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 learn to deal with losing, see the first post-apocalyptic result of what Brexit is going to do the United Kingdom, examine the toxicity of social media, get to know a family on the fringe, and hit up the lost and found.

Roll Red Roll

Director Nancy Schwartzman has hit something of a trifecta with Roll Red Roll. High school kids, the perceived sanctity of high school football, and the hellscape that is social media.

Roll Red Roll is a true-crime thriller that goes behind the headlines to uncover the deep-seated and social media-fueled “boys will be boys” culture at the root of high school sexual assault in America. At a preseason football party in small-town Steubenville, Ohio, a heinous crime took place: the assault of a teenage girl by members of the beloved high school football team. What transpired would garner national attention and result in the sentencing of two key offenders. But it was the disturbing social media evidence uncovered online by crime blogger Alex Goddard that provoked the most powerful questions about the case, and about the collusion of teen bystanders, teachers, parents and coaches to protect the assailants and discredit the victim.

Just based on the synopsis, this is a true crime story that yearns to be told. The trailer hits hard and does not ever relent in communicating what the stakes are for everyone involved. There are more significant lessons to be learned just by watching how things unfold. But for now, this looks like everything that’s wrong with youth sports and social media, writ large.

Ray & Liz

An audacious first feature from Richard Billingham, this trailer for Ray & Liz makes you wonder just how many decades ago this was made. It feels incredibly dated, but the music and the tempo put this somewhere in the now. The movie is about a married couple raising two kids on the edge of poverty. But the trailer infuses things with hopefulness and whimsy found in families that make them uniquely their own. I’m intrigued to know more about these people and the story they have to share.

Losers

Telling the stories of those who know the agony of defeat better than the joy of victory is absolutely necessary. Everyone wants to talk to winners, but examining and dissecting what it means to lose, and how you bounce back from that, is something that society needs to hear now. We see those who are more successful than we are and assume they have something profound to share. But this trailer proves there are lessons to be learned from those who were almost there, almost to the mountaintop, only to be bested by someone or something else. Seriously, this trailer should hit hard with every single person who sees it. There’s light to be found in the dark.

White Chamber

Director Paul Raschid is giving us a dystopian vision, but who would have guessed that Brexit was the flashpoint?

The United Kingdom in the near future. Civil war rages, and martial law has been declared by a military government hellbent on squashing the opposition. A woman (Scottish BAFTA nominee Shauna MacDonald, The Descent) wakes up in a blindingly white cuboid cell, where General Zakarian (Oded Fehr) uses increasingly sophisticated and cruel methods to torture her for information – information she claims not to have. As questions of trust are placed both on captor and captive, they find themselves embroiled in an increasingly spiraling journey into the nature of authority.

It’s nice to see Fehr in a co-starring role, and the trailer keeps things interesting. Selling the movie’s bonafides with its many festival runs is an excellent way to keep us watching, even though things do get a little wacky by the end. Still, I like what’s here and hope this ends up being a satisfying piece of sci-fi.

Lost & Found

Sometimes a tiny movie with small intentions is just what the doctor ordered. Director Liam O’Mochain is remarkable if only for making something that feels like a nice digestif. That’s not a slight on the material, even if it does have an unremarkable premise:

Seven strangers with very different stories have one thing in common: they are all searching for something. Their seven lives unexpectedly intertwine at a small lost and found office in an Irish train station.

Even so, the trailer is a delight. It’s simple, it’s straightforward, and radiates sly charm. You don’t get many films like this, but, when you do, it’s a nice reminder that there are filmmakers out there just wanting to do the visual equivalent of telling a short story.

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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