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If you are a hammer - strike. How's that for a tagline? Today's trailer is for a film called Traitors made by American actor-turned-filmmaker Sean Gullette, who played mathematician Maximillian Cohen in Darren Aronofsky's Pi back in 1998. Gullette writes, produces and directs this film about an all-girl punk rock band from Morocco. Newcomer Chaimae Ben Acha stars as Malika in the film, who befriends Amal played by Soufia Issami as they take on a smuggling job to make some money to keep the band together. The film premiered at the 2013 Venice Film Festival, also playing at the Tribeca, Marrakesh, Dubai, Stockholm and Denver Film Festivals. It actually looks pretty good, there's a lot of heart and soul captured in this. Check it.
"Here we go again." We have yet to feature this fan film, so if you haven't seen it yet - here's you chance. Norwegian filmmaker Martin Sofiedal made a live-action short film based on Uncharted: Drake's Fortune the video game, which is already being adapted into a movie as we speak. His version is a live-action take on a cutscene in the game, and features some impressive work for something made on his own time. The 7-min film is called Uncharted: Ambushed starring David Owe as Drake, Caroline Glomnes Johansen as Elena, with a really stunning score by Roy Westad. Sofiedal recently visited Naughty Dog Games, creators of Uncharted, and got a write up in THR. The film is worth a watch, even if you have seen it before. Enjoy!
Just watch this film! If you love cinema, if you love filmmaking, if you love wacky Japanese cinema, if you love Tarantino, if you love supporting foreign films, if you love wacky, fun coming-of-age stories, if you love Japanese culture - don't walk, run to see this film (even if that means just running to your living room). Our latest Monthly Must See feature is one titled Why Don't You Play in Hell?, one of the recent films from Japanese auteur Sion Sono (he also recently made Tokyo Tribe which we flipped over at Fantastic Fest). The concept for this movie is basically: a young, renegade film crew becomes embroiled with a yakuza clan feud. Or: a bunch of wannabe filmmakers end up filming an actual yakuza war. It's crazy, but so much fun.
Jon Stewart's directorial debut, the feature film Rosewater, is now playing in theaters as of today. To celebrate the film's release, last night's "The Daily Show" hosted by Jon Stewart was an episode dedicated entirely to Rosewater everything. They started by recapping the segment recorded in Iran that first lead to journalist Maziar Bahari's imprisonment in 2009, featuring Jason Jones who made the segment. Then they bring out Maziar Bahari for a discussion, ending with actor Gael García Bernal, who plays Bahari in the film. Stewart, still awkward about hosting a show to promote a movie he made, let John Oliver host while he hid in the background. It's a refreshing, fun recap of the story behind this film and the people who made it.
"Say I did stay - what would happen?" Oh boy, it's time to make things steamy. Universal has unleashed the full trailer for Sam Taylor-Johnson's Fifty Shades of Grey, adapted from E.L. James' bestselling novel of the same name. Dakota Johnson stars as Anastasia Steele, a literature student who ends up in the arms of billionaire Christian Grey, played by the hunky Jamie Dornan. Indeed, he's quite steamy, and he really puts on a show, especially in the bedroom. The trailer features the new song "Haunted" by Beyonce, along with gorgeous shots of Seattle, Johnson and Dornan, plus some tantalizing teases of the sexual side of this.
"Put yourself in my shoes." IFC/Sundance Selects has debuted the official US trailer for the Dardenne Brothers' Two Days, One Night, starring French actress Marion Cotillard (seen in The Immigrant, The Dark Knight Rises). The drama follows Cotillard as a humble worker as she tries to convince her colleagues to vote for her to keep her job, at their own expense. It premiered in Cannes, play at Telluride, TIFF and the New York Film Festival, and will arrive in theaters this December. Even if you're not a Dardennes Brothers fan (yet), this is one of the better films this year. It's only 90 minutes, moves swiftly, and comes loaded with an inspirational punch at the end. Plus it's just good to support the latest Dardenne Bros film while it's out.
"Your prototype time machine, Professor." Yet another unique sci-fi short, this one inspired by American and French classical cinema of the 50's. It's a sci-fi short film involving time travel, but with a French film noir feel, titled 300,000 km/s from director Stéphane Réthoré. It's considerably enjoyable even though it runs 17 minutes, but there's a polished feel to it that makes the scenes move fluidly while still keeping our attention focused on the mystery. It's a good film noir short and I like the sci-fi touch, the watch is beautiful and the practical work on that piece is fantastic. The end is where it really gets good, though I feel as if there should've been a bit more (another scene maybe?) before it cuts to black. Enjoy good short films? Jump in.
