Posted on Monday, May 11th, 2015 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 descend into a drug fuelled rage, meet some of the craziest bastards this side of Trainspotting, try not to kill mom at the dinner table this Mother’s Day, go south of the border to watch one of the best trailers I’ve seen this month, and take another lap around the zombie track.
Heaven Knows What Trailer
Daddy Longlegs aka Go Get Some Rosemary.
Directors Josh and Benny Safdie made something that felt closer to reality than it did a movie with Daddy Longlegs and this latest effort feels even more raw. Feeling like something close to Kids, the trailer here exudes a dirtiness that is not easily washed off the eyes. You cannot look away at the descent into absolute abjectness as we try and understand what it is that we’re witnessing. Is it the tale of someone who is in their own corkscrew of a fall that we are witnessing while having some compassion for them or is this something more nefarious, more contemptuous as they inflict some kind of harm on themselves? I honestly have no idea but the net effect of this trailer is something remarkable. It’s not gentle and will not go quietly into whatever good night is ahead.
The Goob Trailer
I don’t understand what in the hell is happening here.
If the last trailer was a descent into a drug fuelled insanity, this is a fast track to chaos. What makes this trailer so damn alluring is its commitment to not telling you a damn thing that will help you understand what’s at stake for anyone here. We enter this world with some dudes stripping down to their skivvies much to the groupthink delight to a pack of bros and, without so much as a Post-It Note about why they’re doing it, we just move right on and pay it no mind. Whaaa? Director Guy Myhill deserves some major props for finding some actors who not only fit the part of what people who are living on the blade of life’s edge should look like, but captures the dirtiness of a life where it seems that copulation and go-carts are a way of life. I don’t rightly know whether I want to even see this movie but what I do know is that this is one gonzo trailer that you need to see at least once to experience and find out yourself if you’d hang with these miscreants for longer than 10 minutes.
I love when trailers can ease their way under your skin, acting like visual hooks designed to keep you on edge. Director Lou Howe does some fantastic things by not ever flashing back, only keeping things moving forward which forces us to move along with the progression of the story. Not realizing that we’re dealing with someone who is deeply troubled, only realizing that at a moment when it’s too late to turn back, you wonder how this exchange is going to work itself out with his mother at the dinner table. It’s smart, and it’s a great way to establish this character without delving into the particulars. We have no time to get granular but this trailer gives us just enough to get hooked and then flutter down the spiral as things get more and more chaotic.
It’s one of those things that is too wondrous to try and make sense of.
What director Alonso Ruiz Palacios does here is offer something akin to pushing flesh to flesh with someone you love and slowly dancing in perfect unison. Winner of many awards, what the trailer describes as the Mexican equivalent of the Oscars, you quickly see why this won hearts and minds. The story seems like a secondary consideration, not in a bad way, to what really plays front and center: the wonderful compositions and cinematography. What is so delicious is that there is no one moment that ranks higher above the rest, it’s one after another of moment after moment that reaffirms that flash doesn’t have to trump style. There are delicate pieces of emotion that hang from these scenes that it’s hard to deny its captivating wooing of our affections. It has won.
The Stranger Trailer
Yes, we’ve seen this before.
Director Guillermo Amoedo got the Eli Roth stamp of approval and it’s not hard to see why. This new trailer may have some extra viscera but it still has that tinge of being a Saturday night creature feature that you simply watch and enjoy for what it is. Too often we demand too much of the things that thrill and chill but it’s those step back movies that should simply be savored like a fine Pabst Blue Ribbon. Crack a cold one and enjoy.
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:
- Tangerine Trailer – Feels fresh.
- The Nightmare Trailer – So, it’s a documentary and a horror film? Sounds interesting but I don’t think they’ve parsed that message here.
- Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet Trailer – The tone and pacing feel, off.
- Absolutely Anything Trailer – A Bruce Almighty also-ran that has all the charm of poison ivy.
- San Andreas Trailer – At what point does wholesale destruction of the planet on the big screen feel like cinematic white noise? I’m already there.
- Mr. Holmes Trailer – Highly polished.
- Magic Mike XXL Trailer – There are no words that could sway you one way or the other.
- The Human Centipede 3 Trailer – Vile and deserves whatever it has coming to it.
- Ricki and the Flash Trailer – Light, airy, and disposable.
- Sense8 Trailer – High concept with no hooks into a genuine reality.
- Vacation Red Band Trailer – No way.
- Unexpected Trailer – Sincere.
- Dope Trailer – So good.