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 talk about gender inequality in Hollywood, mend a fractured family, settle in for a long movie, watch some good puppers, and come to the aid of racecar drivers.

Ms. Purple

I am here for director Justin Chon’s latest. Here’s the synopsis:

From award-winning filmmaker Justin Chon (GOOK, 2017), MS. PURPLE is a poignant drama about sister and brother, Kasie (Tiffany Chu) and Carey (Teddy Lee), who were raised and are now seemingly stuck in Koreatown. Abandoned by their mother and brought up by their father, the siblings continue to struggle with profound emotional wounds from the difficulty of the parental dynamic. Now, with their father on his death bed, the estranged Carey comes home to help Kasie care for him. Old ties are renewed and a relationship restored in this vibrant, deeply affecting portrait of Asian American siblinghood in Los Angeles.

As you watch this trailer, the deep divisions that these siblings have and the rift that separates them both is plain. Even as Japanese Breakfast’s “Soft Sounds From Another Planet” plays in the background, when the trailer is eyeing the last quarter of its runtime, I am stunned by the slow burn of it all. It is stark, it is painful in all the right ways, and it is amazing.

This Changes Everything

It’s not lost on me that director Tom Donahue is a man making a movie about a very real issue for the women of Hollywood. However, it looks like he’s attempting to sit back and let the women have their voices heard.

Told first-hand by some of Hollywood’s leading voices behind and in front of the camera, THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING is a feature-length documentary that uncover what is beneath one of the most confounding dilemmas in the entertainment industry – the underrepresentation and misrepresentation of women. It takes an incisive look at the history, empirical evidence, and systemic forces that foster gender discrimination and thus reinforce disparity in our culture. Most importantly, the film seeks pathways and solutions from within and outside the industry, and around the world.

And, just look at those who took part: Geena Davis, Reese Witherspoon, Chloe Grace Moretz, Meryl Streep, Jessica Chastain, Sandra Oh, Taraji P. Henson, Natalie Portman, Tiffany Haddish. It’s clear how vital this story is to understanding how this industry operates and the importance of listening to what is being said.

Los Reyes

Co-directors Iván Osnovikoff & Bettina Perut have your antidote to a spectacle filled summer slate.

Chola and Football are a couple of street dogs that live in the Los Reyes skatepark. A microcosm is organized around them, composed of things, animals and young adolescents in conflict with an adult world that they reject but are required to enter.

When you have documentaries like Kedi able to communicate something inherent in our shared humanity, it’s nice to see this trailer reinforces that the same could be the same can be said with these dogs from Chile.

La Flor

You all need to settle in for director Mariano Llinas latest.

Llinás’ ambitious, wildly entertaining saga—a decade in the making, shot in various countries on three continents, and acted in Spanish, French, Russian, German, Swedish, and English—is a love letter to the history of cinema. A follow-up to his 2008 four-hour cult classic, Extraordinary Stories, La Flor is divided into six episodes, four with no ending, one with a conclusion, and one other with an ending but no beginning.

All episodes are interwoven with on-screen appearances by the director himself explaining the film’s structure, and filled with subplots and digressions. The first episode is a mock B-movie (“The kind that Americans used to shoot with their eyes closed and now just can’t shoot anymore,” says the filmmaker) about cursed mummies. The second is a musical with a twist; the third, an international espionage thriller; the fourth, a humorous category-defying story partly set in Canada, the fifth episode—the only one with a proper ending—is a remake of a well-known French classic by Jean Renoir. The sixth and final episode takes place in the 19th century and follows the story of an Englishwoman held captive by Native Americans, as described through her diary. And then there are 40 minutes of credits.

Are you kidding me? When you have a generation of people bingeing in the comfort of their own homes, to have a cinematic experience like this, especially when a filmmaker is playing with genres, it’s not a dare, it’s an invitation. It promises to be long but will reward anyone who takes him up on it. Nary a word is spoken here, nor does it need to be.

Rapid Response

This isn’t a slight, but directors Roger Hinze & Michael William Miles appear to have made a documentary perfectly suited for Netflix.

Rapid Response is the story of medical student and racing fan Stephen Olvey who didn’t think the risk was acceptable. As a volunteer at the Indianapolis 500, he witnessed gruesome fatal accidents and an appalling lack of medical care. He knew something had to change.

Once a doctor, Olvey embarked on a 30 year journey to revolutionize motorsports and the associated medical care, along with a team of gifted safety and medical professionals. Rapid Response is their story.

Featuring interviews with medical professionals Dr. Olvey and Dr. Trammell as well as drivers, including Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser, Al Unser, Parnelli Jones, and Rick Mears, Rapid Response highlights the most deadly era of racing and the innovations that led the sport out of the dark ages.

The straightforward way it presents the subject is wildly refreshing. There is no obfuscating why we’re here, it doesn’t gussy up the topic, and it just tells why we’re gathered here today. It’s a very niche subject, to be sure, but the content appears to be wildly engrossing for anyone wanting to know more about those who are called on to help in an emergency on the track.

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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