This Week In Trailers: Hope, This Ink Runs Deep, Murmur, Bliss, Desolation Center

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 go north of the border to talk to some tattoo artists, deal with a terminal diagnosis, try to make amends with our family, get ourselves into a fugue state with some illicit help, and get our punk on.


The entire mood that wrapping this trailer makes director Maria Sodahl's story about death achingly devastating.

A couple with a large blended family has grown apart. When the wife is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, their life breaks down and exposes neglected love.

As our players move their way through what isn't necessarily a unique story, it's the examined human angles that color this trailer with such vibrancy. Love, loss, regret, we see little of stripped-down dramas like this anymore. I am here to consume this foreign feature like a book that needs a reader and a tissue that needs a tear.


It's not often we take another look at a trailer I've featured before, but Joe Begos' latest just a must-see.

A brilliant painter turns to anything she can to complete her masterpiece, spiraling into a hallucinatory hellscape of drugs, sex, and murder.

I don't know the point, I don't know the reason why it looks as thrilling as it does, but I kind of love this. It's like the Butthole Surfers come to life in visual technicolor, and it has no reason to live other than to burn as bright as it can.

This Ink Runs Deep

When it comes to Canada's own issues of how some have treated and continue to treat its indigenous population, I can't claim any authority to have a strong opinion. However, it's listening and amplifying stories like the one coming from director Asia Youngman that can at least add some perspective.

This Ink Runs Deep features indigenous tattoo artists from across Canada who are reviving ancestral traditions that disappeared during colonization. Through the film, we learn about the practices that were thought to be lost forever, and how their revival reflects a reawakening of indigenous identity. We travel across Canada to learn about the role that tattoos once played in different indigenous cultures, how they disappeared, and why they are being brought back to life.

The trailer is slow. Its wick burns steadily but with purpose. We do not need to jump from one moment to the next. We're here to listen and observe and the editing here forces us to slow down. It's simply because it's not flashy or over produced that the message resonates as well as it does.

Desolation Center

Strap in as director Stuart Swezey makes a statement.

The untold story of a series of Reagan-era guerrilla punk and industrial desert happenings in Southern California that are now recognized as the inspiration for Burning Man, Lollapalooza, and Coachella. Interviews and rare performance footage of Sonic Youth, Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Redd Kross, Einstürzende Neubauten, Survival Research Laboratories, Savage Republic, Swans and more.

There is zero fat on this bone. While a story rough around the edges fits the punk aesthetic, this trailer is also able to provide a clear context and informed insight. To hear from people who were there when some desert ragers gave birth to festivals we all know about today is wildly engrossing. Not knowing how this was the progenitor of so much makes this a must-see for sure.


Keep it tight, keep it focused, and sell me on your vision. First-time feature director Heather Young does just that.

An aging, isolated woman ordered to perform community service for a DUI discovers that adopting ailing pets to fill the void her life can be its own obsession.

The deliberate choices made here and the decision to just throw us into a scene that has no context is a bold gambit for such a tiny movie. But it pays off because of how much it raises more questions that pique our curiosity. It's remarkably well-edited as it gets in, punches you in the gut, then gets out.

Nota bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers for possible inclusion in this column, even have a trailer of your own to pitch, please let me know by sending me a note at or look me up via Twitter at @Stipp

In case you missed them, here are the other trailers we covered at /Film this week:

  • Mindhunter: Season 2 Trailer – I do like the direction we're headed here
  • Stumptown Trailer – Fair to middling
  • Bloodline Trailer - Pleasantly surprised 
  • Carnival Row: Season 1 Trailer – Didn't really land
  • Honey Boy Trailer – Impressed
  • Mary Trailer – Hahaha
  • A Million Little Pieces Trailer - He's a liar and a fraud so you should pass on this grass
  • Haunt Trailer - Teens rejoice!
  • Low Tide Trailer – It so wants to be something more than it is
  • Treadstone Trailer - OK
  • Zombieland 2: International Trailer – Nope, still not feeling it