"Give me the strength to get through the next three days, please." Roadside Attractions has debuted the first teaser trailer for a holiday-themed, wild indie comedy titled The Oath, the feature directorial debut of actor-writer-comedian Ike Barinholtz. Barinholtz also stars in this as Chris, married to a woman named Kai, as played by Tiffany Haddish. The film is set around Thanksgiving time and is about a controversial White House policy that turns family member against family member. Described as a "savagely funny dark comedy about surviving life and Thanksgiving in the age of political tribalism." Bring it on. The cast includes Billy Magnussen, John Cho, Meredith Hagner, Carrie Brownstein, Nora Dunn, Jon Barinholtz, Chris Ellis, and Priah Ferguson. This looks hilarious! I'm anxious to see more, it's totally uncomfortable yet also the kind of comedy we really need right now. Haddish & Barinholtz look pretty much perfect in this.
"Although I don't know quite what's going on, I'm having a great time, Lulu." Universal + Content Group have unveiled the first official trailer for a bizarre, funky, indie comedy titled An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn, which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, then also played at the Rotterdam and Galway Film Festivals. This is the second film by Jim Hosking and the follow-up to his uber-weird The Greasy Strangler from a few years ago. Aubrey Plaza stars as Lulu Danger, whose unsatisfying marriage takes a turn for the worse when a mysterious man from her past comes to town to perform an event called "An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn; For One Magical Night Only." The eccentric cast includes Jemaine Clement, Emile Hirsch, Craig Robinson, Matt Berry, Maria Bamford, Sky Elobar, and Jacob Wysocki. This is all just way too weird for me, but I do appreciate the unabashed originality in here.
"We are having a summer fling." Vertical Entertainment has debuted an official trailer for an indie romance Cruise, the latest feature directed by screenwriter Robert D. Siegel (of The Wrestler and The Founder; who also directed Big Fan in 2009). Set in the 1980s in the Northeast, Cruise is about a young Italian-American from the "wrong side of the tracks" who falls for a nice Jewish girl from Long Island during one summer. The film stars as Emily Ratajkowski as Jessica, and Spencer Boldman as Gio, along with Kathrine Narducci, Sebastian Maniscalco, Noah Robbins, Gino Cafarelli, Jen Cohn, Lucas Salvagno, Al Linea, and Quinn Meyers. This has pumpin' music and so much slickness to it, total trip back to the 80s.
"Time and Space constrain us, but they also define who we are, creating inexplicable bonds with the others that flow with us at the same time and through the same places." Netflix has revealed the first teaser trailer for Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón's latest film, titled simply Roma. This B&W feature will premiere at the Venice Film Festival in a few weeks, and is said to Cuarón's most personal work to date, taking us back to the community where he grew up in and the experiences from his childhood. Roma is a story that chronicles a year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s. Starring Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey, Carlos Peralta, Marco Graf, Daniela Demesa, Nancy García García, and Andy Cortés. It's described as "an intimate, gut-wrenching and ultimately life-affirming portrait of the ways, small and large, one family maintains its balance in a time of personal, social and political strife." One of my most anticipated films this year. Get ready for more Cuarón.
"You keep being honest! What's a matter with you?" The Orchard has released an official trailer for an indie comedy titled All About Nina, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a provocative stand-up comedian named Nina Geld working her way close to breaking out. After getting an audition, she decides to head to LA and encounters a nice new guy named Rafe, while running into old problems with her ex. The cast includes Common as Rafe, Chace Crawford as Joe, plus Camryn Manheim, Jay Mohr, Mindy Sterling, Angelique Cabral, Clea DuVall, Kate del Castillo, and Beau Bridges. We've seen a few great stand-up comic indie films recently (Don't Think Twice) but it's always good to see another. Especially since they usually to go to very raw, personal places and it's refreshing to see them use comedy to work through issues.
"There are some good things that came out of the 90s…" Gravitas Ventures has released an official trailer for an indie drama titled Alright Now, formerly titled Songbird. This just premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival and will be hitting theaters + VOD next month, not too long of a wait to watch. Completely improvised and directed by Jamie Adams (Black Mountain Poets), Alright Now is a feel-good comedy about love, life and the search for new beginnings. Cobie Smulders stars as a 90s rock star who enrolls in a local college after her band falls apart. The full cast includes Richard Elis and Jessica Hynes, with Griffin Dunne, Noel Clarke, Holli Dempsey, and Mandeep Dhillon. I dig the super casual, mumblecore feel to this film. Seems like this has some charm and wisdom to offer, might be a good watch sometime. Check it.
