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.
Julie: Agnes Varda brought humanity to New Wave, marrying narrative and documentary styles. She was, as the New Yorker put it “So far ahead of the world of cinema, that she had to wait for it to catch up to her.” Now there’s a collection of her work. Not just her filmography, but also pictures and interactive art. A testament of a life of imagination.
Mege: Too many family movies are steeped in gooey melancholy and twee remembrance. Olivier Assayas’ Summer Hours (2008) takes a look back, but also a look forward, by staying entirely in the here and now. The movie leaves it up to you to find out how much time has passed between one scene and the next. Summer Hours is entirely free of flashbacks or flash-forwards. It’s about the selling of a French country house, and it’s brave enough to claim that some people are simply not much attached to the place they grew up in, while others need firm roots in a piece of ground that still means something to them.
Eric: While all the elements of a ’50s nostalgia trip are in place – genre stylings, portentous radio signals, romance, a breadcrumb trail for our amateur detective protagonists to follow – the most striking thing about The Vast of Night‘s trailer is its lack of affectation. It’s not so much trying for The X-Files layered on top of Happy Days as it is just existing in a time and a place to tell its story; and that matter-of-factness is very welcome. Already warmly received in festival screenings, this genre throwback is a rare thing: being smart with its minuscule budget to promise an actual harkening back to a time when imagination, thrills, and taut dramatic execution were far more important than special effects.
Matt: I thought that Matthew Rhys was great in The Americans, but I always wondered to what extent the brilliance of his performance was inextricably linked to that of his partner in Cold War crime (and, also, his real-life partner), Keri Russell. In The Americans, there was no Philip Jennings without Elizabeth Jennings and vice versa. I’m very much looking forward to see what he does with the part of Perry Mason in HBO’s upcoming series of the same name, even if it might take me an episode or two to shake the impression that I’m looking at Philip’s hangdog expression transposed fifty years into the past. Also, we can always do with good, smart, well-made neo-noir.