ENJOY THE SHOW
"Aren't we censoring ourselves? So what's the point of our music?" Kino Lorber has released a trailer for the upcoming US release of the Tunisian film As I Open My Eyes, about a young girl torn between two lives: her connection to her family and her devotion to her rock band. Newcomer Baya Medhaffer plays the 18-year-old Tunisian woman named Farah, a singer in a politically charged rock band balancing her life as a musician and traditional expectations of her family. Described as a "nuanced portrait of the individual implications of the incipient Arab Spring". This looks like a fascinating and impressive film from Tunisia, worth checking out for many different reasons, including the debut performance of Baya Medhaffer. Enjoy.
"How dare you distribute such sensitive information to the common people!" CJ Entertainment debuted the official trailer for the Korean film The Map Against the World, about a geographer and cartographer who traveled around Korea in the 1800s making a detailed map. The film is directed by veteran Korean filmmaker Kang Woo-Suk, and stars Cha Seung-won as the lead character, along with Yu Jun-Sang and Nam Ji-hyun. The idea is based on the true story of Kim Jeong-ho, who went under the pen name Gosanja, devoting his life to the creation of the "Daedongyeojido" map of Korea first published in 1861. This looks like it has lovely cinematography about a humble man who wanted to share the world with the people.
"It's wrong to ask for everything at once." Janus Films has debuted a trailer for the upcoming theatrical re-release of Krzysztof Kieslowski's acclaimed series Dekalog, or Decalogue. It's best to refer to the official description to explain this one: "Originally made for Polish television, Dekalog focuses on the residents of a housing complex in late-Communist Poland, whose lives become subtly intertwined as they face emotional dilemmas that are at once deeply personal and universally human. Its ten hour-long films, drawing from the Ten Commandments for thematic inspiration and an overarching structure, grapple deftly with complex moral and existential questions concerning life, death, love, hate, truth, and the passage of time." Janus is putting out a 4K version of the film series in theaters this fall in the US, for those interested in watching it.
"Trust me, he was mad." The Match Factory has released an official international trailer for an Iranian film called A Dragon Arrives!, and I can pretty much guarantee you haven't seen anything like it before. The synopsis introduces it as thus: "An orange Chevrolet Impala drives across a cemetery towards an abandoned shipwreck in the middle of a desert landscape. It is the 22nd of January, 1965. The day before, the Iranian prime minister was shot dead in front of the parliament building." Beyond that, you'll have to try and make sense of all this footage on your own, because it really is something else. Starring Amir Jadidi, Ehsan Goodarzi, and Homayoun Ghanizadeh. I am a fan of Iranian cinema, and this looks extremely unique.
"Do you think I feel sorry for you?" Sony Pictures Classics has debuted an official US trailer for a Danish drama called Land of Mine, set near the end of World War II. The story is about a group of very young German POWs captured by the Danish army who are forced to clear thousand of land mines from a beach. The full cast includes Roland Moller, Mikkel Boe Folsgaard, Louis Hofmann, Joel Basman, Emil Belton, and Oskar Belton. As this trailer shows, the film looks like a very moving and tense story about these boys learning that "the war is far from over" even though they've stopped fighting and firing guns. I like the way the trailer ends with silence, plus that "boom" joke at the end, powerful stuff. Worth a watch.
"To think… I've found my freedom." The official UK trailer for the new Mia Hansen-Løve film has debuted. Titled Things to Come, or L'avenir in French, the film stars Isabelle Huppert as a philosophy teacher dealing with various trials and tribulations later in her life, with her husband and children. The full cast includes André Marcon, Roman Kolinka, and Edith Scob. The film first premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and won a Silver Bear for Best Director, which was excellent because Mia Hansen-Løve is a very talented filmmaker. I interviewed her in Berlin, as I'm a huge fan of her past work as well, and wanted to talk with her about her films - read that here. This is a very philosophical film that will make you think deeply about life and where it all leads, all thanks to the always brilliant mind of Mia Hansen-Løve. Enjoy.
Magnolia Pictures & Amazon Studios have unveiled the official US trailer for Park Chan-wook's latest film, The Handmaiden, a sensual crime thriller in Korea. The story is actually based on Sarah Waters' novel, titled Fingersmith, which is set in Victorian Era Britain, however Park Chan-wook decided to tell his version in Korea instead. Kim Min-hee stars as Lady Hideko, Ha Jung-woo as the conman who calls himself the Count, and Kim Tae-ri stars as the maid Sookee. It's a twisted tale of sex and crime, about a Korean maid hired to work for a Japanese heiress, but seduces her and ends up causing all kinds of trouble. There's so much more going on in this, and as expected from Park Chan-wook, it gets wicked in the second half. Enjoy.
