I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: What to watch while ‘social distancing’

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest installment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

Everyone at A Damn Fine Cup of Culture hopes that our readers, their families and their friends are doing well. These are strange, worrying times – though if you’re stuck at home or your local cinemas have closed their doors, perhaps our trailers can help you while away the time.

Mege: Do you know someone among your movie-going friends who boasts of having seen Béla Tarr’s seven-hour opus Satantango (1994)? Wanna shut them up? Then go see the eight-hour monolith called The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin). I prefer quality before quantity, but if it’s good, you get many hours of cineastic joy. The trailer tells you absolutely nothing about the movie, but what do you expect? It’s less than a third of a percent of the movie. And you will have to take a whole day off.

Julie: On 20 October 2011, the ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, or Basque Homeland and Liberty) issued a statement declaring its decision for a definitive cessation of its armed activity. In 2018 it announced it had dissolved completely. Between 1968 and 2010, over 800 people had died due to the violence of the Basque separatist group. The new HBO series Patria is the story of two families affected by this violence. It looks about as gutting and painful as you would expect and it looks like the series might do justice to a complicated situation. For all the upheaval, these stories deserve to be told thoughtfully.

Eric: As much as I was expecting this to be about three French hens, it’s actually about Jude Law’s receding hairline* isthmustic allegory. And aren’t we all, deep down, at least a little terrified of the tide closing in as we trundle across the narrow causeway that takes us from where we are to where we want to be? Written by Dennis Kelly and featuring an amazing ensemble, The Third Day‘s teaser says very little except that if you see a Wicker Man reference, it’s probably for a very good reason. Are we ever going to see a movie about a closed island commune who really only just want to invite you over for tea and crumpets? I guess not.

*alternate suggestions for this joke were: this is actually about the last episode of Lost, or this is actually a reality show set on The Isle of Man. I’m still not entirely convinced there’s no truth to that last one.

Matt: Werner Herzog is one of the most unique voices in cinema, both literally and metaphorically. He is sometimes likened to a crabby old man who doesn’t like what the world has become so he rails against it, a Teutonic Grandpa Simpson, if you like, but I don’t think that description is fair. When he talks about something with a sense of wonder, that angular, odd voice sings. Therefore, I am very much looking forward to his paean to one of the greats of English literature: Bruce Chatwin’s literary voice was also like no other. (If you haven’t read any Chatwin, The Songlines is the book of his that I’d very much recommend.) John Updike wrote about Chatwin, describing his style as “a clipped, lapidary prose that compresses worlds into pages”. Here’s to finding out what Chatwin looked like through the eyes of Werner Herzog.

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