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?

Yellow Submarine Trailer

Is there something bad about admitting about having never seen this? Is there a list of shame that has this movie attached to it?

When George Dunning made this ode to psychedelia the Fab Four were a mere two years away from breaking up. Some would say they were at their artistic zenith when they moved from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to songs about Lucy and skies and diamonds.

I realize that this movie can be easily obtained and watched on your iPad and 50″ plasma but here lies the crux of my dilemma: is this an advertisement for you to go buy it and see it in your house or, rather, is this a genuine play at seeing something that actually should be enjoyed on a large movie screen?

Since I’m only a marginal Beatles fan, who happened to be blown away by the stage show LOVE that’s currently playing in Las Vegas, I am nonetheless open to reinterpretations of their music through non-traditional means. I have yet to see a trailer that is as psychedelic as this is, for just try and get through two minutes without wondering who was in charge of marketing this movie with the monotone narration in the background, because there certainly doesn’t seem to be linear in any way whatsoever.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you, for it is that very structure that makes me think this could be a cinematic experience worthy to be pushed back into theaters. To have these series of animations and colors and shapes thrown on a wall dozens of feet big, to me, seems worthy of investment. From an animation standpoint, there’s an originality that bleeds through every moment, every second, and, it too, seems to beg to be seen on a large screen.

Seems like a nice way to cross this off the old cinematic wall of shame.

Apartment 143 Trailer

I just want to be scared. I don’t need blood, I don’t need viserca strewn about a room like streamers on New Year’s Eve. Just scare the living hell out of me and do it without straying too far into R territory. That’s the challenge I look for in talent in this genre.

Magnet sees something here and I like that stamp of approval to some degree.

Carles Torrens has made something that has the sheen of something more than just a found footage film, it has the hints of a movie that wants to be more than the sum of its parts. While I wouldn’t argue that there is a certain amount of roll-your-eyes drama going on this trailer it nonetheless looks like it could be marginally better than many of the movies we’ve received in this genre.

One of the basic joys of the trailer is that, to some degree, no one is really recognizable. Everyone is up for grabs in terms of kill count. There’s a certain joy in knowing that a potential victim could be anywhere and anybody.

While there is a little too much sharing going on in this movie with the number of plot points we’re given in relation to how much you could have kept to yourself there is nonetheless a nice, steady buildup of how things are going to get out of control. We don’t know too much about what’s afoot here and why this poltergeist has followed our family but the whole thing looks like the epitome of what a fun thrill ride should be. Keep it simple, and this movie projects that essence well.

Breathing (Atmen) Trailer.

An award winning actor, Karl Markovics, has turned his attention to something you don’t see much of nowadays: serious coming-of-age narratives.

We’re all used to seeing the stories of silly youngsters who fondle their way through adolescence, to come out on the other side better prepared to deal with life’s vicissitudes usually defined by one real moment of serious reflection. This yarn looks like it’s chock full of those moments.

What’s nice about this trailer is that, unlike other iterations of previews that have come out for this movie, we get pull quotes peppered throughout its run time. With this kid it seems that he doesn’t have any joy at all in his life, and how likely is the average Joe to see a foreign film where a movie is packed with depression, but the pull quotes offer that sense of inspiration that the story can be more than what we see here.

Gently we’re whisked from the unexplained to the unexplained, why he’s in jail, why he’s working for a coroner, why did his mother abandon him, all things that just compound upon one another that the mysteries themselves offer a riddle that you would like to see solved.

There are tiny joys that he seems to be capable of handling but there is a simplicity and delight in knowing that however this protagonist comes through the other side there is a rich story that needs to be told.

Entrance Trailer

Holy crap.

I love being scared, we’ve been through this before, but I especially love it more when someone can demonstrate that they can do it without being obnoxiously obscene about it. Torture porn is out, thoughtful horror is in and this looks to be something closer to the latter than it is the former.

Directors Dallas Richard Hallam and Patrick Horvath have done something special and that’s to lead off with nothing at all to be afraid of. You get a breathless voiceover by a guy who you know is just up to no good but it’s impossible to think of anything but following, with your eye, the things that our heroine is doing in this big city.

She looks a little lonely, a little needful for some positive attention. There’s almost a sadness in her gait and the way she carries herself. Again, we’re not really meant to pay attention to what’s happening but the kicker comes in at about fifty seconds. “Dafuq??” should be what slips between your lips. It’s so matter of fact and so even toned that you have to take a mental double take just to make sure you heard right. There hasn’t been a guy to worry about but this whole time but when it gets real it gets dark very fast.

I love the change in tempo and it only serves to make this movie something worth seeing if only to see what was coming this girl’s way and how early could you predict it.

Bonsai Trailer

Cristián Jiménez has done something unique here.

Instead of looking at a relationship between two people and accentuating the way in which boyfriend and girlfriend can’t get along, this trailer is deliciously focused on one thing, obsessively.

While all I know is about as much as you do when you watch this trailer there is a hypnotic element inherent to it as we watch the protagonist of this movie just caught in a loop of his own making. He seems absolutely locked in on his own psyche and what ails him but the trailer gives a little comedy here and there to also show this is not just a movie based on cracked minds and the inability to get things done but how one writer finds himself consumed in his work.

There is something so endearing about writers who want to get it right and this trailer is no different. He’s not self-involved, pompous, or any other adjective we associate with what we all think as cinematic writers.

I like this guy, we all should, as nothing indicates that he’s anyone other than a guy plagued with writer’s block. Poor devil, but it seems that his exposure with bonsai plants will somehow interweave with the plot. How that will happen is anyone’s guess and I like the vagueness.

Olympia Trailer

First, an explanation:

Olympia narrates the story of an 18 years old aspiring porn star. Who, after starring couple amateur videos, enters the mainstream industry in her first major title, which includes a scene with 16 other men. Different personalities from the Rock, Fashion and Porn Universe are to accompany the 18 years to become a renown pop culture star.

Now, knowing that, you would never gather this information if you didn’t know before going into this trailer. As you watch this, though, you see  how a girl, on the verge of exploding onto the scene as a porn actress, delves into a world of lasciviousness and depravity.

What’s really amazing here is the cinematography, the direction, and the way in which we frame this girl’s exploits based on the idea she’s this  sexpot. One thing is certain though as you watch this trailer: it’s hot. It’s sensual, daring, sticky, and has a bumping soundtrack. There is no way that this trailer is anything close to being linear but it works for me on a level insofar that it hits the highlights without ever being too self-indulgent. It doles out small clues and interstitals to give you only what’s necessary and, to me, that’s brilliant. Tease me a little, make me want to know more.

That’s exactly what’s done here and director Leonardo Damario looks to have made porn something not defined by high quality video; it looks to have done it by accentuating the dirtiness of it all.

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:

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