Saturday, 30 April 2011

This Week In Trailers: The Last Rites Of Joe May, Island, Behind The Walls (Derriere Les Murs), Becoming Chaz, Blood In The Mobile

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: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I?m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?





Becoming Chaz Trailer

Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato are the film equivalent of sociological documentarians. If ever there was a duo who have damn well spent a lifetime's worth of talent exploring the nooks and crannies of our society, from highbrow to lowbrow, these men have done it. From Hitler, to Traci Lords, to The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Inside Deep Throat, Party Monster, Million Dollar Listing, their resume makes for some endlessly fascinating reading when you consider the breadth of their work. Here, then, is a trailer for yet another subject that many people have some tangential grip on but may not understand thoroughly. This is Bailey and Barbato's strength, this is what they're great at doing, and it shines through ever so briefly in this swift trailer.

I know about as much as you when it comes to the actual events that led up to why we would be following the daughter of Sonny and Cher on a very personal journey. However, just like Bailey and Barbato's Eyes of Tammy Faye, there's a baseline that's established at the outset in this trailer in order to get everyone on the same page. It shows Chaz Bono for who he was then, as a little girl, and now as a man looking to establish his identity in a world where he says he's fought inward confusion and uncertainty. What is so effective about this promo is that it cuts right to the parts of this story that are relevant and doesn't mess around with grandiose themes or meandering metaphors. There's no gristle here.

Seeing Cher being slightly glib about it all "At some point I'm going to have to start calling her a him" punctures the natural question of how Chaz' mom feels about her daughter's journey to where he's going but it's also the honesty that gets me. The material here is spread out before us in snippets and shows us what it's like to be on this path towards a new life, a new identity. I think one of the other things it does do well is serve as a guide for those of us who look at a story like this as a learning opportunity, to find out more about about what it's like to live as a transgender at this point in history and in this country.



Blood In The Mobile Trailer

I didn't realize that there was a new precious metal on the market that wasn't gold or silver.

Danish filmmaker Frank Piasecki Poulsen has made something that looks not only timely but appears to blend elements of a story you would see on Frontline with the kind of danger associated with covering an ongoing war. The great thing about the trailer is that doesn't beat you over the head with the facts [1] about our obsession for things like iPads and smartphones and the very thing we're about to see here in order to make them. It eases you into this conflict, this debate.

It scrolls just the high points about the civil war in Congo, a place where many of us have just grown numb to the millions who have died there in the decade and a half long battle amongst themselves, but then rockets us into the story proper and what it is we're doing here, why we should even care.

Poulsen does an excellent job as narrator, realizing that giving subtle teases wouldn't be enough to provide enough context of what it is he has set out to do, as he doles out information specifically tied to this journey. Yes, it's about the mobile phone/computing industry getting its hands dirty with tangential ties to what we see is essentially heavily fortified work camp but it's still very specific in its focus. It's one mine, one representative sample, and it's only then when that's juxtaposed with shots of mobile devices glistening in all their convention hall luster.

It's simple Marketing 101 messaging, guilt by association, but the trailer's good at not only getting you interested in the story of how these people survive these heinous conditions but, alternatively, how companies like Nokia are dealing with the rising awareness of these electronic� "blood diamonds" for the 21st century.



Behind The Walls (Derriere Les Murs) Trailer

In my (unintended) series this week of duos directing films we continue with this gem from Julien Lacombe and Pascal Sid. While neither has made something worth noting this looks like an explosive start to a career in long form filmmaking.

What I think makes this a thrilling trailer is that it doesn't really show you anything. It doesn't want to show any specters, any ghouls, any hobgoblins, nothing of the paranormal. It simply starts by showing a dainty woman stepping off a train to spend some time alone in a nice looking chateau. What it does well, then, is establishing a tense feeling. The music that seems to be just one note being played over and over again is evocative and haunting as we're just waiting for this woman to get decapitated at any moment, just mauled by a seven foot tall demon. She's wandering through an empty house which ought to be fairly benign on its own but it just gets a little more eerie, and a lot more interesting, as we push forth in watching her gingerly tiptoe from room to room.

The bathtub, the bed, these moments that show you when it is we're going to have some fun with the supernatural is all reminiscent of Insidious. Apart from being one of the better movies I've ever seen in this genre, at a PG-13 price point, that film's trailer feels very much like this one. It simply does not want to give anything away and it wants to hold on to as much of the thrills as it can while also promising and telegraphing the idea that this could be a fun ride. And hopefully it does want to go for the more classical scares, again why Insidious worked so well, as it comes down to direction and mood.

If they're able to make a movie here that is as concerned with technique as it is with wanting to make a good trailer then it could be one to watch out for as this import makes its way to our shores. [Twitch [2]]



The Last Rites Of Joe May Trailer

Consider this my one and only public plea to hang with someone of great public visibility. I would love to hang out for one afternoon with Dennis Farina. In Chicago. With an Old Style. Watching this commercial at the 4:50 mark [3] to kick off the day. I could care less about his performance in Get Shorty or Snatch. I want to talk beer. And, from the looks of it, the character here is all about the booze. Honestly, this just looks like a Farina showcase like no other and this trailer sells Dennis perfectly.

