ENJOY THE SHOW
"What the hell does he know about film?!" Wow, this looks wacky. Strand Releasing put out this new trailer and official poster for Peter Greenway's Eisenstein in Guanajuato, a film about Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein traveling down to Mexico in 1931 to shoot a new film. Elmer Bäck plays Sergei Eisenstein, and Luis Alberti plays his guide Palomino Cañedo, and the cast includes Maya Zapata, Lisa Owen, Stelio Savante. I can't really tell if I'm into this or not. It truly looks "wonderfully mind-boggling", as one of the quotes in this trailer states, I just hope it makes some sense. The footage is definitely appealing, and some of the shots got my attention. It's a very captivating, very mesmerizing trailer that pulls you into the journey, and makes you want to see more of this story about his wacky, wild 10 days in Mexico. Take a look below.
"Lord Ganesh, spare us misfortune, make things go well here." Transmission Films in the UK has debuted a trailer for Jacques Audiard's Dheepan, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival last year (2015). The film is slated for release in the US this April, but for now this trailer comes from the UK and shares footage from what some are calling a masterpiece. Jesuthasan Antonythasan stars as Dheepan, a Sri Lankan Tamil warrior who flees their Civil War, ending up France. He takes two strangers with him and they struggle to make a home in a housing project outside Paris. This looks better then many are expecting, so I hope people give it a chance and watch this. Audiard is an exceptional filmmaker, and always impresses.
"Before he can become a warrior, a man has to leave everything behind and go into the jungle, guided only by his dreams." Oscilloscope has released an official trailer for the film Embrace of the Serpent, the official Oscar Foreign Language entry this year from Colombia. It's a mesmerizing B&W feature described as a "violent, psychedelic film about colonization". The story follows two real explorers from history, Theodor Koch-Grünberg played by Jan Bijvoet and Richard Evan Schultes played by Brionne Davis, who travel through the Colombian Amazon in search of the sacred and difficult-to-find psychedelic Yakruna plant. This looks like an immersive and particularly unique storytelling experience, you might want to give this a watch.
"Why is everyone on this island addicted to drama?" Magnolia Pictures has debuted a trailer for the Cuban drag queen drama Viva, starring actor Héctor Medina as Jesus, a young hairdresser who dreams of being a drag performer. The film played to some solid reviews at the Telluride Film Festival last year, and looks like an upbeat, energetic film about finding your true self. One review from The Playlist notes "how the director captures the rhythm of Jesus' life in the city, chronicling his poverty, and conveying his dignity" and says it features "strong performances by its three leads". Not everyone is going to be into this, but it's worth giving a shot, as this trailer really sells it well. There's more to this story, including the electric vibe of Cuba.
Whoa! What the heck is this? Every once in a while, Russia produces a movie that actually makes the rest of the world take notice. I still can't forget that magical flying car movie a few years back (Black Lightning) known as Russia's Transformers. The next production we're curious about is a film called Zaschitniki, a Russian superhero feature about four different super-powered humans. This trailer came out in May of last year but we only just now came across it thanks to io9. It's only a teaser and they don't show too much, but it is an appealing first look, and with this early concept art for it I'm certainly intrigued. I want to see more.
"Daddy will make you lots of dollars!" Kino Lorber has debuted a new official US trailer for veteran Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke's latest film, titled Mountains May Depart. This film premiered at Cannes in May and played at a bunch of prestigious festivals through the year. I saw it at the New York Film Festival and was taken back by it, still impacted by the audacity of the story. Set in China and Australia, the film is a tryptich that follows a few people across three different periods of time - showing how China has devolved into a culture of materialism and how this will affect relationships and human connection in the long run. It stars Zhao Tao, Zhang Yi & Liang Jingdong. Anyone in search of bold storytelling should take a look at this.
"You and I both know why the brothers are here…" Music Box Films has debuted an official US trailer for Pablo Larraín's new film The Club, known as El Club when it originally premiered at the Berlinale Film Festival. This might be an interesting double feature with the excellent Spotlight, considering it also deals with abusive Catholic priests, these ones hiding out in a small town in Chile. The film won the Silver Bear in Berlin, and earned rave reviews as follow-up to Larraín's No from 2013. I saw The Club in Berlin and was very impressed, it's a dark, captivating film that daring cinephiles should seek out. Give the trailer a watch.
