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 knock and announce “Housekeeping…” before entering your room, try and find a place for the family to live, visit a community where black lives matter, take a piano lesson, and then work to put a price on art.

Rosie

Damn, this one hits deep. Much like the fantastic The Florida Project, we have a film dealing with economic insecurity and just how close many of us are to being homeless. Director Paddy Breathnach takes a look at a family who find themselves out of a house and home, drifting like vagabonds as they try and course correct their lives. It’s, perhaps, one of the most emotionally touching trailers I’ve seen in some time as it’s wonderfully edited, paced, and gives us just the right amount of information about the narrative. The kids, the dealing with the anxiousness of trying to find a stable place to live, all the while trying to keep a marriage together is a solid trifecta. I’m hoping I can see this one somehow, someway.

Hale County This Morning, This Evening

The debut feature by RaMell Ross not only looks fantastic, but the trailer is also incredible as well. What is noteworthy here is how we enter this world. There is no voiceover, no interstitials, just little moments. A drive down the lane here, a look down this block here, we get to know our subjects by seeing them in their natural state. Creative filmmaking techniques, little snippets of time that have no context, this trailer is a visual stream of consciousness. There is joy and unease and everything in-between. The pull-quotes affirm, wonderfully, that what’s on display here is something special, but we already knew that just watching what’s on display.

The Chambermaid

The Toronto International Film Festival is going on right now through September 16th, and this debut looks like a gem. Coming from first-time filmmaker Lila Avilés, the story revolves around a housekeeper working in an exclusive hotel in Mexico City. Nothing much happens in the trailer, but it is that very lack of action that makes this trailer so effective. It’s these quiet moments of someone doing a job and watching the way in which they do it that’s transfixing. Nothing needs to be said to communicate with us as an audience. We inherently get it. Small, intimate, this is small ball writ large.

Making the Grade

Honestly, this plays like a short story prompt. Director Ken Wardrop seems to answer “Tell me about the life of a piano teacher.” There’s no pathos, no logos, but there is ethos at work here when you see how these representative samples of teachers go about doing their jobs. Something like this tickles that particular part of your brain that is devoted to learning how to do something well. Along the way, there will be stumbling, but it’s the teachers who guide us who deserve all the credit. Looks like such a friendly, positive documentary.

The Price of Everything

Director Nathaniel Kahn knows a thing or two or three about how the other half lives. Specifically, his 2003’s Oscar-nominated documentary about his architect father Louis Kahn dealt with understanding his dad’s legacy as one of the 20th century’s most celebrated architects. So, this documentary about the art world, and the insane upper class who, as the trailer points out, get their validation by owning expensive pieces of art. What I love even more about this trailer is how the artists themselves who are producing this art acknowledge how nutty all of this is; they are at once the creators and beneficiaries of a system that seems out of control.

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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