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 catch up with Alex Winter by way of Frank Zappa, wonder at what the fuss was all about with that anti-vaxx documentary, see what old timey film projectionists are up to, watch some fairy tales come to life and find a human connection with our simian brothers.
Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe Trailer
Let’s see what all the fussing’s about.
Hot on the news that Robert De Niro bounced this documentary from the Tribeca Film Festival, the filmmakers behind this feature have found a new venue to show the film which happens to be at the Angelika Film Center in New York City. The documentary, which posits that vaccinations cause autism, is already built on specious logic and has caused one of its former champions, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, to be found guilty of manipulating his research, is still an interesting one when viewed through a critical lens. Specifically, the director of this movie, is none other than Andrew Wakefield himself. So, in toto, what we have here is a dumpster fire ready for ignition. And the trailer does not disappoint in lighting things up brilliantly. You could pick apart everything here but it’s best to watch this and realize this is what the world is up against when it comes to those who buy into these claims and how they’re putting entire populations at risk.
The Dying of the Light Trailer
Moore’s Law has pretty phenomenal applications when you use it as a metaphor for many facets of life. Here, though, as it relates to projectionists it’s errily apt as the move to digital projection seems all but certain for any theater that wants to stay in the business of giving most people what they want. Director Peter Flynn has pushed out a movie that while, absent of anything coming close to being anything that will rile up a populace, it still looks like the information and history contained in it is more than worth the effort to find this and appreciate the kinds of people who sat behind the glass making all of our cinematic memories come alive.
Unlocking the Cage Trailer
Understand the pedigree.
I came upon documentary filmmakers Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker’s oeuvre by way of their movie Startup.com; it is about as perfect of a movie for the time and moment as you could get. Looking at their history, their subjects have ranged from politicians, musicians, pastry chefs and, now, primates. The subject here is about animal rights and it’s a wildly fascinating exploration when you consider the trailer and how this is couched. It’s not just a matter of animals who are being treated poorly, even though that does help to propel the narrative forward, but it seems to be more important in having this be a constructive conversation about at what point does captivity equate to cruel treatment for higher thinking animals? It’s compelling, interesting and seems to be a documentary that wants to delve into the particulars of how we can be better stewards of humanity by at least considering the argument.
Tale of Tales Trailer
Gomorrah and Reality.
I have a soft spot for director Matteo Garrone. With both Reality and Gomorrah he took two different approaches to two different kinds of content to make something completely unique out of both. This is no different and deserves all the head-tilting you can muster as you try and parse just what in the world is happening here besides being endlessly entertained by the oddities and nuances of a movie that is completely confusing yet totally awesome in its scope.
Who the F*@% is Frank Zappa? Pitch Trailer
Alex Winter is one smart cookie.
Never mind that the guy played one of moviedom’s greatest high schoolers and died one of the best vampire deaths but since creating two insanely great documentaries, The Deep Web and Downloaded (I’ll conveniently ignore Smosh: The Movie), it looks like Winter is back with another solid idea for his next subject: Frank Zappa. While I wouldn’t normally plug a Kickstarter that isn’t necessarily a trailer, it’s certainly a documentary that deserves to be made. Why, exactly, though, it deserves to be constructed is that while I’m no musical fan of Zappa it’s his personal thoughts, words and influence that resonate deeply. Truly a man who had his own style, I’m ready to consume a documentary that will help contextualize why he still remains an icon to so many.
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:
- Papa: Hemingway in Cuba Trailer – Feels wildly facile.
- The Conjuring 2 Trailer – Not sure if I get the appeal.
- Lights Out Trailer – It’ll be in the Big Lots cutout bin in no time at all.
- The Lego Batman Teaser Trailer – Ha.
- Me Before You Trailer – Men, this is most likely to be your lady friend’s most anticipated movie this year.
- Alice Through the Looking Glass Trailer – Fool me once…
- Mother’s Day Trailer – Warm garbage, smothered in treacle.
- The Sea of Trees Trailer – The trailer’s a little hokey but I can feel myself being lulled by its wilds.
- Nerdland Trailer – Nope.
- Jungle Book IMAX Trailer – It’s sweeping, I’ll give it that.