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 really are going to rock the suburbs, inadvertently ingest human bodily fluids, throw a Hail Mary to get the girl, get low down in Memphis, and get crazy down under.

Little Hope Was Arson Trailer

I’m a fan.

Theo Love. Besides having a sweet name that many dudes would kill for, it’s not a name many will recognize as the director of this documentary. However, this doc is coming by way of producer Bryan Storkel who directed the fantastic Fight Church and Holly Rollers so I gave it a spin. Thankfully, what’s here is just solid. It’s a sobering and within the first 30 seconds we get all the information we need to put everything into context that will come our way. We’re talking about the intentional burning of churches and the anguish it unleashed within the communities where it happened. What’s really compelling here is that we’re not led down the road of what to think about this but through a wonderful composition of footage within houses of worship, the footage of these churches on fire, footage of the news as this story progressed, and the interviews with those responsible for finding those responsible, it’s a story that is wrapped up nice and neat for our consumption without any needless distraction. Wisely, it doesn’t go for the emotional play of getting people to go on about how this affected them and, instead, focuses on the hunt. It plays like a whodunit and that’s the brilliance of why this trailer works as well as it does.

Recycling Lily Trailer

I see lots of different trailers from around the world but none as of late have been as interesting as this.

Director Pierre Monnard has crafted a strange world where the directorial flourishes of a Jeunet or a Burton are infused with a comedic sensibility that somehow make complete sense when you let it wash over you. I couldn’t help but smile through this entire trailer and marvel how delightful it made me feel. With the use of The Crew Cuts’ “Sh-Boom” we’re taken on this whirlwind of fantastical elements that showcase an eye-popping attention to color, composition and exaggerated reality. We learn that this is really a love story that has to deal with hoarding but it’s interesting from the standpoint that these little quirky elements come across as very genuine and kind of cute.

I’ve had it with the way we’re supposed to ingest our romantic comedies of late and this looks like a perfect antacid to that forced manner in which we’re supposed to believe what we see. While we may not believe this world even exists, these people feel and seem as real as anyone else. Cannot wait to see whether this can go the distance and if it can live up to what it promises to be here.

1: Life on the Limit Trailer

I do not understand Formula 1 racing.

Yes, you sit in a car, drive real fast, try not to crash and die, and it requires a lot of physicality but I’m just not interested in the sport. However, with documentaries like Truth in 24 and Senna I’m more than engaged with great stories surrounding the danger and energy of this activity. The unique angle here is that it’s being directed by the man who edited Dogtown and Z-Boys and Riding Giants, Paul Crowder. On top of that, Crowder was able to enlist the vocal prowess of Michael Fassbender. When you have the talent of those who have made high school football into an Academy Award winning endeavor you can see how narrative, stock footage, and interviews with those who were there can make this into something far more interesting than some guys talking about how it was to drive fast. It’s about putting into context and eking out the emotional impact of their accomplishments which will determine whether the rubber hits the road.

Kiss the Water Trailer

Like Formula 1 racing, I’m not big on fly fishing either.

What’s more, how could a documentary about the solitary existence of a person alone on a river with these handmade flies be anything but skull-crushingly boring? This trailer convinced me otherwise. In addition to that, this was an intriguing selection because it’s the follow-up from the director of 2006′s rubberneck fascination that was The Bridge. It’s pretty easy to see how Eric Steel would go from months of suicide but not only does the gap of almost eight years get my attention but the way this trailer takes us on a meditative journey is testament to how good this might be. What really makes this trailer stand above so many others that come down the pike is how we don’t know what exactly is going on here. We have a woman who makes flies, and is world renowned for doing so, but we never see her, never are treated to a photograph or context of what made her so special.

The dancing watercolors and music, to say nothing of the pull-quotes that gently flow in and out, is just hypnotizing. If ever there was a soft sell for a movie that is destined to not go very far this is a fantastic request for someone to just sit with it for a while and take it all in.

Hide Your Smiling Faces Trailer

It’s a coming of age film. What’s new?

One of the things that I enjoy about this genre is how well-worn that road is for those who want to try and say something new. I was struck by the heaviness of this trailer because it feels so damp. It’s weighty, has some heft, and there’s just stifling humidity that you almost can feel in your lungs when you watch it. We don’t know much about director Daniel Patrick Carbone’s world or who these kids are or what brings us all together today but it’s clear that he wants us to feel something rather than understand something. The slow shot of moving backwards under the tree lined canopy as we fixate on a bridge? Remarkable. It’s not for us to try and put together pieces as it is a portrait in motion of something serious and, literally, dark.

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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