ENJOY THE SHOW
"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.
Last winter, we featured an international teaser trailer for the animated adaptation of the classic 1943 tale The Little Prince. The film hails from France as the most expensive animated feature every produced in the country ($80 million), and the combination of wonderful 3D computer animation and beautiful stop-motion animation makes for quite the magical pairing for this story of a curious, magical prince and his interplanetary adventures. In this version (dubbed with English), the story is framed by an aviator narrator (Jeff Bridges) telling the prince's tale to his neighbor's busy little girl (Mackenzie Foy). Watch!
"We must defend ourselves." Another foreign film that definitely seems worth checking out, especially if you're a fan of actor Gael García Bernal. Participant Media has debuted a US trailer for the upcoming summer release of Ardor, originally El Ardor, a film starring Bernal as a mysterious man who emerges from the Argentinean rainforest to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a poor farmer after mercenaries murder her father and take over his land. The film earned mostly positive reviews at festivals last year, like this one from THR, and looks like a solid action thriller described by another critic as a "machete Western". This actually looks pretty damn good, with solid action and cinematography, I'm interested in seeing it soon.
"A picture that goes beyond what men think about - because no man ever thought about it in quite this way!" The beloved classic is back! At least in the UK for now. BFI is re-releasing Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 (or 8½) later this summer utilizing a digital restoration put together by the Criterion Collection. Criterion also released a brand new Blu-ray of 8 1/2 a few years ago, and now BFI is bringing back the cinematic classic to show on the big screen again. "Cited (especially by filmmakers) as one of the greatest films ever made, Fellini's extravaganza – now restored – blends autobiography, fantasy, satire and self-critique." An abstract and mesmerizing look at the struggles of being a movie director, 8 1/2 is a must see for any & all cinephiles.
"You were right… music is all I understand." Another likely Cannes 2015 contender is Youth, also known as The Early Years, the new film from Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty). The great Michael Caine stars along with Paul Dano, but this trailer gives the most time (and dialogue) to Caine as Fred, on vacation in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. It's a very mesmerizing, alluring trailer with some weird stuff going on but I have to say I am definitely intrigued. We also get a few glimpses of Rachel Weisz in this, and some other peculiar moments, all worth a look. For those curious, the music in here is "Just (After the Song of Songs)" by David Lang. I really want to see this. Take a look + listen below.
This year's Cannes Film Festival has announced their opening night selection - a film by Frenchwoman Emmanuelle Bercot titled La Tête Haute which translates to Heads Up in English. It was revealed this morning, ahead of the rest of the line-up coming this week. It's not uncommon to see a French film selected as opener, but Thierry Frémaux says "the choice of this film may seem surprising, given the rules generally applied to the Festival de Cannes Opening Ceremony." The world première of La Tête Haute will be shown in the Grand Théâtre Lumière in the Palais des Festivals, and will be released in French cinemas the same day, on Wednesday, May 13th. The film tells the story of a juvenile delinquent, Malony, and his upbringing.
With a classic style and plenty of intensity, the full theatrical trailer for the French crime thriller The Connection has just arrived, and it's simply excellent. Touted as the European side to the American classic The French Connection, the foreign film was picked up by Drafthouse Films to get a limited release this summer, and once you see this trailer for the film starring Oscar winner Jean Dujardin, you'll see why the cinephile distribution house wanted to get as many people to see it as possible. This looks like the kind of crime thriller they don't make anymore, with a vibe that calls back to the 70s filmmaking. Watch below!
Five grandmasters hunted by a serial killer. This actually looks way better than it sounds, so give it a look. Well Go USA has released a trailer for Kung Fu Killer, a new film starring martial arts master Donnie Yen killer and a kung fu expert, who convinces the police to recruit him to track down a serial killer in return for his freedom. Sounds like the perfect kind of plot for a cheesy martial arts movie, but it seems to be a few notches above that. Charlie Yeung, Baoqiang Wang, Bing Bai, Deep Ng and Alex Fong also star in this martial arts thriller from Hong Kong. The big skeleton set piece looks cool, and all the action gets awesome in the second half of this trailer, so don't stop watching too early. I really want to see this! Enjoy.
This magnificent Norwegian film ended up as one of my Top 10 of 2014, even though it still has yet to find a distributor in the US. The film is called Blind, from writer/director Eskil Vogt, and it tells the story of a few different unique individuals but mainly focuses on Ingrid, played by Ellen Dorrit Petersen, a woman who has recently gone blind and is struggling with the realities of losing her vision. It's really a wonderful film that is unlike anything you've ever seen before (my Berlinale review), which is exactly the kind of film the director wanted to make, something entirely original that will surprise even the most avid cinephiles. This UK trailer is just a tease but hopefully you like what you see and will give this film a closer look. Enjoy.
"As soon as the tangerines are sold, I will leave." No, not Georgia the state. This film is from the country Georgia, next to Turkey and Armenia. Samuel Goldwyn has debuted their own trailer for a Georgian film called Tangerines, which was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar this year (though it lost to Ida, of course). Starring Lembit Ulfsak as Ivo, the film takes place in 1992 during the conflict between Georgia and Abkhazian separatists. Ivo has stayed behind to harvest his crops of tangerines, but encounters two injured soldiers of opposite sides who he takes in. It also stars Elmo Nüganen, Giorgi Nakashidze and Misha Meskhi. This looks solid and got great buzz (a few reviews), so it might be worth checking out.