› The Rider Director Chloe Zhao
› Bing Liu of Minding the Gap
› Petra Volpe of Divine Order
› Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve
› Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky
› Lake Bell Talks Making Films
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Listen to the Newest Episode of The First Word Podcast:
"Stanley assigned Leon to me." Kino Lorber has debuted a trailer for the indie documentary Filmworker, telling the story of "filmworker" and Stanley Kubrick's right-hand man Leon Vitali. This is a MUST see for film geeks and cinephiles, a fascinating look behind-the-scenes. Most probably don't know who Leon Vitali is, that's because he never was in the spotlight at all, but once you see this doc everything will change. Vitali started out as an up-and-coming actor in England, first landing a bigger role in Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon as Lord Bullingdon. From there he gave up everything and devoted his life to Kubrick and started working behind-the-scenes as his right hand man, helping him in everything from editing to directing and so much more. This is a superb doc that is also another rare look at how Kubrick worked, what he was like on sets and how he made his masterpieces. It's an underrated gem, worth a watch whenever you can catch it.
"This is you're future, and you are going to win." Netflix has debuted an official trailer for an indie drama titled Candy Jar, from indie director Ben Shelton. This quirky comedy is about dueling high school debate champs who are at odds on just about everything forge ahead with ambitious plans to get into the colleges of their dreams. Of course, even though they're at odds, opposites attract and then sparks fly. Candy Jar stars Sami Gayle (of Vampire Academy, "Blue Bloods") as Lona, and Jacob Latimore (of Sleight, "The Chi") as Bennett, with a cast including Christina Hendricks, Uzo Aduba, Helen Hunt, and Tom Bergeron. This honestly looks fun, though nothing new (see Rocket Science), but I admit I am curious to check it out.
"Don't be who you isn't!" Lionsgate has launched a trailer for the indie buddy comedy Blindspotting, which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year to quite a bit of acclaim. Longtime friends and collaborators, Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, co-wrote and star in this timely and wildly entertaining story about friendship and the intersection of race and class set against the backdrop of Oakland. Described as "a provocative hometown love letter that glistens with humanity," Diggs stars as a guy trying to finish his last three days of probation without any problems, but his friend keeps getting him into trouble. The film's cast includes Janina Gavankar, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Ethan Embry, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Wayne Knight. This was one of my favorites at this year's Sundance, I highly recommend it, a film that shines a mirror on American society, and still makes you laugh at the same time.
"They're tying up loose ends." "Exactly." Sony Pictures has unveiled the first official trailer for the sequel The Equalizer 2, directed by Antoine Fuqua (Olympus Has Fallen, Southpaw, The Magnificent Seven). This is the follow-up to the surprising 2014 action hit The Equalizer, featuring Denzel Washington as Robert "The Equalizer" McCall, based on the 1980s TV series of the same name which originally starred Edward Woodward as McCall. Apparently this is Denzel's first sequel in his career. Aside from Washington, the cast includes Pedro Pascal, Melissa Leo, Jonathan Scarfe, Sakina Jaffrey, Ashton Sanders, Lexie Roth, Caroline Day, as well as Bill Pullman. Does this look better than the first film or not? It's hard to tell, seems like more of the same vengeful justice with a few intense twists. Don't mess with Denzel.
"The old cathedrals often have sublime artworks hidden away, in the darkest corners for only God to see. The same goes for murder…" Whoa. A short teaser trailer has debuted for the latest film from controversial Danish director Lars von Trier, titled The House That Jack Built. After being banned for 8 years, Lars von Trier has finally been allowed to return to the Cannes Film Festival, and his new film will premiere out of competition. The House That Jack Built stars Matt Dillon as the titular Jack, a highly intelligent serial killer. The film follows him for 12 years profiling his murders. Also starring Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman, Ed Speleers, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Sofie Gråbøl, Riley Keough, and Yu Ji-tae. It was described by von Trier as a film that celebrates "the idea that life is evil and soulless." Damn, this is going to be dark.
"I want the full experience!" Warner Bros has debuted a second trailer for the summer comedy Life of the Party opening in a few weeks, the latest collaboration between actress Melissa McCarthy and filmmaker Ben Falcone (who also happen to be married), both of Tammy and The Boss previously. McCarthy once again stars in Life of the Party as a woman who decides to go back to college after being dumped by her husband, but ends up in the same class and school as her daughter. So, of course, she decides to become the "life of the party" and live it up while enjoying her return to wild school life. The full cast includes Debby Ryan, Gillian Jacobs, Julie Bowen, Jacki Weaver, Maya Rudolph, Adria Arjona, and Stephen Root. This looks boring and instantly forgettable, unfortunately, still not laughing at anything in the trailer.
"You all know the drill - intercept the convoy, watch our for Cable." Oh my yes. Fox has released one more "final" trailer for Deadpool 2, and it looks even better than before. This trailer has the best jokes, the best action, and the best flow to it of all of them so far. And I'm so, so ready for this to be good. We've already seen some very creative trailers before, and this is looking like it's going to be awesome. Ryan Reynolds is, of course, back as the "Merc with a Mouth", Deadpool. The sequel's cast includes Josh Brolin as Cable, plus Morena Baccarin, Brianna Hildebrand, T.J. Miller, Eddie Marsan, Zazie Beetz, Leslie Uggams, Karan Soni, Julian Dennison, and Stefan Kapicic. Is everyone else excited now? Be the first to see the "second coming" - order DP2 tickets at Deadpool.com. This has some foul language, no surprise.
"I'm here about the puzzles." Sony Pictures Classics has revealed a trailer for the lovely indie film Puzzle, from producer + filmmaker Marc Turtletaub, his second feature film that he's directed. This premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and ended up being one of my favorites of the fest, it's just so very delightful and elegantly inspiring. The supremely talented Kelly Macdonald stars as a suburban mother who discovers she has a knack for putting together puzzles fast. She befriends Irrfan Khan as her puzzle partner and he helps her grow and break out of her monotonous existence. The cast also includes David Denman, Bubba Weiler, Austin Abrams, and Liv Hewson. I raved about it in my Sundance review, praising "how such a simple story told with such humility and sensibility, can result in a wonderful film." It really is quite special.
"All we need is five minutes alone in that vault." Freestyle Digital Media has released an official trailer for action comedy heist film Carter & June, the latest from producer / director Nicholas Kalikow (Concrete Blondes). This dark comedy, action crime thriller mainly features "inventive blackmail schemes, flamboyant gangsters, power politics, greed, evangelicals and sex," which sounds like fun. The cast features Samaire Armstrong as June, and Michael Raymond-James as Carter, and also includes Timothy Omundson, James Landry Hébert, Paul Rae, Lindsay Musil, and Will Beinbrink. This doesn't look as good as I was expecting, but it does have some offbeat humor to offer. Not for me, but may be for you, give it a watch.
Another first look at another highly anticipated Cannes film this year. A full official trailer for the new film from beloved Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, titled Shoplifters, has debuted online. The film is premiering in-competition at the Cannes Film Festival next month, and looks like it will get some big buzz at the festival. Shoplifters is about a family of small-time crooks, but the story is really about what happens when they take in a young girl they find living on the street one day. The film's cast includes Lily Franky, Sakura Ando, Kirin Kiki , Kengo Kora, Sosuke Ikematsu, Chizuru Ikewaki, Yuki Yamada, Yoko Moriguchi, and Akira Emoto. This looks really wonderful, it has such a charming, heartwarming feel to it. The trailer doesn't yet have English subtitles, but we'll update it when it does. Still worth a watch anyway.