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 weird with black and white, get haunted for s and giggles, kill a priest for funsies, send some kids to jail, and try not to die while skiing.

Calvary Trailer

He just makes me smile.

When last I caught up with Brendan Gleeson, he was hamming it up with Don Cheadle in 2011′s The Guard. Sure, he’s been around but this the latest pairing with director John Michael McDonagh. There’s a giddiness that takes you over as Gleeson launches into his comforting, dry, comedic self and fires the first verbal salvo as everything we need to know about the premise of this film comes when his life becomes immediately endangered.

At first there seems to be no reason, no cause for this bold threat, to say nothing that he’s a priest, but we dance delicately through this strange world of secrets and questioning everyone’s motivations. There’s no shortage of paranoia and red herrings so there’s reason to celebrate the idea of actually obfuscating why we’re really here to see whether a priest gets popped or not. Efficient and doesn’t waste anyone’s time. I’m a fan of that for sure.

Suicide or Lulu and Me in a World Made for Two Trailer

So, who is director Christian Carroll?

I have no idea but you can’t but be inquisitive at the level of cool this trailer exudes. The premise, while vague, is laid out before us in a fairly straightforward manner while being absolutely gonzo about the rest. I’m not properly equipped to assume I know what’s afoot but, honestly, who cares? We have a personified film that doesn’t look too concerned about being a commercial darling as it is hellbent with expressing every little quirk it wants and I love it. You just don’t see this level of raw, concentrated weirdness a lot nowadays but there’s a playfulness here that eases any pretension. If anything, it shows you that there are minds still operating today that are just plain happy to indulge themselves in the murky waters of the odd and offbeat.

Kids For Cash Trailer

You would think this would be something reserved for a PBS special on the abuses of power. Something about the combination where it concerns allegations of governmental impropriety and that the people on the losing end of that corruption were kids who were human incentives to be put away in juvie. When it comes to a story that people may not be familiar with or where there isn’t mass tragedy, especially when it comes to documentaries, it’s best to come out of your corner swinging with both fists. This trailer does by giving us a pull-quote from The Hollywood Reporter and dropping the knowledge this is coming to us from the producer of Fog of War, Robert May. Which, in an of itself, means nothing (he also produced The Station Agent) but it certainly buys this movie a little extra time to try and get the hook in.

Supervention Trailer

While one of the more emotionally resonant documentary films I’ve seen this year was McConkey, there is no denying that I am a sucker for well-shot snow sports.

Here, then, are some dude ripping it up in Norway. We’re not really concerned with their story as we are interested in what these guys are going to do in order to push the limits of what we’ve seen before. It follows that for every insane trick, stunt, feat of amazing human ability, some entrepreneurial spirit hear that siren song of danger by one-upping the last guy. We all should be thankful for such over zealousness, as well as resistance to normal biological hesitation cues that tell someone maybe it’s not such a good idea to slide down a 89 degree mountain face on one ski, because the difference between ho-hum sports movies and things like this is directing capability and technology. While we get less insanity in this, we seem to be promised in this trailer of  a more acrobatic display of athletic ability, more fun than frightening. While there are some just eye widening things happening here it’s nothing compared to the overall feel of what this is promising us. A little nuttiness, a whole lot of creativity, and still some things that are trying to one-up the last guy. Filmmakers Filip Christensen and Even Sigstad hopefully have balanced narrative and snow sport show reel in an entertaining package. This certainly indicates it.

Rorrim Trailer

If ever there was a trailer that raises more questions than it gives answers, this would be it.

First time director Tim Newkirk shows he’s more focused on the story than he is making things have the sheen of something costing more than it did but it’s an indie effort worth watching. I have zero idea what’s afoot or what clandestine haunting is befalling this young family but it’s certainly ambitious in its scope and, once it gets started, doesn’t relent.

What do you think?

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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