"I am Douglas MacArthur – I win wars." CJ Entertainment has debuted an official US trailer for the epic Korean war film Operation Chromite, telling the story of the Battle of Inchon during the Korean War in the 1950s. Liam Neeson stars as Douglas MacArthur, the US military General who lead the campaign to land in the city of Inchon and drive the invading North Korean forces out of South Korea. The full cast includes Lee Jung-jae, Jin Se-yun and Lee Beom-su. We featured a trailer for this earlier in the month, but it was a Korean trailer and showed a bit too much of the big battle scenes. This trailer is edited together much better and actually makes me want to see this film, even if there is only a tiny amount of Neeson in it.
"Find out what they know or what they suspect?" This looks pretty cool. An official US trailer has debuted online for a Spanish crime film called To Steal from a Thief (originally Cien años de perdón in Spain), which is a tricky little thriller about a coordinated bank robbery that goes awry. On a rainy morning in Valencia, six armed men in disguise try to rob a bank, but they're really after the contents of safety deposit box 314, which actually doesn't contain what they think it does. Not only that, but the government wants to stop them and the rainwater floods their escape route. Starring Luis Tosar, Rodrigo De la Serna, Raul Arevalo, Marian Alvarez and Jose Coronado. The masks aren't the most inventive, but the rest of the film seems like it has some sneaky twists and turns. I really want to check this out. See for yourself below.
"When crisis comes, heroes will rise." This looks so crazy. An official trailer has debuted online for an action fantasy film from China called League of Gods, being described as the "Chinese X-Men", and it's totally insane. The cast includes some big names including Fan Bingbing, Louis Koo, Tony Ka Fai Leung and Jet Li. This trailer has some wacky stuff in it - a baby with (farting) super powers, some kind of weird plant, a crazy CGI snake thing, surfing on shields, a guy with wings who can shoot lightning from his hands, and so much more. At least the action looks like it might be cool. The rest of it - I don't know. You must watch this.
"Have you ever smuggled people before?" Film Movement has debuted a brand new official US trailer for the dark Korean drama Sea Fog, originally known as Haemoo, directed by first-time filmmaker Shim Sung-bo. Some may remember that we originally posted a trailer for this two years ago, back in late 2014, as the film originally premiered and opened in Korea back then. It has been touring around the world playing at film festivals all over, and is finally getting released in the US. It stars Kim Yun-seok, Park Yoo-chin, Ye-ri Han, and Kim Sang-ho. I had the chance to see this last year and it's very dark and very harrowing, as the film deals with a ship captain making money trying to smuggle immigrants from China to Korea, but things go wrong. The cinematography is exceptional and it's a very well-made thriller, highly recommended.
"If Norwegian kids disappear, there's always some obnoxious parents out looking for them." Yes! Finally!! Magnolia has debuted the official US trailer for a Norwegian film called In Order of Disappearance, from director Hans Petter Moland. The film originally premiered two years ago, back in 2014, and is just now getting a US release. But that doesn't matter because it's a great film, a fantastic dark comedy about a quiet snow plow driver in Norway who decides to get revenge on the drug cartel that killed his son. Stellan Skarsgård stars and he's so badass in this. The cast includes Bruno Ganz, Pål Sverre Hagen, Jakob Oftebro, and Kristofer Hivju. I saw this film at the Berlin Film Festival back in 2014 and it was one of my favorites of the festival, I highly recommend seeing it once it opens in the US. Until then, take a look below.
"This is the riskiest military operation that I've ever encountered! Why the fixation on Inchon?" An official Korean trailer has debuted for the film Operation Chromite, an epic action thriller about the Korean War, specifically the Battle of Inchon. The film stars Liam Neeson as General Douglas MacArthur, the US military General who lead the campaign to land in the city of Inchon and drive the invading North Korean forces out of South Korea. There is some epic action in this involving giant battleships as well as explosions on the streets, plus hand-to-hand battles and more. The full cast includes Lee Jung-jae, Jin Se-yun and Lee Beom-su. The Koreans love making epic movies, but I'm not sure if this will be any good. Take a look.
"Do you want justice?" Cohen Media Group has debuted a trailer for the German drama The People vs. Fritz Bauer, from director Lars Kraume, which premiered at the Locarno and Toronto Film Festivals last year to some positive reviews. Burghart Klaußner stars as Fritz Bauer, an attorney general who decides to hunt down and process SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, who is supposedly hiding out in Buenos Aires. He enlists the help of the Israeli secret service Mossad, and risks breaking the law but believes in his actions. Also starring Carolin Stähler, Sebastian Blomberg, Michael Schenk, Ronald Zehrfeld, Lilith Stangenberg. This looks like it might be an undiscovered gem worth checking out, give this a watch.