Director/writer Joe Maggio has a taken a novel approach to the trailer medium by interspersing clips of the film with still photos of the scenes that are being played out before us. It's like watching a slideshow with the audio track of a movie still playing in the background. It's different but I like it. It doesn't feel gimmicky in any way and lends itself, actually, to being able and focus on what's being said instead of paying attention to things that don't matter.

We get that Farina is fresh out prison, that his prospects are limited, that we're not in a glamorized version of Chicago but the real Chicago where it can be gray and dreary and wet for days on end; where you have to keep your lights on in the middle of day. Dennis is hip deep in his own lingering cloudiness and it's captured sensationally.

While we don't really get clued in on what the angle is I'm perfectly fine to let the moments play themselves out, characters presenting themselves and giving out bits and pieces of information in order to create a whole picture of what who Farina is.

When we get the little girl of the movie asking Farina why she heard him cry late into the night, and all we hear is him say "Life, I guess, how things might have been", that's what sold me. That's why I'm giving this movie my money. Watching Dennis walking down a wet sidewalk on a crap looking afternoon, looking dejected, it's all I can do to wonder how fast this is coming my way.

Dennis, the first round of Old Style at the Signature Room Lounge is on me. [Twitch [4]]






Island Trailer

Our last filmmaking team of the week, directors Elizabeth Mitchell and Brek Taylor, look to have made a film that requires a bit of concentration.

What is so good about a movie that looks like it could be quite involved with regard to untangling a morass of narrative through lines with all the characters in this thing with their varied back stories (it is based on a book after all) is that it puts it all out there at the beginning: our protagonist is out to kill her mother.

We don't know why or what she has done to deserve that fate but it immediately washes the rest of this thing in a dark patina. The mood is heavy, the cinematography makes it seem like everything is damp, wet, and dank, while the characters we're given absolutely seem like those created within a book. There's the distant mother who is lost in her own affectations, the girl who looks like she's inwardly emoting and pondering at all times (obviously a vestige from having dozens of pages to translate to the screen), and then the boy who has a special relationship with her.

I'm not sure what's afoot in this strange home where dozens of candles are lit as if this was the 17th century and it's the only source of light but the violent outbursts and flashbacks to a time long since past adds to that excitement that some real evil is about to sprout up somewhere. And that's what I genuinely appreciate about this trailer and that's it's not going to show you the money shot. It wants you to stay confused, it shows some genuine restraint, and I like that anything is possible. I don't feel like I've been given the whole story.

In fact, I now want the full story and need to know if this ends the way with it begins: with a promise of murder.

Note bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers to possibly be included 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

In case you missed them, here are the other trailers we covered at /Film this week:



Almighty Thor Trailer [5] - If you only see one trailer this week, make it this one. It will split your consciousness into two. Did anyone yearn for the salad days of Richard Grieco after watching this? Man, I was such a fan of Marker. Makes me sad knowing he's not making movies like this [6] anymore. RIP.
Our Idiot Brother Trailer [7] - I don't know. I think I like it, but I do feel like Paul Rudd is trying too hard to be "out there" and really comes off as a caricature than just a good natured idiot.
Troll Hunter Trailer [8] - A great trailer. Gives the people a look at the beast while giving a taste of the film's aesthetic.
What's Your Number Trailer [9] - I don't think even my wife would want to watch this. It makes me weep on the inside knowing someone received actual US currency to write the obnoxious scenarios contained in just the trailer.
The Devil's Double Trailer [10] - This seems like a better trailer than it will be a movie. Regardless, its execution is tight and it makes good use of both music and pacing.
Sleep Tight Trailer [11] - This is a trailer that is able to convey uneasiness and a sense of foreboding without ever giving up any money shot.
Immortals Trailer [12] - What the hell is this? It's like drinking milk right after you've brushed your teeth. It's a good idea in theory but the mixture is just not palatable. This is Clash of the Titans meets a 300 sequel meets bombastic, overwrought acting. There may be a great film in there but they're hanging their trailer hat on someone who's already gone down this road before.
X-Men: First Class Trailer [13] - I'm actually still very much charged for this film, I am, but I really appreciate the teaser more than what we have here. It just feels a little slow in places.
Too Big To Fail Trailer [14] - Nah, I don't think so. I like real life a little more than what's shown here. Give me Inside Job or this from Frontline [15]. This is a case where reality trumps drama.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Trailer [16] - Well, there certainly is a lot of arms being outstretched, a lot of flames, a lot of special effects, and a sweeping orchestral soundtrack. Other than that, I'm not really moved one way or the other.
Make Believe Trailer [17] - This looks like a purely fun documentary about youths and their dreams. The trailer doesn't promise anything more or anything less. Truth in advertising, I say.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Trailer [18] - If you ever thought you were all that with the effect shots you put in your trailer, this particular trailer will induce such a phallus envy the likes of which you will never recover from. Wow.









