Green Band Trailer

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 chat about our food supply, delve into a missing person case that takes a hard left turn, discover an alternative to prescription opioids, watch a story about police abuse, and give mom some love.

Eating Animals

What I find ingenious about director Christopher Dillon Quinn’s documentary, narrated by Natalie Portman, is just how sanguine this trailer is. You could go the route that many do when it comes to documentaries like this and make it seem like doomsday is fast approaching, or you could go down this path. This trailer sets up its argument about how the machines of progress process our once breathing proteins without pointing fingers at consumers. It is saying “Hey, there’s an issue here that I think is important to talk about,” and then proceeds to do so directly, rationally, and empathetically.

Monsters and Men

What sticks with you long after watching this trailer is what happens when you speak truth to power. Yes, you’re free to do so, but the fallout and collateral damage of doing so could be immeasurable. Director Reinaldo Marcus Green has created something that feels like a play, a modern-day morality tale that tests the limits of how far any one of us would go to expose the truth. It’s gripping stuff here to be sure, and its message resonates with me.

Nancy

The stakes might be high, but the impact of what could happen here is wonderfully intimate. Director Christina Choe goes down an intriguing path in telling a story about someone who inserts herself into a sad situation. The pull-quotes and the trailer to some degree tip their hand in telegraphing that this isn’t a reunion story as much as it is a story about mental illness. The lie upon which everything rests spirals out of anyone’s control, and all that’s left is to see where everyone is left standing after the damage is done. There’s nothing particularly novel about the trailer, but its editing and how it carries us swiftly from beginning to end feels effortless.

A Leaf of Faith

I am a fan of director Christopher Bell’s work. With his documentary Bigger Stronger Faster* and Prescription Thugs, I can appreciate that he seems most interested in talking about how the uses of medicines like steroids and prescription medications are influencing our lives. Now, along with director David Baca Jr., his focus is back on medication, and this time it’s about opioids and the use of Kratom. I have no idea what kind of wonder drug that Kratom is or is not but, again, this is an important social issue for anyone who has even a passing interest in the opioid epidemic. I’m leaving the door open that this is nothing but snake oil, however. That all said this trailer is engaging.

Motherland

Sometimes there’s quiet comfort in knowing there are heaps of talent behind a project. With Graham Linehan, who was a director, writer, and producer on the British comedy series The II Crowd along with writer and producer Sharon Horgan (Game Night, Catastrophe), I’m not only more than willing to give something the benefit of the doubt I’m, without question, going to watch it. I can’t speak about any young person’s interest in a show that details the comedic brutality of being a parent, but with shows like The Detour on TBS that take a less rosy look at bringing up baby, I am all for these kinds of projects.

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 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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