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 go hunting, wonder if Richard Gere really is God, mellow out with Joe Pera, celebrate sketch comedy, and attempt to reunite with our long lost sibling.
Director Jon Avnet has assembled such a veritable who’s who for his latest that we can’t help but be intrigued.
In 1959, psychiatrist Dr. Alan Stone (Richard Gere) arrives at a mental hospital in Ypsilanti, Michigan armed with the radical belief that schizophrenic patients should be treated not with confinement and electroshock therapy but with empathy and understanding. As his first study, he takes on the particularly challenging case of three men—Joseph (Peter Dinklage), Leon (Walton Goggins), and Clyde (Bradley Whitford)—each of whom believes they are Jesus Christ. Hoping that by getting them together in the same room to confront their delusions he can break through to them, Dr. Stone begins a risky, unprecedented experiment that will push the boundaries of psychiatric medicine and leave everyone involved—including Dr. Stone himself—profoundly changed.
Hyperbole aside, the story’s central theme about mental illness and how one went about diagnosing it in the mid-20th century is pause-worthy. You have a stellar cast of actors who all have to assume the identity of Jesus Christ, and to see how they each bring something different to the Messiah in this trailer is impressive. I doubt, however, it will make it to my “must-see” list, but those who count any of these thespians in their top 10 might want to check it out.
Joe Pera Talks With You Season 2
There is something so very soothing about Joe Pera’s comedy that director Marty Schousboe knows exactly how to capture it.
While exploring a wide-range of subject matter with viewers such as lighthouses, grocery stores, self-healing materials, how to pack a lunch, and Milwaukee men’s fashion, a choir teacher in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula uses his summer break to attempt something big – growing an arch of beans.
Pera isn’t for everyone but, for those that are down with his Midwest sensibility, he is a revelation. His smooth, dulcet tone is soothing, even disarming, before he hits you with his brand of humor. Season two seems to be an exact carbon copy of season one but that’s more than okay, it’s welcomed. In fact, it’s my most anticipated show in December.
Astronomy Club: The Sketch Show
The lede here is that The Astronomy Club is the first all-black Upright Citizens Brigade troupe. As a fan of sketch comedy, I wish there was more of it. SNL used to be must-see TV, but they’ve been more miss than hit. But this show appears to have a wickedly sharper edge than its blunt NBC counterpart, and I’m here for all of it.
If you have not witnessed the sheer audacity of director Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle films, you’re missing out on an epic amount of mind-melting.
The new film by acclaimed artist and director Matthew Barney, creator of the CREMASTER Cycle and the film opera River of Fundament, unfolds as a series of hunts in the wilderness of Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. The characters communicate a mythological narrative through dance, letting movement replace language as they pursue each other and their prey.
This looks to be so much more accessible for those wanting to get their taste of Barney’s aesthetic without feeling lost in someone else’s id or super-ego. I do not know what to make of what’s here, but it’s hauntingly entrancing.
Director Karim Ainouz has created a tearjerker for sure. Here’s the synopsis
Acclaimed Brazilian filmmaker Karim Ainouz brilliantly recreates 1950s Rio de Janeiro in this tropical melodrama of two inseparable sisters: Eurídice (Carol Duarte), 18, and Guida (Julia Stockler), 20. They live restricted lives with their conservative parents. However, each nourishes a passionate dream: Eurídice of becoming a renowned pianist; Guida of finding true love. In a shocking turn of events, they are separated and forced to live apart.
This is Brazil’s submission to the 2020 Academy Awards, and it’s easy to see why that’s the case just based on the trailer. It’s poetic, cinematically lush, and packed with a pathos that seems more genuine than it does contrived.
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 [email protected] or look me up via Twitter at @Stipp
In case you missed them, here are the other trailers we covered at /Film this week:
- Onward Teaser – Not really enthralled as much as cautiously optimistic