› Shadow Director Zhang Yimou
› Darya Zhuk on Making Films
› S2BY Director Boots Riley
› Leigh Whannell of Upgrade
› The Rider Director Chloe Zhao
› Bing Liu of Minding the Gap
Find more of our interviews ›››
"Could you leave me alone?!" Abramorama has debuted an official trailer for an odd, indie romantic comedy titled Write When You Get Work, the latest film from New York-based filmmaker Stacy Cochran (My New Gun, Drop Back Ten). This premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and will hit theaters this November. Described as a "story about money, mischief, love and entitlement." The story follows two people living in New York City, who cross paths again years after they were lovers in high school. Jonny is as consumed with Ruth as he was in their school days, and he infiltrates her life for love and profit. Rachel Keller stars, with Finn Wittrock, Emily Mortimer, Scott Cohen, Jessica Hecht, and James Ransone. I dig the grainy 16mm look of this, and the heist twist, but I'm not sure it's going to amount to anything. Check it out below.
"You chose to play cops and robbers - and you lost." Annapurna Pictures has unveiled the first trailer for Karyn Kusama's action thriller Destroyer, which premiered at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals. Set in Los Angeles, the film follows an alcoholic detective who reconnects with people from an undercover assignment in her distant past in order to try and move on from what still haunts her. Nicole Kidman stars as Detective Erin Bell, and the full cast includes Sebastian Stan, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany, Bradley Whitford, Jade Pettyjohn, and Scoot McNairy. This film has received lots of attention for Kidman's heavy make-up, which is used in only half the film to show how much she has changed from the past. I saw this in Toronto and I hated the film, it's derivative, bland, and cliche in every way - and Kidman's performance didn't impress me at all. But that's just my take, and others seem to be enjoying it much more.
"You didn't tell me what I was walking into…" Fox Searchlight has debuted the first official trailer for an indie drama titled The Aftermath, set in Hamburg in 1946 just after the war. The film is about a British Colonel, Lewis Morgan, who is awaiting the arrival of his wife, Rachel. He has been charged with the task of rebuilding of this devastated city and denazification of its defeated people. Rather than force the owners of the house they will live in to leave, he insists the two families live together. "Both parents and children will be forced to confront their true selves as enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal, to their deepest desires, their fiercest loyalties, and the transforming power of forgiveness." Keira Knightley stars along with Jason Clarke, plus Alexander Skarsgård, Kate Phillips, Jannik Schümann, Fionn O'Shea, and Alexander Scheer. This looks very good, though they give away quite a bit in this trailer. Take a look.
"You have to believe me - they made me do it!" Sony Pictures has unveiled the first trailer for the remake of Miss Bala, about a young beauty contest winner who is forced to work for a crime boss after she witnesses a murder. This Hollywood remake is based on Gerardo Naranjo's original 2011 film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival that year. This new take on Miss Bala stars Gina Rodriguez and it's entirely in English, despite still being set in/around Mexico. The full cast includes Anthony Mackie, Matt Lauria, Aislinn Derbez, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Cristina Rodlo, and Ricardo Abarca. I'm a fan of the original film, unfortunately this looks like an exaggerated, action-filled update that focuses way too much on everything Hollywood loves - beautiful women, guns, action, explosions. It looks like a really bad remake. Watch out.
"This film IS the red pill." The Orchard has released a trailer for an intriguing "full disclosure" documentary titled Above Majestic, which premiered at the truth-obsessed Disclosure Fest earlier this year. The film is a "shocking and provocative look at what it takes to hide a multi-trillion dollar Secret Space Program from the public and the implications this has for humanity." Yeah, it's a bit of a conspiracy theory documentary, but also a look at the possibility that secret space programs may exist because we need to continue to keep an eye on aliens without informing the public. The film features interviews with insiders and researchers such as David Wilcock, Corey Goode, John Desouza, Niara Isley, Jordan Sather, Dr. Michael Salla, & more. This doc looks super duper wacky, with so many absurd claims. Maybe it's a fun one to watch? Who knows.
"I'm not ready to settle down." Vertical Entertainment has released the first trailer for an indie drama titled In a Relationship, the feature directorial debut of filmmaker and NYU graduate Sam Boyd. Long-term couple Owen & Hallie are breaking up (or maybe not?). Just as their relationship reaches a turning point, Matt & Willa embark on a romance of their own. The film stars Emma Roberts & Michael Angarano as the leads, with Patrick Gibson & Dree Hemingway as the new couple. "Boyd's multi-character romantic dramedy adroitly juxtaposes two relationships at the opposite stages of their lifespan as the foursome haphazardly traverses the uncharted territory of 20-something millennial love over the course of a summer in Los Angeles." Also starring Jay Ellis, Greta Lee, Janet Montgomery, & Andre Hyland. See below.
"404 - Not Found." Another nifty new horror short to feature in October, this one just released online today. 404 is made by up-and-coming Phoenix-based filmmaker Daniel Mattei, and it's another fun horror film that involves computers. 404 stars Jared Stewart, with John Brennan as the creature. I like the slow burn of the creepiness in this one, taking its time to build the tension once he notices something weird going on. Daniel gives us this warning: "the next time you click on a link and get a 404 message, the next time you get the scary sneaking suspicion that your phone is keeping tabs on you, remember this short horror film, and stay away from your screens, because you're probably right. You're not alone, but it doesn’t matter who's watching you, but what!" Hopefully there isn't going to be a demon hiding behind your next 404 error.
Not all heroes live a heroic life. Not all heroes get a big parade and go on talk shows and end up in history books. The Man Who Killed Hitler & Then The Bigfoot is one of most undefinable films of this year, no question. It's part drama, it's part action film, it's part horror, but at it's core it's really a character study about a lonely man at the end of his life looking back on everything. Sam Elliott plays Calvin Barr, indeed the very man who killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot. He spends his days drinking at a bar and relaxing with his adorable yellow lab dog, because no one knows that he killed Hitler. It was covered up by Germany and America, because there was more at stake. As he states in the film, he just killed a man that day, that's all. And he has had to spend his life dealing with the substantial feelings, as they slowly chip away at his psyche.
"You know what they say: if an exorcism isn't completed, evil will find a new vessel." Sony has unveiled the trailer for a horror thriller titled The Possession of Hannah Grace, another scary possession movie, this one directed by Dutch filmmaker Diederik Van Rooijen (Bollywood Hero, Stella's Oorlog, Daylight). When a cop who is just out of rehab takes the graveyard shift in a city hospital morgue, she faces a series of bizarre, violent events caused by an evil entity in one of the corpses. Shay Mitchell (seen on "Pretty Little Liars" and "The Heiresses") stars as the cop, named Megan Reed, and the full cast includes Stana Katic, Grey Damon, Jacob Ming-Trent, Louis Herthum, and Kirby Johnson as the titular Hannah Grace. This reminds me a lot of The Autopsy of Jane Doe, but with a few different twists. And plenty of creepiness.
The concept of strange love and finding the one person in the world meant for only you is a strong one when it comes to cinematic storytelling. These films are often tough to recommend outright, the weirder nature of some of the entries in this category being a little too outside the box for most mainstream moviegoers. For the cinephile, however, the results of these films are often magical. So, too, is the case with the Swedish film, Border (aka Gräns), a film that tells a story that is, you guessed it, full of strange, creative wonder and eye-opening reveals about our world. Co-written and directed by Ali Abbasi, Border is a film that not everyone will be able to wrap their expectations around, but one that comes with undeniable results for those who do.