A good movie trailer is hard to find. With only two minutes to create a world, populate it with characters, set a mood, introduce a conflict, sell the audience and tease them–all while avoiding cliche–the precise construction of a trailer is an art in itself. And because we hate to see art go to waste, Trailer Park finds those poor trailers that get lost in the cracks of the Internet every week and excites you about things you didn’t know you should be excited about. Here’s some of this weeks trailers, plus our top 5 trailers from 2011.
Mars et Avril
There’s no subtitles to be found, but this adaptation of a graphic novel looks pretty, right? Here is a description from the EMA website:
“Mars et Avril is quite possibly the first Québécois film set in a Montreal of the future. As Man is about to set foot on Mars, a small community of anticybernetics is busy trying to slow down time. Among them is JACOB OBUS (Jacques Languirand), an emblematic and beloved septuagenarian who creates captivating music on instruments inspired by the female body, designed by his friend ARTHUR (Paul Ahmarani). Once Jacob and Arthur fall in love with AVRIL (Caroline Dhavernas), a young and short-winded photographer, the old sex-symbol’s true nature is revealed. Upon discovering love for the first time in his life, Jacob leaves for Mars in search of his muse. In the midst of everything arrives EUGÈNE SPAAK (Robert Lepage), inventor, cosmologist and Arthur’s father, who maintains that Mars is only a chimera.”
Alright, the title is a terrible pun and Canada isn’t exactly known for its thriving original sci-fi film industry, but for all you Wonderfall fans out there, look! It’s Caroline Dhavernas! She’s still alive! And hopefully still awesome in French! Plus, the futuristic world here looks less like an In Time-esque gimmick, and something a bit more fully realized. Honestly, when I consider a future where cybernetic implants are an option, my first thought isn’t to replace my head with a holographic projector. Someone really thought this through.
Source: The Quiet Earth
Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona’s follow up to his 2007 ghost story The Orphanage is an English film (though the trailer has a Spanish dub) about a family struggling to survive the 2004 tsunami that hit southeast Asia. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor are a solid pair to depend on, but when it comes down to it, the disaster film genre always feels like an empty exercise. When a film’s main antagonist is nature, nothing much is ever said except one of two things: the humbling idea that humanity is this tiny speck, subject to much greater forces in the world and universe; or the inspiring idea that humanity has an indomitable spirit and drive to survive. The trailer’s imagery is striking though and seems to promise a more intimate and immersive perspective, rather than a more epic omniscient 2012 view of the destruction. It makes me think that some of those found footage filmmakers should get out of horror and make something in this genre.
And since it’s the end of 2011, let’s relive some of the best trailers that came out this year. Here are my five favorites. The ones I couldn’t help but endlessly rewatch and in some cases, trailers so good that they eclipsed the actual films themselves.
Source: The Playlist
5. We Need to Talk About Kevin
The joyful Buddy Holly tune “Everyday” and the dreamy miracle of having a child are both treated ironically in this nightmarish trailer with creepy imagery, an intensifying score made up of ticking and pounding and hints of a dark mystery at the center of it all. The focus on Tilda Swinton’s exhausted and horrified expressions are infuriatingly vague and intriguing at once. You just want to know more about it, but there’s such a deft command of storytelling and mood in those two minutes that you’d rather just wait for and trust in the film and nothing more.
4. The Hunger Games
After a god awful teaser trailer that relied solely on the goodwill of the book’s fans, The Hunger Games bounced back with a strong theatrical trailer that had the complicated task of setting up the structure of the dystopian society in the story, explaining what exactly the “Hunger Games” are and revealing what makes Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) such a good heroine without any “In a world…” voice-over explanations and minimal use of swooping text . Between glimpses of the world and what’s at stake, the trailer slowly builds up the tension and anticipation and only gives mere glimpses at the actual “Games”, despite the fact that most of the plot takes place there.
3. Tree of Life
As a full film, this critical darling really didn’t work for me. I felt like I was intruding on someone else’s epiphany. Like if I did drugs with Terrence Malick and I got a dud, while he’s there sitting on the floor tripping out on hallucinogenics and trying to explain all these life-changing connections he’s making about reality and the world. There’s nothing really to do but just pat his back and say “Sure, Terrence.”
The trailer, however, was an ambitious promise that sucked you right in; a free-form exploration of the present, the past and the creation of the universe with Malick’s eye for stunning shots. It was a little taste of a drug that assured a greater understanding if only you could get your hands on it.
Everyone seems to like the “New York, New York” trailer, but shorter is sweeter with this redband one that plays out like a marvelous short film, completely confident in its wordless storytelling and Michael Fassbender’s seductive gaze. The trailer teases us with glimpses like the first act’s “day in the life of a sex addict” set-up and serves as a perfect introduction to the character, especially with that last shot that leaves both him and us craving more.
1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
As if there was any question. A relentless assault on the senses with rhythmic cutting to Trent Reznor’s Immigrant Song cover, this trailer was a more entertaining piece of work than most of the full films that followed it whenever I went to the theatre. It’s got teasing out-of-context images that force you to piece them together like Mikael Blomkvist and a tenacious, fuck-off-if-you-don’t-get-it attitude that makes you think it might have been edited by Lisbeth Salander herself. I disliked the book coming into this, but this made me step back and simply trust in David Fincher.
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Written by Tarun Shanker (@tuna365)
After tragically losing his childhood innocence by watching Steven Seagal kick a man under a train in Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, Tarun emerged from the shadows to graduate from NYU with a degree in Film & English and become a mild-mannered New York City assistant by day and a… More »
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