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 our wounded soldiers find solace in the great big blue, get sent up the river to deal with our emotions, understand a cultural phenomenon of the 80s, become a tiny dancer, and see what the director of Tangerine is up to now.

The Florida Project Trailer

Anyone else love Tangerine?

One of the delightful things to happen to director Sean Baker after crafting an insanely great movie like Tangerine was to see what he was going to come up with next. I don’t know exactly why the warm fuzzies start bursting from the frame from the instant that this trailer begins but there’s an instant connection with everything about where we’re going on this ride. In fact not only are the kids here just a delight to watch as there seems to be a natural flow to everything they do but Willem Dafoe does an equally solid job in being captivating. It’s insane how good this trailer is at giving so much weight to the performances of the children and the environment we’re in that it feels all encompassing. The way pull-quotes are deftly interwoven seamlessly into the presentation just makes this even more effective at not only selling an idea but selling a story that sells itself. I’m in love and I hope the end result doesn’t break my heart with promises it can’t keep.

Resurface Trailer

Just sit there and listen.

Out of the gate I’m quick to roll my eyes at the opening narrative. Surfer philosophy, controlling nature, blah blah blah, but before I have a chance to click to watch something else I realize why we’re gathered here today. Directors Josh Izenberg and Wynn Padula have chosen something as haunting as massive emotional and physical trauma experienced by soldiers and how you come back from something like that. The truth is probably that you don’t but there’s this effort to try and mitigate the nastiness that can crawl up into a PTSD ravaged body and brain. The trailer wonderfully captures the horror and the solace that can be found in the waves. It’s a short so it won’t take you long to digest but this trailer is enough to get my undivided attention.

30 Years of Garbage: The Garbage Pail Kids Story Trailer

Two things:

1. I still have two vintage, dilapidated almost beyond recognition, Trapper Keepers filled with Series 1 and 2 Garbage Pail Kids cards, entombed in those weird plastic sheets that fit 3 ring binders to show off baseball cards
2. I met one of the directors at Comic-Con this year and knew I had to include this as soon as the trailer descended simply because of the subject matter.

In a landscape where you have documentaries on VHS tapes, audio cassettes, Dungeons and Dragons, movie posters, concert posters, He-Man, and other cultural accouterments that speak to certain age demos (namely, mine) directors Jeff Zapata and Joe Simko seem to have created a documentary that helps fill in the gap about what mastermind captivated a generation of kids to buy these wax packs of stickers that were wildly addicting to collect. I remember buying these things when they first started to come out (I was right within their core demo) and being absolutely enamored by the mystique, the grossness, and the kid-level humor that made me a fan for life and this trailer breaks it all down. Yes, there’s a nostalgia component to this but as far as cultural phenomena goes there is a story in dissecting what made these catch fire the way they did. The trailer is brash, quick, doesn’t mince around, and I’m thrilled at the prospect of being able to consume this as soon as I’m able to.

Polina Trailer

Black Swan this ain’t.

I don’t know why I gravitate to these kinds of stories when it comes to dance. It might have everything to do, full disclosure, with the fact that I have an accomplished dancer as a daughter who doesn’t seem fazed at the least when it comes to pressure of performing but I’ve showcased many a trailer that deals with the body electric and directors Valérie Müller and Angelin Preljocaj have dialed in to that certain thing that drives these artists to achieve something great. I see the same kind of thing in my own child who walks around the house dancing to a soundtrack that isn’t there, who constantly is lifting her legs above her head as mindlessly as many of us crack our knuckles, and so the actions just feel all too real. It’s visceral and it comes through. I’m not sure where all this drama is headed but if they’re looking to capture the behavior of a dancer looking to go beyond their boundaries this trailer absolutely telegraphs it well.

The Work Trailer

Scared straight.

So, what we have here are a couple of directors, Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous, who decide that descending into group therapy with convicts inside Folsom Prison is a solid idea for a documentary. They’re right on with that assessment if this trailer is any kind of indication. I like that we aren’t assaulted with tons of narrative or background or exposition. We’re simply let into this journey with them as they enter a world I would have never thought existed in such a place. There is emotion, lashing out, breakthroughs, breakdowns, and, hopefully, some kind of achievement of clarity for these men who have been sent to prison to be rehabilitated.

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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