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 visit a dead amusement park, look back at the cult films that have shaped us, stage a break-in, try some booger sugar, and watch a liar at the top of his game.
Closed For Storm
Instead of dead malls, first-time director Jake Williams is taking us for a ride.
15 years after Hurricane Katrina sits a lasting monument of the devastation. Six Flags New Orleans is currently sitting abandoned, rotting away in the Louisiana swamp. Closed for Storm explores the past, present, and future, to find out how this incredible theme park became frozen in time and left in an endless void of uncertainty. This is the first feature length documentary from Bright Sun Films and the directorial debut for Jake Williams.
This story is bananas. I had no idea that a theme park of this size could just, nearly overnight, become abandoned. Lately, I’m rethinking a lot of things I didn’t think were possible, but this kind of exploration is endlessly fascinating. For those of us who didn’t have the luxury of growing up in Florida or California, the best we could hope for was a Six Flags. The trailer has heart, and I’m deeply intrigued to see what it looks like now.
Time Warp: The Greatest Cult Films of All-Time- Vol. 2 Horror and Sci-Fi
It’s a mouthful of a title, but director Danny Wolf looks to have delivered something amazing.
The greatest cult horror and science fiction films of all-time are studied in vivid detail in the second volume of Time Warp. Includes groundbreaking classics like “Night of the Living Dead,” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” and sci-fi gems such as “Blade Runner,” and “A Clockwork Orange.”
To know that you’ve got John Waters, Kevin Pollak, Illeana Douglas, and Joe Dante as our guides through this thing is enough of an excuse to watch this when it drops this Tuesday. But knowing you’ve got talking head commentary from Jeff Bridges, Jeff Goldblum, Rob Reiner, and more for what appears to be a wondrous exploration of some of the best cult films in cinema history? It’s a no-brainer.
For the Sake of Vicious
If you’re going to come out swinging as a filmmaker, you best not miss, and directors Gabriel Carrer and Reese Eveneshen look like they connect with a whole lot of fist. As Bloody Disgusting explains:
[For the Sake of Vicious] follows the story of Romina, a nurse and single mother, who returns home after a long shift to find a maniac sheltering in her house with a barely living hostage.
With the clock ticking on solving the mystery, waves of violent intruders descend upon the neighbourhood and besiege the home. The only way she can survive this cat-and-mouse scenario is to become just as vicious as everyone else.
Yup, this is high concept, and it looks like it works. It’s gritty, the space they’re operating in is physically tight, and it has all the hallmarks of filmmakers who could do very well with a production company like Blumhouse (if this works). It got my blood pumping, but it remains to be seen if it can maintain that energy throughout.
Just when you think they have covered Lance Armstrong enough, this documentary by Marina Zenovich pedals its way into your life.
Based around extensive interviews and conversations with Lance Armstrong, the two-part, four-hour film tells the story of the cyclist’s rise out of Texas as a young superstar; his harrowing battle with testicular cancer; his recovery and emergence as a global icon with his seven consecutive Tour de France titles; and then his massive fall after he was exposed in one of the largest doping scandals in history.
Armstrong, along with a collection of family, teammates, friends, rivals, and journalists, all reflect on his story, creating a fascinating character study, capturing a unique chapter of sports history, and insisting the audience make its own interpretations about the many different sides of a complex saga.
Zenovich is no stranger to controversial topics. She directed Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, so she knows well how to cover a story that is radioactive. Armstrong is still living his best life, so who knows what new insights can be learned about someone the government has already called a “doper, dealer and liar.”
Director Alex Pina wants to hook you.
Some nights are so big, you’ll never recover. On May 15, discover an island paradise full of drugs, music, sex…and murder. From Álex Pina, creator of Money Heist, and the producers of The Crown. White Lines reveals that sometimes there’s a thin line between the dream and a nightmare. And Zoe Walker is dangerously close to finding it.
I haven’t watched Money Heist so I can’t speak to its quality one way or the other. However, I’m in the market for a diversion, and this could be my latest drug. It’s zesty, looks fun, and appears to be operating at a low bar, intellectually speaking, which isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes you just want to let loose and live a little. Fun times await.
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 Christopher_Stipp@yahoo.com or look me up via Twitter at @Stipp
In case you missed them, here are the other trailers we covered at /Film this week:
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