This Week In Trailers: The Florida Project, Zero Weeks, 100 Years of Olympic Films, Wexford Plaza, Quest, A$$holes

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 I ask you to support The Florida Project, watch people who are much more fit, skilled, and talented than I’ll ever be, wonder where we went left when it comes to parental leave, follow a real life slice of life drama, revisit a fascinating slice of life drama, and get in with some pervs who have a very specific fetish. 

The Florida Project Featurette

I’m going to assume there’s at least 10 of you reading this right now. To those 10 people I am asking you to either buy a ticket to see this movie or buy a ticket to see this movie to support something that is genuinely precious. I have not been so affected by performances, across the board, as I have with this movie and so as this movie looks to catch fire I’m hoping this is a little bit of burning tinder to help the cause. I hate/loathe hyping any movie as I know someone will see it and not agree but I want to do my part to get the word out about Sean Baker’s latest opus that honestly delivers.

100 Years of Olympic Films Trailer

The only physical media that I own that focuses solely on the Olympics is Criterion’s 1965’s Tokyo Olympiad. The documentary itself is a bit of a revelation as it captures the genuine physicality of competing in these games with being incredibly cinematic by capturing the moment in an honest way, not prepackaged and edited as we get now with NBC’s version of what an Olympics should look like. The package here is an impressive one and as it just feels and looks epic. I mean, it’s incredible how they manage to sell the idea that, yes, these are sports but, more than that, there’s the very real sense that you have people who are pushing their body to the limits whether they’re pole vaulting or ice skating. Just a fantastic testament to what should be an honorable event.

Wexford Plaza Trailer

Something worth seeing, I hope.

I talked about director Joyce Wong’s movie earlier this year when the first trailer dropped but after seeing this I’m even more convinced that this is the kind of movie that could serve as a gentle digestif to the virulence that is plaguing our everyday lives as of late. Movies help to act like an escape and no other escape looks as inviting as this story right now. It feels genuinely tiny, with characters who suffer from being less than perfect, and completely contained in this compact world. The trailer glides on its charm, its judicious use of pull-quotes, and simply being overall appealing.

Quest Trailer

Long shoots.

One thing I admire about the length some filmmakers take in shooting their movies like Michael Winterbottom’s Everyday and Linklater ‘s Boyhood is seeing just how it affects the narrative when you put so much time between shooting. In a fictional world you can keep the course and make sure where you end up is where you intended to but in a non-fiction world life isn’t as kind. Someone like director Jonathan Olshefski who shot this documentary over 10 years was bound to end up in a different place than where he started. To me, that’s exciting, as it’s not knowing what lies beyond that next phone call, that next birthday, and with this subject matter and focus it looks like we’ve got something and someone to not only follow but root for as they navigate a social environment that grows needlessly more treacherous.

Zero Weeks Trailer

Question for the group: Do any of you work full-time and, follow-up, what’s your time-off expectation when you have a kid? If you’re like a lot of people, you’ll be like me, in the hospital on a Thursday afternoon and expected to be back on Friday to finish the payroll.

Yup, many more of you have it all figured out in using your vacation/sick days or work for an enlightened employer who benevolently allows you a week or two at no cost. I didn’t have that luxury with my second child and this trailer sucker punched me hard. Ky Dickens comes right out of the gate swinging and with good reason. These are the kinds of situations people find themselves in every single day and even though there is an obvious bias for there being something for all people to help care and tend to their progeny it doesn’t make the argument any less true. The narratives that flow from this trailer should be enough for anyone to empathize with the plight many are struggling with but it’s only through constantly reminding those who haven’t been affected, or yet been affected, will there be any meaningful change.

And for those of you without kids, never planning on having kids, way too young to even think about kids, or you have a phenomenal job in place I imagine you’ll pass right by this trailer but keep this trailer in mind should you ever hear of someone close to you having a child on a Friday and needing to be back at work on a Monday.

A$ $ holes Trailer (NSFW)

This is the cinematic equivalent of getting a face tattoo.

Sure, no one is going to stop you from trying to earn a living but there might be some who are skittish about wanting you to serve the general public. That said, I’m completely behind director Peter Vack’s completely gonzo vision. It’s absolutely original in telling a story about these very different individuals and I don’t even think I have enough insight into what is actually happening before my eyes to draw any complete picture of what is going on. I’m not sure I really want to know what has brought us here with this story but, for sure, there wasn’t any distraction out there wild enough that could have made me look away. I just could not look away. Side note: I once used the word “scatological” to someone, at someone, who I was meaning to say could “riff” extemporaneously real well, improv through their use of the written word. You know, like scat and jazz. I failed to use that word properly then and I apologize. However, I am now using that word, properly, to describe the experience of sitting through this trailer.

