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  talk about boobs, get lurid with our Instamatic, give some northerners a taste of sunshine, and set out to explain the ways of Vermeer with Teller.

Moving the Sun Trailer

Did you hear about this?

An amazing feat of both modern science and “Well, duh, of course you could have light if you shine a big mirror on their tiny hamlet.” Documentarian Bobby Goulding has the right balance here of giving us everything we need to know about what would make someone interested in knowing more about this project while teasing out the effects of what this mirror is helping to make happen. It’s short, it’s even shorter on the begging for money to reach his goal of five-thousand pounds, but it’s got this vibe about how something like this will fundamentally change the way people live because of it. Whether it’s a short subject or something else, it’s a story worth listening to and knowing more about.

Free The Nipple Trailer (NSFW)

As the father of three girls, I approve this message.

What filmmaker Lina Esco is setting out to talk about seems fundamentally interesting on the surface, if not, pardon the pun, titillating. As a patriarchal culture that is obsessed with boob worship, this is the kind of topic that is ripe for deeper exploration about the ways in which double standards dominate our collective lives when it comes to men and women’s expressions of their bodies. The trailer is amazingly bold and in-your-face about the double standards when it comes to being topless in public. To be sure, we are, culturally, not equipped to handle the legions of women who would choose to bare their chest. The choice of using a kids choir version of The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” is a nice touch when it’s juxtaposed by topless women donning capes and pink ski masks. It’s threatening and embodies the spirit of people who have a grievance about the policies and laws in this country.

God bless America.

24 Exposures Trailer

Joe Swanberg’s latest is pretty scintillating.

The angle that this is a story of a guy who takes fetish pictures certainly shows that Swanberg has a good range. Romantic comedies be damned! This is a guy who doesn’t mind exploring some rather dark areas. What stands out most about this trailer isn’t so much that it’s showing the evolution of a burgeoning and thoughtful filmmaking but it’s the hard knuckled twists and turns of setting up the story that’s a hoot to watch unfurl. There’s a high concept idea embedded in this, I understand that, but how it presents itself, the way in which it teases you with its sexuality, makes for an experience that gets you interested and keeps you engaged.

Tim’s Vermeer Trailer

There is flat out no other documentary I wanted to be able and see this year than this one.

Teller, who has never been as much in the spotlight as his brother-in-arms, Penn Jillette, makes an incredible splash into our collective awareness with something that looks like it will speak to our very postulations of what art means and is. What’s so wonderful about this trailer is how genuine our subject, Tim, is about this whole project. He’s obsessed but he’s got this analytic mind that is churning over processes and mechanics and trying to replicate things that will help him get to a larger understanding of not only the famed painter Vermeer but of himself as well. Whether he’s out to prove a point or not there’s an earnestness that exudes out of Tim and the trailer nearly begs us to put aside any stuffy preconceptions about art while just going along for this ride which has been years in the making. Could not be more straight forward with what it’s about, what’s going to happen here, and what we should expect. Honesty is definitely the best policy here.

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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