Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Trailer Park Tuesday: Juventud by Vanessa Blakeslee


Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.



For anyone who still thinks book trailers are dull, yawn-inducing videos which go on too long and involve authors droning on and on about the merits of their writing, I challenge them to watch the one for Vanessa Blakeslee’s new novel Juventud and tell me this two-minute film doesn’t get the blood thumping through their veins. This is one trailer that falls squarely into the no-yawning zone. The book is set in Colombia and opens in 1999 with a pair of lovers: 16-year-old Mercedes, the only daughter of a wealthy landowner; and 21-year-old Manuel, a fiery activist with a passion for his faith and his country. The two are making plans to flee their country when, in a single, violent night, everything falls apart. As anyone who watches the Netflix series Narcos knows, Colombia was in political turmoil around this time, thanks to Pablo Escobar and his Medellin cartel. Juventud’s trailer nicely captures that mood, opening with some dream-state aerial shots over foggy mountain jungles. It soon transitions to a series of images of marching protesters, a burning bus, ski-masked soldiers, and body bags laid out on the street. Driven by the flamenco guitar chords of Isaac Albeniz’ “Asturias” and edited by Shawn McKee, this is one of the best book trailers I’ve seen all year: thrilling, mysterious, and, yes, it steers me straight for the book.


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