March 9, 2014
"1948 - I remember that year well... It was the year I met her... And it was the year a serial killer came to my town." Today's indie trailer is for a dark superhero or super powers action-thriller titled Sparks, from co-directors Todd Burrows & Christopher Folino. Up-and-coming actor Chase Williamson (John Dies at the End and "Video Game High School") plays Ian Sparks, a masked vigilante who "discovers the dark side to heroism." IMDb's synopsis leaves out the super-powered group Rochester 13, but they're in this trailer. The cast includes Ashley Bell, Clancy Brown, Jake Busey, William Katt, Marina Squerciati. I'm curious about it.
March 2, 2014
"If you don't bring this man back, I'll find ya and put you in the ground." Today's indie trailer is for a Civil War dramatic thriller titled The Retrieval, which won a Breakthrough Performance Award at SXSW 2013. Ashton Sanders plays a boy assigned by a bounty hunter gang to retrieve a wanted freedman, played by Tishuan Scott, and bring him back to the South. The two begin to form a bond and things get complicated. The cast includes Keston John, Bill Oberst Jr and Christine Horn. I'm not sure how we just found this film now, but it looks fantastic - stunning cinematography, powerful story, heart-wrenching performances. Wow.
February 23, 2014
"I've always had a dream of fame and fortune... for Elmo" Today's indie trailer is for a rather awkwardly yet oddly amusing documentary called The Final Member, about the one-and-only Icelandic Phallological Museum that houses the world's largest collection of preserved male genitalia (collected for over 40 years!). So what makes this worthwhile? The story focuses on three people: curator Sigurður "Siggi" Hjartarson, as well as the two eccentric men who want to donate their own specimens to the museum. The doc eventually becomes about the challenges of making a tough decision, and crazy enough, I have to say that this looks fascinating. Best of all, Drafthouse Films is releasing it which means it's certainly unlike anything out there.
February 9, 2014
"There's two ways to fish..." This weekend I saw my third film in the last six months about Somali pirates, one titled Last Hijack. The first film was, obviously, Captain Phillips with Tom Hanks; the second was this one, Fishing Without Nets, which just premiered at Sundance 2014 (where I caught it and loved it). Filmed entirely in East Africa, Fishing Without Nets focuses on a story from the perspective of the pirates, and how they struggle in their own society to survive. Abdikani Muktar plays Abdi and the entire cast gives powerful performances. Found via The Film Stage we have a look at the rather stunning first teaser below.
January 26, 2014
"See the mirror hanging there, face of silver, frame of black, Oculus of glass, I stare... I can feel you staring back..." Today's indie trailer is for a horror film called Oculus that premiered at TIFF last year in the Midnight Madness category. The concept involves a cursed mirror of some sort, and a plot involving a brother and sister trying to figure out how their parents were killed. This first teaser gives quite an eerie, quick look at the horror that's in this, which is the just the right amount needed to convince me to see it and wonder why I haven't caught up with this already. This tease may give you a chill, but it's worth watching.
January 12, 2014
"You've got a short window, buddy." This trailer is for a film titled Love & Air Sex, that is indeed about the art/sport of "air sex". It's set around Austin, TX, which is where the Air Sex World Championships take place. As one might expect there's a quirky, dramatic, romantic comedy plot wrapped around one man's experience - "with the Air Sex World Championships in town, anything can go down." That man is played by Michael Stahl-David, who you'll recognize from Cloverfield, and he's joined by Ashley Bell, Sara Paxton, Addison Timlin and Zach Cregger. This doesn't look like a knock out, but not everything needs to be. Enjoy!
October 20, 2013
"I know many of you are probably wondering what the hell Mike Tyson is doing up on stage tonight." Yes, exactly. But nonetheless it seems like this is an honest, open look at a controversial sports figure and his life. Today's indie trailer is for HBO's presentation of Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, the infamous boxer's one-man stage show turned into a documentary directed by Spike Lee. After finishing up a nationwide tour, Tyson's life story will be hitting HBO as a feature-length film. It sounds like this is the full story, with all the ups and downs, all the good and bad times that shaped Mike Tyson into the man he is today. Give it a shot.