[1] http://www.care2.com/causes/environment/blog/apple-intel-pledge-to-stop-using-conflict-minerals/
[2] http://twitchfilm.com/news/2011/04/first-teaser-for-elegant-french-horror-behind-the-walls-derriere-les-murs.php
[3] http://www.fuzzymemories.tv/index.php?c=2813&m=xx
[4] http://twitchfilm.com/news/2011/04/tribeca-2011-trailer-premiere-for-dennis-farina-starring-the-last-rites-of-joe-may.php
[5] http://www.slashfilm.com/lol-asylums-almighty-thor-trailer/
[6] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTuQvvZRed8
[7] http://www.slashfilm.com/our-idiot-brother-trailer/
[8] http://www.slashfilm.com/troll-hunter-trailer/
[9] http://www.slashfilm.com/number-trailer/
[10] http://www.slashfilm.com/the-devils-double-trailer/
[11] http://www.slashfilm.com/sleep-tight-trailer/
[12] http://www.slashfilm.com/immortals-trailer-official-hd-version/
[13] http://www.slashfilm.com/x-men-first-class-theatrical-trailer/
[14] http://www.slashfilm.com/too-big-to-fail-trailer-there-goes-the-economy/
[15] http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meltdown/view/
[16] http://www.slashfilm.com/harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-part-2-trailer/
[17] http://www.slashfilm.com/make-believe-trailer-a-teen-magician-doc-by-the-guys-behind-king-of-kong/
[18] http://www.slashfilm.com/transformers-dark-of-the-moon-trailer/

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/slashfilm/~3/KqCwsIHyCUY/

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Review: 'Fast Five' a thrill ride

"The men we're after are professional runners. We find them, we take them and we bring them back. And above all else, we never, ever, let them get into cars."

Source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/cnn_showbiz/~3/O2-shgPLZ4A/index.html

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The Engadget Show - 020: RIM's Ryan Bidan, GDGT's Peter Rojas, Ford CEO Alan Mulally, lots of tablets, Shredder test-drive


Welcome to the latest episode of the The Engadget Show, in which we change things up just a little bit. Everything starts with a trip to the New Mexico desert for a ride on the Shredder, love child of a tank and a skateboard. Next, Tim and Associate Editor Jacob Schulman sit down with RIM's Ryan Bidan to talk about the BlackBerry PlayBook. Then, Tim has a chat with Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally about the future of transportation, and just what'll be driving you in to work in 20 years.

After that, Engadget founder Peter Rojas joins Tim and Managing Editor Darren Murph to look at a plethora of tablets. Favorites are chosen, lines are drawn, and allegiances pledged. There's also talk of Amazon's next play in the tablet space, the death of Flip, and what's up next for GDGT.

It's an action-packed show and it's ready for you. What are you waiting for? Watch it now! The video stream is above, or download the show in HD below!

Hosts: Tim Stevens, Darren Murph, Jacob Schulman
Special guests: Ryan Bidan, Alan Mulally, Peter Rojas
Produced and Directed by: Chad Mumm
Executive Producer: Joshua Fruhlinger
Edited by: Danny Madden
Music by: Sabrepulse
Visuals by: Paris and Outpt

Shredder segment music: Minusbaby

Taped live at AOL Studios

Download the Show: The Engadget Show - 020 (HD) / The Engadget Show - 020 (iPod / iPhone / Zune formatted) / The Engadget Show - 020 (Small)

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The Engadget Show - 020: RIM's Ryan Bidan, GDGT's Peter Rojas, Ford CEO Alan Mulally, lots of tablets, Shredder test-drive originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 25 Apr 2011 12:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/25/the-engadget-show-020-rims-ryan-biden-gdgts-peter-rojas-f/

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Review: 'Prom' has a savvy heart

Ah, the prom! Is there a moment in American teenage life as dizzy with contradiction?

Source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/cnn_showbiz/~3/-rjorn0C_0w/index.html

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Microsoft launches API Mapping tool to help devs point iPhone apps at WP7 libs

Microsoft launches API Mapping tool to help iPhone devs point their apps to WP7 libraries
If you've spent much time coding in a development environment that has buttons, you know that Microsoft's tools are among the best. In the spirit of helping developers (developers, developers) find their way to its mobile platform of choice, the company has launched the API Mapping tool for iPhone. Basically, it's a utility that will look at the calls your iOS app's code is making and help you find a new home for them in .Net's ample libraries. Microsoft is also providing documentation to help with the porting and, we hear, asking really, really nicely that you consider Windows Phone for your next project.

Microsoft launches API Mapping tool to help devs point iPhone apps at WP7 libs originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 29 Apr 2011 14:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/29/microsoft-launches-api-mapping-tool-to-help-devs-point-iphone-ap/

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Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-134 launch: snapshots from media camp

Some iPhone snapshots by Xeni....

