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terri & trailers

By 1:34 PM , , ,

I have no intention of turning this into a movie blog, but it's also what's consuming me until Thursday. So I guess that means I am following my own PHAB credo of holding onto things that lift me up (film) and letting go of things that bring me down (work), at least for a few days - I've also maxed out my vacation days so I'm using them.

I probably have said this before, I hate movie trailers. Actually, more specifically, I hate seeing them before I see the actual film. I like to go into a film cold. I don't like a busy-body to tell me what I'm about to see. Life isn't like that. And since most of what film is about is "life", in a broad sense, I don't want to know the players, the what or the how, going in. No stagehand drops in from the sky as you're shaking the hand of somebody new, to whisper in your ear that...

Stagehand: "You two are going to fall in love, get married, have kids and live blissfully together until he has a mid-life crisis and...
  1. (drama) have an affair with your sister...
  2. (comedy) join the rodeo, Hell's Angels, become a drag queen...or
  3. (thriller) pick up prostitutes along the turnpike and become the serial-killer he was destined to be...
And all the sordid details, some of the best one-liners, and plot twists and turns along the way, and still expect you to keep shaking this man's hand, damnit. Let me find out for myself, go away, don't crowd me! (I'm strictly trying to make a point right now, so do warn me if I marry a serial-killer.)

Anyway, this is precisely why I like film festivals. It lets you find out on your own if some no-name film is a diamond in the rough or the worst piece of crap you've ever seen, before the distributor and marketing genius start twirling their mustaches to put together a "package" for the audience.

The festival guide gives you just enough of the premise to let you decide if you're interested. After all, you may not care to see a film about sex-trafficking in Sarajevo (The Whistleblower) or an art-house film theater in Uruguay (A Useful Life).

So why have I been posting trailers? Well, it's 'cause I've already seen these fine films at the SFIFF and it's a diary for myself in case I want to check in with them months from now, after mustaches have been twirled. Plus, it's my blog. So if you haven't yet seen the film, don't click play. But g'head, if you're never going to see the film (that's the other instance I enjoy a trailer - I'm not going to see Scream 4, so I'll sit through it, gladly.). It's really evil in that trailers give you the punchline before the setup.

So I don't think it was a coincidence that the film that I had the least information about was also the best film I've seen this year (Buck). But there's also been a whole lotta' solid films I've seen at the next tier.

This has been quite a preamble to the paragraph that's about to follow, but what can I say, I get really worked up about movies...

It's a coming-of-age film that made me want to walk into the film and become friends with Terri. If I were his age, I would be friends with him. In fact I think I had friends like this growing up. He's odd, vulnerable and has been dealt a shitty hand in life, but I didn't feel sorry for him because he never strays from his center and doesn't ask for help. He's challenged but not helpless. Terri is authentic and original without sounding like the screenwriter vying for air-time (Juno). This is no small feat by Jason Wysocki, who's starring in his first feature.  He has a sincerity that has not yet been robbed by celebrity and that I rarely see these days. It's as if producers keep gems like these locked up in the basement, much like a hoarder would his loot, because they don't know its true worth out in the world or even how to "package" it. But thank god Alison Dickey, one of the film's producers, knew its worth. She is also John C. Reilly's better half, so naturally, he brought his best game to this film. Terri probably won't make a lot of money, but Aza Jacobs, the director, should keep making films. It's an unusual film and I can't quite articulate the structure, but if I could hug a film, I would hug this one.

Today's Bonus - one of the best trailers (and best films) that Hollywood has managed to squeeze out.

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