Fewer trailers

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 hunt a human predator, ride competitively on our Huffy, put a spin on drop-dead gorgeous, go on a delicious blind date, and find a creative way to get hitched.

Athlete A

The Summer Olympics might be happening in 2021, but documentarians Bonni Cohen & Jon Shenk are here this summer to talk all about USA Gymnastics’ worst kept secret.

An August 2016 article in the Indianapolis Star about USA Gymnastics protecting coaches accused of abuse leads to the explosive revelation that the USAG women’s team doctor, Larry Nassar, had been abusing athletes for over two decades. This film follows the IndyStar reporters as they reveal the extensive cover-up that allowed abuse to thrive within elite-level gymnastics for more than two decades, the attorney who is fighting the institutions that failed these athletes, and most importantly, the brave whistle-blowers who refuse to be silenced.

There’s no way to watch this and not feel an endless amount of despair for the girls and women Nassar abused. Much like the Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich documentary, this is most likely going to be a documentary you’ll only want to watch once. It’s required viewing for anyone who wants to see just how much effort it took for these women’s stories to be listened to and investigated.

Looks That Kill

I’m charmed by director Kellen Moore’s very high concept offering.

…[A] dark comedy about Max Richards (Brandon Flynn), a teenage boy born with a medical condition of being lethally attractive, who is changed forever when he meets Alex, a girl with her own bizarre ailment, who aids him on his quest of self-discovery… without accidentally killing someone.

I don’t know how much more strange you can make your premise, but this is a lovely trailer. It knows what it is, completely leans into its absurdity, and I think it actually looks good. Of course, this isn’t going to be the pandemic sleeper hit of the summer, but this seems perfectly fine as a movie you could take a chance on and not feel ripped off if it doesn’t deliver.

Foodie Love

Director Isabel Coixet received a lot of acclaim for 2017’s The Bookshop and she looks like she’s angling for the same attention for what will be my latest obsession.

FOODIE LOVE, an eight-part Spanish drama series from HBO Europe, premieres in the U.S. on Monday, July 13 on HBO GO, HBO NOW, and on HBO via HBO Max and other partners’ platforms. Foodie Love follows two thirty-somethings after they meet on a foodie mobile dating app. They embark on a gastronomic journey, learning about each other through the mediums of jamón, ramen and fine dining from around the world. Yet while they bond over a shared devotion to Japanese yuzu and a distaste for foodie pretension, their insecurities and doubts fueled by the scars of their previous relationships may prevent them from tasting true love.

Imagine if The Trip was more local and starred two people who used food as a way to get to know one another. The plot instantly enthralled me and it looks like the concept delivers in every way; a romantic drama, a journey that uses food as a tertiary character, and everything, visually, looks covered in a warm blanket. I’m hungry for this.

The Racer

Director Kieron J. Walsh is telling a story about the Tour de France that doesn’t involve Lance Armstrong.

Set in summer 1998, The Racer follows late-career cyclist Dom Chabol, who has been one of the best support riders on the Tour de France for 20 years, but secretly harbours a desire to wear the yellow jersey once before his career is over.

It’s a story by an Irishman about when the Tour had its opening stages in Ireland. One of the more quietly interesting parts of a story is just how small it feels. It’s intimate yet can communicate the universality of someone wanting to achieve something within a discipline that they’ve devoted their life to. The trailer is gripping, intense, and, again, the stakes are both so very small yet so large.

Say I Do

From the creators of Queer Eye comes a show I’m going to binge for sure.

Dream weddings really do come true as experts Jeremiah Brent, Thai Nguyen and Gabriele Bertaccini help couples pull off their perfect celebration.

Look, the world is a mess. Actually, America is a mess. In providing some much-needed levity, hope, and love by way of couples who care for one another, this is a revelation. I’m smitten by its loveliness and feel comforted knowing that it’s coming to us via the team who brought us the Fab 5.

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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