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 look to build a better toilet, look back on 80s horror, look back on 80s politics, remake another TV show, and get our guitars out in opposition of gentrification.

In Search of Darkness

Relentlessly presented with nary a breath to be had, director David Weiner’s dive into horror from the 1980s looks incredible. If the logline is any indication there is no way that this could be anything but a total pleasure:

An exploration of ’80s horror movies through the perspective of the actors, directors, producers and SFX craftspeople who made them, and their impact on contemporary cinema.

We weave between the iconic (The Thing), the hilariously fun (Beetlejuice), and the classics (Nightmare on Elm Street) in this trailer. It’s one of those rare documentaries where everyone who is participating seems genuinely enthused to be talking about what it is they were asked about all the while being able to live through a greatest-hits collection of the 80s best that horror had to give.

Euphoria 

If you’re going to remake a show from Isreal about the secret lives of teens, this is about as well as one could hope it would turn out. One of last year’s little-seen gems was director Augustine Frizzell’s Never Goin’ Back, and she’s here shepherding the show’s pilot. Sultry, sexy, mysterious, this trailer has it all while packing it within thirty seconds. Low on narrative, high on style, when it comes to teasers, this is a fantastic representation of what one ought to be.

Carmine Street Guitars

Slice of life cinema at it’s best, with director Ron Mann earning a spot at multitudes of high-profile film festivals. The story itself seems wildly pedestrian and only slightly amusing, but this trailer manages to exceed any expectations about a guy who makes guitars.

Featuring a cast of prominent musicians and artists, the film captures five days in the life of one shop in the heart of Greenwich Village that remains resilient to the encroaching gentrification.

This story shouldn’t work, but the trailer is a delight. It ends up being something close to visual comfort food. It’s just a story of this person, in this place, at a moment when a neighborhood’s identity is changing. It requires you to slow down and merely inhabit this world’s orbit. Somehow it all works.

Meeting Gorbachev

When it comes to Werner Herzog, you never know what you might be getting. However, with this trailer, and alongside co-director André Singer, we are reminded of a Russia that seemed to has all but disappeared.

Now 87 and battling illness, the visionary Mikhail Gorbachev, former General Secretary of the U.S.S.R, has mellowed and slowed down. Still, gently but resolutely, he is pushing towards his goals. Herzog, as on-screen interviewer, does not disguise his affection, celebrating Gorbachev’s three remarkable accomplishments: negotiations with the U.S. to reduce nuclear weapons; cessation of Soviet control of Eastern Europe and the reunification of Germany; and the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc.

Yes, the world does move on, and no one can expect things ever to stay the same but, indeed, no one could have predicted the Russia that has been ascendant since Vladamir Putin has been in charge. The trailer shows Russian politics in the era of Gorbachev that doesn’t seem to square with the Russia we’ve come to know today. Scintillating viewing, to be sure.

Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man

If you’re going to tell the story of a guy obsessed with poop, director Lily Zepeda at least knows how to make it palatable.

Jack’s kids describe him as a 12-year old trapped in a 60-year old’s body. He’s full of jokes and it can be hard to take him seriously. But, he uses humor as his weapon to fight an uphill battle against bathroom taboos. He founded the World Toilet Organization and spent the last 13 years lobbying 193 countries to raise awareness for proper sanitation. He even successfully lobbied the United Nations to create World Toilet Day – the first international day of celebration for the toilet.

The story is an endearing one as the trailer focuses on the man who is looking to change the world one toilet at a time. He’s a father in addition to being a crusader and the choice to include the narratives of the guy’s kids is inspired. By looking at how people are affected by the decisions made to help others, especially one’s family, it gives a new perspective on a cause like this and what it takes to go global with a singular mission.

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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