"Your innocence will never abandon you…" Focus World has debuted a brand new official US trailer for Natalie Portman's directorial debut, a drama called A Tale of Love and Darkness, set against the backdrop of the end of the British Mandate for Palestine and the early years of the State of Israel. Natalie Portman plays Fania Oz, the mother of Amos Oz, a person from real life who eventually becomes a writer, journalist, and advocate of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The film focuses mostly on his youth and his relationship with his mother. The cast includes Amir Tessler as the young Amos Oz, as well as Gilad Kahana, Ohad Knoller, Makram Khoury and Rotem Keinan. This looks powerful with some stunning cinematography by Slawomir Idziak (of Black Hawk Down, Gattaca). Have a look below.
"We're going to use his space movie to make sure the real space movie looks like space. Do you understand how crazy that is?!" Lionsgate has released a trailer for an indie called Operation Avalanche, billed as a documentary (even though it's a fictional found footage feature) about the people who faked the moon landing. This trailer is perfectly timed as today (July 21st) is the 47th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon. This film first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and it's a fun conspiracy theory thriller with some impressive low budget work. The filmmaking is outstanding and I can't wait to see where director Matt Johnson goes in his career. It stars Johnson Owen Williams as two CIA agents who end up in a conspiracy theory faking the moon landing since NASA can't pull it off. You just have to see this for yourself.
"They said that they'd kill my entire family… They even sent me a picture of my mom at the post office – you tell me what you would do?" Samuel Goldwyn Films has released an official trailer for an indie film called Transpecos, a tense thriller about Border Patrol agents that first premiered at SXSW. The cast features Johnny Simmons, Gabriel Luna, Clifton Collins Jr., David Acord and Oscar Avila. Three Border Patrol agents operate a remote checkpoint in the desert, and things get tense once they discover what's inside one car that appears. This took filmmaker Greg Kwedar six years to make, in hopes of telling human stories caught within the balance. This is a solid trailer, I like that it ends on a very tense moment.
"Mom said things haven't been great." Sony Pictures Classics has unveiled a trailer for The Hollars, the indie comedy directed by actor John Krasinski, who also stars in the film. Similar to the other indie Other People, the story is about a son who returns home to spend time with his mother who has been diagnosed with cancer, and along the way deals with some of his own life problems. The ensemble cast includes Anna Kendrick, Richard Jenkins, Charlie Day, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Mary Kay Place, Margo Martindale, Josh Groban, Sharlto Copley and Randall Park. This wasn't really one of my favorites out of Sundance, but it has some charm to it, and the cast is fun together. You can see what it's about below.
"Leave whenever you want, leave anytime you want…" Netflix has released the official trailer for a new indie feature it produced called Rebirth, from filmmaker Karl Mueller. The film is about an old friend who surprisingly shows up out of nowhere and convinces Kyle, played by Fran Kranz, to participate in a "self-actualization program" called Rebirth. As expected, it turns out this program is more of a cult and it's not exactly what it seems. The cast includes Adam Goldberg, Kat Foster, Nicky Whelan, Harry Hamlin, Andrew J. West, Sheryl Lee, Pat Healy, and Steve Agee. This looks quite intriguing, but I don't know how much more it has to say about cults that hasn't been covered in other films recently. Get a taste below.
FilmRise has debuted a new trailer for an indie called White Girl, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year, the first feature from director Elizabeth Wood. In the film, Morgan Saylor stars as a "white girl" who falls for a guy and desperately tries to keep him in her life. The cast includes Brian Marc, Justin Bartha, Adrian Martinez, India Menuez, Anthony Ramos and Chris Noth. This trailer is red band because it shows how wild this film is - tons of drug use, lots of sex in a story about a young woman trying to figure out who she is. I didn't hear many positive things about this, only that there's lots of drugs.
"I get to see my whole world at dinner tonight." Vertical Entertainment has unveiled a trailer for the indie comedy Other People, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on opening night this year. Starring Jesse Plemons and Molly Shannon, the film is about a gay comedy writer who travels home after breaking up with his boyfriend to take care of his mother who learns she's sick with cancer. That may not sound like a comedy, but that's part of the brilliance of this film, as it balances heart and humor in a very mature and entertaining way. The full cast includes Zach Woods, Bradley Whitford, June Squibb, and Judd Apatow's daughter Maude Apatow. One of the better films out of Sundance this year worth watching.