October 13, 2013
Today's must see indie trailer is for a film that has been playing at film festivals since 2010 a few years back. It's the feature directing debut of music video director Romain Gavras, a film called Our Day Will Come, and we first featured a trailer way back in 2011. Oscilliscope Labs is finally getting around to releasing the film officially in the US this fall, and they've put out a mesmerizing new trailer for this film described as "a stylish, mind-twisting trip." Vincent Cassel and Olivier Barthélémy star as two red-heads who travel to Ireland and end up in some crazy shit. This trailer has a very eerie but mesmerizing vibe to it, check this out.
October 6, 2013
Late one snowy night at the Sundance Film Festival this year, I caught a very unique 3D film called Charlie Victor Romeo. Since then the film has occasionally came to mind, thankfully not while I'm traveling (that would be a bit too much) but usually when I'm thinking about experimental cinema and weird experiences. Charlie Victor Romeo was originally a theater performance that has been translated into a 3D film. Showing only the cockpit and pilots, the film's dialogue comes solely from real voice recorder transcripts from plane crashes, and recreates the experience from the inside. Essentially, it gives viewers a look at the actions and reactions of the pilots. It's as nerve-wracking as that sounds, but nonetheless a uniquely visceral experience.
September 29, 2013
"I'd like to know if Anthony ever thought of me... I've thought of him every day." Today's trailer is for an emotional drama from British filmmaker Stephen Frears that is getting rave reviews saying this is his best work since The Queen. Titled Philomena, the film stars 78-year-old Oscar winning actress Judi Dench as Philomena Lee, a woman searching for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent. In addition, Steve Coogan stars as a "world-weary political journalist" assigned to her story who joins in the search. This looks like a very powerful and moving drama.
September 22, 2013
"Do you think I'm pretty?" This week's worth watching indie trailer is for the acclaimed, sensual, weird new sci-fi thriller from director Jonathan Glazer (of Sexy Beast, Birth) titled Under the Skin. The film stars Scarlett Johansson as an "alien seductress" who drives around in a van and picks up male hitchhikers in Scotland. Its been playing at film festival recently (Telluride, Toronto, Venice) receiving a few rave reviews, although I'm not the biggest fan myself. This trailer is a longer version of the first teaser a few weeks ago. It also has some of composer Mica Levi's stellar score for the film which is one of the best parts of it. Dive in.
September 15, 2013
"Safety wasn't even an issue." Today's trailer is for a documentary that is a perfect follow-up to the Formula One racing move Rush, directed by Ron Howard, which will be hitting theaters on September 20th (watch that trailer). The doc is titled simply 1 (or 1 The Movie) and tells the story of the golden age of the sport when it "became terrifyingly dangerous." There's tons of impressive archival footage, lots of interviews, and a story of gladiators and adventurers in this. It's the perfect double feature with Rush. If anything, it should convince those who do not care for racing to respect the drivers and crews dedicated to this high risk sport.
August 25, 2013
"How does a radical activist end up working for the FBI as an informant?" Today's trailer is for a doc that premiered last year and is just now being released by Music Box. It's called Informant and profiles radical left-wing activist turned FBI informant Brandon Darby. The doc won top prize at the DOC NYC Festival and also played the San Francisco & Austin Film Festivals. Not to be confused with Steven Soderbergh's The Informant! or the doc The Imposter, Informant dives into the mysterious story of an activist who turned out to be an FBI informant. Was he duping all of his friends? What's the real story? This looks quite fascinating.
August 18, 2013
Time to get a look at this year's Palme d'Or winner. This trailer is worth featuring because it is for one of my favorite films I've seen this year, Palme winner Blue is the Warmest Color, however it's the official French trailer and doesn't come with subtitles (update: now it does!). I am sure we'll see the US trailer soon because the film is due out on October 25th, but in the meantime, this is worth a watch anyway because it is a good trailer. You'll hear Lykke Li's "I Follow Rivers" quite a bit, which actually comes from the film itself. French actress Adèle Exarchopoulos stars as Adèle, who meets her first love in the blue-haired Emma, played by Léa Seydoux. It does show a tiny bit of NSFW nudity but mostly tons of emotion. Love this film.