ENJOY THE SHOW
Earlier this fall, we got a good look at John Woo's two-part romantic epic The Crossing starring Zhang Ziyi, Song Hye-kyo and more. We're still waiting to hear when the films will arrive in the United States, but the first part of this sprawling love story arrives on December 2nd in China, so one more international trailer has just surfaced. This looks like a truly massive undertaking for Woo, like a mix of Atonement and Titanic with some Saving Private Ryan thrown in there too. Is there a chance we'll see the first part of this film as one of the nominees for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars next year? It certainly looks like it. Watch!
If you are a hammer - strike. How's that for a tagline? Today's trailer is for a film called Traitors made by American actor-turned-filmmaker Sean Gullette, who played mathematician Maximillian Cohen in Darren Aronofsky's Pi back in 1998. Gullette writes, produces and directs this film about an all-girl punk rock band from Morocco. Newcomer Chaimae Ben Acha stars as Malika in the film, who befriends Amal played by Soufia Issami as they take on a smuggling job to make some money to keep the band together. The film premiered at the 2013 Venice Film Festival, also playing at the Tribeca, Marrakesh, Dubai, Stockholm and Denver Film Festivals. It actually looks pretty good, there's a lot of heart and soul captured in this. Check it.
Just watch this film! If you love cinema, if you love filmmaking, if you love wacky Japanese cinema, if you love Tarantino, if you love supporting foreign films, if you love wacky, fun coming-of-age stories, if you love Japanese culture - don't walk, run to see this film (even if that means just running to your living room). Our latest Monthly Must See feature is one titled Why Don't You Play in Hell?, one of the recent films from Japanese auteur Sion Sono (he also recently made Tokyo Tribe which we flipped over at Fantastic Fest). The concept for this movie is basically: a young, renegade film crew becomes embroiled with a yakuza clan feud. Or: a bunch of wannabe filmmakers end up filming an actual yakuza war. It's crazy, but so much fun.
"A suspense in line with Roman Polanski and Alfred Hitchcock." With the American Film Market underway in Santa Monica, some deals and projects are coming together, or getting additional announcements. IFC Films recently picked up US distribution rights to this one, an eerie New York-set domestic drama called Hungry Hearts from Italian director Saverio Costanzo (of In Memory of Me, The Solitude of Prime Numbers) starring Adam Driver, last seen in What If and While We're Young, and Italian actress Alba Rohrwacher, sister of filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher. The two won the Best Actor & Actress Awards at the Venice Film Festival this year, where this film first premiered. This is a very odd trailer but it's worth a look.
Oh boy, what will Lars von Trier say about this? A promotional poster has debuted online for a project in the works by controversial Argentinian director Gaspar Noé, who last challenged audiences with the ambitious film Enter the Void. This time he's going all out sex, in a film called Love that seems to be inspired by Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac meets Abdellatif Kechiche's Blue is the Warmest Color. Described as a "sexual melodrama" about a boy, and two girls, the film "celebrates sex in a joyous way." But of course, it shouldn't be celebrated any other way! It's a very enticing, raunchy design, I wouldn't expect anything less from Noé.
"I wanted to make the ski trip to hell!" That's exactly what he has made. I really, really love Ruben Östlund's Force Majeure, it's one of my favorite films this year and if you're looking for something fun and original to watch give this one a look. I've been pushing this film and highlighting it as much as possible because it's not easy to get Marvel audiences interested in Swedish films about a family on a "ski trip to hell". But this is one of those great films that stands out in a crowd, and you will probably want to visit the Alps after. While traveling to promote the release, I met up with Swedish writer and director Ruben Östlund (of the films Play, Involuntary and Gitarrmongot previously) to talk about Force Majeure. Watch the full video below.
You might not expect a vampire western to come out of a country like Iran, but here we are with the first trailer for an indie called A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, one of the official selections of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival from earlier this year. This is a genre film through and through to the point that the trailer almost feels like it was directed by a young, foreign Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez. The press release cites influences from spaghetti westerns, horror and Iranian New Wave, and that's all perfectly on display here. This looks like a foreign film to go out of your way to see whenever possible. Watch now!