Nota bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers to possibly be included 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:

The post This Week In Trailers: The Florida Project, Zero Weeks, 100 Years of Olympic Films, Wexford Plaza, Quest, A$ $ holes appeared first on /Film.


/Film

This Week In Trailers: Dear Coward on the Moon, Patti Cake$, Long Strange Trip, Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter, WHITNEY ‘Can I Be Me’

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 take a look at a little indie that could, get to know a different kind of white rapper, start spinning like a dervish in the parking lot with other hippie chicks, stand with mouth agape at some schlocky sci-fi, and remember Whitney Houston through the eyes of the director who brought us Kurt & Courtney.

Patti Cake$ Trailer

Fuuuuuuuuuuuu….

Man, I love when I get goosebumps when I watch a sizzling trailer like this. Director Geremy Jasper needs to give alms to whatever and whoever put this together because it is tight. Not only do I get where things are going but the flow from one moment to the next is next to fluid. I was inspired, thrilled, excited, and consuming those pull-quotes like affirmations to what I’m feeling as this thing spooled to the end. I don’t know when it’s dropping or where it’s going but I’m in. Completely.

Dear Coward on the Moon Trailer

I just had to share.

I don’t know how I stumbled upon director Carol Brandt’s film but I’m glad I did. The usual polish and high production value of many trailers just doesn’t compare to the earnest vibes that are pouring from every scene we see here. I’m just so enamored by the level of care that was put into making this very tiny movie a lot bigger than it is. The sense of weight and space are fully represented by the moments that are allowed to breathe and stretch out before us. The minimalist music choice in the background is a nice compliment to the ever so soft narration that punctuates our ears every few seconds. I do not know which way the story will go but it matters little when you have a trailer that might as well be a beautiful portrait of how independent movies, the true independent movies, can still move and stir your soul.

Long Strange Trip Trailer

Never listened to one song.

So I think we all someone who is REALLY into The Grateful Dead. My only connection to the band is that I saw Pearl Jam at Soldier Field on July 11th, 1995. The Dead let PJ use their stage and Jerry Garcia would be dead within the month. Director Amir Bar-Lev has a lot of ground to cover, hopefully he’ll be able to answer whether the band is really any good versus good under the right circumstances, but this is a fascinating subculture that, from a sociological point of view, I’m kind of interested in dissecting. I don’t think there are any shattering insights that will bend space and time but this is certainly a documentary that many will appreciate.

WHITNEY ‘Can I Be Me’ Trailer

Crack is whack.

Director Nick Broomfield doesn’t seem to be doing anything more or less than what he did with Kurt & Courtney. It’s not a knock, it’s just saying that what we have here seems to be your run of the mill bio-pic that is going to end real tragically. I’m intrigued enough, though, by what’s here because of how much attention Houston manage to attract in the decades that she was a part of the cultural zeitgeist. The trailer is solid, too, so it has that going for it.

 

Rogue Warrior Trailer

I just kind of love that this exists out there.

Director Neil Johnson should be given all the kudos for making something that my 13 year-old self would have rented as a VHS way back in the day.

Nota bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers to possibly be included 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:

The post This Week In Trailers: Dear Coward on the Moon, Patti Cake$ , Long Strange Trip, Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter, WHITNEY ‘Can I Be Me’ appeared first on /Film.


/Film

This Week in Trailers: Daisy Ridley & John Boyega Return in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi,’ Kathryn Bigelow Unveils ‘Detroit,’ Charlize Theron Stars in ‘Atomic Blonde’


Ansel Elgort and Elle Fanning star in upcoming films ‘Baby Driver’ and ‘3 Generations.’
Movies

This Week In Trailers: Last Men in Aleppo, Another Evil, STEP, Flames, Violet

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 lighten things up by talking about Syria, go ghost hunting in a vacation home, realize we have two left feet, watch a real relationship disintegrate before us, and then feel the weight of judgement from others who think we could have done more.

Last Men in Aleppo Trailer

This is crushing.

One of the most compelling things about director Feras Fayyad’s documentary about a volunteer force that is out to help their fellow citizens is just how black and white it is about things. There is no discussion about Assad’s regime, knowing that he may very well have ordered the use of chemical weapons in Aleppo, but when you see the children who are oblivious to it all you just have to wonder who these kids will grow up to be. It’s just so very sad but you get that this is a documentary that is just dialed in to why these men throw themselves into a sinister situation. They have no other choice. This is their city, their country. It’s the quiet moments that give this trailer its strength. It’s not about war, it’s not about doing something to liberate their country, it’s about taking care of their fellow citizen under the most sinister of conditions.

