ENJOY THE SHOW
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!"
"Cut him down for me, expertly." As you wish, master. Well Go USA has debuted the official US trailer for Hou Hsiao-hsien's The Assassin, starring Taiwanese actress Shu Qi as an assassin who must return to her hometown and kill the man she loves. The cast includes Chang Chen and Satoshi Tsumabuki. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and has been playing to rave reviews at fests like Sydney, TIFF, and Busan. It's also playing at the New York Film Festival coming up. If quiet, meticulous Taiwanese cinema is your thing, you don't want to miss it. This trailer is an improvement over the first teaser & follow-up. Enjoy.
More Takashi Miike! This guy doesn't ever stop making movies. Miike most recently made the films Shield of Straw and Over Your Dead Body, following 13 Assassins in 2010, and this is his latest work. Yakuza Apocalypse is a genre-mash-up described as a "comedic vampire thriller, a gangster epic, a martial-arts extravaganza and an end-of-the-world spectacle." Apparently it's not as epic and endlessly violent as the title indicates, according to this review: "While on paper seeming like the Takashi Miike-est Takashi Miike film ever, it might be a surprising bummer for the Midnight Madness crowd expecting a kinetic horror-action film. Every shot lasts far longer than expected and with little to no music, creating a stream of silence followed by a burst of action rhythmic pattern." Based on the footage in this trailer, I'm still quite intrigued.
"Everything changed in a blink of an eye." Cohen Media Group has debuted the official US trailer for Deniz Gamze Ergüven's Mustang, a film that premiered at Cannes and has been winning awards at other festivals as it plays this year. Mustang is set in the north of Turkey, about five sisters who "fight back against the limits imposed on them". I've heard some rave reviews about this, including one from Darren Aronofsky who tweeted from TIFF about the film: "holy shit. how good is #mustang !?" From the looks of it, very good. I am more than intrigued by the footage in this trailer, and from here I just can't wait to catch a screening. The film opens in November in select theaters right during the awards season. In the meantime, take a look.
"Tokyo Tribe, never ever die!" Oh yes, it's time. XLrator Media has debuted the official US trailer for one of the wackiest, wildest, most badass action films of last year - Tokyo Tribe, from director Sion Sono. This premiered at Fantastic Fest in 2014, where I raved about it, calling it "totally balls out, insane, wacky and just plain awesome." It's a very campy, very excessively elaborate rap musical set in futuristic Tokyo, with various "Tribes" battling it out over dominance in Tokyo. It's the perfect kind of movie to gather all of your friends on Saturday night, with lots of pizza and beer, to watch. No seriously, this film is just crazy. Enjoy!
"The next time we meet, one of us must die." Well Go USA has unveiled an official US trailer for the Korean martial arts film Memories of the Sword, starring Byung-hun Lee (seen in Terminator: Genisys) and Jeon Do-yeon (seen in The Housemaid) and Kim Go-eun (seen in Monster). The story seems to follow a revenge plot involving a young girl who trains to take on one of the most powerful men and warriors of the Goryo Dynasty. It does look like there are a few epic fight scenes in this, with some stunning slow motion shots. But is it anything more than just a revenge story with some martial arts action? Will anyone find out?
"Go faster and we'll make it, God willing." The first official trailer has debuted via TIFF for the outstanding film Taxi, or Jafar Panahi's Taxi, where Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi takes us for a ride throughout Tehran inside his taxi, picking up all kinds of fun passengers. This won the top prize at the Berlinale Film Festival, the Golden Bear, and that's where I saw it and loved it. It's a fun film and it has a heart aside from the themes it explores through Panahi's lens. This trailer is a quick intro to some of the people he picks up, and the light-hearted feel of the film. This is really one of the best discoveries of the year, so give it a look.
"A love that can't be stopped." The first official US trailer has debuted for Fatih Akin's epic new film The Cut. Starring the very talented Tahir Rahim, seen in A Prophet, The Eagle and The Past, set in 1915 a man survives the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire, but loses his family, speech and faith. One night he learns that his twin daughters may be alive, and goes on a quest to find them leading him all the way to America. This looks quite magnificent, despite mixed reviews. I love the shot of him watching the Chaplin movie and getting emotional and inspired by that. The cast includes Simon Abkarian, Makram Khoury, Hindi Zahra & Kevork Malikyan. You might not want to miss this one. I'm looking forward to seeing it.
"Emotionally Powerful. Richly Nuanced." Sony Pictures Classics has unveiled the official US poster for Zhang Yimou's Coming Home, a very moving, emotional drama about two lovers in China trying to remember each other. Lu and Feng are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. He finally returns home only to find that his wife cannot remember him, though he desperately tries to make her remember. I really love this film, and I just want to support it and remind people that it's finally hitting US theaters coming later this fall. There have been plenty of trailers already - seen here, here & here - plus my review from Cannes last year.