Source: http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boingboing/iBag/~3/A-oZVqnl08c/space-shuttle-endeav-3.html

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HBO Go hits iOS and Android, free for subscribers

Don't ditch that premium cable subscription just yet. The long-anticipated HBO Go app just hit the iOS App Store and Android Market, bringing original HBO series and a variety of blockbuster films to your mobile device. You'll need an HBO subscription with your cable provider to get past the login screen, but unlocking all that the service has to offer using our Verizon FiOS account took just a second, and we were off and running with Avatar less than a minute after launching the app. We'll have a full hands-on later today, but if you're an HBO subscriber with an iOS or Android slab, head over to your device's respective store to download the free app.

[Thanks, Jason]

HBO Go hits iOS and Android, free for subscribers originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 29 Apr 2011 11:14:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/29/hbo-go-hits-ios-and-android-free-for-subscribers/

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Jay Rosen: What I Think I Know About Journalism

Jay Rosen's "What I Think I Know About Journalism" is a four-point mini-manifesto for the future of reporting and newsgathering. Rosen indicts the current notion of reporting with the "View from Nowhere" which Peter Goodman describes as "the routine of laundering my own views [by] dinging someone at some think tank to say what you want to tell the reader." Rosen also celebrates public participation in newsgathering, and decries commodity factual accounts of current events, calling instead for "narratives" that provide frame and context for the facts. The more people involved in flying the airplane, or moving the surgeon's scalpel during a brain operation, the worse off we are. But this is not true in journalism. It benefits from participation, as with Investigate your MP's expenses, also called crowd sourcing, or this invitation from the Los Angeles Times: share public documents. A far simpler example is sources. If sources won't participate, there often is no story. Witnesses contribute when they pull out their cameras and record what is happening in front of them. The news system is stronger for it... To feel informed, we also need background knowledge, a framework into which the relevant facts can be put. Or, as I put it in 2008, "There are some stories--and the mortgage crisis is a great example--where until I grasp the whole I am unable to make sense of any part. Not only am I not a customer for news reports prior to that moment, but the very frequency of the updates alienates me from the providers of those updates because the news stream is adding daily to my feeling of being ill-informed, overwhelmed, out of the loop." What I Think I Know About Journalism (via Memex 1.1)...

Source: http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boingboing/iBag/~3/NOsODTZ4NIQ/jay-rosen-what-i-thi.html

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Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-134 launch: BB liveblog on-site, SpaceFlightNow webcast with Miles O'Brien

Shuttle Endeavour launch webcast hosted by Miles O'Brien at SpaceFlightNow.com [ 1:53pm ET: ] President Obama is en route despite launch scrub, scheduled to arrive Kennedy Space Center at 2:10pm ET. We may see Air Force One overhead shortly. The president is reportedly en route to say hello to astronauts and Gabrielle Giffords. [ 1:03pm ET: ] Mike Leinbach, Shuttle Launch Director with NASA, is speaking about why the launch was called off. NASA now says Endeavour won't launch before Monday at 2:33pm EDT. My notes: A thermostat on one of the fuel lines, one of the heater units, failed. We tried to get the line to cool down, to see if thermostat would kick in, and tried other methods to activate -- but failed. We have a hard failure. There was another heater also exhibiting funny behavior. We believe we have a problem in the LCA, load control assemblies, switch box. Maybe a problem in the box, or in the line leading in to the box, or out of the box. But we didn't want to commit to flight with only one of the heaters functioning. Need to be able to heat the fuel [Ed. note: fuel can become very cold in space, you don't want your fuel freezing]. Probably tomorrow afternoon they'll get hands on the assembly. Once we can get in to the avionics bay where the LCA exists, we can do troubleshooting, see if we need to change out that box. We've declared a minimum of 72 hours. Today the orbiter's not ready to fly. We will not fly before we're ready. [12:52pm ET] NASA: launch may be scrubbed for at least 72 hours. [12:30pm ET] Steven Young from SpaceFlightNow explains what we know about why Endeavour's launch today was scrubbed. Short version: Not the weather, but reportedly because of a problem with one of the orbiter's Auxillary Power Units. Steven explains that there are three of these on the shuttle, to provide power for hydraulic system: during launch, they are a crucial element. They're started up about 5 minutes before launch, and they sound like giant steam engines; they're run until the shuttle reaches orbit, then they shut down. The day before launch, they fire up one of them to see if it's still working, and right before launch, they fire up one again. The rules, Steven explains, are that you want all three to be working. Two are enough to fly the shuttle normally. We don't know exactly what the problem was yet, but whatever it is, it's serious enough to cause the launch to be called off. NASA is telling us that the delay will be more than 48 hours. [ 12:18pm ET ]: Space shuttle Endeavour's launch has been scrubbed due to a problem with one of the orbiter's Auxillary Power Units. The launch will not take place at 3:47pm ET today as planned. Will post an update when we know the next launch window, but at best, odds are at least 48 hours we are now told the next window will be longer than 48 hours. [12:17pm ET] Something unusual just happened. The crew normally heads to the launch pad, but this time they stopped at Launch Control Center (LCC) to drop off officials who were with them but aren't going to the launchpad. They pulled into the LCC entrance, went into parking lot (normally they just stop on the road outside), then made a U-turn. This may mean the launch is scrubbed. [11:52am ET] We're seeing a cavalcade of tweeters walking out of the NASA Tweetup tent, heading off to greet the STS-134 astronauts. Pretty cool to see NASA exploring new ways to connect with people through Twitter and the like. Follow the Tweetup with the hashtag #nasatweetup. [11:41am ET] I asked this last night over Twitter, and I'll ask you good folk here: What do atheists say when they want to wish someone (or someshuttle) a good flight? "Sciencespeed"? Your thoughts in the comments, please. [11:34am ET] Today's scheduled launch is the penultimate launch for NASA's shuttle program; walking around KSC today, I'm hearing much nostalgia in snippets of conversations among journalists and NASA folk. As you drive around the towns surrounding Cape Canaveral, signs on local businesses—pizza parlors, strip clubs, churches—are all wishing "Godspeed Endeavour." What will happen to these communities, the countless mom and pop enterprises that depend on space industry and concomitant tourism? What happens to these thousands of space workers when the shuttle program ends? Some will be swooped up by private space industry, but how many will, say, SpaceX employ? Much talk of 15% or greater unemployment, property values plummeting, and an ambient sense of the rug being pulled out from under a place that calls itself the Space Coast, a place with a glamorous history during the Apollo years. Those years here are over. [11:30am ET] Thanks for tuning in to Boing Boing's royal wedding coverage: the marriage of a spacecraft with her sky....

