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This sounds just about perfect. We've been following the development of filmmaking Dan Trachtenberg ever since his short Portal: No Escape blew up online a few years back. He's been attached to Y: The Last Man and a few other projects, but is now focused on developing a movie called Valencia, a secret micro-budget sci-fi story in development at Bad Robot set mostly in an underground cellar of sorts. Variety is now reporting that Trachtenberg has cast Mary Elizabeth Winstead to star in the film, which will also feature John Goodman (what - awesome?!) in the cast. I'm so glad this project is starting to actually come together.
"Sometimes people change..." IFC Films has debuted the full US trailer for Pascale Ferran's new film Bird People, a two-part story set in Paris, France about two people - one of them is Gary Newman, played by Josh Charles following up his "Good Wife" departure; the other is Audrey, played by Anaïs Demoustier, a young French hotel maid who has an interesting story of her own. It's a very beautiful trailer, I will admit, with a lovely score and alluring premise with all the right shots to drag you in. What does the name Bird People have to do with the story? Well, that's one of those you-have-to-see-it-to-find-out kind of questions. Well, actually, they don't show all of it but they do hint a bit at what's going on in the trailer anyway. Enjoy.
"If beauty is truth, and truth is beauty, well, then surely mathematics is the most beautiful thing of all." Check out this trailer for a film titled X+Y, not the best title but I see what they were going for, a drama about a talented young math prodigy diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Asa Butterfield plays the boy, Nathan, who is being raised by a single mother, played by the always impressive Sally Hawkins, and he befriends his teacher, played by Rafe Spall. He ends up on a big trip to Taiwan on the British team of the International Mathematics Olympiad, joined by Eddie Marsan there. It's a great cast, and while the trailer occasionally gets a bit sappy, there is something unique about it and I'm curious to see. Give it a look.
We've lost another. We're sad to report that the great Richard Attenborough has passed away in England today at the age of 90. While most may recognize him from Jurassic Park or Ghandi, Attenborough has an extensive and illustrious career that spans multiple decades. He won two Oscars, for Best Director and Best Picture, in 1983 for Ghandi, the biopic that introduced us to Ben Kingsley. He was made a Knight Bachelor in 1976, won BAFTA's Best British Film for his C.S. Lewis biopic Shadowlands in 1993, and was BAFTA's Best British Actor in 1965 for both Guns at Batasi and Seance on a Wet Afternoon. A true big screen legend.
Today's trailer is for a Taiwanese film from acclaimed filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang called Stray Dogs, which has already earned quite a bit of praise playing at Venice and TIFF last year. Tsai Ming-liang is known for his long takes, and this teaser plays up some of his static shots from the film while the rain pours down incessantly. "With each successive shot in Stray Dogs, he shows us a devastating portrait of a family living hand-to-mouth in the city’s underbelly," explains Scott Tobias in his capsule review from TIFF. It's a short teaser, but a powerful one presenting a film that looks heart-wrenching but mesmerizing. Take a look below.
What would you wish for if you suddenly held in your hands a laptop that granted wishes? How far would you take it, and what would happen next? For those looking for a bit of Sunday fun to cheer them up, look no further than Eugene, a sponsored short film directed by Spencer Susser, the Aussie filmmaker who brought us that short I Love Sarah Jane years ago as well as the feature Hesher. Created for (and chosen as one of the winners of) a filmmaking competition held by Intel and W Hotels, Eugene is a humorous story of what happens when you give a lonely, bearded man too much power. It's fun and will leave you with a smile.
