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 trip to the farm, get a sweet tooth, search for the fount of fertility, look for redemption on the links, and risk our corporeal meat suits in pursuit of a cheese wheel.
Director Victor Kossakovsky is giving us some glorious cinéma vérité.
Experiential cinema in its purest form, GUNDA chronicles the unfiltered lives of a mother pig, a flock of chickens, and a herd of cows with masterful intimacy. Using stark, transcendent black and white cinematography and the farm’s ambient soundtrack, Master director Victor Kossakowsky invites the audience to slow down and experience life as his subjects do, taking in their world with a magical patience and an other worldly perspective. GUNDA asks us to meditate on the mystery of animal consciousness, and reckon with the role humanity plays in it.
NEON is not new to this kind of material. They were the ones who help bring the wonderful The Biggest Little Farm to the big screen, and this feels like a spiritual successor. Rawer than Little Farm, but no less interesting, I’m struck by the bold strategy to lead off with a lengthy thirty-second celebration of the movie by director Paul Thomas Anderson. It’s quiet, welcoming, soothing, and, ultimately, one of the softest sells I’ve seen all year.
Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles
Director Laura Gabbert, who made the incredible documentary 2015’s City of Gold, has turned her attention from regional eats to delicious pastries.
Documenting the collaboration between world renowned chef Yotam #Ottolenghi (Plenty, Simple) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, OTTOLENGHI AND THE CAKES OF VERSAILLES follows five visionary pastry makers. A veritable who’s who of the dessert world is assembled – including #DominiqueAnsel and #DinaraKasko – as they race against the clock to construct a decadent food gala based on the sumptuous exhibit: Visitors to #Versailles.
OTTOLENGHI AND THE CAKES OF VERSAILLES is an extravagant feast for the senses, exploring the mouth-watering intersection between food, culture, and history.
There is nothing to complain about in this trailer. Other than feeling like it borders on the bougie, the stories of how some world-renowned pastry makers prepare for a major global event plays like visual comfort food. It’s cute, it’s nonthreatening, you could probably watch this with the entire family, and it looks like a lot of fun. In a year when the fun has been in short supply, this may very well be some soothing viewing for anyone in need of it.
Director Hannah Olson looks into a truly sinister individual.
For more than 30 years, Dr. Quincy Fortier covertly used his own sperm to inseminate his fertility patients. Now his secret is out and his children seek the truth about his motives and try to make sense of their own identities.
I don’t know how you approach a story of a doctor who spent 30 years hiding a hideous secret like this, but as true crime goes, this is rage-inducing. The story of a man who violated dozens upon dozens of unsuspecting women and families is found in the stories of those who share a common father. The trailer doesn’t suppose to know how one would internalize this kind of knowledge if presented with it right then and there during an interview. But knowing you have hundreds of brothers and sisters out in the wild, with the only variable being the mother, this is where the story digs in.
Directors Matthew Heineman and Matthew Hamachek have made this a two-part story.
A look at the life, success and scandals of golf legend Tiger Woods.
Normally, I would skip something like this but Heineman was nominated for an Oscar in 2015 for his intense documentary, Cartel Land. However, the story’s pedigree, on the surface at least, feels less tabloid-ish and more like a serious biographical exploration. It’s interesting that nearly the first minute of a minute-fifteen second trailer lets us linger on the Tiger Woods of the past. It’s not until we get towards the last beats it hints we’re also getting the Tiger who was unceremoniously, and mercilessly, dragged by the media and public for his private indiscretions.
We Are The Champions
The ultimate in post-election pleasure viewing.
Explore an array of unique competitions, from the quirky to the bizarre, and meet their passionate communities in this docuseries from executive producer Rainn Wilson
I will not suppose that this series is anything less than the equivalent of cold pizza. It’s not nutritious, in any way, but it’s there, it’s easy, and it will get the job done. Documentaries like this are the pinnacle of what Netflix succeeds at: making mildly interesting content that is just good enough. Whether you’re putting together a Weber grill or some piece of Ikea furniture, watching handfuls of people cartwheeling by the force of simple gravity as their bodies tumble down a grassy hill is my jam. Seeing snot drip from noses as dolts consume hot chili peppers and witnessing dancing dogs? We all need more of this content in our lives.
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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