Source: http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boingboing/iBag/~3/QxnwH15xlxw/space-shuttle-endeav-2.html

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This Week In Trailers: The Last Rites Of Joe May, Island, Behind The Walls (Derriere Les Murs), Becoming Chaz, Blood In The Mobile

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: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I?m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?





Becoming Chaz Trailer

Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato are the film equivalent of sociological documentarians. If ever there was a duo who have damn well spent a lifetime's worth of talent exploring the nooks and crannies of our society, from highbrow to lowbrow, these men have done it. From Hitler, to Traci Lords, to The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Inside Deep Throat, Party Monster, Million Dollar Listing, their resume makes for some endlessly fascinating reading when you consider the breadth of their work. Here, then, is a trailer for yet another subject that many people have some tangential grip on but may not understand thoroughly. This is Bailey and Barbato's strength, this is what they're great at doing, and it shines through ever so briefly in this swift trailer.

I know about as much as you when it comes to the actual events that led up to why we would be following the daughter of Sonny and Cher on a very personal journey. However, just like Bailey and Barbato's Eyes of Tammy Faye, there's a baseline that's established at the outset in this trailer in order to get everyone on the same page. It shows Chaz Bono for who he was then, as a little girl, and now as a man looking to establish his identity in a world where he says he's fought inward confusion and uncertainty. What is so effective about this promo is that it cuts right to the parts of this story that are relevant and doesn't mess around with grandiose themes or meandering metaphors. There's no gristle here.

Seeing Cher being slightly glib about it all "At some point I'm going to have to start calling her a him" punctures the natural question of how Chaz' mom feels about her daughter's journey to where he's going but it's also the honesty that gets me. The material here is spread out before us in snippets and shows us what it's like to be on this path towards a new life, a new identity. I think one of the other things it does do well is serve as a guide for those of us who look at a story like this as a learning opportunity, to find out more about about what it's like to live as a transgender at this point in history and in this country.



Blood In The Mobile Trailer

I didn't realize that there was a new precious metal on the market that wasn't gold or silver.

Danish filmmaker Frank Piasecki Poulsen has made something that looks not only timely but appears to blend elements of a story you would see on Frontline with the kind of danger associated with covering an ongoing war. The great thing about the trailer is that doesn't beat you over the head with the facts [1] about our obsession for things like iPads and smartphones and the very thing we're about to see here in order to make them. It eases you into this conflict, this debate.

It scrolls just the high points about the civil war in Congo, a place where many of us have just grown numb to the millions who have died there in the decade and a half long battle amongst themselves, but then rockets us into the story proper and what it is we're doing here, why we should even care.

Poulsen does an excellent job as narrator, realizing that giving subtle teases wouldn't be enough to provide enough context of what it is he has set out to do, as he doles out information specifically tied to this journey. Yes, it's about the mobile phone/computing industry getting its hands dirty with tangential ties to what we see is essentially heavily fortified work camp but it's still very specific in its focus. It's one mine, one representative sample, and it's only then when that's juxtaposed with shots of mobile devices glistening in all their convention hall luster.

It's simple Marketing 101 messaging, guilt by association, but the trailer's good at not only getting you interested in the story of how these people survive these heinous conditions but, alternatively, how companies like Nokia are dealing with the rising awareness of these electronic� "blood diamonds" for the 21st century.



Behind The Walls (Derriere Les Murs) Trailer

In my (unintended) series this week of duos directing films we continue with this gem from Julien Lacombe and Pascal Sid. While neither has made something worth noting this looks like an explosive start to a career in long form filmmaking.

