ENJOY THE SHOW
Let's give this another shot. The reason we're posting another trailer for Hou Hsiao-hsien's The Assassin is because it was one of the most-talked-about films out this year's Cannes Film Festival. Critics loved it and raved in their reviews, the film won the Best Director and Best Soundtrack awards, and Hou Hsiao-hsien fans have been talking about it for months already. Chinese actress Shu Qi stars as "the assassin", a girl taken away as a child and trained in martial arts who returns to the land of her birth, with orders to kill the man to whom she was promised - a cousin who now leads a military region in North China. So she must choose: sacrifice the man she loves or break forever with the sacred way of the righteous assassins. Enjoy.
"Somebody help me…" Second part? But we haven't even seen the first! Indeed, true. Eventually one day it will get a US release. John Woo has been in China directing a massive two-part epic called The Crossing, billed as the "Chinese Titanic" - you will see why with this trailer. There are some shots right out of James Cameron's Titanic in this. The film is set during the Chinese Civil War in the 1940s, following three couples from different backgrounds whose are affected by the sinking of the steamer Taiping, which was traveling to Taiwan and led to the deaths of over 1,500 people. Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Song Hye-kyo, and Huang Xiaoming star. It looks like Woo went all out, hopefully for the best. I'm curious to check this out.
This looks like it's going to be incredible. The first teaser trailer for one of the big hits of this year's Cannes Film Festival has arrived online. It's a short teaser for Hou Hsiao-hsien's The Assassin, starring Shu Qi, showing a few of scenes without any subtitles or voiceover, but it still looks stunning. The film received rave reviews during the festival and was considered a top contender for the Palme d'Or, but ended up with Best Director. Shu Qi plays "the assassin", with a cast featuring Chang Chen and Satoshi Tsumabuki. A slave to the orders of her mistress, Nie Yinniang must choose: sacrifice the man she loves or break forever with the sacred way of the righteous assassins. I seriously can't wait to see this, hopefully on a very big screen.
"Quit playing Nelly! I know you're not her!" Sundance Selects + IFC Films have debuted a US trailer for the new film from German filmmaker Christian Petzold, titled Phoenix, a post-WWII-set Hitchcockian mystery about a woman who survives a concentration camp with a disfigured face. She attempts to find her husband and figure out if he betrayed her, while pretending to be a different person all along. Acclaimed German actress Nina Hoss stars, along with Ronald Zehrfeld and Nina Kunzendorf. The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year, and the trailer includes some very positive quotes in praise of the complex narrative. If you're into mysteries or thrillers involving false identities and scorned partners, this is for you.
"A love story for the modern age." Cohen Media Group has debuted the official US trailer for the upcoming release of François Ozon latest film, The New Girlfriend, starring Romain Duris, Anaïs Demoustier and Raphaël Personnaz. This first premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year, and also played at the London, Stockholm, Zurich, Hong Kong, Seattle, Glasgow, and Montclair Film Festivals. The story follows a woman who discovers her late friend's husband, played by Romain Duris (seen in The Beat That My Heart Skipped, Mood Indigo, Chinese Puzzle), likes to dress like a woman. It looks like an interesting film, almost like something from Xavier Dolan or Wong Kar Wai, with beautiful cinematography and vivid performances.
"Yu, it's me!" Sony Pictures Classics has debuted a trailer for Zhang Yimou's film Coming Home, starring Gong Li and Chen Daoming. This beautiful, heartbreaking story is about a man and a woman, who love each other, but they're torn apart. When an accident leaves his wife, Lu Yanshi, unable to remember him or anything before the accident, he tries everything in vane to remind her of his love for her. One of the ways he reaches out to her is through the piano, and the song he plays for her, which you hear in this and it makes me tear up every time I hear it. So beautiful. I first saw this film at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival (original teaser | my review) and loved it. I've been waiting for it to get a released ever since. Finally later this year.
"You think anyone ever wins at this game?" StudioCanal has premiered a new UK trailer for Diao Yinan's Black Coal, Thin Ice, the film that won the top prize – the Golden Bear – at the Berlin Film Festival in 2014, the same year as Boyhood. It has taken a year to show up in the UK and still doesn't even have a US release yet. The mystery involves an ex-cop who tries to solve a gruesome murder on his own, that ends up falling for the woman at the center of the case. But of course, who wouldn't fall for her? The cast includes Liao Fan, Gwei Lun Mei and Wang Xuebing. This is an interesting trailer with a few very intensely shocking moments in it, but they've certainly grabbed my attention. I'm interested in checking out the film.
