ENJOY THE SHOW
Spooky Club rules!! This is one of my favorite shorts we've discovered this month. Spooky Club is a horror comedy short film made by filmmaker brothers Joe and Lloyd Stas, about a "Spooky Club" group of friends. The short was released today in memory of horror icon Vincent Price, who died 23 years ago today. The Spooky Club recruits a new member and decides to go retrieve Price's stolen skull to cremate it just like he wanted. This is really just a totally awesome short - from the way it starts out, to the goofiness of it and the wacky mission to steal Price's skull, to the rock 'n roll vibe of the whole thing. I love the performances from the actors; it's funny, it's witty, and it's a perfect horror short film to put you in the Halloween mood. Enjoy.
"You got a scoop?" Samuel Goldwyn has debuted a trailer for an indie drama titled Burn Country, which premiered at Tribeca earlier this year. The film is a fictional feature version of a real-life story of a "fixer" journalist from Afghanistan who decides to move to a town on the coast in Northern California. However, once he begins working at a newspaper there he gets drawn into the strange "backwoods of this small town", stumbling into local corruption and other dangers. Iranian actor Dominic Rains stars as Osman, and the cast includes Melissa Leo, James Franco, Rachel Brosnahan, Thomas Jay Ryan, Tim Kniffin, and James Oliver Wheatley. This looks damn good, like it offers a unique perspective not often seen on film.
"What happened in that room is real…" Lionsgate Premiere has released the trailer for a war drama titled Man Down, the latest from filmmaker Dito Montiel (of A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints). Set in some kind of post-apocalyptic version of America (or so the synopsis claims), Shia LaBeouf plays a marine with PTSD who goes on a search to find his son. The cast includes Kate Mara, Gary Oldman, Jai Courtney, Clifton Collins Jr., Charlie Shotwell, and Wolé Parks. An oddly impressive cast, but I don't remember hearing a single thing about this when it premiered at festivals - usually a bad sign. It doesn't look that bad.
"When you're a child, you learn there are three dimensions: height, width and depth. Like a shoebox. Then later you hear there is a fourth dimension: time." A brand new UK trailer for Jim Jarmusch's Paterson has debuted. This is one of my very favorite films of the year, and this trailer is much better than the US one released last month. Paterson stars Adam Driver as a humble bus driver living in Paterson, New Jersey with his wife, played by the wonderful Golshifteh Farahani. During his free time he writes poems, and it turns out he's immensely talented even though he doesn't admit it. I wrote in my review in Cannes that the film is "poetic perfection, superbly realized. Cinema at its very finest." I mean it. This also stars William Jackson Harper and Masatoshi Nagase. I really love this film so much, and I hope everyone sees this.
"The pretty thing you are looking at is me. But it is me that still cannot see any of what is coming." Netflix has debuted the trailer for an indie horror thriller titled I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House, which is actually opening this week in time for Halloween weekend. Best to get it out and available now while people are in the mood for some creepy horror. Ruth Wilson stars as a young nurse who moves into a secluded old house to care for an elderly, reclusive horror novelist who barely even acknowledges her. As expected, not all is right and some kind of malevolent force seems present with them. Things take a turn for the worse after she reads the woman's novel. Also starring Paula Prentiss, Lucy Boynton and Bob Balaban. I like the cinematography in this, the bold framing makes things seem even creepier. Check it out.
Many filmmakers have hidden metaphors about the challenges and struggles as a filmmaker in their work. Loop is a clever little horror short film made by Mali Elfman, daughter of composer Danny Elfman, who has been making movies for the past few years - primarily for the site Fun Size Horror. Her latest film is a metaphorical tale about her own experiences trying to become a filmmaker. It will all make sense when you watch it. Nothing groundbreaking, but it is a intriguing short that does say more when you understand the metaphorical angst being expressed. This also features some great music composed by Matt Glass. Enjoy.
"You're a million miles away, and I can't bring you back." Saban Films has released the first teaser trailer for an indie drama titled Come and Find Me, a mysterious thriller about a missing woman. Aaron Paul stars, along with Annabelle Wallis, Garret Dillahunt, Valerie Tian, Zachary Knighton and Terry Chen. When his girlfriend goes missing, David must track down her whereabouts after he realizes she's not who she was pretending to be. This looks like an intriguing mystery thriller, with some action kicking in at the end of this trailer. It reminds me a bit of The Vanishing, but hopefully there's some unique twists to this. I'm intrigued by this trailer, though not totally sold on it yet - but I'm certainly curious. Give it a look below.
"This river is mine." Cheng Cheng Films has debuted the trailer for a Chinese drama titled Crosscurrent, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. The poetic film is a fantasy romance set on the Yangtze River, and was actually filmed on the river itself. They wanted to "capture the traditional ink-brush painting look of the Yangtze". As artistic as it looks, there's also a greyness they've captured of the modern world. The stunning cinematography won a Silver Bear award in Berlin for cinematographer Ping Bin Lee's "outstanding artistic contribution". Crosscurrent stars Hao Qin, Zhilei Xin, and Kai Tan. Watch below.
Time to drive. The newest full-length BMW Film has been released online. Titled The Escape, this one is directed by filmmaker Neill Blomkamp (of District 9, Elysium, Chappie), and stars Clive Owen as "The Driver" along with Jon Bernthal and Dakota Fanning. This marks the return of the acclaimed action series launched by BMW in 2001, a short film series featuring BMW cars made by talented directors. The Escape features the All-New 2017 BMW 5 Series - as well as some kick ass action. In the behind-the-scenes they talk about how it was important for "realism, above all else." I like the way they work in extra mystery with the characters this time, especially with Fanning's background. Hopefully this series will continue with more films from more filmmakers, because I really don't want this to be the end. For now, fire it up & enjoy.
"I had been searching for my Uncle Howard's first film…" Pinball London has debuted a trailer for a doc called Uncle Howard, which has played at film fests all over the world including Sundance, Berlinale and the New York Film Festival most recently. Uncle Howard is made by Aaron Brookner, nephew of American director Howard Brookner, a little-known but well-regarded filmmaker who died of AIDS in the late 80s. In the film, Aaron goes on a journey to "discover his uncle's films and the legacy" - meeting people like Jim Jarmusch and Tom DiCillo along the way. It's a very fascinating, very personal doc but should be inspiring to other filmmakers. It's not my favorite doc I've seen this year, but it's one of the better ones. Take a look.
"Starting over is a fantasy most of us can only dream of." This is technically a commercial for a car, but it's also an intriguing short film made by a good filmmaker. Le Fantôme is the latest short made by director Jake Scott, who some may remember as director of Welcome to the Rileys with Kristen Stewart (premiered at Sundance in 2010). The short stars Mads Mikkelsen as an assassin, who is assigned to take out a married couple, but things get complicated. As much as I usually dislike such blatant car marketing like this, it's fun to see Mikkelsen doing this and the short has a mysterious edge to it - almost like a James Bond film.
"In this fiction, we all revolve around the protagonist." The Orchard has released an official US trailer for Pablo Larraín's other film this year, titled Neruda, about a Chilean Senator in the 1940s who is chased by a police man. Larraín is a filmmaker everyone should be getting to know, especially with two great films this year - his other one is Jackie starring Natalie Portman (his first English-language feature). We ran the first trailer for Neruda back in May, just before it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. It has since earned lots of rave reviews at numerous festivals all over the world. Luis Gnecco plays the famous poet Pablo Neruda, and Gael García Bernal plays the cop after him. This is one of the most truly poetic films I have ever seen, with so much to take in and appreciate between the dialogue and visual sensibilities. Get a glimpse below.