"Your brothers may be dead or gone, but you're alive!" This looks fantastic! An early trailer has debuted for a film titled Far From Men, starring Viggo Mortensen along with Reda Kateb (seen in A Prophet, Zero Dark Thirty) set during the beginning of the Algerian War with France, in 1954. It's premiering at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals coming up next month, which is why there's a trailer out for it and it looks way better than I was expecting. The story follows the friendship these two men strike up in the midst of a war, and it looks very endearing, beautifully shot and compelling on many levels. Then again, it is Viggo Mortensen and pretty much everything he does turns out pretty good, so who am I kidding - it looks great.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "Sin City's where you go in with your eyes open, or you don't come out at all." Now playing in theaters is the long-awaited sequel adapting the Frank Miller graphic novel series Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, co-directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, with one heck of an ensemble cast. From Mickey Rourke to Josh Brolin, Jessica Alba to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, with Eva Green and Rosario Dawson, Ray Liotta, Dennis Haysbert, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Christopher Lloyd and Powers Boothe as Roark. Was it worth the wait all this time? Is it any good? Once you've seen it, post a comment with your own thoughts on Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
When will we see actual teaser posters for Star Wars: Episode VII? We're not sure, but hopefully soon. While we wait there's some fantastic fan-art going around that we felt was worth sharing. Even though these posters were posted in June of 2013, they're still worth taking a look at since we haven't seen them before anyway (thanks to SlashFilm's Star Wars Bits for the tip). A Ukrainian designer on DeviantArt has posted a series of three teaser posters for J.J. Abrams' new Star Wars, complete with old, incorrect release date. The imagery is still awesome and makes for great marketing material, even if it's not actually from the movie.
Gather 'round for your first look at one awards contender - the film Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay, starring David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. With the awards season kicking off next month, many films lining up are finally starting to be unveiled and this is yet another on the docket. Selma follows Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. on his historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. While one shot gives us a close look at Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo as his wife Coretta Scott King, the second one features quite the ensemble line-up: Tessa Thompson plays Diane Nash, Omar Dorsey plays James Orange, Colman Domingo plays Ralph Abernathy, André Holland plays Andrew Young, Corey Reynolds plays Rev. C.T. Vivian, and Lorraine Toussaint plays Amelia Boynton. See both images below.
Step aside Comic-Con, it's time for MondoCon! Coinciding with the Alamo Drafthouse's annual film festival FantasticFest this year is MondoCon, a brand new convention created by Mondo, the guys behind all those gorgeous artistic posters (and vinyl) we've been throwing our money at for the past few years. This Con will bring "together unique guests from a variety of areas to celebrate film, music, art, and toys with the world’s finest artists, designers, toy creators as well as filmmakers, composers and more." There are screenings, exclusive collectibles, panels with artists and lots to spend money on. Impressive line-up for their first year.
Will it be called Star Wars: Revenge of the Tauntauns or just Episode VII? Who is John Boyega playing and when does he get to have dinner with Luke? So many questions! So few answers. But that doesn't mean we should be making up answers and filling the void, instead we should be waiting patiently to see the new Star Wars in all its glory sometime in 2015. In a genius move, Slate has launched what they're calling the "Star Wars Rumor Generator", a fun little interactive script that creates random Star Wars posters with rumors like the title, who each person is playing, and so on. Yes we're often caught up in the Star Wars news game, but we try to focus on what is actually worth knowing, not every last rumor someone comes up with.
"A father must avenge his son!" Time for some Norwegian revenge. The UK trailer for Hans Petter Moland's new film In Order of Disappearance has debuted, featuring the always-awesome Stellan Skarsgård as well as an impressive Norwegian ensemble cast. The film's structure involves following the deaths of many people, with the madness beginning when Skarsgård's son is found dead. It turns out he was involved in a drug ring and Skarsgård goes a bit crazy and takes on the entire clan, single-handed. It's a very dark, but incredibly fun thriller about the cold, snowy world of Norway. I highly recommend the film after first seeing it in Berlin and I hope it gets a strong US release soon enough. We'll be following it. Until then - have fun!
15 miles from paradise...one man will do anything to tell the world everything. One of the formative films in my early years exploring cinema was City of God, about the impoverished and corrupt reality of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While the film has gone on to much acclaim, a new poster organization has decided to make their first artwork for Fernando Meirelles' City of God, released in 2002. "A business years in the making, FAMP Art was founded to bridge the gap between pop culture art and art house cinema, focusing on films that don’t get much love in the art community but are praised in the world of cinema (and that we ourselves love)." Sounds like they're challenging Mondo and Gallery1988 and I like it, especially debuting with this.