"Where is she?" Lionsgate has released the first trailer for the directional debut of actor Ewan McGregor, an adaption of the Philip Roth novel American Pastoral, about a family in the 1960s that falls apart when their daughter disappears after being accused of committing a violent act. This is actually the second film this year based on a Philip Roth story, the other being the excellent film Indignation which first premiered at Sundance. McGregor stars in this, with Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Connelly, Uzo Aduba, Molly Parker, Rupert Evans, Valorie Curry and David Strathairn. This looks like a very strong directorial debut from McGregor, and I'm quite curious to see it. I like the music and the way the story reveals itself.
"To watch a strong man broken down is a terrible thing." Fox Searchlight has debuted the full theatrical trailer for Nate Parker's The Birth of a Nation, the award-winning film from Sundance this year about a slave uprising. The first trailer was powerful, but this one is even better. The cast includes Aunjanue Ellis, Armie Hammer, Jackie Earle Haley, Gabrielle Union, Mark Boone Junior, Penelope Ann Miller and Aja Naomi King. I raved about this film at Sundance, and I'm waiting for it to connect with audiences worldwide when it opens. The song they're using for these trailers is lovely, and it adds an extra amount of emotional power. It's one of the best films this year and I recommend catching this in theaters.
"The score is a huge part of the movie." A24 has released a new featurette on the making of the score for the craziest corpse movie of the summer, Swiss Army Man, directed by "The Daniels" - Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert. The music in the film is by Andy Hull & Robert McDowell, of the band known as Manchester Orchestra. They're also releasing a song in conjunction with the film called "Montage", featuring vocals by stars Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe, which is heard a bit in this new featurette. I'm glad that A24 is profiling different aspects of this film, since there's so much of it that is original, including the score (as they explain in this). If you aren't yet sold on this unique film, maybe these kind of featurettes will help. Enjoy.
"You're hired." A24 has launched the first outstanding trailer for the acclaimed new film from filmmaker Andrea Arnold, titled American Honey. This first played at the Cannes Film Festival (read my glowing review) where it received lots of positive reviews and won the Jury Prize. The film stars newcomer Sasha Lane as a teenager who joins a traveling magazine sales crew, and falls for Shia LaBeouf while trying to navigate a life of partying and passion and jealousy. Also starring McCaul Lombardi, Arielle Holmes, Crystal Ice and Riley Keough. This trailer reveals lots but it also perfectly captures the vibe of this film and why it's so brilliant, since it truly is a masterwork capturing the lives of this generation of youngsters.
"How far would you go for family?" Cohen Media Group will be releasing the indie drama Les Cowboys starting this week in the US - check out the trailer and see the film. The modern French western is inspired by John Ford's masterpiece The Searchers, about a family that goes out desperately searching for a missing daughter taken from their prairie town in the east of France. John C. Reilly appears as "L'Américain", but it also stars François Damiens, Finnegan Oldfield, Agathe Dronne, Jean-Louis Coulloc'h, Ellora Torchia, Gilles Treton, Mounir Margoum, and many others. This looks quite impressive, and it looks like they end up somewhere in the Middle East, with excellent cinematography capturing all the locations.
"Sounds to me like he done bamboozled you." eOne and Momentum have released this official US trailer for the indie western Outlaws and Angels, which first premiered at Sundance earlier this year. From director JT Mollner, the film is about a group of outlaws who try to seek revenge when a gang of criminals attack a local family. The full cast includes Chad Michael Murray, Francesca Eastwood, Madisen Beaty, Ben Browder, Frances Fisher, Keith Loneker, Luke Wilson and Teri Polo. This actually looks more like something Tarantino would appreciate than a full-on western, with a big twist revealed in the trailer. Enjoy.
"On the road is where I really come alive." eOne Entertainment in the UK has debuted another new trailer for Ricky Gervais' latest film, David Brent: Life of the Road, bringing his character from "The Office" to the big screen. The film follows Gervais as David Brent, who has turned to the life of being a rockstar in a band called "Foregone Conclusion". The first trailer didn't show too much, but this one has plenty of laughs to offer. The cast includes Tom Bennett, Jo Hartley, Mandeep Dhillon and Rebecca Gethings. For those wondering when they'll be able to see this in the US, Netflix will apparently be releasing this in early 2017. The trailer has a few fun moments but nothing that made me laugh out loud. Not too sure about this.
