ENJOY THE SHOW
"You must be ready every day, all the time." Kino Lorber has released a new trailer for a re-release of a cult classic paranoia film titled The Atomic Cafe, which was first released in theaters in the US in 1982. The wacky, entertaining, frightening documentary film is a collage of footage and newsreels collected from the 1940s and 1950s of United States government issued propaganda films designed to reassure Americans that the atomic bomb was not a threat to their safety. It features all those classic, freaky clips of atomic bomb explosions, juxtaposed with the safety videos of how to survive, juxtaposed with all the propaganda videos explaining that all is well and we have the bomb and there's nothing to worry about. "Returning to theaters in a sparkling 4K digital restoration created by IndieCollect, The Atomic Cafe is an absurdist blast from the past that would be downright laughable if it weren’t so eerily relevant to our fake news present." Have fun.
"Her story made history." Focus Features has debuted the first trailer for On the Basis of Sex, a new dramatic film about the early days of iconic Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Felicity Jones plays RBG, and Armie Hammer plays her husband Marty, in a new film by director Mimi Leder (of The Peacemaker, Deep Impact, Pay It Forward). The title is a reference to a line from one of (or many of) RBG's speeches, in which she explained: "the U.S. Constitution is nearly 220 years old and contains no express provision opposing discrimination on the basis of gender." This film is a compliment to the documentary about her, titled simply RBG now playing in theaters. And it will premiere later this year in line with Justice Ginsburg’s 25th anniversary on the Supreme Court. The cast includes Justin Theroux, Cailee Spaeny, Kathy Bates, Stephen Root, Jack Reynor, Sam Waterston, and Francis X. McCarthy. Take a look.
"What you see when you look at an archival film, are resurrections taking place…" See the first trailer for a documentary premiering at the 2018 New Zealand Film Festival titled Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen. The film is a profile of the iconic Māori filmmaker and international champion of women in indigenous film, Merata Mita, who passed away suddenly in 2010 at the age of 68. This documentary is made by her son, Heperi Mita, utilizing tons of archival footage and home videos and all kinds of personal stories to tell her story in the best way possible. Mita was the first indigenous woman and the first woman in Aotearoa New Zealand to solely write & direct a dramatic feature film, Mauri in 1988. Thanks to a tip from Taika Waititi, you can watch the first teaser trailer before the film's premiere at the New Zealand Film Fest next month. I love the way this is edited with shots of him working on the old film prints. Looks damn good.
"Are you going to kill me?" "No." The Jokers distribution out of France has debuted the first teaser trailer for an indie film titled Galveston, the latest feature directed by French actress Mélanie Laurent (The Adopted, Breathe). This originally premiered at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, which makes sense considering it's set in/around Texas and it's also Laurent's first American film. Ben Foster stars as Roy, a man on the run after a violent encounter with his boss. He picks up a prostitute named Raquel, played by Elle Fanning, and decides to take her with him as he tries to escape to Galveston, Texas. The cast includes Lili Reinhart, María Valverde, Beau Bridges, Robert Aramayo, and Adepero Oduye. This really looks like a very dark, intense, moody action-thriller more than a drama, with some slick cinematography.
"A faultless romantic epic." Curzon Artificial Eye has revealed an official UK trailer for the award-winning Polish film Cold War (or Zimna Wojna), which first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in competition this May. Cold War is the latest from acclaimed Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski (The Woman in the Fifth, Ida) and he also won Best Director in Cannes. The film is about a passionate love story between two people, who are fatefully mismatched. Wiktor, played by Tomasz Kot, falls for Zula, played by Joanna Kulig, and they spend years drifting together and apart. Set against the background of the Cold War in the 1950s. The cast includes Borys Szyc, Agata Kulesza, Cèdric Kahn, and Jeanne Balibar. The two leads are stupendous, some of the best performances all year, enhanced by gorgeous B&W shots by Pawlikowski's DP Lukasz Zal. This lovely trailer provides a preview of some of the mesmerizing jazz music from the film.
"Your father owed him money but couldn't pay back." Grasshopper Film has released an official US trailer for an acclaimed crime drama titled Cocote, set in the Dominican Republic and made by a talented up-and-coming Dominican filmmaker named Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias. The film first premiered at the Locarno and Toronto Film Festivals last year, and played at a few other festivals before its upcoming release in limited US theaters later this July. Cocote is about an Evangelical Christian man who attends the funeral services for his father in his small hometown, where he has to participate in religious rites that clash with his beliefs and he finds himself pressured to take revenge on the murderer. Cocote stars Vicente Santos, Judth Rodríguez, and Yuberbi de la Rosa. This looks like a very authentic, riveting film about a man struggling to come to grips with his own reality after the death of his father. This one is for real cinephiles.
