Wow. I have to admit, I kinda love this poster. But maybe that's because I have a deep appreciation and love for the Telluride Film Festival, occurring every Labor Day weekend in the remarkably beautiful town of Telluride, Colorado. This year the festival chose Belgian artist Laurent Durieux as the official poster artist of the 2015 festival, and his design is now out. Durieux is one of my favorite artists already - we've featured his work plenty before on the site (The Godfather: Part I & II, It's a Wonderful Life, or Back to the Future Part II). He really captures the vibe of the charming town, which actually looks like it does on this poster, sans bear (see photo here). If this doesn't make you want to attend this festival, I don't know what else will?
"It is something that you in your world would never understand…" Atlas Distribution has debuted a new US trailer for Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert, starring Nicole Kidman as the legendary Gertrude Bell, who was an important figure in Middle East relations in the early 1900s. This isn't the first trailer we've featured, however the other trailer was an international version, this new one has a much more epic, Lawrence of Arabia-esque feel. Which is what they're really selling it like, with Robert Pattinson playing T.E. Lawrence and everything, but it's really a story about Bell's life. The cast includes James Franco, Damian Lewis and Jenny Agutter. This trailer does really give everything its got to try and sell tickets.
La Muerte! I'm really loving the marketing for this movie. The latest artwork to debut for the upcoming thriller Sicario, directed by Denis Villeneuve and starring Emily Blunt, was designed in the style of loteria cards from Mexico (a game like bingo but with symbols on cards). The film takes place mostly around Mexico, examining the relationship between US government agents and drug cartels in Mexico. There are two excellent themed posters, then three more for some of the main cast: Emily Blunt es La Soldado ("the Soldier"), Benicio Del Toro es La Muerte ("Death") and Josh Brolin es El Araña ("the Spider"). I really like how striking and unique the marketing is, and the film looks great (trailer). Can't wait to see it myself.
"Is that all you've got?" Amplify Releasing has debuted the official US trailer for Xavier Dolan's other film Tom at the Farm, which he wrote and directed (and starred in) back in 2013. The film first premiered at festivals two years ago and has been waiting for a US release ever since, despite hitting theaters in Canada and Europe in spring of 2014 (and in the meantime releasing his other film Mommy). Dolan stars as Tom, a grieving man who heads to a rural farm to meet his lover's family. It's a very mysterious, quirky, odd, but beautiful thriller of sorts. We featured another trailer for this two years ago, but this new one is also worth watching. Co-starring Pierre-Yves Cardinal, Lise Roy & Evelyne Brochu. This one is recommended.
"I'm offering you Manhattan champ, don't play hard to get." Screen Media has debuted an official trailer for Ten Thousand Saints, from writers/directors Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini (of American Splendor, The Nanny Diaries, Girl Most Likely), starring Ethan Hawke and Asa Butterfield. Hawke plays an estranged father who suddenly "kidnaps" his emo-punk son and takes him to New York City, where he experiences a whole coming-of-age on the streets of Manhattan with new friends. The film is set in the 80's around the punk rock scene and it seems to have a killer soundtrack, of which many of the reviews quoted rave about. Hailee Steinfeld also stars along with Emile Hirsch and Emily Mortimer. They give away a lot (too much) in this trailer, but it actually looks pretty good. "Have you ever heard of punk?"
"For the first time, I'm a little bit optimistic you might not become that creepy guy." IFC Films has debuted the first trailer for Sleeping with Other People, a Sundance comedy that was one of our favorites of this festival earlier this year. Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie star as two compulsive cheaters who end up in a relationship, but will it work out from them? This actually looks really good, don't skip it. Sleeping with Other People is the follow-up from Bachelorette filmmaker Leslye Headland, and it seems to be a very big improvement. Adam Scott, Amanda Peet & Natasha Lyonne also star. Ethan wrote in his review from Sundance that it's "one of the most entertaining and honest love stories of the past 10 years." Check it out.
"Screw you, Grandma!" Sony Pictures Classics has debuted the trailer for Paul Weitz's Grandma, starring Lily Tomlin as a feisty grandma who spends a day trying to round up cash with her granddaughter, played by Julia Garner. Marcia Gay Harden and Judy Greer also co-star. This film actually premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and also played at the Tribeca Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival & Los Angeles Film Festival. I'm not sure how many people it will connect with, as some of the scenes look like they may be a bit grating, but others may find some charm in this quirky indie comedy. Give it a watch.
