Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment 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.
It’s Easter Sunday, so Sam’s pick for this week’s instalment of Six Damn Fine Degrees is quite fitting: Franco Zeffirelli’s Brother Sun, Sister Moon about the life of Saint Francis of Assisi – a film that Roger Ebert memorably called “an excess of sweetness and light”, with dialogue consisting of “empty, pretty phrasing”. Not all Easter excesses of sweetness consist of too much chocolate pressed into bunny form!
Ingmar Bergman’s films weren’t exactly excesses of sweetness or light, he rarely went for empty, pretty phrasing, and perhaps never less so than in his iconic Persona, which Matt wrote about roughly three quarters through the glorious Bergman boxset released by Criterion in 2018.
But enough religious Italian cheesecake and Swedish psychodrama – here are our regular trailers for the week!
Mege: Oh, I can hear H.R. Giger applaud from the Beyond. David Cronenberg’s high-end body horror brings us his take on the synthesis of humans and their biological surroundings. That cannot go well, can it? I don’t mind a good copycat, but we are standing on the shoulder of one of the masters, afraid to look, unable to look away.
Sam: There is something terribly accurate about the title of Netflix’ documentary on TV-superstar-fallen-from-grace Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story. It portrays Savile‘s career, his endless popularity and his clever entanglement with entertainment and establishment figures as a feverish rush, behind which the deeply dark side went almost completely unseen – or overlooked. Years of sexual abuse, dozens of victims and too many colleagues to turn a blind eye meant that only after Savile’s death in 2011, the mask of this frighteningly underestimated clown came down. The Netflix documentary has struck a nerve with audiences worldwide since it came out and, according to The Guardian, has revealed the awful truth of one man “gaslighting an entire nation”. Compelling if frightening viewing for sure!
Matt: Remember when we were all excited about Stranger Things‘ witty, gloriously fun 1980s pastiche? Remember when season 2 came out, and it basically was bigger, louder – and less fun? And then came season 3, and while there were wonderful additions – especially Maya Hawke’s Robin Buckley -, the trend continued: make the monsters bigger and badder, to hide the fact that this story should’ve been resolved in one season, or as a trilogy of seasons, in some sort of meta-commentary on ’80s horror/sci-fi trilogies, each film less good than the previous one. But no: Stranger Things is successful, so it must continue – at least until its fifth and supposedly final season. I can’t say I still care at this point, but I also have to admit that I can’t bring myself to look away, because part of me hopes they’ll manage to recapture the magic that was the first season, which felt like a heartfelt, beautifully crafted love letter to all those films we watched as kids, sometimes in spite of knowing that we were too young and they were too scary. (Spoiler: They won’t manage. If they do, may I be eaten alive by a slimy CGI demogorgon.)