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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!
Journey to the place where the warrior spirit was born. Feast your eyes on this awesome trailer. XYZ Films has finally unleashed a trailer for Toa Fraser's The Dead Lands, a badass Maori action flick from New Zealand about the Maori warriors. The film just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, where I first saw it, and it's damn good - packed with action, it moves fast, all in Maori about Maori. This first trailer gives us a look at the cast including James Rolleston as the boy, Hongi, along with Lawrence Makoare as The Warrior, also featuring Te Kohe Tuhaka, Xavier Horan and Raukura Turei. They make this look so awesome, there's no way you won't want to see this. Take a look. "If I do not return… tell stories about me."
"An ice cold knockout." Easily one of my favorite films of the year, Force Majeure from Swedish director Ruben Östlund is an entertaining dark comedy that everyone has been falling for once they get the chance to see it. Johannes Bah Kuhnke & Lisa Loven Kongsli star as the parents of a family on a skiing vacation in the French alps. When a freak avalanche causes the family to scramble for survival, it screws up the rest of their trip and things only seem to be getting crazier. As much as it may not sound like tons of fun, or seem like a dark comedy at first, this film is brilliant and lives up to the hype. Similar to the first teaser & trailer we featured back in May, this trailer includes stunning shots of the mountains, and a taste of the madness.
"You look very similar to someone." If you're interested in mysterious German suspense dramas, then you won't want to miss this one. Phoenix is the latest film from German filmmaker Christian Petzold, and it just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival this week. To compliment its festival unveiling, the production has released the first trailer. The film stars Nina Hoss (A Woman in Berlin, Barbara, A Most Wanted Man) as a concentration camp survivor who ends up searching through postwar Berlin to find the man she believes betrayed her to the Nazis. The cast includes Ronald Zehrfeld and Nina Kunzendorf. I can't say this looks like something everyone will enjoy, but there's certainly an intriguing element to it. Take a look.
One of the most buzzed about film's of the year has been Richard Linklater's impressive achievement that is Boyhood. Funnily enough, there's also another festival favorite getting a lot of buzz, and it's called Girlhood. No, it's not Linklater's same 12-year formula following a girl instead of a boy, but rather the story of a young girl living in the suburbs of Paris and ends up getting involved with a tight-knit group of girlfriends whose peer-pressure ends up leading to her life of dangerous drug-dealing. The film played at Cannes and is screening at TIFF now, getting plenty of acclaim, especially for star Karidja Toure. Watch!