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Fear - the ultimate weapon. Today's indie trailer is from Well Go USA for the US release of Andrew Lau's The Guillotines, a martial arts action-adventure out of China about a secret brotherhood of elite assassins known as The Guillotines. When I first heard that title I wasn't expecting to see anything that great, but I'm impressed. It plays on the concept of old school swords vs. new school firearms in a stylish way, and looks like it will have some incredible fights. The cast includes Shawn Yue, Xiaoming Huang, Zhang Wen and Yuchun Li. The circular flying swords are a little gimmicky, but I'm curious to check this out. Enjoy!
What in the heck is going on in this?! Blood-splattered walls, cameras, crews, samurai fights, all packed into a WTF 30-second teaser trailer. There's a new film from Japanese filmmaker Shion Sono (Ai, Suicide Club, Hazard, Love Exposure, Cold Fish, Lords of Chaos, The Land of Hope) called Why Don't You Play in Hell?, that he has described as "an action film about the love of 35mm." Or something like that. The movie stars Sakaguchi Tak and Kunimura Jun. This is a short teaser, but has some insanely weird, psychadelic shots in it. Including what seems to be a river of blood that some woman is sliding down like a slip 'n slide.
Just this past February, The Weinstein Company picked up Wong Kar Wai's visually stunning and kung fu fighting riddled film The Grandmaster. The film is slated to arrive in August, and now the marketing for the U.S. release of the film has arrived. It doesn't offer much more than the previous trailers for the film from its 2012 release in China, but it does have some more gorgeous shots of that rain fight with Tony Leung as Ip Man, the legendary martial arts grand master who trained Bruce Lee, looking like a real bad ass. Chinese superstar Ziyi Zhang also stars in the film, and we hope it gets a good sized release. Watch!
"I don't want them to be together." Memento Films International has recently debuted an English subtitled trailer for a highly anticipated film premiering at the Cannes Film Festival. It's titled The Past, originally Le passé in French, and is written/directed by Oscar winning filmmaker Asghar Farhadi of A Separation previously. The film is a contemporary relationship drama starring Bérénice Bejo (The Artist), Tahar Rahim (A Prophet) and Ali Mosaffa (The Last Step). It was just announced as In Competition at Cannes and everything about this looks fantastic, a compelling and emotional follow-up to Farhadi's A Separation.
"Man knows little." As much as I was hoping this was an epic action-adventure on the scale of 13th Warrior or Beowulf or Outlander, it actually seems to be more of a family adventure similar to National Treasure. Nordisk Film and Mangolia Pictures have released the first subtitled trailer for Ragnarok, originally Gåten Ragnarok, starring Norwegian actor Pål Sverre Hagen, seen in last year's Oscar nominated film Kon-Tiki. This is actually more of a teaser with gorgeous sweeping shots of a family on some adventure raiding Viking graves and hugging each other, but beyond that, I'm not sure what they're going to encounter. Take a look!
Today's trailer is for a highly acclaimed Romanian thriller, the latest from the award-winning director of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. It's called Beyond the Hills, written and directed by Cristian Mungiu. One of the most interesting parts about this comes directly from the synopsis: "Beyond the Hills was inspired by an alleged case of demonic possession in Romania in 2005." But it's actually much more of a thrilling tale of friendship and love between two women at a convent in Romania, where one has arrived to coax the other to leave. This won the Best Actress(es) and Best Screenplay awards in Cannes after premiering there last year.
"Whatever will be, will be." Sundance Selects has finally debuted an official US trailer for the new film from Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, titled Like Someone in Love. This one is set in Tokyo, Japan and is a charming little awkward, quirky love story between a call girl, played by Rin Takanashi, and an elderly man named Watanabe Takashi, played by Tadashi Okuno. The film played at the Cannes (my review) and Toronto Film Festivals, and is a superb character study of two people from opposite ends. The trailer doesn't give away too much, but it does setup the characters and story. They use such beautiful music too, perfect.
