Before his minor but memorably unsettling turn in Get Out, Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta) also starred in Logan Sandler’s Live Cargo, which made its world premiere at Tribeca 2016 and, per the film’s synopsis, tracks a married couple as they become entangled in the criminal operations of a Bohemian island patriarch and a human trafficker who transports Haitians to the U.S. using stolen boats. Ahead of the film’s theatrical release, we have received a mesmerizing new trailer that suggests that Stanfield may have a knack for landing key roles within fascinating films.
From the trailer, the most obvious appeal of Live Cargo lies in the startling monochrome of the film’s images. Black and white proved to be an inspired aesthetic for several recent films—e.g. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, Embrace of the Serpent—and Sandler’s picture seems to share the eerie surrealism of those titles. Roger Ebert once noted that, for him, the use of black and white created a “mysterious dream state,” one that is arguably even more pronounced among modern black-and-white films, given the current prevalence of color filmmaking. Whereas monochromatic images were the norm back in the day, their use today feels deliberate and searching, as if the filmmaker were attempting to reach dimensions of reality to which the immediately observable features of the natural world—color included—cannot grant us access.
The trailer for Live Cargo really leans into creating this sense of the enigmatic, supplementing its black-and-white look with fragmented narrative exposition and a soundtrack that surges like the mighty, mysterious waters on which the characters ride. Within this aural fog, we gain glimpses of menace, desire and violence, and in light of these, the black and white takes on the connotation of classical film noir. To call this film exciting would be an enormous understatement.
Check out the full trailer above, and catch the film when it hits theaters on March 31.