TWELVE DAYS OF CINE-MAS
A traditional festive countdown, reflecting upon my 2016 movie-watching moments...
FIVE T’RIFFIC TRAILERS
It’s best if you don’t look at trailers like advertisements, because advertisers lie. Instead, consider trailers as perfect, beautiful little short films that create in you a longing for what you hope the long-form film will become. Sometimes the film delivers on that promise (Rogue One, most recently) and sometimes it doesn’t (Suicide Squad, anyone?), but it’s impossible not to be impressed by the artful, exhilarating skill on display in these five of 2016’s best…
The trailer was rousing, funny, positively pulsated with a good time vibe. The film? Not so much. In commercial terms, it did the job; the target demo had been so primed by this perfect mash-up of music and imagery, US$300million had been banked before any of us realised we'd been duped.
Kirsten Johnson's magnificent account of humanity is such a glorious, meta-rich celebration of the power of the movie camera, it was inevitable that it cut together as one of the trailers of the year. Set the tone for a work that delievers in spades; Johnson's 'truth in storytelling' approach to cinema is honoured accordingly.
Ben Wheatley's rat-a-tat, good time crime caper is shrink-wrapped into this giddy primer. It oddly gives a lot of time to Arnie Hammer, not the safest bet after The Lone Ranger and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., but he is a scene-stealer in a film that also stars Oscar-winner Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley (hilarious) and Cillian Murphy, all having the time of their lives.
ONE MORE TIME WITH FEELING
The monochromatic lens of director Andrew Dominik (Chopper; The Assasination of Jesse James...) captured the underground icon Nick Cave at a moment of personal torment. The singer/songwriter was struggling with the creative process while dealing with the grief of losing a child. With admirable subtlety and restrained elegance, the trailer hints at the emotional turmoil that Dominik captures in his remarkable film.
10 CLOVERFIELD LANE
Not everyone favours the modern trailer maker's propensity for appropriating old songs and building mood around their manipulation. But when it's done well, as it is here for the JJ Abrams production that gave Mary Elisabeth Winstead the lead she has long deserved and John Goodman a legit shot at Oscar glory, it makes for a memorable pitch.
VICEROY’S HOUSE: Captures the grandeur and emotion of a shift in a nation’s rule; a little Oscar-baity, but rousing.
GET OUT: An incendiary premise is given full flight in this slow-burn mastercut of tension; not what we expected from director, comedian Jordan Peele.
THE NEON DEMON: Detractors of Nicholas Windig Refn’s fashion sector shocker screamed, “Style over substance!” The thrilling, disorienting trailer takes that to the nth degree.
THINGS TO COME: In what was The Year of Isabelle Huppert, this sweet, funny, edgy glimpse of Mia Hansen-Love’s drama just edges out the ad for Paul Verhoeven’s Elle as the best evocation of the great French actress at her finest.
SPLIT: James McAvoy goes full crazy as the split personality bad guy in M Night Shyamalan’s latest chiller.
THE WITCH: A 2015 film, but it rolled out internationally in 2016; the trailer to Robert Egger’s Sundance sensation captures the visual chilliness and desperately anxious ambience perfectly.