Round two! Every new year brings us yet another exciting Sundance Film Festival and with only 49 more days until Sundance 2015 kicks off on January 22nd, Sundance has continued to reveal more films in their line-up, today announcing the Midnight, Spotlight and New Frontier selections (all 66 films In-Competition were announced yesterday). Among the selection are many of our favorite films already, including '71, 99 Homes, Eden, Girlhood and Ukrainian film The Tribe. We also get a good look at the unique midnight films, including Cop Car with Kevin Bacon: "two 10-year-old boys steal an abandoned cop car". Full lists below.
"When you get four vampires in a flat, obviously there's going to be a lot of tension." In what looks like MTV's "Cribs" meets Monty Python with a cast of vampires, the first American trailer for the New Zealand comedy What We Do in the Shadows has arrived, and it looks positively hilarious. The mockumentary comedy follows four centuries old vampires living in the same house and all the tensions and problems that arise from these eternal bloodsuckers living together. It's dry, but absolutely funny. Not a fan of the music used for the trailer, since it makes it feel really cheap, but this movie looks so damn funny. Watch below!
"It's like their apartment is full of everything we once threw out..." After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier in the fall, Noah Baumbach's latest film While We're Young will hit theaters next spring, and the first trailer has just arrived. Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts play a couple looking to rejuvenate their lives by hanging out with an exciting, young couple (Amanda Seyfried and Adam Driver). Sometimes the comedy in this first trailer borders on sitcom-level scenarios (see Watts in a hip-hop dance aerobics class), but Baumbach's style and writing adds charm to the proceedings. Watch!
Every new year brings us another Sundance Film Festival and with 50 days left until Sundance 2015 kicks off on January 22nd, Sundance has officially announced the first half of this year's complete line-up. Featured in five different competition categories are 66 individual films that will be showing at world's greatest, snowiest film festival in January. The remaining half of the line-up, which includes big premieres and midnight films, will be announced over the next few weeks. The 2015 line-up seems quite interesting yet nonetheless filled with the usual Sundance fare, including another Swanberg film and more in-competition.
"People have many addictions..." Just after we learned that Spike Lee's crowd-funded indie Da Sweet Blood of Jesus would arrive on Valentine's Day weekend next year, the first trailer has arrived, and this certainly looks like a peculiar film. Honestly, it almost feels like Spike Lee made a film with Cary Fukunaga with this grounded story of a man addicted to blood. The film described as a reinterpretation of Bill Gunn’s horror cult film Ganja & Hess from the 1973 Cannes Film Festival if that does anything for you. There's nothing overly appealing here, but at the very least, it looks like something completely different from Lee.
Awards season is heating up, and one of the potential Best Actress contenders, believe it or not, may be Jennifer Aniston. The actress rarely goes down the indie road, but when she has before (The Good Girl), it's resulted in some solid work. This time she's getting plenty of acclaim for Cake, a film that strips down Aniston to being a plain, scarred, troubled woman, angry at the world and everyone around her. And there's an interesting supporting cast here too with Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington and Adriana Barraza appearing as well. The buzz indicates the film may not be as good as Aniston's performance, but we'll see.
Now that we've gotten all the buzz about the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens out of the way (see where it's playing this weekend right here), it's time to look at a little indie romance on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. "Mad Men" star Vincent Kartheiser and Juno supporting actress Olivia Thirlby star in the film chronicling the rocky relationship of a newly married couple as they take a trip on a research vessel bound for Antarctica. There's beautiful imagery and a promising, quiet and intimate drama here as what starts as a makeshift honeymoon slowly begins to unravel a couple's love. Watch the trailer!
"You are very different than anyone I have ever met." IFC Films has debuted a brand new trailer for a film called Match, starring Patrick Stewart as an aging ballet instructor in New York City who takes up a job at Julliard. He's interviewed by a woman and her husband about dance in the 1960's, but he soon learns there's much more to her connection to him. Carla Gugino also stars, along with Matthew Lillard and Maduka Steady. This is based on a play, which makes sense considering Stewart's involvement, but more than anything it just looks like a heartwarming, life-affirming look at how to live in this wild world. Enjoy.
