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 try and convince you to end it all, revisit the idea of why America doesn’t appreciate soccer, enjoy some Mexican food, have ourselves a beer, and attempt to understand what exactly made the Wu-Tang Clan.

This is Football

I don’t get why soccer isn’t more celebrated in the United States, but I’ll be damned if this trailer isn’t inspiring to anyone on some level. Here’s the official synopsis:

This Is Football unpacks the unique phenomenon that grips and unifies billions of people from every corner of the globe. Across the episodes universal themes of the human experience are explored: Redemption – football’s uplifting role in rebuilding the soul of Rwanda after the genocide, Belief – the inspirational rise of women’s football and two teams who gave everything to make it happen, Chance – the agony and the ecstasy of the fates that humble champions and keep every fan believing in the impossible, Love – four stories from every corner of the earth where the love of the game transcends adversity, Pride – how Iceland’s football Vikings take on the world and give every underdog hope, and Wonder – unlocking the secrets of Lionel Messi’s genius and the global delight of watching him play. Each story unfolds dramatically through the experience of men and women of different races, cultures and creeds, all of them remarkable, all of them united in their passion for football and chosen from every continent on Earth.

This is exactly what you want from a series about soccer. It serves up different angles on why this sport means more than just people running back and forth on a field with a bouncing ball at their feet. It’s the narratives that connect all of them together. This trailer shows shared humanity between all the people they profile and it’s just baffling why America still hasn’t bought in. 

I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter

You’ve got to give it up to director Erin Lee Carr, who has broken up this latest documentary into two parts. The first part showcases the prosecution, the second part, the defense. It’s an interesting way of attempting to tell the story of someone who was reviled the moment we learned of one girl’s accusations.

Directed by Erin Lee Carr (Mommy Dead and Dearest, Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop) this two-part documentary about the texting suicide case that captured national interest raises difficult questions about technology, mental health, and whether or not one teenager can be held responsible for the suicide of another.

If nothing else, the trailer is bold. Using the actual text messages that were part of the trial helps to reinforce just how incessant the defendant was in her insistence that her boyfriend should kill himself. For those who have a fascination with true crime, this is a unique opportunity to delve into the details of a case that caught the attention of news stations everywhere. 

Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy

Director Elizabeth Carroll shines a light on sustainability of our food supply in a profile focusing on someone you’ve probably never heard of.

Master chef, teacher, writer, and activist Diana Kennedy has become one of the most celebrated culinary legends of Mexican cuisine but has also been fighting unapologetically for change in the environment to produce and sustain fresh food for future generations.

This story is riveting simply because it’s just one of those yarns that would otherwise go untold if it weren’t for this documentary. It’s purposeful, has a clear point of view of what we’re here to learn, and is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

Kings of Beer

This is about as low-stakes as you can get with subject matter, and director Sean Mullin has me delighted. It’s immediately clear that having people like Aisha Tyler and Jay Chandrasekhar to offer pithy commentary helps to elevate what otherwise would be fairly mundane viewing. Not everything has to be groundbreaking in terms of content or importance. Sometimes it’s just a simple story that lets you escape into another world. The trailer, while no great shakes, almost impedes what should be these narratives of people who want to brew beer. Again, nothing extraordinary. but sometimes that’s okay. 

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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