› Darya Zhuk on Filmmaking
› S2BY Director Boots Riley
› Leigh Whannell of Upgrade
› The Rider Director Chloe Zhao
› Bing Liu of Minding the Gap
› Petra Volpe of Divine Order
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Listen to the Newest Episode of The First Word Podcast:
"It's the intensity; it's the purity of what you are seeing. No conscious interventions." Now this is the kind of sci-fi I'm hoping to discover. Kept is a sci-fi short made by Colombian filmmaker Jaime D. González. After first playing at a few film festivals last year, the short is now online in full for viewing for free. Set in the near future when scientists have discovered a way to record dreams, those with ulterior motives waste no time exploiting those with the most powerful dreams. Starring Jairo Camargo & Manuel Sarmiento. This is much more of a thought-provoking, "Black Mirror"-esque sci-fi than anything with big action. It goes to some dark places, but I appreciate how far they take the dream recording concept. I want to watch more.
"Give me the strength to get through the next three days, please." Roadside Attractions has debuted the first teaser trailer for a holiday-themed, wild indie comedy titled The Oath, the feature directorial debut of actor-writer-comedian Ike Barinholtz. Barinholtz also stars in this as Chris, married to a woman named Kai, as played by Tiffany Haddish. The film is set around Thanksgiving time and is about a controversial White House policy that turns family member against family member. Described as a "savagely funny dark comedy about surviving life and Thanksgiving in the age of political tribalism." Bring it on. The cast includes Billy Magnussen, John Cho, Meredith Hagner, Carrie Brownstein, Nora Dunn, Jon Barinholtz, Chris Ellis, and Priah Ferguson. This looks hilarious! I'm anxious to see more, it's totally uncomfortable yet also the kind of comedy we really need right now. Haddish & Barinholtz look pretty much perfect in this.
"Although I don't know quite what's going on, I'm having a great time, Lulu." Universal + Content Group have unveiled the first official trailer for a bizarre, funky, indie comedy titled An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn, which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, then also played at the Rotterdam and Galway Film Festivals. This is the second film by Jim Hosking and the follow-up to his uber-weird The Greasy Strangler from a few years ago. Aubrey Plaza stars as Lulu Danger, whose unsatisfying marriage takes a turn for the worse when a mysterious man from her past comes to town to perform an event called "An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn; For One Magical Night Only." The eccentric cast includes Jemaine Clement, Emile Hirsch, Craig Robinson, Matt Berry, Maria Bamford, Sky Elobar, and Jacob Wysocki. This is all just way too weird for me, but I do appreciate the unabashed originality in here.
"It's time to make Halloween last forever!" Sony Pictures has released an alternate international trailer for horror comedy sequel Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, based on R.L. Stine's Goosebumps book series. This is the follow-up to the 2015 live-action Goosebumps movie that didn't get great reviews, and it looks just as bad. Set in the small town of Wardenclyffe on Halloween Night, two boys unknowingly release Slappy, who plans to cause a Halloween Apocalypse with the help of his monster allies. The ensemble cast of Goosebumps 2 includes Ken Jeong, Wendi Mclendon-Covey, Chris Parnell, Madison Iseman, Ben O’Brien, Caleel Harris, Jeremy Ray Taylor, though no Jack Black this time. While this does look a bit better than the first trailer, there's not really much to see in here aside from some CG monsters. Move along.
"I come up with new ideas so quickly. My canvas can't keep up with me." Magnolia Pictures has debuted the first official trailer for Heather Lenz's fascinating artist documentary Kusama - Infinity, which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Lenz's Kusama - Infinity profiles world-renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, now 89 years old and still creating. The film "traces Kusama’s trajectory from a conservative upbringing in Japan to battling sexism and racism in 1960s NYC to her unstoppable rise to international fame." She has re-established her prominence with the highly successful "Infinity Room" and other recent art projects and global exhibitions. I saw this at Sundance and it's a wonderful, intriguing, inspiring doc film about a truly masterful artist, spanning her entire life and career. Highly recommended.