"A ghost?" Thanks to a tip from Quint on AICN, there's a trailer to watch for a spy-action-thriller film called The Berlin File, directed by Seung-wan Ryoo of films like The City of Violence, Crying Fist and No Blood No Tears. It pretty much looks like an action-packed Korean mix of Jason Bourne and James Bond in the tone of Infernal Affairs, which they sort of briefly make fun of anyway with that line about "arms deals, spying, assassination, deception." The cast includes Jung-woo Ha, Han Suk Kyu, Ryoo Seung-bum and Gianna Jun. It looks good, but the funniest part is the "revenge is a dish best served cold" line. Enjoy!
"Survive at any cost." Some over-the-top fun from South Korea to end the year of Indie Trailer Sundays. This is a film called The Tower, a South Korean thriller directed by Kim Ji-hoon (of the films Mokpo the Harbor, May 18, Sector 7), another new high-rise fire disaster thriller in the vein of Towering Inferno, or as AICN points out, Clark Gable's San Francisco. But this looks extremely action packed with firemen action scenes, exploding sky bridges, tons of destructive photography of two very tall buildings on fire. It's actually kind of tragic to watch, but I suppose it passes for cinematic entertainment in the end, right? Take a look!
This should be a must watch trailer, because this is one of the best films of the year. Sony Classics has unveiled the US trailer for Pablo Larraín's Chilean film No, starring Gael García Bernal. This is Chile's 2013 Oscar entry and deserving so, because it's a brilliant period character study and García Bernal should get an acting nomination, too. This trailer also does a great job of setting up the scenario - a story about an ad exec, played by Garcia Bernal, who comes up with a "NO" campaign to defeat military dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1988 Chile. It's shot in U-matic but works for effect, because it's a fantastic film. Don't skip this!
"I need a booster to face those savages." What the heck are we seeing here? Acclaimed, world-renowned Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar has been working on his next film titled Los amantes pasajeros, or re-titled to I'm So Excited! in English. Sony Pictures Classics, who already has the rights to release this sometime next year, has unveiled an early teaser trailer mostly showing three drunk male flight attendants singing and dancing to "I'm So Excited" by the Pointer Sisters. I'm really not sure what this is or what it's about beyond that, but it's supposedly set entirely on an airplane, which is a fun twist for Pedro Almodóvar.
"Who's the fella owns this shithole?" Another day, another remake. But this one doesn't look so bad. Warner Bros recently produced a complete Japanese samurai remake of the 1992 western classic Unforgiven with Clint Eastwood, this time starring the legendary Ken Watanabe as the Will Munny character. Many have been dreading this remake since the moment it was announced, but thanks to a first teaser trailer (via The Film Stage) debuted, I have to say it doesn't look so bad. If they've got to remake a classic like Unforgiven, this is the way to do it. This is only a quick tease but I'm honestly curious to see more from it. Take a look!
"Spectacular!" How about a couple of crazy funky CGI snakes and some badass Jet Li martial arts action to end the week? Magnolia Pictures has debuted the a US release trailer for The Sorcerer and the White Snake, an action-adventure drama starring Jet Li as a sorcerer who discovers the identity of a thousand-year-old White Snake disguised as a woman. Whoa, what? Yea this looks insane in so many different ways. While you may assume the CGI will look bad (and it does a few times), this otherwise looks like quite a fun movie. Cast includes Shengyi Huang, Eva Huan, Charlene Choi, Raymond Lam. Must see to believe.
I'm always inherently interested and excited for the latest films from Studio Ghibli, even if they're more fanciful work (like Arrietty or Ponyo) or dramatic (like From Up on Poppy Hill). We've been keeping an eye on their current productions, and posted before about an adaptation of the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter in the works from director Isao Takahata (of Grave of the Fireflies). However, news has now arrived via places like the Ghibli Blog & Dark Horizons that the next two features projects at Studio Ghibli have received full titles with official announcements "expected in the coming days and weeks." Both of these sound quite intriguing.