What I think makes this a thrilling trailer is that it doesn't really show you anything. It doesn't want to show any specters, any ghouls, any hobgoblins, nothing of the paranormal. It simply starts by showing a dainty woman stepping off a train to spend some time alone in a nice looking chateau. What it does well, then, is establishing a tense feeling. The music that seems to be just one note being played over and over again is evocative and haunting as we're just waiting for this woman to get decapitated at any moment, just mauled by a seven foot tall demon. She's wandering through an empty house which ought to be fairly benign on its own but it just gets a little more eerie, and a lot more interesting, as we push forth in watching her gingerly tiptoe from room to room.

The bathtub, the bed, these moments that show you when it is we're going to have some fun with the supernatural is all reminiscent of Insidious. Apart from being one of the better movies I've ever seen in this genre, at a PG-13 price point, that film's trailer feels very much like this one. It simply does not want to give anything away and it wants to hold on to as much of the thrills as it can while also promising and telegraphing the idea that this could be a fun ride. And hopefully it does want to go for the more classical scares, again why Insidious worked so well, as it comes down to direction and mood.

If they're able to make a movie here that is as concerned with technique as it is with wanting to make a good trailer then it could be one to watch out for as this import makes its way to our shores. [Twitch [2]]



The Last Rites Of Joe May Trailer

Consider this my one and only public plea to hang with someone of great public visibility. I would love to hang out for one afternoon with Dennis Farina. In Chicago. With an Old Style. Watching this commercial at the 4:50 mark [3] to kick off the day. I could care less about his performance in Get Shorty or Snatch. I want to talk beer. And, from the looks of it, the character here is all about the booze. Honestly, this just looks like a Farina showcase like no other and this trailer sells Dennis perfectly.

Director/writer Joe Maggio has a taken a novel approach to the trailer medium by interspersing clips of the film with still photos of the scenes that are being played out before us. It's like watching a slideshow with the audio track of a movie still playing in the background. It's different but I like it. It doesn't feel gimmicky in any way and lends itself, actually, to being able and focus on what's being said instead of paying attention to things that don't matter.

We get that Farina is fresh out prison, that his prospects are limited, that we're not in a glamorized version of Chicago but the real Chicago where it can be gray and dreary and wet for days on end; where you have to keep your lights on in the middle of day. Dennis is hip deep in his own lingering cloudiness and it's captured sensationally.

While we don't really get clued in on what the angle is I'm perfectly fine to let the moments play themselves out, characters presenting themselves and giving out bits and pieces of information in order to create a whole picture of what who Farina is.

When we get the little girl of the movie asking Farina why she heard him cry late into the night, and all we hear is him say "Life, I guess, how things might have been", that's what sold me. That's why I'm giving this movie my money. Watching Dennis walking down a wet sidewalk on a crap looking afternoon, looking dejected, it's all I can do to wonder how fast this is coming my way.

Dennis, the first round of Old Style at the Signature Room Lounge is on me. [Twitch [4]]






Island Trailer

Our last filmmaking team of the week, directors Elizabeth Mitchell and Brek Taylor, look to have made a film that requires a bit of concentration.

What is so good about a movie that looks like it could be quite involved with regard to untangling a morass of narrative through lines with all the characters in this thing with their varied back stories (it is based on a book after all) is that it puts it all out there at the beginning: our protagonist is out to kill her mother.

We don't know why or what she has done to deserve that fate but it immediately washes the rest of this thing in a dark patina. The mood is heavy, the cinematography makes it seem like everything is damp, wet, and dank, while the characters we're given absolutely seem like those created within a book. There's the distant mother who is lost in her own affectations, the girl who looks like she's inwardly emoting and pondering at all times (obviously a vestige from having dozens of pages to translate to the screen), and then the boy who has a special relationship with her.

I'm not sure what's afoot in this strange home where dozens of candles are lit as if this was the 17th century and it's the only source of light but the violent outbursts and flashbacks to a time long since past adds to that excitement that some real evil is about to sprout up somewhere. And that's what I genuinely appreciate about this trailer and that's it's not going to show you the money shot. It wants you to stay confused, it shows some genuine restraint, and I like that anything is possible. I don't feel like I've been given the whole story.

In fact, I now want the full story and need to know if this ends the way with it begins: with a promise of murder.

Note bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers to possibly be included 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

In case you missed them, here are the other trailers we covered at /Film this week:



