Last week, I went to see Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, a documentary on Jane Jacobs' work as an urban planning writer and activist, with a particular focus on her battles to save New York City from some godawful ideas about cutting up more of Manhattan with roads and highways.
The film highlights two wonderful, symbiotic things that speak to Jacobs' success in pushing back on destructive ideas: first, her work promoting thriving communities inside of cities; and second, how those very communities were able to collectively fight back against construction plans that would have torn them apart.
That power of communities, and the amount of work that goes into building vibrant and diverse ones, is something I've been thinking about a lot over the past two weeks. One question I've had in particular: why is it that the internet, which has the same potential for building communities as a city, so often fails to do so?
Check out 10 trailers from this week below.
Ghost in the Shell
I've never seen the original Ghost in the Shell, so I can't comment on how this trailer looks in comparison, but as a first-time viewer I'll say that the visuals in this trailer are just incredible — they're dense, colorful, alive, and pretty wonderful simply to stare at. I might already be sold on this. (Though I do wonder if a skin-tight robo-oufit, or whatever it is, was really a necessary costume...) It'll be out March 31st.
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
It's no easy task maintaining a strong visual style across an entire TV series — and that's even more the case when it's something as strange and constantly surprising as A Series of Unfortunate Events. This is the series' first real trailer, and it's hard not to be impressed from the wide range of sets, costumes, characters, and quirks it shows. The series premieres on January 13th.
Kong: Skull Island
I changed my mind every 10 seconds into this trailer about what to write about, so I guess here’s a list of all of those thoughts: Is this the Dharma Initiative? Are they explaining what a photograph is? Did this remind me of Cloverfield before John Goodman started talking? Why isn't John Goodman in more movies? I didn't expect this to be so warm and energetic — oh wait no. Why is there so much of an Apocalypse Now vibe? Er, hold on, John C. Reilly is in this? And that's just the first minute of this trailer. The movie's out on March 10th.
Beauty and the Beast
Disney seems to be sticking close to the animated classic for its live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. This is the first full trailer for the adaptation, and more than anything, what stands out is how involved all the visuals look, like everything is meant to be part of some intricate digital painting. The film comes out March 17th.
If you aren't already looking forward to Hidden Figures, this trailer should get you onboard. The film tells the stories of three black women who worked at NASA in the 1960s, and the often-overlooked contributions they made to the space program. And beyond that, it just looks like a stylish, energetic, and really funny film. It'll be out January 6th.
This is the most straightforward trailer for Jackie yet, but it might also be the best, balancing the film's remarkable style with the dark, gnawing troubles tearing at Jackie Kennedy. The film comes out December 2nd.
Amazon has picked up the latest film from Asghar Farhadi, who won the foreign film Oscar for the fantastic A Separation back in 2012. The Salesman looks like another difficult and intimate film about a marriage, with this one raveling apart after a violent attack. It opens in theaters January 27th before streaming at some unstated point later in the year.
The Zookeeper's Wife
The Zookeeper's Wife tells the story of Antonina and Jan Żabiński, who sheltered Jews in Poland during World War II. This trailer shows a stunning contrast between the bright and colorful world they live in and the atrocities happening day in and out, as though nothing could ever have disrupted their seemingly idyllic lives. It comes out March 31st.
Apple Music, oddly enough, has picked up this documentary about the TR808, the legendary drum machine that changed the sound of music. The documentary speaks about the 808 with a long list of major artists, including Pharrell, Questlove, and Rick Rubin. It comes out on December 9th.
I think we could all use a win this week, so here's a trailer for a Jackie Chan movie called Railroad Tigers.