File this one under "Classics". Odd City Entertainment has debuted some impressive artwork for a new print they're selling next week for the legendary cinema classic The Godfather. This new print by French artist Laurent Durieux is specifically for The Godfather: Part I (does that mean he'll be releasing Part II and maybe III eventually?) but is being sold in full-size 24"x36" screen prints which I'm sure will look beautiful in person. They're selling 325 prints of the regular edition for $65 each, and 150 prints of the red variant edition for $100 each. Even if this isn't your favorite film of all-time, it's still worth taking a look at the art.
"Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at close of day." So what does it all mean? Cooper, Amelia, TARS, Murph – what was Christopher Nolan trying to tell us? With Nolan's new sci-fi Interstellar now playing in theaters (here's our Sound Off) I decided to hop on a podcast with my friend Mike Eisenberg of Tall Tale Productions (known as @Eisentower30 on Twitter), a fellow Nolan nerd (his dog is even named Nolan!), to discuss the movie in-depth. We wanted to talk about all the spoilers, theories, Nolan's big ideas, the science fiction of it and compared notes on what we experienced. So here's a podcast-length recording of our Skype discussion on Interstellar, and don't forget this has spoilers! Enjoy.
"Remember: a better future is waiting for you." Another short to fire up today, this one is more of a proof-of-concept but better than most of the work that comes across our desks. Titled Phoenix 9, this short film is the debut of German team Amir Reichart (director & editor) and Peer Gopfrich (writer & producer) and it's sort of a funky mix of Tron Legacy meets post-apocalyptic survival thriller. "While post-apocalyptic films are immensely popular, we didn't just want to re-tread familiar territory. That's why we introduced a high-tech twist that takes things in a completely unexpected direction and gives the story larger-than-life scope and drama," explains Gopfrich. It's long (over 20 minutes) but actually quite good, view in full below.
Oh no! Say it ain't so! Beloved filmmaker/animator Hayao Miyazaki made a rare trip to the United States this past weekend to receive his honorary Oscar during the Governors Awards. While Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki's films have been nominated for Oscars in the past, including winning one for Spirited Away in 2003, this Oscar comes after Miyazaki announced his retirement so it seems The Academy wanted to honor the man and his cinematic legacy one last time. There were also a few reports earlier this year about Studio Ghibli "shutting down" feature films for good, though details were rather sketchy and it was clarified they were re-working the business rather than closing the doors forever. Now we have real quotes from Miyazaki.
Wait - there's more! Over the weekend, real-life astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson fired out a barrage of tweets condoning/confirming much of the actual science seen in Christopher Nolan's sci-fi Interstellar. But he's back again with a selection of nine tweets he has dubbed the "Mysteries of #Interstellar", posing very interesting plot-related, world-building questions. With all of the plot hole articles floating around now that Interstellar is in theaters, I'm not sure if he's riffing on them by nitpicking with thought-provoking questions, or actually criticizing the movie and choices made in the script. Whether you agree with him or not, he does make some good points. And it's tough to argue against what he's saying. So what do you think?
With Christopher Nolan's sci-fi Interstellar now playing in theaters worldwide, the director finally gets to breathe a sigh of relief and take a break from all the production work. In the meantime, he's still out talking with press and recently spoke with Marlow Stern of The Daily Beast. Since it's still rare that we get to hear Christopher Nolan talk openly about interesting topics, there are some quotes from this interview that are worth highlighting, specifically where we talks about Star Wars and James Bond and his response to the criticism of his movies. I wish we could do back-and-forth discussions with Nolan for an entire month.
Those fokkin' prawns! Feast your eyes on this fresh new art print from "prolific record label and pop culture provocateurs" SpaceLab9, which will be selling this print as part of a promotion for the pre-order launch of their District 9 Original Soundtrack Expanded Version vinyl LP. The print goes on sale starting tomorrow, November 11th, along with the vinyl for pre-orders. SpaceLab9 commissioned Francesco Francavilla, an Italian comic book artist known for his own series The Black Beetle and other comic art, to design this print for Neill Blomkamp's debut sci-fi film District 9 from 2009, with Sharlto Copley as Wikus. See below.