5. American Animal
(dir. Matt D’Elia; Narrative Competition)
I have to say, the trailers for the narrative competition are generally lackluster; but at least this one shows off its movie’s knack for compositions, colors and comic timing, in the Rushmore / Napoleon Dynamite vein. It looks like it walks a fine line between being funny and annoying, especially with its eccentric lead apparently overdosing on quirk, but this is a sharp preview that builds steam as it goes on.
4. Better This World
(dirs. Katie Galloway & Kelly Duane de la Vega; Documentary Competition)
This is probably the most impressively slick SXSW trailer produced that I’ve seen; it’s better than most of the trailers for Hollywood films playing at SXSW. It tells you that these folks have their act together, and promises much for the twisted story they have to tell about two Texas teens who get caught up in a dark web of domestic terrorism charges.
3. Bad Fever
(dir. Dustin Guy Defa; Emerging Visions)
Probably the best trailer at using the enigmatic approach. It’s not clear what this is about other than that the lead seems set to go on a violent rampage, and that he wants to become a stand-up comedian in a place that doesn’t seem to have a comedy club within 1000 miles. Could this be Abel Ferrara in the boondocks? An exciting thought.
2. Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja
(dir. Billy Corben; Spotlight Premieres)
This trailer promises a kind of documentary version of Scorsese’s Casino set in sun-baked South Florida with a bunch of redneck pot-heads in place of Italian hoods. “From the creators of ‘Cocaine Cowboys:” how the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church made “idiots into millionaires.”
1. The Beaver
(dir. Jodie Foster; Headliners)
Since Mel Gibson can’t reap the same public enthusiasm for his woman-abusing habits as Charlie Sheen, he has to resort to a beaver puppet to win America’s hearts back. With Jodie Foster as his director and on-screen love interest. This could be the film of the year – believe it people!