EXCLUSIVE: Whether you like it or not, President Trump is happening. Tomorrow, in fact. If you still need a minute to let that sink in, the The Sundance Shorts Program entry American Paradise might help. From writer-director Joe Talbot, American Paradise follows a desperate man in Trump’s America who tries to shift his luck with the perfect crime. Inspired by true events, the short stars Sky Elobar. The production has released a pair of very tonally apropos and untraditional trailers that give an idea of the film’s theme.
As the director puts it, “I like trailers that don’t tell me too much. Or at least not in the traditional sense. As random as our two trailers may feel – an older black man giving poetic readings to 90s white boy alt rock – they say a lot about what you’ll see in our film: reframing something you know as very different, a certain melodramatic angst the lyrics speak to, and a shared longing for somewhere else.” The trailer above features an interpretation of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” while the one below does the same to The Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind”.
The second is an interesting choice as the song is a very, very popular track for teasers and soundtracks alike, but this version is unlike any of the many others you’ve heard. The light sarcasm on the part of the narrator breathes new life into what has become almost a hipster church hymn, which is to say, I’m sold.
American Paradise opens Saturday at the Redstone Cinema 1 at 6:30 PM. It’s executive produced by Tamir Muhammad and Julianna Hernandez, produced by Khaliah Neal, Carlton Evans, and Talbot, and co-produced by Rolla Selback, Zach Goldstein, Rob Richert, and Luis Alfonso De La Parra.