Partisan (director Ariel Kleiman's first feature film) just got a U.S. trailer and it looks nothing short of disturbing. Vincent Cassel plays Gregori, a quietly menacing cult leader that is worried that his prize pupil, Alexander (played by Jeremy Chabriel) is starting to think for himself. It looks like most of the conflict in this movie revolves around these two characters. And since it's between an adult and a child, it feels more disturbing than it should.
Even though the trailer is only 2 minutes long, it's one of those that really sticks with you. Kleiman sets the tone of the trailer quickly even though the shots he uses are slow and deliberate. We really get a sense for the characters quickly and the world they live in.
Less than thirty seconds into the trailer, we see this shot of the world and Alexander running through the field. As Alexander runs into the background we can really get a sense of how large the space is; in the world of the film Alexander and the characters related to him are small in comparison to the rest of the world.
The colors in the shot are muted a bit, nothing is too vivid or bright. And even though it sounds a little counter-intuitive, it helps certain things "pop", so to speak, on screen. The soft bluish-gray of the buildings in the background clash with the greenish-browns of the foreground.
This helps us find Alexander because our eyes are naturally drawn to the middle where these two colors meet, which is also the area he's located on-screen.
Warning: I'm about to nerd out.
There was one thing that I really, really, really loved about this trailer and it's that Match Cut. Yeah, that one.
The music rises and it seems as if the trailer is at its most tense. And it this moment we see Gregori lift an axe over his shoulder and heaves it down towards something out of the frame. We only slightly hear what he's chopping but it immediately cuts to a shot of markers falling from the top of the frame to the center.
This is probably, maybe the most important part of the whole trailer. It reflects the narrative of the trailer and -- most likely -- the movie. It's almost as if Kleiman is explicitly showing the audience what Gregori's role in the movie is. There's a lot of symbolism here and it's hard to unpack without having seen the full feature (so, obviously I can't wait to when it comes out).
When this part of the trailer came on I was immediately hooked. It shows Kleiman's skill as a director and it, honestly, intensified my already high-excitement for this film.
Partisan will be in theaters on October 2nd, 2015.