"I'm your father - it's my job to protect you!" A new trailer has been revealed for the indie thriller Edge of Winter, about an estranged father who takes his two youngs son on a hunting trip into the woods in the middle of winter. Young actor Tom Holland (who plays Peter Parker / Spider-Man in Civil War and the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming) stars, along with Percy Hynes White, Joel Kinnaman, Rachelle Lefevre and Shiloh Fernandez. I'm not sure what to make of this film, it looks like it has some strong performances but I feel like I'm just going to get more and more fearful for the kids as the film plays out.
"Pledges gotta go through hell, otherwise what's the point?" Paramount has debuted a trailer for the indie drama Goat, directed by Andrew Neel, about the hell young pledges must go through to join a fraternity in college. Ben Schnetzer stars as one of the new recruits at a fraternity called "Phi Sigma Mu"; this also stars Nick Jonas, James Franco, Danny Flaherty, Virginia Gardner, Austin Lyon. The film played at Sundance but received mostly mediocre reviews. It looks like the kind of bros-on-bros, overly-masculine, totally-messed-up film I love to hate. Not for me, I'll be staying away. But anyone else intrigued, take a look.
"Why did you come here? Trying to see what she was hiding from?" FilmRise has released the first trailer for an indie drama called Five Nights in Maine, starring David Oyelowo and Dianne Wiest. Oyelowo plays a man struggling to cope with the tragic loss of his wife, who travels to rural Maine to meet his wife's estranged mother, who is also struggling with grief and guilt. The full cast includes Rosie Perez, Teyonah Parris and Bill Raymond. This looks like a very emotional film that deals with some tough topics in a very raw, very powerful but earnest way. It has played at festivals all over and definitely seems worth seeing.
"You can feel it - the burden of their marital prison!" Paramount has debuted an official trailer for the indie comedy The Intervention, written & directed by & starring Clea DuVall. It premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival, where it not only earned rave reviews from critics, but won a Special Jury Award for Individual Performance given to Melanie Lynskey - who steals the show. The full cast includes Natasha Lyonne, Vincent Piazza, Jason Ritter, Ben Schwartz, Alia Shawkat and Cobie Smulders. This might be one of those quirky indies that's actually worth seeing in theaters when it comes out, give it a look.
"Why is there a hog in your motel room?" The first trailer has debuted for a film called Mr. Pig, or Sr. Pig in Spanish, starring Danny Glover as an "old school" pig farmer who goes on a road trip down to Mexico along with a very large pig. This actually originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival but I don't remember hearing much buzz about it. Mexican actor Diego Luna directs the film (his third feature film), which is described as "a beautiful road movie, and a chance to talk about love for Mexico through the eyes of an American." The cast also includes Maya Rudolph, who co-stars as Glover's estranged daughter who joins him on his trip. I'm not sure what to make of this, it looks charming, but also looks a little dry. Enjoy.
"Sometimes I think about how different things would be if that wave hadn't just struck in the middle of the night…" Wow. The first trailer has debuted for a film called The Vessel, executive produced by Terrence Malick, from filmmaker Julio Quintana. Starring Martin Sheen, the film is about a Catholic priest in a Latin American town destroyed by a tsunami ten years ago. This trailer is filled with some stunning imagery reminiscent of Malick's work and a tiny bit of the score by Hanan Townshend, the talented composer from Malick's Knight of Cups and To the Wonder. Where did this film come from?! It looks amazing! Also starring Lucas Quintana, Jacqueline Duprey, and Aris Mejias. Don't hesitate, just dive right into this.
"Something can always go wrong…" Janus Films has unveiled a trailer for the upcoming restored re-release of the Coen Brothers' first film, Blood Simple, which first hit theaters in 1985 - 31 years ago. The film is still regarded as one of the Coens' best and is a crime thriller about a bar owner who figures out his wife is having an affair and tries to hire a private investigator to kill her and her new lover, a bartender at his bar. The film stars Dan Hedaya, Frances McDormand, John Getz, M. Emmet Walsh and Samm-Art Williams. Along with the trailer, there's a flashy poster (seen below) to compliment the re-release. Those who haven't seen this classic crime film yet, this is a perfect opportunity to catch it on the big screen. Enjoy.