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 give birth as a man, see what kind of controversy Chris Lilley is bound to create with his latest, get creative with some art on top of a lake, find deliciousness on a street corner, and check back in with a head case.

Lunatics

Chris Lilley is in blackface. There’s no way around hiding it or mitigating any controversy that bubbles up as a result of that revelation. However, the work on display here is pure comedy, coming at you without relenting for a second. As the trailer states, it is weird, but that’s the appeal. It looks like Lilley’s id was allowed free reign, but we’re all the better for it. For better or worse it’s most definitely a singular vision and one, while warped, is wholly welcomed around these parts.

Seahorse

People talk about movies “you’ve slept” on but filmmaker Jeanie Finlay’s documentary Sound It Out is a minor miracle. It’s fantastic for taking a small, intimate approach to the material and so it’s with that strategy that she tells this story. It’s about a trans man who gives birth.

Freddy is 30 and yearns to start a family but for him this ordinary desire comes with unique challenges. He is a gay transgender man. Deciding to carry his own baby took years of soul searching, but nothing could prepare him for the reality of pregnancy, as both a physical experience and one that challenges society’s fundamental understanding of gender, parenthood and family. – The Guardian

It’s not really about the novelty of the story as we get past that piece reasonably quick. It’s the focus on this individual’s journey that turns this potentially tabloid sideshow into something tender and moving. These are the smaller stories that get passed by in the blink of a click but here’s to hoping it resonates and lingers on with many who can see it.

Walking on Water

Director Andrey Paounov has made us care about an art project, and that’s no small feat.

Ten years after the passing of his wife and creative partner, Jeanne-Claude, Christo sets out to realize The Floating Piers, a project they conceived together many years before. Boasting uncensored access to the artist and his team, Walking on Water is an unprecedented look at Christo’s process, from the inception through to the completion of his latest large-scale art installation, a dahlia-yellow walkway atop Italy’s Lake Iseo that was eventually experienced by over 1.2 million people. The film takes the viewer on an intimate journey into Christo’s world amid mounting madness – from complex dealings between art and state politics to engineering challenges, logistical nightmares, and the sheer force of mother nature. Captured through breathtaking aerial views and fly on the wall camerawork, we watch the artist’s vision unfold, and get to know the man chasing it.

Trying to communicate the value of public art, the value it brings those who experience it first-hand, along with showing the audacity to make it all come together is revelatory. While having no history of knowing what we’re seeing or why we’re seeing it in the first place is not a great starting point, but, man alive, does this all come together quick. The music is everything, the tempo is everything, the pull-quotes are fantastically peppered in, and this two-minute thirty-second journey is a warm, inviting one.

Street Food

Take your highfalutin cooking shows elsewhere, as this trailer elevates the art of street cooking into something divine. Even with there being zero recognizable locations, hosts, guests, this beats anything you’re sure to come across in this genre. Drilling down into a culture by way of what those people want to eat while getting from Point A to Point B is on another level of cultural anthropology. Balancing the needs of a world food tour with providing context through the stories of everyday Joes and Janes of the world is something of a revelation.

Fleabag Season 2 

It’s the mix of the emotional and the absurd that make this a winner for me. Completely missing the first season, this has given me pause to think about sitting down and fixing that possible error in judgment.

Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) is back for a second bite, and this time she is going toe to toe with the man upstairs. In an unexpected twist of fate, our lost little rascal meets a Priest (Andrew Scott) who jolts her into seeing the world in a different way. Picking up a year on, there are still old wounds to unpick and new ones to dress as the next chapter of Fleabag’s life takes her to hell and back.

Even for someone like me who hasn’t ever seen a scene, the trailer is an electric mix of my kind of comedy: dry, witty, and with just the right amount of acerbic wit. If you’re done with the 4th wall business as a narrative device, give this one a poke as it certainly changed my stance.

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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