ENJOY THE SHOW
An official US trailer has debuted for a film titled Old Stone, the feature directorial debut of Johnny Ma. If you follow international news, you may remember hearing news stories about how drivers in China will go back and kill people if they accidentally hit them. It's because the laws over there make it easier for the accused to get away if the person is dead, rather than just injured. Old Stone seems to be the first film made that examines one of these incidents. It's described as an intense "psychological thriller" about a taxi driver battling bureaucracy and legal manipulation in China. This premiered at TIFF and Berlin to mostly positive reviews, and it looks like it'll leave your head spinning. Starring Chen Gang, Nai An & Wang Hongwei.
Another live-action adaptation of an anime & manga series is coming to the big screen. Aside from Ghost in the Shell, Japan is developing a live-action Fullmetal Alchemist movie from director Fumihiko Sori. In the Fullmetal Alchemist world, alchemy is one of the most-practiced sciences. The film is about two brothers who go on a quest for the Philosopher's Stone (no connection to Harry Potter). It stars Ryôsuke Yamada as Edward Elric, Tsubasa Honda as Winry Rockbell, Dean Fujioka as Roy Mustang, Ryuuta Satou as Maes Hughes, Misako Renbutsu as Riza Hawkeye, Natsuna as Maria Ross, Natsuki Harada as Gracia Hughes, You Ooizumi as Shou Tucker, Jun Kunimura and many others. This first teaser doesn't have much footage in it, but at least there's more to see here than the Blade of the Immortal trailer. Take a look.
"I was waiting for you…" Cohen Media + Amazon Studios have debuted another new US trailer for Asghar Farhadi's latest film, a drama called The Salesman, which first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this summer. The title is in reference to many unique aspects of the plot, but also specifically Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman" which is being performed in the film. The actual story is about a couple whose relationship is tested after an assault incident with his wife while she's home alone. Shahab Hosseini and Taraneh Alidoosti star as the couple. I wrote in my review from Cannes it's "a complex, nuanced film with an intricate script that plays out in a very engrossing way." Recommended viewing once it's out in theaters.
Time to meet the Shinjuku Swan. A full Japanese trailer has debuted for Sion Sono's latest film, Shinjuku Swan II, a sequel to his first adaptation of a manga about an adult entertainment scout named Tatsuhiko Shiratori. Sion Sono is one of Japan's best directors working today, behind films like Love Exposure, Why Don't You Play in Hell? and Tokyo Tribe, though this film series hasn't picked up any US distribution yet. Shinjuku Swan II stars Gou Ayano, Alice Hirose, Kippei Shiina, Yusuke Iseya, Motoki Fukami, Nobuaki Kaneko, Yu Yamada, Hideo Nakano, as well as Tadanobu Asano as the rival scout CEO that Tatsuhiko goes up against. This looks like some of Sono's most commercial work, but might still be fun.
"You must take care of the others." Kino Lorber has revealed an official US trailer for the film titled Golden Kingdom, a narrative feature shot entirely in the Asian country of Myanmar (also known as Burma) by an American filmmaker named Brian Perkins. The film features non-actors and "bridges spirit, cinema, and traditional Burmese storytelling to open a view onto an unseen world." The story is about four young monks who are left alone in their remote monastery in northern Myanmar. Perkins has traveled extensively around Asia and India, establishing relationships in the monasteries and villages of Burma. This looks like a one-of-a-kind film, truly capturing the beauty of the location and the peacefulness of Buddhism. Worth watching.
"My verdict is: I, Olga Hepnarová, the victim of your bestiality, sentence you to death penalty." Those were the famous words of a 22-year-old mass murderer, who in 1973 drove a truck into a group of innocent people in Prague. The film I, Olga (titled in full I, Olga Hepnarová) tells her story in black & white, and it's a harrowing cautionary tale about how a careless society and relentless bullying drove this young woman to become a murderer. Michalina Olszanska plays Olga, described as a "complex young woman desperate to break free from her unfeeling family and social conventions." This seems like an intimate story that takes a cold, hard look at how troubling and harsh society can be. And how it turns good people bad. Watch below.