The Trolls are back! Call the Trollhunter! Last week at New York Comic-Con I met one of the guys behind FAMP Art, the new creative collective focused on creating great art for "foreign films, classics and more" branching out from Mondo. We chatted about some upcoming releases following their debut for City of God, and here's the next one. This artwork is for that awesome Norwegian faux-documentary Trollhunter, or Trolljegeren, which first hit theaters back in 2011 from director André Øvredal, who has yet to make his next feature though a few are in the works. The art is by Chris Weston and will be printed as a full 24"x36" print being sold by FAMP Art next week. Check out the Trollhunter print and another variant version below.
This looks like one of the craziest movies ever. Sion Sono is a Japanese filmmaker who has decided to give the familiar yakuza crime thrillers a new spin. Why Don't You Play inn Hell looks like a wild, meta, action bonanza following a young, inexperienced film crew who call themselves The Fuck Bombers who are hired to film two rival gangs battle to the death. It's the final plan of don Muto, who wants to take down his enemy, film it all, and give his daughter the starring role, all before his wife is released from prison. Wacky, funny, bloody, insane and other similar adjectives don't begin to describe this flick. Just see for yourself.
An oblivious, big-city lawyer gets in over his head in No Man's Land, a neo-western thriller directed by Ning Hao. The film, shot in 2009, sat on a shelf of censorship as the Chinese government deemed it too "nihilistic." To this, the Fantastic Fest crowd, who got their first look at No Man's Land, said, "Yeah, what's the big deal?" What ends up being the big deal is that the film is as smart as it is cool, a deliberately paced trek into the Gobi Desert with a handful of badass trimmings and a nice, rustic fringe. It's the kind of quirky actioner with even quirkier characters that's getting comparisons to the Coen Brothers, and for good reason.
Good news for one of my favorite films of the year. Mia Hansen-Løve's Boyhood-esque film Eden, about a French house music DJ, has been acquired for US release by a brand new distributor called Broad Green Pictures (aka BGP). The indie distributor recently acquired Ramin Bahrani's 99 Homes and Isabel Coixet's Learning to Drive, but has yet to release any of the new films. Eden premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and is also playing at the New York Film Festival this fall. I've seen it twice, once at both festivals, and it's one of my top films of the year, even though not everyone may be into it, it's fleeting like Boyhood spanning almost 20 years of time. But I really, really love this film so damn much. It really connected deeply with me.
Because general American audiences have a weird aversion to films with subtitles, Studio Ghibli releases in the United States usually get an English-dubbed version featuring a wide array of actors doing the voiceover instead of the original Japanese recordings. The Tale of Princess Kaguya will see an English-dubbed version hit theaters this fall with Chloe Grace Moretz taking the lead role, and the first full theatrical trailer for that release has just arrived. Unlike the first US teaser trailer for the animated gem, this one showcases the film's dialogue, brought to life with the voice talents of James Caan, Darren Criss, Lucy Liu, Mary Steenburgen, Beau Bridges, James Marsden, Oliver Platt and Dean Cain. Watch now!
"You have no idea of the effect you have, do you?" It's time for yet another Monthly Must See feature film that we highly recommend you watch. This one may be one a few have seen already, considering it's rotating through the Top Movies list on iTunes. The film is titled Ida starring the lovely Agata Trzebuchowska, from Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski. This intriguing Polish drama first premiered at the Telluride Film Festival last year, before playing at festivals all over the world and eventually arriving in US theaters for a limited release back in May. Shot and presented in black & white in the 1.37:1 'Academy ratio', this stunning film tells the story of a young nun named Ida in 1960s Poland discovering herself and the world.
It's been five years since we've seen a film from director John Woo, but that all changes next year when the first part of his period drama The Crossing arrives this winter in China. This promises to be Woo's most ambitious film yet with the two-part story chronicling three couples from different backgrounds who make a fateful voyage on a ship fleeing China to Taiwan in the heart of revolutionary China in 1949. But sadly, that ship ended up sinking, leading to the deaths of over 1,500 passengers and crew members. Sounds like this could be Woo's Titanic, and the first teaser trailer below certainly promises sprawling drama. Watch below!