STEP Trailer

Yes, please.

There’s just something inspiring about director Amanda Lipitz’ documentary about young women as they make their way through young adulthood, finding out what they’re made of by expressing themselves through dance. You have the inner city narrative as it’s wrapped up in our modern conversation surrounding what it means to be black in America and how kids are trying to buck the statistics about where they’re going in life if there’s already some issues around their schooling. Somehow, though, this seems like one of those stories that will inspire us to be better, be more empathetic, and find those reasons to believe that some kids can be more than a statistic. They can be beautiful human beings striving for something more than themselves.

Flames Trailer (NSFW)

Grain of salt.

Look, out of the gate you should know that co-directors Zefrey Throwell and Josephine Decker are performance artists. This trailer purports to be a 5 years’ look at their lives on camera, off camera, and how their romantic relationship went from hot and heavy to dead and lifeless. It may very well be an honest exploration of how love evolves and can end tragically for one or both people. My more voyeuristic curiosities, though, have gotten the best of me and I’m aboard this love train. I’ve always been fascinated by the ebbs and flows of modern romance and whether there are any through lines of what makes a relationship work and what can end one. These seem like nice kids and this could be one of those stories that helps to show how love can be hard sometimes, to say nothing of what the introduction of a video camera as it documents everything can do to the delicate homeostasis of that relationship.

Another Evil Trailer

Flat out weird.

Director Carson Mell has seemingly created a hip ghost story in the vein of something that the Duplass Brothers would put out there. True, it doesn’t look as wildly inventive as Creep but that’s OK. There seems to be something more afoot here with a story of a guy catching who legitimately catches ghosts and then embeds himself into his clients’ life. The story seems nutty enough that it ought to work and could be the right thing to watch if you’re in the mood for something light and smart.

Violet Trailer

Lots of years.

One thing that’s wildly annoying that I will constantly complain about is how long it takes some foreign films to make it stateside. Director Bas Devos’ 3 years’ old narrative about a boy who escapes a brutal beating, and random killing, of the boy’s friend that happens right in front of his eyes. The boy does nothing but is not accosted himself and so the story becomes one of not only survivor’s guilt but should he have intervened? And, more importantly, how does his support network also think about this situation and also wonder whether he should have done more. It’s fascinating, meaty stuff and this trailer is amazingly well crafted. You have a lot to process with the story but the trailer here simply asks you to enter into its world and stay a while.

Nota bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers to possibly be included 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:

The post This Week In Trailers: Last Men in Aleppo, Another Evil, STEP, Flames, Violet appeared first on /Film.


/Film

This Week In Trailers: Shiners, Buster’s Mal Heart, Take Me, Graduation, Chuck

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 revisit Rami Malek’s strange trip, we become a helicopter parent, we go home to get our shine box, get into a little trouble with the law, celebrate Pat Healy for a smidge, and watch the real life Rocky.

Buster’s Mal Heart Trailer

Evocative.

I know I’ve covered this trailer before but, with good reason, I’m taking another go at this. There is just something so delightful about the sights and flow to this trailer that no matter what this movie is actually about I am not sure it would be able to match my idea of what I think it is. Director Sarah Adina Smith appears to know exactly what makes Malek so engaging to watch on screen and she capitalizes on this in a glorious way.

Shiners Trailer

Slice of life.

There’s this great book out there that I think a lot of people should read: Studs Terkel’s “Working”

Reading that book, you can see how director Stacey Tenenbaum seems to have approached the lives of people who make their living by literally hustling for business. It may not be the kind of lives many of us envision for ourselves but for those who find honor in what they are doing to provide for their family this trailer is emotionally disarming. We’re not meant to pity or gawk at these people; we’re here to celebrate their drive and motivation to bring meaning to what they do in order to survive.

Take Me Trailer

Can we all agree that Pat Healy is a national cinematic treasure?

I’m just a small fan of the man’s work and with this, his feature directorial debut, I’m just tickled about what kind of strange trip this movie is going to take me on as a willing voyager. I don’t know why strikes me as much as it does but the weirdness of Healy’s character, coupled with an equally strange premise make for a combination that is too tantalizing to pass up.

Graduation Trailer

Never heard of the man.

