ENJOY THE SHOW
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.
El Jefe is back! More Cubanos for everybody! Open Road Films has announced a re-release of the beloved summer indie comedy Chef, written, directed by and starring Jon Favreau. If you haven't already seen the film (or even if you have already!) they're offering you another chance to catch this up on the big screen. Although I would say this is probably best eaten while preparing you're own feast of a meal, because all it will make you want is the best food you can possibly eat during and after. We already raved about Chef when in our Sound Off but I'm always happy to keep highlighting it, especially during re-release. SlashFilm's Peter Sciretta listed it as one of the best films of the summer. We recommend seeing it whenever you get a chance.
"Welcome to the regiment!" StudioCanal UK has debuted a trailer for the film '71, referring to the year 1971, when Belfast, Ireland was experiencing the Troubles with attacks from the IRA, UVF and UDA throughout Northern Ireland. The film stars Jack O'Connell (who is about to breakout into a huge movie star after this and Unbroken and Starred Up) as a soldier who gets lost in the chaos when he becomes seperated from his unit while patrolling the streets of Belfast. I first saw the film in Berlin and it's intense and captivating, keeping you on the edge of your seat the whole time. It's an impressive film that we do recommend looking into seeing, especially if it plays at a film festival near you sometime soon. Until then, don't miss the trailer.
"Sorry to insist..." Artificial Eye has debuted the first full UK trailer for the latest film from the Dardenne Brothers, called Two Days, One Night starring Marion Cotillard. You may have heard buzz about this film back in May when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and went on to open in France later that month. Cotillard plays a working-class woman desperately trying to keep her job as she must convince her co-workers to vote for keeping her in a company-wide decision. It's one of the best films I've seen all year so far, moving swiftly and yet maintaining an incredibly sharp focus on what they're saying and what they're accomplishing. Marion Cotillard looks much more disheveled than before but that's all part of her like look in the film, which plays even more into her character. Riveting to watch - I highly suggest catching this film.
"U didn't tell anyone right?" Paramount has unveiled the first trailer for Jason Reitman's latest film, Men, Women & Children, following up his tender adaptation of Labor Day. This one is another adaptation, but he tells an ensemble story about how the internet and modern technology connects, and disconnects, us in today's world. It presents a very apt and poignant look at how everything from text messages to email to Snapchat to Facebook fuels social issues like "video game culture, anorexia, infidelity, fame hunting, and the proliferation of illicit material." The ensemble cast includes Ansel Elgort, Adam Sandler, Judy Greer, Jennifer Garner, Kaitlyn Dever, Dennis Haysbert, J.K. Simmons and Rosemarie DeWitt. Looks damn good.
"A visit to a cinema is a little outing in itself. It breaks the monotony of an afternoon or evening; it gives a change from the surroundings of home, however pleasant..." [-Ivor Novello] Last week I stopped by the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, located in the lake-mountain town of Locarno on Lake Maggiore. The festival has been running since 1946, famous for its Piazza Grande outdoor venue, yellow & black color scheme, and leopard award/logo. In addition to my coverage of the films I saw at the fest, I wanted to share some of the images from my visit, as it was such a charming and gorgeous place to get immersed in cinema.
"As beautiful and imaginative as anything Ghibli has yet created!" Our friends at SlashFilm have unveiled a brand new 60-second teaser trailer for Studio Ghibli's The Tale of Princess Kaguya', from director Isao Takahata, which was originally released in Japan late 2013. The film is adapted from a 10th century Japanese folktale and is animated in the style of Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga scrolls - essentially it's unlike anything you've seen before, and this teaser plays up how gorgeous that animation looks. The trailer is for the dubbed US version with an English voice cast lead by Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Darren Criss, Lucy Liu, Beau Bridges and James Marsden. This is a short, simple but stunning teaser - check it out.
"You can't just define yourself by the things you've lost." IFC Films has debuted the trailer for a cute, quirky little indie called Kelly & Cal, starring Juliette Lewis as a punk-rocker turned suburban mom. The film is the feature debut of both director Jen McGowan and writer Amy Lowe Starbin, telling a very earnest, heartfelt story about friends. The cast includes Alysia Reiner, Cybill Shepherd, Margaret Colin, Josh Hopkins and Jonny Weston as the kid in the wheelchair. You might also recognize Weston from the time travel film Project Almanac. This might be a bit too quirky for my tastes, but it doesn't look half bad at all.
"It's the essence of flirting." So how do you refresh and revitalize the romantic comedy genre? That's what I was hoping to find out from Canadian director Michael Dowse, the man behind the excellent film What If. I first saw this film at last year's TIFF 2013, and loved it, ranking it as one of my 5 favorite films of that festival. It was known as The F Word back then (and still is in Canada) but was retitled to What If for its US release, which is something I had to ask him about. What If stars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan as a young couple perfect for each other–their chemistry was a topic, too. View the full video interview below.
Have you seen Snowpiercer yet? If not, it's now available on VOD now - check it out sometime soon. If you have, then great! For those who (like me) are big fans of Korean director Bong Joon-ho, we have another project you might want to take a look at. It's called Haemoo, or Sea Fog, and is a Korean thriller about a fishing boat that is smuggling illegal immigrants. The cast includes Kim Yun-seok and Park Yu-Chun, and the film was already released in Korea this month. The full trailer has been floating around and I was inspired by our friends to feature it today, especially with its North American festival debut coming up soon. No subtitles yet, unfortunately, but this does look like an intense, dark, modern thriller. Take a look below!