Almighty Thor Trailer [5] - If you only see one trailer this week, make it this one. It will split your consciousness into two. Did anyone yearn for the salad days of Richard Grieco after watching this? Man, I was such a fan of Marker. Makes me sad knowing he's not making movies like this [6] anymore. RIP.
Our Idiot Brother Trailer [7] - I don't know. I think I like it, but I do feel like Paul Rudd is trying too hard to be "out there" and really comes off as a caricature than just a good natured idiot.
Troll Hunter Trailer [8] - A great trailer. Gives the people a look at the beast while giving a taste of the film's aesthetic.
What's Your Number Trailer [9] - I don't think even my wife would want to watch this. It makes me weep on the inside knowing someone received actual US currency to write the obnoxious scenarios contained in just the trailer.
The Devil's Double Trailer [10] - This seems like a better trailer than it will be a movie. Regardless, its execution is tight and it makes good use of both music and pacing.
Sleep Tight Trailer [11] - This is a trailer that is able to convey uneasiness and a sense of foreboding without ever giving up any money shot.
Immortals Trailer [12] - What the hell is this? It's like drinking milk right after you've brushed your teeth. It's a good idea in theory but the mixture is just not palatable. This is Clash of the Titans meets a 300 sequel meets bombastic, overwrought acting. There may be a great film in there but they're hanging their trailer hat on someone who's already gone down this road before.
X-Men: First Class Trailer [13] - I'm actually still very much charged for this film, I am, but I really appreciate the teaser more than what we have here. It just feels a little slow in places.
Too Big To Fail Trailer [14] - Nah, I don't think so. I like real life a little more than what's shown here. Give me Inside Job or this from Frontline [15]. This is a case where reality trumps drama.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Trailer [16] - Well, there certainly is a lot of arms being outstretched, a lot of flames, a lot of special effects, and a sweeping orchestral soundtrack. Other than that, I'm not really moved one way or the other.
Make Believe Trailer [17] - This looks like a purely fun documentary about youths and their dreams. The trailer doesn't promise anything more or anything less. Truth in advertising, I say.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Trailer [18] - If you ever thought you were all that with the effect shots you put in your trailer, this particular trailer will induce such a phallus envy the likes of which you will never recover from. Wow.









[1] http://www.care2.com/causes/environment/blog/apple-intel-pledge-to-stop-using-conflict-minerals/
[2] http://twitchfilm.com/news/2011/04/first-teaser-for-elegant-french-horror-behind-the-walls-derriere-les-murs.php
[3] http://www.fuzzymemories.tv/index.php?c=2813&m=xx
[4] http://twitchfilm.com/news/2011/04/tribeca-2011-trailer-premiere-for-dennis-farina-starring-the-last-rites-of-joe-may.php
[5] http://www.slashfilm.com/lol-asylums-almighty-thor-trailer/
[6] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTuQvvZRed8
[7] http://www.slashfilm.com/our-idiot-brother-trailer/
[8] http://www.slashfilm.com/troll-hunter-trailer/
[9] http://www.slashfilm.com/number-trailer/
[10] http://www.slashfilm.com/the-devils-double-trailer/
[11] http://www.slashfilm.com/sleep-tight-trailer/
[12] http://www.slashfilm.com/immortals-trailer-official-hd-version/
[13] http://www.slashfilm.com/x-men-first-class-theatrical-trailer/
[14] http://www.slashfilm.com/too-big-to-fail-trailer-there-goes-the-economy/
[15] http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meltdown/view/
[16] http://www.slashfilm.com/harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-part-2-trailer/
[17] http://www.slashfilm.com/make-believe-trailer-a-teen-magician-doc-by-the-guys-behind-king-of-kong/
[18] http://www.slashfilm.com/transformers-dark-of-the-moon-trailer/

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/slashfilm/~3/KqCwsIHyCUY/

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Verizon says it will put location warning labels on all phones sold

See that rather ominous warning label above? That's a new sticker that will soon be placed directly on the screen of every new device Verizon Wireless sells. Contrary to what you might suspect, however, that's not being done in response to the most recent iPhone 4 tracking fiasco. The label was revealed in a letter to Representatives Ed Markey and Joe Barton, who themselves sent a letter to Verizon (and the three other major carriers) on March 29th inquiring about a New York Times story that raised concerns about how carriers collect and store personal location data. As for the other carriers' responses, they apparently aren't going as far as Verizon has with its warning label, but they do mostly echo Verizon's response in other respects. They all say, for instance, that personal data is secured by a variety of means and stored only as long as needed (which can apparently vary by carrier, though), that they don't rent or sell personal information, and that they request customer consent before accessing location data. Despite those assurances, however, Rep. Markey says he's still left with a "feeling of uneasiness and uncertainty," and he's pointing a finger at third-party developers in particular, who he says must be held "accountable."

Verizon says it will put location warning labels on all phones sold originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 29 Apr 2011 11:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Phone Scoop  |  sourceRep. Markey  | Email this | Comments

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/29/verizon-says-it-will-put-location-warning-labels-on-all-phones-s/

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Generic arts and entertainment headlines

Inspired by Slate.com media columnist Jack Shafer's piece about generic news headlines that we see over and over again, I thought I'd compile my own list of generic headlines, an arts and entertainment edition (disclosure: I'm sure I've been guilty...