Director Cristian Mungiu, who directed the celebrated 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, is back with a story that feels awfully touching as a story about a parent just trying to make things go OK for his daughter. Of course, much is lost in translation as to what’s really afoot here but that’s OK. What’s important here is that we get to know this man and his daughter in a way that endears us to both of them. It succeeds primarily because there aren’t a lot of things getting in our way to understand the situation before us but because it also looks like a meaty story that’s filled with anguish, joy and the vagary of life itself.

Chuck Trailer

It inspired Sly.

So, this is the “real” Rocky that Stallone eventually turned into Oscar gold and director Philippe Falardeau looks like he’s done a pretty solid job here with the story. It helps that Falardeau has a lot of talent in the stable inside the picture to capture the story of a boxer who would be a living legend to some but it’s more for his work on Monsieur Lazhar that has me convinced that, win or lose, this will tell a tale worth listening to.

Nota bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers to possibly be included 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:

The post This Week In Trailers: Shiners, Buster’s Mal Heart, Take Me, Graduation, Chuck appeared first on /Film.


/Film

This Week In Trailers: The Transfiguration, Tongue Cutters, The Journey, A Better Man, Spookers

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 look at a different kind of vampire movie, visit some kids who are making it rain dolla dolla bills, get uneasy by an abuser of a woman who makes him confront his past, understand the lives of carnies who work the Halloween circuit, and watch the IRA and the Unionists come to the table.

The Transfiguration Trailer

Fascinating.

One of the things about the debut of Michael O’Shea is just how muted everything feels. There isn’t so much a focus on Vampirism, per se, as there does seem to be a focus on what can happen when someone steeps themselves deep into the lore. A screw loose here, some misguided emotion there, the energy is simply raw and inviting. We aren’t let it on exactly what it is we’re supposed to discern from the moments we’re given but it’s clear that this most likely won’t end well for any involved by the end. I’m in.

Tongue Cutters Trailer

Got nothing but love for this.

For some reason, kids who are allowed some agency in their lives and then take advantage of that opportunity to make their small dreams come true is somehow wildly fulfilling to watch as an adult. Director Solveig Melkeraaen shows us these young boys and girls who want more out of their lives than just what they have to do and it’s inspiring to hear their stories of why getting a job cutting fish tongues to make some dough on the side is so important. It’s not Shark Tank level entrepreneurship but these kids want something and display the kind of focus you wish your cousin Andy, who’s still living on the couch of your aunt’s house at the age of 30, would show by going out and getting after it. These kids are cute and certainly the larger story here is much more interesting when you take a step back to see what it all means.

A Better Man Trailer

I would’ve demurred.

Look, there’s no easy way to talk about domestic violence and certainly many people who have been unaffected by it have an idea of what happens and why it happens but it’s another thing entirely to be a director who has had it happen and then convinces the person who did the abusing to go on camera to talk about it. Directors Attiya Khan and Lawrence Jackman take an interesting road to discuss Khan’s past and how it intersected with domestic violence. Instead of creating some distance from the issue she goes all in by talking to her ex and exploring that time of their life. Without question it’s going to be a hard watch and props to the batterer for taking responsibility and allowing this to be what can only be called a cautionary tale. It happens too often, to be sure, but this is a story that will feel personal and needs to be told.

Spookers Trailer

Hell. Yeah.

I don’t know what drove director Florian Habicht to make this but all love and praise needs to be sent his way. This is about as close as you’re going to come to getting a story about some truly normal people who hit upon something that resonates with people when the witching hours of October come near and decided to make a year-long attraction out of it. I’m not quite sure how this story could be anything more than a 15 minute short of some suburban husband and wife team who saw an opportunity to open a scream farm but the trailer is solid. And that back half of the spot tosses out that emotional hook real nice.

The Journey Trailer

I’m here for Timothy Spall and Colm Meaney.

One of the things about Liam Gavin’s story is how simple it is: The former leader of the IRA and a Protestant who is advocating for Northern Ireland take a ride with one another. Something like this reminds me of Frost/Nixon in the best way possible. It all hinges on the performances of your two leads and with Spall and Meaney you have a dramatic duo who are poised to crush it. There is nuance, while being a little melodramatic at moments, but the overall tenor is that this is a masterclass of thespians doing their best with the material they’ve been given. Could be one of those small gems that just needs to be unearthed.

 

Nota bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers to possibly be included 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:

The post This Week In Trailers: The Transfiguration, Tongue Cutters, The Journey, A Better Man, Spookers appeared first on /Film.


/Film

1 2 3 4