This Week In Trailers: See Girl Run, The Space Invaders, The Outer Edges, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
Posted on Friday, April 12th, 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 get stood up and make an art project out of it, head back to the arcades of yore, visit a town that progress is passing by, break up a happy marriage with Adam Scott, get Greek for a moment, and turn the dial all the way down to NPR.
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty Trailer
I covered this trailer last July and I haven’t forgotten about it.
Director Terence Nance has come back with a new trailer that genuinely outdoes his other effort. What we have here is wonderful narration against the backdrop of a real simple situation: a guy gets stood up. What follows, though, seems like a complete devolution into a pastiche of color, sound and emotion.
I’m not sure exactly where we’re going with this, other than him telling us it’s about a guy who’s going to bare his soul, and whether it’s the filmmaker himself or a projection of his outward self, it’s unclear. However, it’s quite fine with me either way because there just hasn’t been a story presented like this before and it excites the viewer in me who wants to experience this fever dream of one man’s ode to a lost love who never shows up.
The Space Invaders: In Search of Lost Time Trailer
Chasing Ghosts, Tilt, High Score, King of Kong, take your pick. I am a nut when it comes to gobbling up documentaries that deal with video games.
Documentarian Jeff Von Ward has made the visual equivalent of ocular crack. To see all the games I used to play back when I frequented arcades with names like The Fun Factory, Aladin’s Castle or Pin Pan Alley really takes me back to when you could still play a game with a quarter, maybe fifty cents, before it took you a dollar bill just to waste three minutes of your life. What this trailer does is take a nostalgic look back at those days, but then pivots to talk about what it’s like to be one of the people who are trying to salvage, literally, those moments. There isn’t anything particularly showy or novel about these people’s stories but they have a certain echo. The point of all of them is that they have a need to preserve a piece of the past and are absolutely in a state of arrested development.
The trailer takes it nice and slow as it shows us these fanatics in all their electric glory, showing off their video game cabinets. It’s nostalgic porn for those of us who remember the days of pumping quarters down the plastic gullet of those red 25c slots. There’s not an exceptionally artistic thing about the way it’s shown off but that’s of little concern. It’s all about the 80s and reflection and obsession and adoration and it’s totally awesome.
The Outer Edges Trailer
I’m not sure how to classify director Kieran Evans‘ latest effort if only because there’s no one to latch onto in any narrative way. Sure, we get people talking off camera but they never speak to us and they never really get around to telling us what it is they’re describing. I get it, though, that we’re supposed to infer they’re chattering on about this small backwater, literally. Specifically, the movie is about the, “Essex borderlands, following the route of the river Roding down to the docks on the Thames estuary.” Ok, so The Guardian was of little help to provide a proper context but it’s nonetheless a very artistic trailer in the best sense of the word.
Commerce, marketing, flash, pomp, circumstance, this trailer cares for none of this. It wants to just depict this area and its inhabitants. There’s a genteel quality about it, mixed in with a heavy dollop of moroseness, that I really enjoyed. Yeah, it’s a little sad but there’s also a kind of honesty in there that’s really refreshing. I don’t know what skeletons are inhabiting what looks like a rough and tumble town that looks destroyed by the progress which has passed them by. If nothing else, it appears to be one heck of a documentary on the lives of people living on the literal edge of existence.
See Girl Run Trailer
I can’t help myself.
It’s aimed towards hip dudes and dudettes. I get it. You have the jangle jangle of a banjo that kicks in when our story starts to take off and we’re supposed to get caught up in the love story that never seemed to finish for a guy who loved a woman enough that he still holds a candle for her even after she gets married. This will not end well for everyone. Again, I know this, but I am caught in its twee tractor beam.
You have Robin Tunney looking lovely, Adam Scott doing his best Adam Scott, but you also have Col. Stuart himself, William Sadler, bringing a little calm to this chaos. There’s a pervading sense of earnestness that coats everything. While the story centers on a wife who is having these wayward thoughts about this man she once knew, not quite to the level of Madame Bovary, this trailer makes this particular crisis of faith kind of endearing in a tragic sort of way. It’s not pushy or overly sentimental, it’s just sort of there.
No doubt it’s tricky to make a story about a man who is actively pursing a married woman and not have him come off as a vile human being but it does take two to do this tango so I’m interested to see if director Nate Meyer can foxtrot around this one.
Papadopoulos And Sons Trailer
It just looks like a warm British comedy filled with wacky characters and a lesson about family togetherness.
That pretty much sums it up Marcus Markou’s debut feature which looks like it’s filled with a little bit of heart and will make a story about a family running a fish and chip shop tolerable. It’s got a smart song that’s helping to make everyone tolerable and gives the filmmakers a chance to catch people smiling and laughing and cavorting with no context whatsoever. Hey, it works and it took me from mildly interested to curious enough to find out more about when I might be able to check it out.
Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me Cinecast Trailer
I was a fan of the This American Life cinecast (and I have no dog in this hunt by recommending you head over there and spend $5 for the entire film if for no other reason than to witness one of David Rakoff’s last monologues) and I’m just as enamored with the work that’s done on Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me. Sure, they’re trying really hard to be witty and silly and it comes off a little too forced with the comedy but it’s honorable they’re trying to promote this thing with a trailer so, as an NPR superfan, we’ll let this one squeak in as a public service.
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:
- Dead Man’s Burden Trailer - Interesting and evocative.
- Rush Trailer - You can smell the testosterone oozing off this thing.
- Behind the Candelabra Trailer – What a solid trailer. Cannot wait to see if it delivers on the promise.
- The Great Gatsby International Trailer - Interesting way it’s selling the story here.
- Kick-Ass 2 Trailer - Still feel the same for this one as I did the green band. Which is to say: Hopeful but not totally excited.
- Pieta Trailer - Just haunting. There is no better way to hook you in than with just the whiff of complete violence.
- Campus Life Trailer - Someone must have caught Scorsese murdering a $2 hooker to have gotten him in this this. Deplorable. For him AND the hooker.
- Elysium Trailer - I’m actually inert on this. Just not feeling it, one way or the other.
- Now You See Me Trailer #2 - This looks like pure matinee fun.
- Filth Trailer – Three words: In. Cred. Ible.
- The Hangover Part III Trailer - Nope. Not even as a Redbox rental. Go eff yourself.
- The Way, Way Back Trailer - One of the best trailers I saw all this week.