"This river is mine." Cheng Cheng Films has debuted the trailer for a Chinese drama titled Crosscurrent, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. The poetic film is a fantasy romance set on the Yangtze River, and was actually filmed on the river itself. They wanted to "capture the traditional ink-brush painting look of the Yangtze". As artistic as it looks, there's also a greyness they've captured of the modern world. The stunning cinematography won a Silver Bear award in Berlin for cinematographer Ping Bin Lee's "outstanding artistic contribution". Crosscurrent stars Hao Qin, Zhilei Xin, and Kai Tan. Watch below.
"In this fiction, we all revolve around the protagonist." The Orchard has released an official US trailer for Pablo Larraín's other film this year, titled Neruda, about a Chilean Senator in the 1940s who is chased by a police man. Larraín is a filmmaker everyone should be getting to know, especially with two great films this year - his other one is Jackie starring Natalie Portman (his first English-language feature). We ran the first trailer for Neruda back in May, just before it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. It has since earned lots of rave reviews at numerous festivals all over the world. Luis Gnecco plays the famous poet Pablo Neruda, and Gael García Bernal plays the cop after him. This is one of the most truly poetic films I have ever seen, with so much to take in and appreciate between the dialogue and visual sensibilities. Get a glimpse below.
"What? I wouldn't let myself be eaten!" Eureka has released an official UK trailer for Japanese director Kôji Fukada's latest film Harmonium, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year and won the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard category. Harmonium is a slow burn drama about a Japanese family. One review stated "the film's insights into the isolation evident in the relationships most take for granted – marriages, parent-child connections and long-term friendships – don't merely hit their targets; they smash them with a sledgehammer." The cast includes Mariko Tsutsui, Tadanobu Asano, Kanji Furutachi, Kana Mahiro, Takahiro Miura, Taiga, and Momone Shinokawa. This also reminds me of Hirokazu Koreeda's Like Father, Like Son a bit, but I'm sure it has plenty of insight to offer on its own. Have a look.
"I'm going to tell you everything I wasn't able to tell you." Sony Pictures Classics has debuted an official US trailer for Pedro Almodóvar's latest film, titled Julieta, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. Julieta stars Emma Suárez as a mother living with her daughter, played by Blanca Parés. After a casual encounter, she decides to confront the pains in her life and the most important events about her stranded daughter. Also starring Adriana Ugarte, Daniel Grao, Inma Cuesta, Darío Grandinetti, Michelle Jenner and Rossy de Palma. This received mostly positive reviews out of Cannes, and looks like it's another colorful and energetic journey into the life of a vibrant woman. Check out the trailer below.
"You act like everything's the same. What planet are you on?" IFC has unveiled an official US trailer for the film Things to Come, the latest from French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve (read my interview with her here). This is also the other great Isabelle Huppert film this year, along with Paul Verhoeven's Elle (which Jeremy raved about at Fantastic Fest). This film has been playing the festival circuit since premiering at the Berlin Film Festival in February, and we already posted the UK trailer for it a few months ago. The full cast includes André Marcon, Roman Kolinka, and Edith Scob. The film follows a woman who experiences a few major shakeups in her life, including a divorce and the birth of a grandchild. It's a very philosophical but enjoyable film (there's a cute cat in it!), as expected from Mia Hansen-Løve. In theaters later this year.
"Life is just passing by…" Sony Classics has debuted an official US trailer for the highly acclaimed film Toni Erdmann, a drama from Germany that is being submitted by the country as their official Academy Award entry this year. Directed by Maren Ade, the film stars Peter Simonischek and Sandra Hüller as father and daughter. Hüller doesn't get to see her father much now that she works as a consultant for companies around the world. However, he decides to invade her life again as the character "Toni Erdmann", following her to Bucharest on a business trip. The film is both sad and funny at the same time, but also poignant and unforgettable. Critics have been raving about it ever since it premiered in Cannes, and it certainly lives up to the acclaim. You'll laugh heartily throughout, especially at the end. Don't skip seeing this outstanding film.