This Week In Trailers: The Waiting Room, The Deflowering of Eva Van End, The Land of Eb, Lunarcy!, Eat Sleep Die (Äta sova dö), London: The Modern Babylon
Posted on Saturday, September 1st, 2012 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: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?
The Waiting Room Trailer
While the only two times I’ve seen a hospital waiting room in action was, one, on most any medical serial running on television today and, two, when I admitted myself after having too many energy drinks thinking I was going into cardiac arrest (Dave Grohl’s brilliantly funny caffeine addiction shows how dumb this can spiral out of control), this is a movie whose time has come.
Charting out the experiences of those who have to endure the frontline of those who are at their most critically in need, some more than others, makes for the kind of human drama that can only be interesting to watch from both the other side of the desk and the physicians who have no clue what is awaiting them one moment to the next. Filmmaker Peter Nicks has taken a very straightforward approach to telling these stories, almost taking a hands-off approach if the trailer is to be believed. These moments are just going to unfold.
The Land of Eb Trailer
This is not like anything you’ve seen in months.
Filmmaker Andrew Williamson’s first full length movie looks like it’s a emotional punch to the face and a welcomed one at that. What separates, I think, this effort from others that have told the stories of those who are living lives of impoverishment is that there’s some glimmers of a man who is keeping things together and finding a way to make a difference. What’s so nice is that we don’t know his situation. It’s vague about whether he’s a father or what his relation is to the people he comes in contact with but it just builds in intensity as the seconds go on. The music, so melodic and soothing, builds up as the drama follows suit.
It’s tough to try and join together the pieces of this movie and it’s even more futile to think that you’ll get a good resolution by the end of this but the trailer is completely satisfying. Our protagonist seems conflicted, complex, emotional, and that’s what will hopefully bring people to the yard to see the movie. We need to feel like making an investment in a story, knowing what it is and having some tangential familiarity with it helps, but when you don’t have a name actor and you don’t have a name behind the production it’s hard to roll that up the consideration hill but this trailer is able to be what it wants. It expresses itself naturally and that’s the biggest win.
The Deflowering of Eva Van End Trailer
I don’t know either so don’t ask me.
Dutch director Michiel ten Horn’s first feature is, well, about something that you can’t guess by looking at the trailer. The only description I found that could even begin to wrap my head around states that this is, “a tragicomedy about the Van End family who, after the arrival of an impossibly perfect German exchange student, can no longer imagine how they ever managed to live with their imperfect selves.” So, that’s that, I guess.
What it falls short in narrative explanation it more than makes up for in a funny WTF musical montage that has no reasoning behind it, no purpose, but yet it tells us everything. It’s the perfect way to begin a movie because it feels like the aftermath. The annihilation has ended and everyone seems to be alive. How we got there? That’s what you should be itching to know. It’s utterly simplistic in its execution and while it’s not completely revolutionary there’s a strange pallor that coats everything. It either leaves you completely put off by its lack of information or intrigues you with its mysteriousness. A gamble but it works for me.
God, I can practically hear Frederick “Ogre” Palowakski screaming “Nerd!” while hanging a frosh by their hip waiters upside down out a window as I see this.
These are the kinds of movies that feel warm and comfortable, like King of Kong, that champion the lives of the everyman and their little quirks and idiosyncrasies. This trailer embraces that, resplendent with the xylophone gently clinking in the background, and lets these subjects (there is still yet one more of these trailers) just reveal themselves naturally. While the chasm of what makes a great documentary like Trekkies and the ho hum follow-up is tough to pin down but Simon Ennis is a smart choice to roll the dice on. His last feature, You Might as Well Live, did well, critically, as it dealt with a socially awkward guy who wants to be somebody more than what he currently is.
This is the kind of documentary that isn’t going to change social policy but that’s what makes this such a compelling sell. These are guys who have plans on doing something that is so out of the way from what many of us have planned in our lives that just to be in their orbit for a little while to know why they think what they do is all kinds of awesome.
London Babylon Trailer
Julien Temple, world renowned director of Earth Girls Are Easy is finally back with something that looks like it could rival his 1988 gem.
All joking aside, Temple’s forays into various forms and iterations of filmmaking at least makes him one of the more accomplished directors working today. This latest venture doesn’t look revolutionary so much as it does academic. It’s a look at London’s evolution through file footage and a soundtrack that at least has the Clash going for it. There’s a certain level of interest you can take in looking at the evolution of a city through items like this and this one I’m kind of interested in because of how well the trailer is presented to us. It’s not asking us to think of a time that never existed or sit through a history lesson through stock imagery. Rather, this movie looks to intertwine so many pieces of disparate cuts of footage that it becomes a collage of sight and sounds.
The trailer commands the attention it gets not only because it’s so real but because of that realness and how the present is entirely informed by its past which is splayed out before us in black and white and color.
Eat Sleep Die Trailer
This, I just had to share.
I don’t know what to make of it but it’s entrancing, like an ever shifting color wheel that hypnotizes you. I stared into the depths of this trailer and didn’t know what was being reflected back. Existential, I know, but this thing’s bizzarre.
Maybe that’s a bit harsh.
The story here is actually relatively easy to put together by what transpires if I’m reading it right. A woman with a real bad attitude is laid off from a factory job only to have to go through a series of ordeals in order to find gainful employment while trying to keep her family together. So, it’s not for lack of trying that this trailer is strangely put together with such a heavy soundtrack and striking visuals, along with some visuals (what’s up with the clown makeup? I dunno.) that make no sense in the context of what is trying to be communicated to us that I’m completely attracted to it. There may not be a really good explanation of what’s happening here but this ranks as one of the strangest pastiches of clips and music I’ve seen all week. Swedish filmmaker Gabriela Pichler is coming hot out of the oven with something that could be one of the most touching portraits of someone who’s down and out or it could be absolutely a wreck. Either way, the trailer’s a gem.
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
In case you missed them, here are the other trailers we covered at /Film this week:
- Bangkok Revenge Trailer – I’m all for a revenge film like this and a rental is about the right price I’d be willing to pay for it based on the trailer.
- The Girl Trailer - As far as movie of the week films go, this looks pretty fantastic.
- Tai Chi 0 Trailer – Hopefully it can set itself apart from every other martial arts production coming off the line but the story seems quirky enough to do just that.
- Everyday Trailer - Feels like a completely random clip that doesn’t show me any of the potential that this film might have.
- The Master Trailer – Haunting and powerful. About as praiseworthy as it gets.
- Sightseers Trailer - Looks flat out incredible.
- Chinese Zodiac Trailer – What in the hell is this?
- The To Do List Red Band Trailer - Awkward narration aside, I’m not feeling it.
- The Company You Keep Trailer - I feel they gave a lot away in this trailer. Sorta feel like I’ve been given most the movie.
- Stories We Tell Trailer – We all have stories to tell and it looks like this is one you’ll want to listen to.
- Seven Psychopaths Trailer – Um, yeah. Completely, yeah.