"Hey, supercop!" Well Go has put out a trailer for the upcoming US release of Police Story: Lockdown, the latest in the Police Story franchise starring Jackie Chan. The film actually played in China back in 2013, and is just now getting a release here in the US, but this isn't the same goofy Jackie Chan we've seen so much of recently. He's as serious as ever in an action-drama where a reunion with his daughter goes bad, and then there's a big battle inside of a club. The cast includes Liu Ye, Jing Tian, Guli Nazha and Zhou Xiao Ou. I can't say this looks like an instant must see, but I'm down to check it out. Give it a look below.
Love and Hate Need No Translation. Drafthouse Films has debuted a trailer for their upcoming release of Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy's The Tribe - an award-winning, highly-acclaimed, powerful film from Ukraine that is presented entirely in sign language without any subtitles. Wondering what that's like? Or want to get a feel for the very edgy, very dark topics the film covers? Then give this trailer a look, and hopefully you'll take a chance on seeing this film. One of the critic quotes included the trailer comes from friend of the site Raffi Asdourian of The Film Stage, who wrote in his review that "the scope and ambition of the narrative propels it to something more grandiose" and that it's a "groundbreaking, one-of-a-kind experience". Indeed.
"In fact, they don't know what love is." One of the many truly cinematic presentations showing up at the Cannes Film Festival starting this week in France is the 6.5-hour feature from Portguese filmmaker Miguel Gomes. Titled As mil e uma noites, which they're translating to Arabian Nights in English, the film runs an exhaustive 381 minutes split across different parts, "The Restless One", "The Desolate One", and "The Enchanted One", connecting events in modern day Portugal with the ancient tales told by Arabic queen Scheherazade. I'm not really sure what to make of this, it kind of seems like it might be too crazy for anyone to sit through. Even this trailer is hard to sit through, and it's only 3 minutes! So have at it below if you dare.
If there is one experimental film you take a risk and see, it should be this - Miroslav Slaboshpitsky's The Tribe, a powerful and mesmerizing Ukrainian film presented entirely using sign language, without any subtitles. It has been playing at festivals all over, from Cannes to Sundance to TIFF to AFI to Denver, and the Locarno Film Festival, where I saw it. In my review, I wrote "this is a film that deserves all the acclaim it's getting for being so unique, so incredible, so bold in concept and execution." While the film has had posters before, this one really goes for sign language over all else. But oh there's so much more to see in it. I also dig the tagline they're using now and seem to pushing: Love and Hate Need No Translation. See below.
"There's no need to tell lies at our age." Ain't that the truth. Kino Lorber has debuted an official US trailer for the upcoming summer release of Quebecois filmmaker Stéphane Lafleur's indie comedy Tu dors Nicole, starring Julianne Côté & Marc-André Grondin. Presented in black & white, the film is a quirky comedy that has a Wes Anderson meets the Dardennes Brothers vibe to it, centering on the lead character Nicole played by Julianne Côté. Her carefree lifestyle encounters problems when her older brother shows up with his band. One review says it has "an air of wondrous restlessness in its minor ambitions". Worth a view.
Sometimes films that make the rounds on the film festival circuit just don't make it to theaters for one reason or another. There may not be appeal to a distributor to bring it to theaters, or maybe it just doesn't drum up enough buzz. In the case of Cub, we're not sure what the issue is, but the Belgian horror film from Jonas Govaerts played TIFF last year, and has already hit theaters in plenty of overseas markets. The film follows a group of young campers who end up terrorized in the woods. Sadly, it will only be hitting Blu-Ray and DVD here in the United States, but we still wanted to call your attention to the US trailer for the film that our own Jeremy Kirk has called an "envelope-pushing horror fan's dream" from Fantastic Fest. Watch!
As far as the English dictionary goes, all the synonyms we have for the word "brutal" have a difficult time doing justice to the level of violence on display in New Zealand's The Dead Lands. From the visceral and energetic opening scene, the tribal actioner proves its worth in blood spilt and limbs lopped off. It's a virtual candy store for martial arts fanatics and hand-to-hand junkies, but this Maori tale of honor and vengeance slowly wears down under the weight of all that visual carnage. The level of brutality holds up in The Dead Lands. The story, though itself drenched with grand ideas of legends, Gods, and monsters, barely clicks.