"I was a carpenter! … I'm just goin' round in circles…" Entertainment One in the UK has debuted an official trailer for Ken Loach's new film titled I, Daniel Blake, which ended up winning the coveted Palme d'Or (the top prize) at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Dave Johns stars as Daniel Blake, an aging man living in the UK who must file for pension and benefits from the country after losing his job. He befriends a new neighbor, Katie played by Hayley Squires, a single mother having trouble making ends meet. It's a strong film with very poignant commentary on the social-political troubles arising in the UK at the moment. You'll understand what's going on in this trailer, and get a glimpse at one of the best moments in the film. Enjoy.
They aren't just shoes. Focus Features has debuted a trailer for a film called Kicks, from director Justin Tipping about a teen from the Bay Area whose favorite pair of shoes get stolen and he decides to embark on a mission to retrieve them. Newcomer Jahking Guillory stars as Brandon, the teen who leads the mission, with a cast including Christopher Jordan Wallace, Christopher Meyer, Kofi Siriboe, Mahershala Ali and Molly Shaiken. The film originally premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this year, where it won Best Cinematography - you can see why from this footage. This looks pretty damn good, I'm surprised I haven't heard more about it until now, but thanks to a great trailer it's now on my radar. Check it out below.
"You ever do that? Visual something about the future…" Check out this trailer for a very small independent film called Counter Clockwise, an example of compelling sci-fi being made on a shoestring budget. The film is sci-fi thriller meets dark comedy about a scientist who accidentally invents time travel and is zapped six months into the future. He finds himself in a twisted time where his wife and sister are murdered and he's the main suspect. It kind of has a Brick meets Primer vibe to it, and I'm quite interested to see the entire thing. Lots of fancy panning shots. Starring Michael Kopelow, Devon Ogden, Kerry Knuppe, Joy Rinaldi, Caleb Brown and Frank Simms. Give it a look below and tell us if you're intrigued as well.
IFC has debuted an official trailer for Todd Solondz's new film Wiener-Dog, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year. Unfortunately the film was hated by pretty much everyone who saw it, including everyone I know with maybe one or two exceptions. Then again, this is kind of filmmaking that Solondz is known for, with deadpan dark humor and melodramatic scenes that don't amount to much. The cast of Wiener-Dog includes Ellen Burstyn, Kieran Culkin, Julie Delpy, Danny DeVito, Greta Gerwig, Tracy Letts, and Zosia Mamet. However, the film's real star is the adorable dachshund dog, who changes the lives of all the various people she meets throughout her life. As charming as that synopsis sounds, don't be fooled by it.
"Real rock & roll music is heat and motion and intensity, it's channeling the beast from within." IFC Films has debuted a trailer for the indie drama Len and Company, starring Rhys Ifans as a rock star turned in-demand pop producer who has a meltdown and retreats to upstate New York. His peace is interrupted by the appearance of his estranged son, played by Jack Kilmer, and up-and-coming pop star Zoe, played by Juno Temple, who try to shake "the prickly Len out of his stupor". The full cast includes Keir Gilchrist, Kathryn Hahn, Elias Toufexis, and Tyler Hynes. This looks solid, with a great performance from Ifans.
What are the best films out of this year's Cannes Film Festival? Which ones should you be taking an interest in? What are the priorities? After 12 days at the 69th Cannes Film Festival, after 28 screenings, it's time to present my 2016 list of my Top 7 Favorite Films. I love Cannes and this year it was a particularly fantastic year of films, with so many that will stick with me well beyond the festival. Many of these will be well received outside of the festival, too. Jim Jarmusch's Paterson is already one of my all-time favorites, seriously, it's a perfect film and I went to see it twice because I'm so in love with it. There are many others worth checking out, and this is my final recap of the festival (with a full list of all the films I saw at the end).
"How far does a scream travel out here, Wyatt?" "Not too far…" IFC Midnight has debuted the trailer for the "pure-pulp thrill ride" Carnage Park, directed by Mickey Keating. The film premiered in the Midnight section at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and is described as a "gritty, grisly homage to the glory days of grindhouse cinema." Carnage Park features Ashley Bell and Pat Healy as well as James Landry Hébert and Michael Villar. This trailer definitely has a grindhouse vibe with the saturated look, and seems like a great film to see at midnight in some old junky theater with a big bag of popcorn. Dive in.