"Ray - what the bloody hell's been going on?!" Check out the first trailer for an indie drama titled Ray & Liz that just premiered at the Locarno Film Festival earlier this month. Ray & Liz is the feature directorial debut of an acclaimed photographer named Richard Billingham, a Turner Prize-nominated artist based in the UK. Justin Salinger (from Crowhurst) and Ella Smith (from Hot Property) star as a married couple in Birmingham who live on the margins of society. The indie UK cast includes Michelle Bonnard, James Eeles, Sam Gittins, and Andrew Jefferson-Tierney. Ray & Liz is based on Billingham's own memories of his parents and his childhood growing up in a Birmingham council flat. This looks extra artsy, but I really dig the offbeat cinematography. BFI's review says it's "brutal, tender and bleakly funny," calling it an "off-kilter, obliquely topical portrait of how grinding poverty begets dysfunction." Our first look below.
"Why are you helping Israel?" Netflix has debuted an official trailer for a spy thriller titled The Angel, the latest feature from Israeli director Ariel Vromen (Danika, The Iceman, Criminal). Not to be confused with Luis Ortega's film El Angel (also the same title), which premiered at Cannes this year, this tells a different story about an Egyptian spy who helped save Israel. The Angel stars Marwan Kenzari as Ashraf Marwan, Egyptian President Nasser's son-in-law and one of Israeli Intelligence's most precious assets. Also starring Toby Kebbell, Hannah Ware, Waleed Farouq Zuaiter, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Sasson Gabay, Miki Leon, Ori Pfeffer, and Slimane Daz. This looks solid, featuring slick filmmaking and thrilling espionage.
"I just want us to be on the same team" Good Deed Ent. has released an official trailer for an indie dramedy titled After Everything, which first premiered at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year. The film is about two people who fall in love, Mia and Elliot, but must deal with the challenges of life when Elliot is diagnosed with cancer. Maika Monroe and Jeremy Allen White star as the couple, and the cast includes Marisa Tomei, Gina Gershon, Olivia Luccardi, Dean Winters, Joe Keery, and Sasha Lane. This looks like an emotional, enriching story of love, and how it keeps these two together and happy even against all odds. I like that this has comedy and angst, and isn't a sad drama, because this kind of story needs levity.
"Dance is everything. It's all I have." A24 has unveiled an energetic, mesmerizing official trailer for the film Climax, the latest feature from controversial, visionary, wacky French filmmaker Gaspar Noé (of I Stand Alone, Irreversible, Enter the Void, Love). This premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year to a whole bunch of buzz, with early reviews ranging from terrible to absolutely amazing, most of them at least praising the impressive dance choreography featured throughout (read my review here). Climax is about a troupe of dancers locked up in a cabin finishing rehearsal performances, who start to lose their mind once the after party begins. Starring Sofia Boutella and a cast of professional dancers, "Climax is Noé's most brazen and visionary statement yet." This is such a trippy, flashy trailer for this super artsy film. Turn it up.
"Say whatever you gotta say to close the deal, don't you?" RLJ Ent. has released the official trailer for an indie dark comedy action film titled Arizona, which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year in the Midnight category. Arizona is directed by filmmaker Jonathan Watson, who has previously worked as an assistant director for Michael Bay, John McTiernan, Frank Darabont, Damien Chazelle, Phil Lord & Chris Miller, and many others. Set in the midst of the 2009 housing crisis, this darkly comedic story follows Cassie Fowler, a single mom and struggling realtor whose life goes off the rails when she witnesses a murder. Rosemarie DeWitt stars, along with Danny McBride, Luke Wilson, Kaitlin Olson, David Alan Grier, and Elizabeth Gillies. This looks like a wild & crazy good time, it's definitely worth a watch.
"This mission requires that we stay cool." GVN Releasing has debuted the official US trailer for a conspiracy thriller titled just Armed, which will finally be available in theaters + on VOD starting this September. The film is written, directed by, and stars Afro-Mexican actor Mario Van Peebles, who plays a US Marshall struggling to put his life together after a raid gone wrong. A colleague reappears in his life and explains all of the survivors of his unit are suffering the same symptoms and there may be a larger conspiracy at hand. Also starring Ryan Guzman, Columbus Short, Jemma Dallender, Laz Alonso, and William Fichtner. From the looks of it, this has way more action than is necessary for this story, plus way too much intensity.