This Week In Trailers: Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies, Fried Barry, Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets, Creem: America's Only Rock 'N' Roll Magazine

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: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising?

This week we slip into something more comfortable, get weird in South Africa, get kicked out of our favorite watering hole, feel better about the future, and reminisce about a legendary rock mag.

Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies

Director Danny Wolf’s documentary about nudity in film should be an enlightening foray into this subject.

A definitive documentary on the history of nudity in the movies, beginning with the silent movie era through present day, examining the changes in morality that led to the use of nudity in films while emphasizing the political, sociological and artistic changes that shaped this rich history.

Skin delves into the gender bias concerning nudity in motion pictures and will follow the revolution that has pushed for gender equality in feature films today. A deep discussion of pre-code Hollywood and its amoral roots, the censorship that “cleaned up” Hollywood and how the MPAA was formed leads into a discussion of how nudity changed cinematic culture through the decades. It culminates in a discussion of “what are nude scenes like in the age of the #MeToo movement?”

I would assert that the #MeToo movement has been incredibly instrumental in changes to film sets in the last couple of years; intimacy coordinators are providing a level of comfort that may not have universally existed before now. Still, looking back at where we’ve been and where we’re going, and thinking about how nudity plays within art, this could be an engaging, thought-provoking discussion.

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets

The Ross Brothers are giving us the gift of comfort.

Patrons and staff of a closing dive bar celebrate their last day together.

Long missed are the days and nights where many of us could commiserate with one another at our favorite watering hole. This trailer captures that feeling of what it’s like to be part of a small, but personally significant, social circle. It may not be Cheers but who would want to watch a documentary on those bougie yuppies? These, these are my people.

Fried Barry

Director Ryan Kruger is here for your soul.

Barry is a drug-addled, abusive bastard who – after yet another bender – is abducted by aliens. Barry takes a backseat as an alien visitor assumes control of his body and takes it for a joyride through Cape Town, South Africa. What follows is an onslaught of drugs, sex and violence as our alien tourist enters the weird and wonderful world of humankind.

I do not purport to know what in the hell is happening here, but I like that it is happening. This trailer has a weird mix of sights and sounds that intentionally keeps you off balance. It’s visual and narrative chaos. Plus, its aspirational aims of thinking this will take us through the world of humankind? I have no idea what it means, and I do not care. I want this.

We Are The Radical Monarchs

Director Linda Goldstein Knowlton is trying to show how much better the world could be.

Meet the Radical Monarchs, a group of young girls of color at the front lines of social justice. Set in Oakland, the film documents the journey of the group as they earn badges for completing units including LGBTQ allyship, environmental preservation, and disability justice.

Watching this trailer just makes you hopeful. Hopeful that there is a new generation not looking to dismantle society in favor of something more destructive but, in actuality, wanting to make it better. Call it hippie liberal pablum out of the mouths of babes, call it whatever you want, watching these girls are inspiring and this is just what the world needs right now.

Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine

Four years ago we talked about director Scott Crawford’s documentary about Creem Magazine back when it was a Kickstarter. Now it’s finally arriving.

Capturing the messy upheaval of the ’70s just as rock was re-inventing itself, the film explores CREEM Magazine’s humble beginnings in post-riot Detroit, follows its upward trajectory from underground paper to national powerhouse, then bears witness to its imminent demise following the tragic and untimely deaths of its visionary publisher, Barry Kramer, and its most famous alum and genius clown prince, Lester Bangs, a year later. Fifty years after publishing its first issue, “America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine” remains a seditious spirit in music and culture.

Much like the National Lampoon chronicle Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead, documentaries that recount the harrowing tales of magazines like this are always a hoot. With some ad behavior, bootstrap ingenuity, brilliant writers toiling away in relative obscurity, these are the stories that make for good entertainment.

Nota bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers for possible inclusion in this column, even have a trailer of your own to pitch, please let me know by sending me a note at [email protected] or look me up via Twitter at @Stipp

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