Archive for August 25th, 2007

The Chill Factor: Best Trailer of The Fall to Come

August 25, 2007

Every year, or in the good years once every major film season, there can sometimes be the one preview that reminds me why I love the medium of film so much. Many times I can tell whose directing the film from the first several moments. I remember being stunned into silence by the visually splendorous trailers for “The Fifth Element” and “Dark City”. But it’s not always sci-fi, others have been Tom Twyker’s “The Princess and the Warrior”, which had me bleeding from the corneas, as did “Gladiator”, “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Amelie”. For me each of these films lived up to expectations. Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” and “The Cell”, sadly, did not.

It’s true that trailers are an art form unto themselves, which many studios just can’t get right. It’s a mix of visual inventiveness and music (sometimes silence), that builds and climaxes with a certain elegance and sensuality. To know when to cut and what not to show. It’s more than just a cliff notes for the movie, it is a movie unto itself, with mystery, wonder and energy. They can be so powerful sometimes they push me back in my chair and make my eyes water. If the director’s vision is big enough, all you need to show is a little. Even a trailer for a good comedy won’t give you everything (if it does, you’re usually in trouble.) Are there any trailers you can think of that really hit home and did the movie hold up or not?

This fall season (so far) has one such gem. It makes the film look to be magnificent, but a trailer is, in the final analysis, a trailer, and so feel it as a trailer, enjoy it as a trailer and love it as a trailer:


“The Personal Ingmar Bergman: an Odyssey” or “It’s Okay to Question”

August 25, 2007

bergman at work

There’s been so much written about Bergman over the past month, it’s unfortunate that I was unable to finish this sooner, but all commentary on films and filmmakers is worthwhile in my eyes, no matter how timely the piece may or may not be.

Part 1

There’s a lot to this, to understand the impact of Ingmar Bergman in my life you first have to understand my life a little bit. My Father was and still is to this day a minister, and my Mother a minister’s wife. And similar to most biblical stories a lot of turmoil followed them and likewise my sister and I as we lugged around the United States looking for a Church that was without inner conflict; hypocrisy and backstabbing. I remember the stories of the apostles as they traveled across the land trying to bring people together with wisdom and love, trying to upend them out of their ways that were there more for convenience of memory than an actual desire to worship. My parents tried to do this by removing the hymnals and using bands, doing staged productions for the Church (both the poor man’s versions of much larger churches). My Father was trying to reach out to a younger generation of kids. He even went so far as to bring in movie clips. But like the congregation and the apostles, my Father was hardly perfect. Perhaps the man who takes upon them the mantle of not only a religious follower, but leader, succumbs to their own worst impulses when they realize they can’t live up to their own expectations. I don’t know. Thankfully his worst impulses pale in comparison to the leadership in the Old Testament, and he’s since outgrown many of them.