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?

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In much the same way that House of the Devil was an underground sensation in 2009, I expect that the Belgian film Amer will be one of the arthouse talking points of 2010. Like House of the Devil, Amer has a stylish throwback poster and revels in a bygone filmmaking style. This time, the style is giallo — the atmospheric thriller mode popularized by filmmakers like Dario Argento.

In this case, filmmakers Bruno Forzani and Helene Cattet seem to be taking their exhumation of the giallo further than Ti West did when he attacked the early ’80s horror film, and after seeing this teaser I’m dying to know if the experiment actually works. Read More »