"Now matter what happens we're going to make it! Okay?" Netflix has launched one final trailer for an intense end of the world movie titled How It Ends, the latest from filmmaker David M. Rosenthal (Janie Jones, A Single Shot, The Perfect Guy). How It Ends is a post-apocalyptic survival thriller, where they're not sure what exactly is happening and/or what exactly the apocalypse is. The plot involves a desperate father trying to return home to his pregnant wife after a mysterious event turns everything to chaos. Theo James stars, along with Forest Whitaker, Kat Graham, Kerry Bishé, Mark O'Brien, Nicole Ari Parker, and Grace Dove. This is available on Netflix today, so they're giving it one big push in hopes some of you want to watch this. Or maybe no one wants to escape to an apocalyptic story when it's already so bad. Enjoy.
"Evil runs in the family." Our latest episode of The First Word podcast is a full-on discussion about this year's hottest horror movies - mainly Ari Aster's Hereditary, and John Krasinski's A Quiet Place. Our guest is a genuine horror fan from LA – Annette DiGiovanni aka @uhnet on Twitter, who jumps into this lively podcast discussion bringing all of her horror knowledge to the table (or rather, to the microphone). We also chat about summer horror and how horror is evolving recently, and whether it can continue to draw big audiences. Friends Alex Billington (@firstshowing) and Mike Eisenberg (@Eisentower30) team up to bring you a film podcast providing in-depth discussion, analysis, and interviews about the latest movies, and some old ones too. Tune in below to our latest episode. And tell us your all-time favorite horror movies.
"Little Italy is not big enough for me and you!" Lionsgate has debuted the first official trailer for a cheesy romantic comedy titled Little Italy, the latest from veteran filmmaker Donald Petrie (Grumpy Old Men, Ri¢hie Ri¢h, Miss Congeniality, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Just My Luck). This film has such a cheesy concept, the kind that makes you roll your eyes it's just so awful. Here's what Little Italy (yeah, even the title is so bad) is about: a young couple must navigate a blossoming romance, amidst a war between their families' competing pizza restaurants. Emma Roberts and Hayden Christensen star, along with Alyssa Milano, Danny Aiello, and Andrea Martin. This definitely looks as terrible as it sounds, complete with cliche rain scenes, a cook off (of course), scooter riding, and more ridiculousness. Avoid this film at all costs.
"This is telemarketing. Stick to the script." One of the year's wildest, weirdest, most original films is Sorry to Bother You, from the mind of Boots Riley (watch the trailer here). This is Boots first feature film, but he has some experience making music videos and in the theater world previously. Boots is also a very successful musician, not only as a rapper and songwriter but also as a producer. His film is about a kid from Oakland, played by Lakeith Stanfield, who takes a crap telemarketing job to make some money. Using his "white voice", he works up the sales chain until finally meeting the CEO and being introduced to the glorious world of high society and rich snobs. It's already on its way to becoming a huge indie hit. With the film now playing in theaters, I had a chance to chat with Boots for an interview and couldn't pass up the opportunity.
"The most evil film Blumhouse has ever made." Now that's a killer quote. Universal has debuted a second & final trailer for horror sequel Unfriended: Dark Web, produced by Blumhouse, the follow-up to the screen horror movie Unfriended from 2014. The film unfolds in real-time on computer screens, following a guy and his friends who discover something on his new computer. He "discovers that the previous owner is not only watching him, but will also do anything to get it back." The cast includes Betty Gabriel, Andrew Lees, Colin Woodell, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Connor Del Rio, Chelsea Alden, Savira Windyani, and Stephanie Nogueras. This whole concept still seems way too gimmicky for horror, can't say I'm into this at all. But it might play well with horror fans waiting for something terrifying this summer. Watch out.
"In the end we’ll all become stories. Make sure yours will be the greatest ever told." An impressive promo video has been created titled A Report Of Connected Events, made by PostPanic as a "branded content film" for Liberty Global. Directed by Mischa Rozema, this video combines cinema/storytelling with reality by implementing moments from film & TV into actual real footage of our world. This is almost like one of those images where you have to find all of the pop culture references, but with even more going on because they're hidden in every scene and every shot of this. Some of it is cool, some of it is crazy, some of it is weird - like the fully rendered Ghibli characters. I still think it is worth a watch because it is so unique and geeky.