ENJOY THE SHOW
"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.
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.