"Four girls, all by themselves… ya'll be careful." Freestyle Digital Media has debuted an official trailer for an indie horror titled Killer Kate!, the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Elliot Feld. Feld directs his wife, actress Alexandra Feld, as Kate in this violent thriller about two estranged sisters. Kate attends her sister's bachelorette party at the request of their dying father. The weekend, held at a remote cabin booked on a home sharing app, turns into a savage life-or-death struggle that pits family against family, and past against present. Also with Danielle Burgess, Amaris Davidson, Abby Eiland, Tiffany Shepis, Grant Lyon, Robert Donavan, and Preston Flagg. This gets super crazy, super fast, with blood splattering everywhere. I also dig the cold opening with her bloody face. Not sure what's happening but it looks gnarly.
"We are having a summer fling." Vertical Entertainment has debuted an official trailer for an indie romance Cruise, the latest feature directed by screenwriter Robert D. Siegel (of The Wrestler and The Founder; who also directed Big Fan in 2009). Set in the 1980s in the Northeast, Cruise is about a young Italian-American from the "wrong side of the tracks" who falls for a nice Jewish girl from Long Island during one summer. The film stars as Emily Ratajkowski as Jessica, and Spencer Boldman as Gio, along with Kathrine Narducci, Sebastian Maniscalco, Noah Robbins, Gino Cafarelli, Jen Cohn, Lucas Salvagno, Al Linea, and Quinn Meyers. This has pumpin' music and so much slickness to it, total trip back to the 80s.
"Not all heroes walk on two legs." IMAX has launched the first teaser trailer for a special "IMAX Original Film" from Cosmic Pictures titled Superpower Dogs, playing on the big (big!) screen in March of 2019. This teaser is playing in front of showings of Pandas, the other IMAX nature documentary now in theaters. This looks wonderful!! I love dogs so much. They're the best. Superpower Dogs is a 55-minute IMAX film that "takes audiences on a journey around the world to meet incredible dogs and showcase the extraordinary real-life 'superpowers' they use to protect endangered species, save lives in avalanches and earthquakes and make the world a better place." We'll meet: Halo, a puppy training with a fire captain; Henry, an avalanche rescue expert; Reef, an Italian lifeguard dog; Ricochet, a surf legend in California; Tipper and Tony, the Bloodhound brothers leading the fight to save endangered species in Africa. I'm so watching this in theaters.
"From now on, I'm your tank leader." Lock & load, it's time for another tank movie! An official trailer has debuted for a new WWII tank movie titled T-34, a Russian movie directed by filmmaker Alexey Sidorov. The story tells of a courageous group of Russian soldiers who manage to escape from German captivity in a half-destroyed legendary T-34 tank. The footage shown in the trailer covers their time in captivity and their escape. Starring Alexander Petrov, Vinzenz Kiefer, Irina Starshenbaum. This trailer is, of course, in Russian but includes English subtitles, in hopes that it might find a big international audience considering it looks like an awesome WWII action thriller. We'll be keeping an eye out for this movie's release worldwide.
"Time and Space constrain us, but they also define who we are, creating inexplicable bonds with the others that flow with us at the same time and through the same places." Netflix has revealed the first teaser trailer for Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón's latest film, titled simply Roma. This B&W feature will premiere at the Venice Film Festival in a few weeks, and is said to Cuarón's most personal work to date, taking us back to the community where he grew up in and the experiences from his childhood. Roma is a story that chronicles a year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s. Starring Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey, Carlos Peralta, Marco Graf, Daniela Demesa, Nancy García García, and Andy Cortés. It's described as "an intimate, gut-wrenching and ultimately life-affirming portrait of the ways, small and large, one family maintains its balance in a time of personal, social and political strife." One of my most anticipated films this year. Get ready for more Cuarón.