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Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi "bravely defies his 20-year ban on filmmaking yet again" to bring us his latest film, titled Closed Curtain, a follow-up to his last creation, This Is Not a Film from 2011. This new film plays with another meta concept: In a secluded house by the sea with the curtains shut, a screenwriter hides from the world with only his dog as company. The tranquility is abruptly broken one night by the arrival of a young woman fleeing from the authorities. Refusing to leave, she takes refuge in the house. But come dawn, another unexpected presence will change everything... The cast includes Kambuzia Partovi, Maryam Moqadam and Jafar Panahi. I'm intrigued, there's something about this. Maybe it's that dog.
Another interesting project on the slate in 2015. The next project from filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai has been confirmed and kinda/sorta announced, with some actual specific information about what it is. The Chinese filmmaker last brought us the beautiful martial arts epic The Grandmaster, but he hasn't made much else since My Blueberry Nights in 2007. Now he's getting ready to direct another romance, to follow up many in his career (like 2046, In the Mood for Love, Chungking Express). This one is an adaptation of Zhang Jiajia's short story Ferryman, as this will be titled, from the collection I Belonged to You sold in China. Read on.
If the American summer blockbuster explosion of Transformers: Age of Extinction or any of the other big action movies that arrived this season aren't your thing, maybe you'll find something to like in the foreign action adventure Ragnarok. It's got some Steven Spielberg flair in it as it follows an archaeologist obsessed with an old Viking ship where they find clues that lead to "No Man's Land," a region between Norway and Russia where a giant beast lays hiding beneath the sea. You might recognize Pål Sverre Hagen from Kon-Tiki in the film, and this looks like some cool alternate programming this summer. We just hate the cheesy voiceover used to hide the fact that this isn't an English-language film. Watch below!
The more classics on the big screen the better. Rialto Pictures, a specialty distributor who has re-released other films like Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless and Alain Resnais' Last Year at Marienbad, has announced that the next classic they will be re-releasing this year is Alain Resnais' Hiroshima Mon Amour starring Emmanuelle Riva (who was Oscar nominated for Amour) and Eiji Okada. First released in 1959, Rialto will be re-releasing the restored 4K version of the film, which originally debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and Locarno Film Festival last year. So while it has been showing, it's getting a theatrical release in October.
"We are all sons of America." Cohen Media Group has debuted the trailer for Alberto Arvelo's Libertador, also known as The Liberator, starring Edgar Ramirez as Simon Bolivar, the Latin American revolutionary from the late 1700s and early 1800s. This sweeping and majestic biopic tells the story of how he liberated and helped Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia gain independence from the Spanish Empire. In addition to Ramirez, Libertador also stars Maria Valverde, Danny Huston, Imanol Arias, and Gary Lewis. The performances look powerful, but the cinematography looks exceptional. This might be worth watching.
Following a trailer for the release of Roman Polanski's latest film in the United States, a new trailer for Venus in Fur has arrived as the film hits theaters in the United Kingdom this coming weekend. The trailer shows off a bit more of the erotic audition that takes some strange turns as a play's writer and director (Mathieu Almaric) finds a woman (Emmanuelle Seigner) who seems to be a perfect fit for the role he's trying to fill. This gets more than a little saucy when the sexual escapades end up with Almaric getting tied up. This is undoubtedly an odd little film, but at the very least, it's got some flair. Watch the trailer below!
From the wild and imaginative mind of director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind) comes a new romance called Mood Indigo. The first US trailer has arrived for the French film, and this looks just as whimsical as Gondry's previous foreign entry Science of Sleep as Colin (Romain Duris) falls in love with Chloe (Audrey Tautou). There's some strange stair-climbing cars, a floating cloud vehicle and more strangeness as these two people fall in love in the most peculiar way. This truly looks original and charming, and we wouldn't expect anything less from a visionary director like Gondry. Watch!
