Fewer trailers

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 read a book, hit the like button on what’s left of our dignity, go on a vehicular adventure, hang out with a bunch of survivalist yokels, and wonder what the Bee Girl is up to.

The Booksellers

D.W. Young’s documentary had the unfortunate timing of being released on March 6th of this year. But it’s now available to rent and buy, and I think I found my latest flame.

Antiquarian booksellers are part scholar, part detective and part businessperson, and their personalities and knowledge are as broad as the material they handle. They also play an under-appreciated yet essential role in preserving history. THE BOOKSELLERS takes viewers inside their small but fascinating world, populated by an assortment of obsessives, intellects, eccentrics and dreamers.

This is a documentary that should appeal to those who enjoy the smell of a musty bookstore or to bibliophiles who have stacks of novels you’re positive you will get to someday when you win the time lottery. Plus, the trailer is so smooth in its presentation. There’s no controversy to gin up, no drama to uncover other than that these stores are becoming rarer and rarer in a world that is increasingly digital. It’s a love letter to the printed word, and it’s inspiring to see people who are out there rowing against the current.

Sweat

Director Magnus von Horn is transcending geography and language.

Sweat recounts three days in the life of fitness motivator Sylwia Zajac, whose presence on social media has made her a celebrity. Although she has hundreds of thousands of followers, is surrounded by loyal employees and admired by acquaintances, she is looking for true intimacy.

What is so remarkable about this is just how unremarkable it is. Social media is littered with people looking for adulation and recognition as an influencer; some for beauty, some for fitness, you name the vertical and there’s someone looking to show you why they’re the ones you should listen to, following, amplifying. The trailer is tense, packed with pathos, and it’s going to be fascinating to see how things end.

Lost Bullet

Director Guillaume Pierret has my complete attention.

Facing a murder charge, a genius mechanic with a criminal past must track down a missing car containing the proof of his innocence: a single bullet.

I need this movie. Ever since John Frankenheimer’s 1998’s Ronin, I’ve been jonesing for a movie that’s about an inch deep and wide on action as cars go vroom through tight streets in Europe. Of course, movies like The Transporter helped scratch that itch, and this appears to be much of the same. Silly, action-packed, and fun. Trailers selling these kinds of movies don’t get much better than this, and you’re either all the way in or all the way out.

Southern Survival

Did you finish Floor Is Lava? Here’s your next binge-worthy series.

What good is surviving disasters if you can’t have fun doing it? Laugh along as the BattlBox crew prepares for the worst, testing out products designed to help people survive dangerous situations, including explosions, natural disasters and intruders.

I had to look it up and, apparently, BattlBox is a subscription box that appeals to any survivalist-minded outdoorsman or woman. It makes sense that this “series” looks more like an infomercial for the various products it carries. That being said, I don’t care. The trailer is straight-up fun to see chuckleheads doing stunts that look tame enough so you can enjoy this with the rest of the family. Part Jackass, part MythBusters, we’re all in need for quality guilty pleasures and this could be a nice diversion.

All I Can Say

You’ve got a cavalcade of directors here telling the same story: Danny Clinch, Taryn Gould, Colleen Hennessy, and Shannon Hoon.

Shannon Hoon, lead singer of the rock band Blind Melon, filmed himself from 1990-95 with a Hi8 video camera, recording up until a few hours before his sudden death at the age of 28. His camera was a diary and his closest confidant. In the hundreds of hours of footage, Hoon meticulously documented his life – his family, his creative process, his television, his band’s rise to fame and his struggle with addiction. He filmed his daughter’s birth, and archived the politics and culture of the 90’s, an era right before the internet changed the world.

Created with his own footage, voice and music, this intimate autobiography is a prescient exploration of experience and memory in the age of video. It is also Shannon Hoon’s last work, completed 23 years after his death.

When last I caught up with Clinch, he was melding together a 2016 Pearl Jam concert at Wrigley Field with the World Series-winning Chicago Cubs in a documentary that, as a fan of both, stole my heart. He’s looking to do the same slightly differently as he melds together various narratives that will tell the story of the late Shannon Hoon. It looks raw, yet focused, in a way that looks to honor the Blind Melon’s frontman’s legacy.

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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