"I'm not going to tell stories just to please you." Wow, this looks stunning. Fox Searchlight UK has debuted a trailer for Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg's adaptation of Thomas Hardy's classic romantic story Far From the Madding Crowd, and it looks magnificent. Carey Mulligan stars as Bathsheba Everdene (no relation to Katniss), who captures the eyes and hearts of three men in this love story: Tom Sturridge as Frank Troy, Michael Sheen as William Boldwood, and Matthias Schoenaerts as Gabriel Oak. Aside from compelling performances, the cinematography by DP Charlotte Bruus Christensen is gorgeous. Back in 1967, Julie Christie starred as Bathsheba and now it's Carey Mulligan's turn to woo us. This looks fantastic.
It's been over a year since we heard any solid news on Spike Lee's indie Da Sweet Blood of Jesus. In fact, the last time we wrote about the project, it was just rounding up funding on Kickstarter and it didn't even have a title yet. Now the film has just been picked up by Gravitas Ventures for release early next year, and the first teaser poster has arrived along with the official plot. The film is described as a reinterpretation of Bill Gunn’s horror cult film Ganja & Hess from the 1973 Cannes Film Festival and focuses on an addiction to blood that once doomed a long forgotten ancient African tribe, and it all begins with Dr. Hess Green (Stephen Tyrone Williams), who is introduced to a mysteriously cursed artifact by an art curator.
Most of the time, when a group of 12 filmmakers get together for a single film, it's an anthology like V/H/S or Paris, je t'aime. But when it comes to The Color of Time, this ensemble of writers and directors (all students from New York University) are working to tell the story of one Pulitzer Prize-winning poet (James Franco), working through some dark memories as he prepares for a reading in New York City. We've seen a trailer for this film before when it was called Tar and played at the Rome Film Festival. Now it's poised for release next month, and honestly, it looks like it's trying to hard to be a Terrence Malick film. Watch now!
As we head deeper into the 2014 awards season, more and more films start to hit cinemas all over, flooding the market with any and every possible contender. Which ones stand out? This one, to start with - Xavier Dolan's Mommy, the Quebecois filmmaker's fifth feature film that premiered at Cannes (my review) and played in Telluride and Toronto. It's Canada's officially entry into the Academy Awards and for good reason - it's one my favorite films of this year. Antoine-Olivier Pilon, seen below, stars as Steve in Mommy, a violent teenager who is sent to live with his mom, played by Anne Dorval, as they try to their feet back on the ground. Three gorgeous posters, square like the film's 1:1 aspect ratio, have debuted and we must share.
If you are a hammer - strike. How's that for a tagline? Today's trailer is for a film called Traitors made by American actor-turned-filmmaker Sean Gullette, who played mathematician Maximillian Cohen in Darren Aronofsky's Pi back in 1998. Gullette writes, produces and directs this film about an all-girl punk rock band from Morocco. Newcomer Chaimae Ben Acha stars as Malika in the film, who befriends Amal played by Soufia Issami as they take on a smuggling job to make some money to keep the band together. The film premiered at the 2013 Venice Film Festival, also playing at the Tribeca, Marrakesh, Dubai, Stockholm and Denver Film Festivals. It actually looks pretty good, there's a lot of heart and soul captured in this. Check it.
Just watch this film! If you love cinema, if you love filmmaking, if you love wacky Japanese cinema, if you love Tarantino, if you love supporting foreign films, if you love wacky, fun coming-of-age stories, if you love Japanese culture - don't walk, run to see this film (even if that means just running to your living room). Our latest Monthly Must See feature is one titled Why Don't You Play in Hell?, one of the recent films from Japanese auteur Sion Sono (he also recently made Tokyo Tribe which we flipped over at Fantastic Fest). The concept for this movie is basically: a young, renegade film crew becomes embroiled with a yakuza clan feud. Or: a bunch of wannabe filmmakers end up filming an actual yakuza war. It's crazy, but so much fun.