"Don't give each other secret looks!" The Film Arcade has debuted the full trailer for Jim Strouse's People, Places, Things, starring Jemaine Clement as a graphic novel artist/teacher struggling with his life as a single father. Jim Strouse is the very talented filmmaker who brought us Grace is Gone and The Winning Season, two other Sundance gems from a few years back (if you haven't seen either yet, please go watch both of them right away). This new film also stars Regina Hall, Jessica Williams and Stephanie Allynne. I saw this at Sundance and it's really, really good. Nothing groundbreaking, but just a feel good charmer that will leave you with a smile and some optimism. This is a lovely trailer for a movie I hope doesn't get ignored.
"We determine the truth." I really, really dug this film - my review from the Berlin Film Festival premiere. StudioCanal UK has debuted a trailer for Oliver Hirschbiegel's 13 Minutes, a fantastic film about the man who almost killed Hitler. In 1939, a lively carpenter from Germany named Georg Elser built a bomb from materials he could find and planted it at a venue Hitler was about to speak at. The event ended early, and Hitler left the building 13 minutes before the bomb went off, escaping narrowly. The film profiles Elser, played by Christian Friedel, and his time before the war, exploring his motives and desires for this plot. It's a nice trailer for a great film, and I hope it gets a US release date soon. Because I want to see it again.
"Every step in the desert, life and fire claim me… And I'm consumed." An international trailer has recently debuted for Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert, the German filmmaker's latest fictional feature film, about Gertrude Bell. Not to be confused with The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, this "Queen of the Desert" was a very well-educated, vivacious, ambitious woman who became an important political player in the Middle East in the 1920s, helping establish the Hashemite dynasties in what is today Jordan as well as in Iraq. Nicole Kidman stars as Gertrude Bell, and James Franco and Robert Pattinson play two of her suitors. It's not the best film (it first premiered at Berlinale) but Bell is a very interesting person.
"Under no circumstances whatsoever are you to physically assault the prisoners in any way." IFC Films has debuted the trailer for The Stanford Prison Experiment, an adaptation of the seminal psychological experiment conducted in the early 70s. The movie tries to replicate and tell the full story without holding back. The impressive ensemble cast includes: Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller, Michael Angarano, Tye Sheridan, Thomas Mann, Keir Gilchrist, Johnny Simmons & Olivia Thirlby. All of them give great performances, which is what makes this such a great film to watch. It truly is so unsettling and disturbing at times you forget you're watching a movie, and just hope everyone makes it out okay. Give this trailer a look.
Everyone once in a while I'll come across some marketing material that really impresses me. Even if the film doesn't look good, or the rest of the material is off, there may be one shining example of excellence and it's worth pointing out. This is an example of an excellent poster. SlashFilm has debuted the new poster for Advantageous, an indie sci-fi drama from first-time filmmaker Jennifer Phang. The film unfortunately got terrible buzz at Sundance (I actually skipped it despite having a ticket thanks to warnings from multiple friends) but this poster has made me interested once again. I still may check it out. I like the design, the cityscape and background, it's sleek and eye-catching which is good for indie films that need extra attention.
"No longer confined to Earth, now we have learned to fly…" StudioCanal UK has debuted a trailer for The Program, the Lance Armstrong film from Stephen Frears. Originally it was going to be a biopic, but after all the fallout it seems to have shifted to a story of "how he pulled that off", coming from the angle of one of the other racers and the journalist who was trying to find out the truth - David Walsh, as played by Chris O'Dowd. Actor Ben Foster plays Lance Armstrong, and he looks solid, everything I was expecting and more. I'm really looking forward to this, I want to see what sides of this story they play with, and this trailer is a big tease. The cast includes Lee Pace, Jesse Plemons and Guillaume Canet. Give this a look.
Finally. Hopefully. Maybe it will be out this year. Fingers crossed. We've been following this film since the very early days of FirstShowing - originally called just '77, then retitled to 5-25-77, with releases planned for years but nothing actually ever happening. Patrick Read Johnson's 5-25-77 is a coming-of-age indie set around the opening of the original Star Wars on the big screen on May 25th, 1977. Apparently the film is finally being finished, a distributor is place, and it will be out later this year - or so Patrick Read Johnson told Yahoo (via SlashFilm). "I can tell you that the film will come out in theaters on a significant date," he hints, but that won't be on the same day as The Force Awakens in December, so it has to be another time.