgar Wright and some directorial blowhards drone on about film.
I just sat there, sitting on my hands, watching this.
Sometimes you just get lucky when you stumble upon something that, mere minutes later after watching it, completely colors your world. Four years ago, director Matteo Garrone gave us Gomorrah and what a gift it was. It’s rare when a movie moves me enough to buy the book upon which it’s based but the story was riveting enough to warrant it. This, however, while not as scintillating as the mafia, has a delightful charm its own.
The trailer wonderfully constructs the narrative in a way that it doesn’t give you what you want which is a full explanation but it also doesn’t play coy with the details. You have a man who is so clearly delusional that the story takes on the elements of paranoia, delusions of grandeur and a sadness about what it means to be obsessed with the trappings of a society that loves its celebrities more than those who really do make a difference.
What’s here is absolutely dense and packed with possibilities. The tempo and zesty colors that are on parade are more than enough to sway any layperson that this is exactly the kind of shot in the arm any filmgoer needs now that we’re getting beyond the forest of big budget award features.
Into The Mind Trailer
Dave Mossop and Eric Crosland know how to make a topic like outdoor photography look absolutely amazing.
This is one of those trailers where you have to reconcile the fact that you are not an extreme athlete, someone who looks at a mountain face and sees something to conquer on a pair of skis whereas the rest of us would be more apt to slide down on our collective butts instead. The first minute and a half is entirely confusing. I’m not sure what it wants from me, what it would like me to feel or take away. Sure, seeing weatherbeaten men chant is always a good time, and seeing scenes of nature’s majesty harkens back to those videos in the 80s where slow-mo meets instrumental rock.
Instead, we get dubstep as things come off the rails in an explosion of insanity. Multiple shots of a snowboarder doing his thing, downhill skiers doing what looks next to impossible as they nearly fly downward on a mountain, all of it wonderfully photographed and in the kind of definition that makes HD worth every penny to see rendered so cleanly.
God Saves the Films Trailer
I do love these kinds of documentaries.
David Perissère may have constructed a movie where only directors are the focus but what a stable of talent and knowledge. Edgar Wright, Neil Marshall, Chris Smith and Joe Cornish, among others, all dishing about English cinema. While the subject matter seems rather quaint it does resonate with interested folks like myself who see this as a master class of knowledge being disseminated to the masses. While it’s not going to win any awards for its construction as a trailer, there is a utilitarian purpose in its existence and it comports itself accordingly. (Via Bleeding Cool)
Chasing Beauty Trailer
Brent Huff almost had me there.
To watch almost the first minute of this trailer you would be hard pressed to think it’s a movie that will talk honestly about the perils of the fashion industry. You almost get the vibe that this is going to be an exposé that will show what it’s like to be a hard working model but then it happens. The music turns and we get that seedy underbelly.
Hearing the tragedy that has followed many of these people and the havoc it wrought on their lives, this is the raw stuff that makes for must-see watching. No one would probably deny that this is one of the most shallow, dangerously fast moving professions for any person to be involved in, and the interviews deliver. Some of it does seem dated but this continues to be a juggernaut of a business that literally needs fresh blood coursing through it and to have this be a living testament to what it does to people I am on board with what it’s selling.
Night Across the Street Trailer
There’s something wonderful about seeing trailers like this.
Director Raoul Ruiz, now since shuffled off this mortal coil, has created something that looks amazingly fantastic. With one foot in the bizarre and another squarely planted in a world where Proust would be quite comfortable, this trailer does everything it needs to in order to tell its story.
It’s amazing how the scenes are just allowed to breathe. There are a few moments that just linger, delightfully so, for a little bit as the music provides buoyancy in the background like a gondella gliding in the water. I haven’t one clue about what is happening, why a kid is eating in a chicken coop, why no one is moving that fast to help a guy who has obviously hanged himself, but I could care less. There is just something so playful about what we’re seeing that it’s easy to just enjoy the ride.
With the bevy of pull-quotes that makes this appear to be a must-see, and the number of accolades it has received from film festivals, the overall effect this has on how it’s positioned itself is a positive one. You certainly won’t have seen anything like it this week.
The New Juarez Trailer
I just can’t get enough when it comes to telling the story of Juarez.
There is no more real boogeymen than the narco cartels who own these places south of the border. They kill with impunity, they have no limits, and they will literally let no official, cop, soldier, mother, or child, get in their way. It’s dangerous and, without an ounce of hyperbole, it is a war zone. Director Charlie Minn appears to be taking the next swing at things and this documentary looks to explain where we’ve been and where we’re going with regard to Juarez’ future.
It’s the murder count that makes this trailer’s statements stand out even more. Sure, we can see file footage of federales running through the street but it’s the black and white numbers of the lives lost that show you what in the world is happening. I don’t think this is comes off as strong as The Night Watchman but while that one’s pretty specific in its depiction of what the drug trade is doing to the country while The New Juarez appears to be just a straight up dissection of the issues a place like Juarez faces right now.
Groundhog Day Trailer / Retrospective
Look, it’s been 20 years.
One of my favorite podcasts in the annals of The Tobolowsky Files has to be, without question, when Stephen Tobolowsky talks about Groundhog Day.
Sure, there are a great number of other ones but that one and his epic commentary for the film, both found here at /Film, are what any great nostalgia junkies for this movie, like me, could never get enough of. The film is great for so many reasons but its real charm is how much of a perennial classic it is. The world it inhabits is real and the people who inhabit it don’t feel false. It’s the geography, though, that’s the uncredited scene stealer as the town in which it was filmed, Woodstock, Illinois, has created a nascent get together that annually cheers on the movie’s legacy. Here, then, are the movie’s trailer (I still remember seeing this one in the theater) and a reflection on the movie’s appeal two decades later that just aired on Chicago airwaves. Someday I’ll make it back to stay in the approximate room as Phil (it’s a B&B), but until that happens I’ll just sit here basking in the halcyon halo of days since long passed.
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:
- Mood Indigo Trailer - Absolutely.
- Upside Down Trailer - There is no possible way this can overcome its high concept, right? I think I got a little queasy with the upside down action.
- Somebody Up There Likes Me Trailer – Nick Offerman could sit at a table and read the ingredients for Chex Mix and I think I’d show up.