The first teaser trailer has debuted for French director Lucile Hadzihalilovic's new film Evolution, which premiered at TIFF to some very interesting reviews. One review says it's a "silly horror movie at heart" that seems to "confuse 'ideas' with 'prolonged silences'", hence the very mesmerizing and haunting footage in this trailer. In the film, Max Brebant stars as Nicholas, a boy living in a mysterious, isolated seaside clinic who uncovers the sinister purposes of his keepers. It seems to be a very peculiar film with lots of prolonged shots of things happening that are supposed to tell a twisted story. I'm really not sure what to make of this.
This is one of the films that I will be putting on my Top 10 list this year, so make sure you find a way to see it. Sony Pictures Classics has debuted the full US trailer for the Holocaust film Son of Saul, directed by Hungarian filmmaker László Nemes (read my interview with László). The film follows one man, played by Géza Röhrig, who is one of the "Sonderkommando" assisting with the work in the camp for extra time alive at a concentration camp during WWII. It's a harrowing, but stunning masterpiece of a film, that pretty much every critic has been raving about. The film is also only playing in 35mm on film wherever it shows, and it is worth seeking out. I really mean that, it comes highly recommended from every film lover I know.
The legend continues this January… Well Go USA has debuted the first US teaser trailer for Ip Man 3, the latest sequel in the Ip Man martial arts series starring Donnie Yen (appearing in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2) as the martial arts grandmaster Yip Man, who taught Bruce Lee. This time he comes face to face, literally, with "Iron" Mike Tyson for a fight. There isn't any dialogue in this teaser, but there is a whole crapload of kick ass action teases. The cast includes Patrick Tam, Lynn Hung, Kent Cheng and Kwok-Kwan Chan. This is worth a watch just to get a glimpse at some of the amazing martial arts action in this! If you're already a fan of this series, don't miss out on more.
"Let's put a stop to this nonsense!" Cohen Media Group has debuted an official US trailer for the Icelandic dark comedy Rams, from writer/director Grímur Hákonarson. The film is also Iceland's entry into the Oscars this year, and they're banking on it so much the film is set for release in February right after the nominations but before the awards hit. The film premiered at Cannes, played at Telluride, Vancouver, Toronto and many other film festivals, and comes with rave reviews that are quoted numerous times in this trailer. The film is about two brothers, named Gummi and Kiddi played by Sigurður Sigurjónsson and Theodór Júlíusson, respectively, who are rural sheep farmers in Iceland that run into trouble when some of their sheep are sick. It's a great film and comes highly recommended if you're into Icelandic dark comedy.
"You demon!" Shout Factory has debuted the official trailer for the upcoming US release of Takashi Miike's Over Your Dead Body, a film he made in-between Shield of Straw and Yakuza Apocalypse (which just premiered at Cannes). This film premiered in Japan in 2014 and is just getting a release early in 2016, but if you're into trippy supernatural Japanese horror, give this a look. The story involves an actress and her lover cast in a play, caught between reality and fantasy on stage. It's apparently described as a "mixture of high and low art" reminiscent of Miike's Audition. Ko Shibasaki stars, with Hitomi Katayama, Hideaki Itô and Ebizô Ichikawa. The doll in this looks crazy creepy, as they do, but I'm not so sure about the rest of it.
"Where did you hide Kanako?" Drafthouse Films recently put out a funky full theatrical trailer for Tetsuya Nakashima's The World of Kanako, the crazy bloody, high-energy Japanese action thriller described as a "non-stop visual and emotional assault to the senses". Nana Komatsu stars as Kanako Fujishima, the daughter of an ex-detective named Akikazu, played by Kôji Yakusho. She goes missing and he goes after her, ending up in some twisted, trippy violent (under)world. I really like the music choice in this, something unique and fresh, and it goes a long way to make us ignore the extreme violence we're otherwise witnessing. If you're into ultra violent Japanese thrillers about a father looking for his missing daughter, here you go.
Shock Therapy Entertainment. Drafthouse Films has debuted a very amusing new teaser trailer for the wacky Japanese film The World of Kanako, starring Nana Komatsu as Kanako Fujishima. This electric, high-energy mystery thriller is actually about her father, an ex-detective named Akikazu, played by Kôji Yakusho, who goes looking for Kanako when she goes missing and discovers her "mysterious secret life". Kanako is described as "a non-stop visual and emotional assault to the senses," and you oh boy can you get a taste of that in this trailer. This is like Crank x100. Not everyone is going to be down for this, but a few of you may be. Warning - there's lots of crazy, crazy violence, so grab a poncho and dive right in. "I'll find her!"