Opening in Chinese cinemas in just a few weeks is acclaimed filmmaker Zhang Yimou's latest work, titled Coming Home, starring Chen Daoming and Gong Li. The film will also have its international premiere at the Cannes Film Festival this month (where I'll be catching it) and has reportedly made Steven Spielberg cry in early previews. The story in the film spans the 1920's all the way to the 1990's, following one man's separation from his family in China and eventual return from America many years later. We featured one gorgeous teaser trailer a few weeks ago, with this new full-length one (still lacking English subtitles) now available. Everything about this looks wonderful, and it's opening in 4K IMAX in China. Take a look.
The 67th Cannes Film Festival begins in just over a week, and cinephiles are gearing up for the discoveries ahead. One of them that has shot to the top of the radar is the follow-up film from Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who left an impression at Cannes in 2011 with Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, winning the Grand Jury Prize. His newest is titled Winter Sleep and it's been shrouded in mystery and secrecry every since filming last year. Our friends at The Film Stage have found the first trailer and now we get to see how stunning and riveting this looks. There's a reason this film is IONCinema's #1 most anticipated of 2014 and that's because it looks magnificent. While it doesn't have English subtitles, the footage is still worth seeing.
Following a premiere at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Bing Theater a year ago and hitting theaters in Japan shortly thereafter, the directorial debut of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami is coming to United States theaters by way of an eight-city tour. The film is called Jellyfish Eyes, and features a coming-of-age story that unfolds due to an unusual relationship with an odd jellyfish creature. Though the film is in the same vein as something like E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, you've never seen a story like this told with such a unique visual palette. Details on where you can catch this film are below along with the trailer.
"Who... are you?" Today's indie trailer is the first official teaser for a kinetic South Korean action film titled No Tears for the Dead, from Jeong-beom Lee of the 2010 revenge film The Man from Nowhere. In this new film, Jang Dong-gun stars along with Kim Min-hee in a "love story between a professional hitman and his next target". While that kind of story could go either way on screen, this one goes for a much more energetic, explosive feeling. I'm not sure what is with the English subtitles for English-spoken dialogue, but aside from that, this actually looks pretty cool with a few great shots (like the one seen above). Take a look.
This is a gorgeous trailer, and this film looks amazing. Another anticipated upcoming film confirmed on the Cannes 2014 line-up this morning is Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou's latest, Coming Home, starring Chen Daoming (Hero, Infernal Affairs 3, Aftershock) and Gong Li (2046, Memoirs of a Geisha, Curse of the Golden Flower). The story is about a Chinese man who is forced into marriage and flees to America, but finally returns home years later only to be rejected by his family. It looks like there are very deep, complex emotions and a heartbreaking story to tell, but I am looking forward to catching this film sooner than later.
Every year, cinephiles wake up early to catch the announcement direct from France of the films playing at the Cannes Film Festival. For the 67th Cannes Film Festival taking place this May they've announced a diverse selection of films premiering, including a few midnight screenings (of David Michod's The Rover + Kristian Levring's The Salvation), a few out-out-comp picks like How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Zhang Yimou's Coming Home, and their usual fascinating line-up of Main Competition and Un Certain Regard films. Ranging from filmmakers including David Cronenberg and Xavier Dolan, as well as Jean-Luc Godard, Mike Leigh, Michel Hazanavicius (of The Artist), Bennett Miller, Ryan Gosling and many others.
"Focus on the job and we'll all end up making a lot of money..." This looks eerie. After featuring posters yesterday, today we have the full US trailer for Erik Skjoldbjærg's Pioneer, a Norwegian conspiracy thriller set in the 1980s about the beginning of the Norwegian Oil Boom and deep sea divers using "controversial techniques" to extract oil. The cast includes a number of recognizable names and faces, from Wes Bentley to Stephen Lang to Jonathan LaPaglia, and they speak in English most of the time. This actually looks way better than I expected and I'm glad I stumbled across this film, there's just something mysterious and alluring about it. And I'm glad the footage in the trailer actually looks solid. Take a look for yourself below.