Source: http://www.zacharypincus-roth.com/blog/2010/10/generic-arts-and-entertainment-headlines.html

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Friday, 29 April 2011

CECIL OTTER - SUFFICIENTLY BREATHLESS

In his music and his manner, Cecil Otter seems to belong to a different era of American history. Usually found brooding under the shadow of a fedora, he’s the kind of guy who’s got a five o’clock shadow by mid-morning. At times, the Minneapolis based emcee/producer feels more like a boxcar storyteller, or the down on his luck country singer in the last dive bar on earth. His character is possessed by some lost American spirit of honesty and romanticism: he takes only one meal a day and prefers for his correspondence to be scrawled on bar napkins rather than in emails. Cecil fell in love with hip-hop at 8 years old, when his 14 year old sister ran away from home and left him with a box of rap tapes. From there he began writing stories, and the stories later became rhymes. Inspired by underground legends like Ant (of Atmosphere) and Sixtoo, Cecil delved into the crates and circuits of drum machines to craft his own haunting sound and unique style. Later, he would earn his stripes as a co-founder of the Doomtree crew, one of the twin cities’ most dominant underground rap outfits. Cecil’s most recent collaborations with Doomtree (on the collective’s self-titled disc) appeared on Billboard’s regional Heatseekers charts, as the 1 hip hop album on CMJ, charted 23 on iTunes’ rap charts, and made an appearance in the top 100 of the Mediaguide AAA Albums. But it was the arrival of Cecil’s debut solo album “Rebel Yellow” that announced this unlikely troubadour as a fully formed and utterly unique presence in the world of independent hip hop.

Cecil-Otter-Sufficiently-Breathless.mp3 Listen on Posterous

http://www.myspace.com/iamcecilotter

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Source: http://music.johnnywaffles.net/2010/08/27/cecil-otter-sufficiently-breathless

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Review: 'Prom' has a savvy heart

Ah, the prom! Is there a moment in American teenage life as dizzy with contradiction?

Source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/cnn_showbiz/~3/-rjorn0C_0w/index.html

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Skype says "Take a deep breath."

Skype_breath

I love this start up window onload for Skype. It's a good reminder.

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Source: http://blog.conradpanganiban.info/skype-says-take-a-deep-breath

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'The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers' is ready to battlewith flips, spins and dance steps

Published in the Los Angeles Times It's your classic western pastiche: The good guys saunter through the saloon's double doors. The bad guys put down their whiskey. The brawl begins. But in this scene, rehearsed at Melody Ranch in Newhall...

Source: http://www.zacharypincus-roth.com/blog/2010/07/the-legion-of-extraordinary-dancers-is-ready-to-battle-with-flips-spins-and-dance-steps.html

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Top Movies of 2009

This year, my opinions of films tended to be swayed by my expectations. I thought many of the best picture nominations were solid and entertaining but still a bit disappointing. A few movies gained several notches on my list merely...

Source: http://www.zacharypincus-roth.com/blog/2010/03/this-year-my-opinions-of-films-tended-to-be-swayed-by-my--expectations-for-many-of-the-movies-thought-to-be-the-best-of-the.html

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Braves put coach McDowell on leave amid probe

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Braves have placed pitching coach Roger McDowell on administrative leave pending their investigation into homophobic comments and crude gestures he made toward fans before a game in San Francisco last weekend.

Source: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/baseball/mlb/04/29/braves.mcdowell.ap/index.html?xid=si_topstories

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A Filipino Christmas Song

A Filipino Christmas Song

Lechon roasting on an open fire
Lumpia's frying on the stove.
Aunties in the corner
Saying Tsis-mis with pride
Like they are always in the know.

Everybody knows
That Diniguan
Isn't Chocolate Meat
And if it was
It wouldn't taste quite right

Cuz this Christmas
Is also about the food
You'd find on a Filipino
Table tonight

We know that
Santa's on his way
While we're at
Simbang Gabi
Trying to Pray

But thoughts are back at home
About the warm
Snow-ball soup
Moms calls Ginataan

And so, I can't wait
To dig right in
Pass the Pancit
And Adobo

Like it's been said
Many Times
Many Ways
Maligayang Pasko

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Source: http://blog.conradpanganiban.info/a-filipino-christmas-song

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Clock ticking for Obama's security team

When President Obama unveiled his revamped national security team in the East Room, he quickly joked about how badly Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been itching to finally get serious about retirement.

Source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/cnn_topstories/~3/BJBi5NK_N1U/index.html

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Sprint starts selling Motorola Xoom WiFi (not WiMAX) May 8th for $600

We've gotten multiple clandestine clues that Sprint would sell the Xoom -- a calendar entry here, an accessory there -- but there was nary a confirming peep from the Now Network itself. Until today, when it announced that it would join the legion of retailers peddling the Wi-Fi version of Motorola's tablet for $599.99 on May 8th. That's right, the carrier will start selling folks the sweet Honeycomb slate soon enough, but a Xoom sans Sprint cellular data is a bit of a letdown. One question, Mr. Hesse, when will we get one with WiMAX? PR's after the break.

Continue reading Sprint starts selling Motorola Xoom WiFi (not WiMAX) May 8th for $600

Sprint starts selling Motorola Xoom WiFi (not WiMAX) May 8th for $600 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 28 Apr 2011 21:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceSprint  | Email this | Comments

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/28/sprint-starts-selling-motorola-xoom-wifi-not-wimax-may-8th-for/

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