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 blow stuff up and get Brick Top angry (again), get skeeved out by Bronies (again), catch a short film festival, go to a land down under to play some chess, and enjoy the simple pleasures of eating flesh.
The Hundred Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared Trailer
What a strange but enthralling trailer.
In most instances I would eschew interstitials that have to explain what we’re seeing but here it works because we’re about to get whipped through decades of a man’s life in a very compact span of time. Set to the tune of Buddy Holly’s “Everyday”, perhaps one of the most genteel songs out there, we get a face full of explosions. Completely random, zero context, no idea what in the world is happening. It doesn’t matter though as the real fun seems to begin when this geezer decides to make a break for it, escaping an old folks home, in what cannot be described as anything but baffling. Baffling because we don’t get any reason or motive as to why this man all of a sudden comes into a bag full of money or why the lovable scoundrel from Snatch, Alan Ford, is hot tempered once more.
Regardless, it doesn’t matter a lick of difference to me as I enjoyed the hell out of Joey Ramone singing “What A Wonderful World” as a phalanx of images, sights and sounds mesh into this incomprehensible pile of eye candy. I don’t know the point of any of this but it sold me, heartily, on the idea I need to see what happens to this guy. Director Felix Herngren presents a pretty color palette and a story that might be crazy enough to be awesome.
A Brony Tale Trailer
Not much creeps me out. THIS creeps me out.
Director Brent Hodge was not satisfied that the documentary Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony was not the comprehensive look at this population of male fandom and, thus, we have yet one more look at this subset of dudes. What caught my attention, and what should have been front loaded into this trailer, is that we’re getting this version of events from a woman who is on the other side of it all. Voice talent Ashleigh Ball helps to define what it means to be the focal point of many of these men and, hopefully, we’ll see more of an in-depth examination into what really drives people to identify so much with a cartoon like My Little Pony. Getting glimpses of the tales of those who are completely obsessed with this show is fairly standard when getting a documentary that is going to follow around some fans but, like the previous doc, I will never get my fill of seeing just how far down the rabbit hole their fanaticism goes.
The Dark Horse Trailer
Cliff Curtis struck fear into my heart when he played one badass cholo in Training Day. Hands down, one of the best parts of that film.
He’s here supporting an entire film on his shoulders and it does look like he’s bringing that intensity which made me sit and take notice so many years ago. Gone are the affectations of a gang banger and here we see presented a man who is obviously mentally troubled. Homeless and only able to keep it together in the company of a good chess game there is something wildly fascinating going on in this trailer. It’s complex, yet it’s pretty standard when you consider that this seems to be a movie that hinges on Curtis representing the very thing we fear most in those who are destitute but most admire in those who can inspire youth to be better than they ever thought possible. I don’t know why this trailer was so effective at getting its message across but even with a little prodding through hyperbolic wordplay (writing in platitudes must only work for those truly unable to see through marketing BS) I get that what we’re seeing is either a breakthrough or just one more way this man is keeping it all together. Either way, though, I couldn’t be more interested in what they’re offering because this trailer shows some muscles that director James Napier Robertson has at his disposal when it comes to stories like this.
There’s just something delicious about a disturbing trailer.
Director Manuel Martín Cuenca has already won accolades, many, in fact, for this ode to a man who is a renowned tailor yet is notoriously obsessed with murdering his fellow man. What is so remarkable about this trailer, then, is how sumptuous everything feels. It gently glides into its veiled premise while retaining an air of civility. You can immediately see why this is as acclaimed as it is from the way we drift in and out of things. Not jarringly, not startlingly, but as if we were on a dance floor and this was a very prim and proper waltz. There is no time to analyze. There are no scares to thrill or excite you. Just explosions of excitement followed by very quiet moments alone with our murderer who looks like a well aged Hans Gruber. The trailer moves fast and there is no time to react; just give in to its sensibilities because this looks about as tight and taught a thriller you’ll see this month.
PBS Online Film Festival Trailer
Some of us just don’t get out much. Like me.
I would love to jaunt off to exotic locales like Cannes or Park City in the winter but the fact is there are many films deserving of your attention but a limited amount of time and space to see interesting talent that might have something original to say. If the mood hits you, cruise over to PBS’ site and watch a few shorts that are up for some spirited voting. It’s inspiring to see shorts like this only to see what’s possible from artists working within this medium and for those who like short content, like trailers, there is no better film festival than this. One you can enjoy from home and be done with in just a matter of hours.
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:
- No Good Deed Trailer – Not horribly original but my palms got a little sweaty just watching this.
- The Liberator Trailer – As a period piece, this feels genuine and evocative.
- The Zero Theorem Trailer – Just an explosion of delights. Can’t wait.
- The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Trailer – Yes!
- Let’s Be Cops Red Band Trailer – Interesting and quite promising.
- Guardians of the Galaxy International Trailer – This is exactly what I’m looking for in a nutty, adventure filled, sci-fi romp.
- The Expendables 3 Trailer – Does not skimp on everything it is and what it wants to be.
- The Knick Trailer – Drenched in viscera and drama. Nice combo.
- The Two Faces of January Trailer – The right mix of sensuality, intrigue and narrative.
- Dear White People Trailer – Not feeling what they’re putting out.
- Ragnarok Trailer – Pass.
- Sex Tape Red Band Trailer – Not as good as the previous red band. Trying too hard.
- The Judge Trailer – It would have been excellent if they hadn’t made it so maudlin and bombastic.