"What is so unique about him?" Magnolia has debuted a full theatrical trailer for Richard Ayoade's latest, the sci-fi Dostoyevsky mind-bender The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg - twice! Eisenberg plays both James and Simon, the latter of which goes crazy when his exact copy/doppelganger suddenly shows up. We've seen plenty of trailers for this indie already, but another one won't hurt, especially when it's a trailer as magical as this one. The cast includes Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Sally Hawkins, Paddy Considine, Noah Taylor and appearances by Craig Roberts & Yasmin Paige of Ayoade's Submarine. This was one of my favorites out of TIFF last year and can't recommend it enough. "So, that's it?" "That's it."
In just over a week, we'll see Wes Anderson's latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. The director behind The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and more has been making the publicity rounds (we'll have our own interview posted very soon), and he recently sat down with The New York Times for a 90-minute discussion on his career and more. One interesting fact includes Anderson's idea for a James Bond movie called Mission: Deferred where Bond doesn't get called into action because the Cold War is over, so he's just a guy, with a cool coffee machine. And that's just one small amusing part. Watch!
We've already seen a suspenseful trailer for Denis Villeneuve's thriller Enemy, the director's first collaboration with Jake Gyllenhaal before Prisoners even hit theaters. In addition, a cool featurette showed off how the filmmaker had Gyllenhaal act with himself. Now we have one more sexy promo spot that is chock full of some nudity and sex with Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds), so it's certainly NSFW. However, it does offer a glimpse into the madness of Gyllenhaal's character after he comes into contact with his doppelgänger, changing both of their lives for better or worse. Looks pretty intense and worth a glimpse.
Well, what do we have here? M. Night Shyamalan is apparently out making a "microfilm", or a film on a microbudget, titled Sundowning and is shooting it as we speak. Maybe Shyamalan did heed the advice of critics and go back home to make something small and independent. Our friends at SlashFilm have noticed Shyamalan tweeting recently about Sundowning, which is now shooting mostly around Philadelphia as he at one point mentions digging out a house covered in a foot of snow. It may or may not have anything to do with Shyamalan's other new film Labor of Love, which just got Bruce Willis, as M. Night boasts at another point "the cast is sensational." This instead seems to be a horror: "They literally jumped out of their seats."
Briefly: It's official - Warner Bros has confirmed a late 2014 release date for Paul Thomas Anderson's next film, Inherent Vice, starring Joaquin Phoenix (The Master, The Immigrant, Her) as 1970's pot-fueled private detective Larry "Doc" Sportello, based on the Thomas Pynchon character. PTA filmed late last year around Southern California, and will have the comedy ready for release starting December 12th, 2014. Warner Bros, the studio releasing the film, seems to be lining this up as another awards contender, as even @ERCboxoffice quips "just in time for awards season." The cast: Jena Malone, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Maya Rudolph and Sasha Pieterse. This should be fun.
Pay attention to the Oscar nominees - Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave is now/soon mandatory viewing in school. Despite reports that a low percentage of the mainstream public has seen most of the Best Picture Academy Award nominees, only one week out from the 86th Oscars this weekend, there is one that will get a boost no matter what. A report from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) says that they've partnered with "New Regency, Penguin Books, and the filmmakers to distribute copies of the acclaimed film, book, and study guide 12 Years a Slave to America's public high schools." Of course Solomon Northup's actual book is included, too. As it should be - considering this is based on a harrowing true story.
From girls to boys in the Riot Club. Danish director Lone Scherfig, of the films An Education with Carey Mulligan, and One Day with Anne Hathaway previously, is finishing up her next film titled Posh. Adapted from a play of the same name, Posh is about the two first years at Oxford University, played by Max Irons and Sam Claflin, determined to join the notorious Riot Club - a place that can make or break your time in higher education and, possibly, life. A major event happens at the Bull's Head pub, which can be seen in the background of one of these first look photos. These two shots just debuted online from the UK - take a look.
"I've always had a dream of fame and fortune... for Elmo" Today's indie trailer is for a rather awkwardly yet oddly amusing documentary called The Final Member, about the one-and-only Icelandic Phallological Museum that houses the world's largest collection of preserved male genitalia (collected for over 40 years!). So what makes this worthwhile? The story focuses on three people: curator Sigurður "Siggi" Hjartarson, as well as the two eccentric men who want to donate their own specimens to the museum. The doc eventually becomes about the challenges of making a tough decision, and crazy enough, I have to say that this looks fascinating. Best of all, Drafthouse Films is releasing it which means it's certainly unlike anything out there.
While we wait for the summer movie and festival season to pick up in a few months, another film festival is preparing to return for its 43rd year. A spin-off of the New York Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center's New Directors/New Films festival features screenings of highly acclaimed feature debuts of up-and-coming filmmakers. This year they've got a number of Sundance gems, as well as a few other debuts from around the world, which we'll try and cover. If not, the full list of all 27 feature films showing at the 43rd New Directors/New Films festival can be found at FilmLinc or NewDirectors.org. Read on for more.
Back in 2010, the indie drama Frankie & Alice was believed to be a viable chance for Halle Berry to get another Oscar nomination. But as some indies do, the film say on a shelf with no distribution, and Berry missed out on her chance at Oscar gold. But four years later, the film is poised for release this spring, and while it's likely not going to get any attention at the Academy Awards next year, at least audiences can see what has been praised as a spectacular performance for Berry playing a young woman in the 70s with a personality disorder who struggles to contain a racist alter-ego. It looks a little over-the-top though. Watch?
The best of the best - that you didn't see last year. We have returned with another set of worth watching, underseen films from 2013. Back by popular demand is our seventh annual list of the 19 Best Movies That You Didn't See in 2013 (our past lists: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007). Featured below is a hand-picked selection of the best independent and/or mainstream films that were either quietly dumped, ignored by audiences, or just not marketed well enough. So to give them extra attention in the spotlight, and to support some of the finest filmmakers out there, here is our best of 2013 recap. Read on for the full list!
Lately it seems like we've been doubly been seeing double. Just recently we saw the trailer for Jake Gyllenhaal's encounter with his doppleganger in Denis Villeneuve's Enemy, and now we have yet another tease of Jesse Eisenberg starring in The Double from Submarine director Richard Ayoade. The second theatrical trailer from the United Kingdom featuring the story of two snakes was a fantastic preview, and now we have another full length trailer, making the film almost feels like film noir meets Wes Anderson. In the film Eisenberg encounters a double of himself, who seems to be better working, socializing and almost every single facet of his life; he also has no problem inheriting all the perks that come with it. Watch!
"I will do what needs to be done." Time to take a look at an unusual new thriller titled Locke, starring Tom Hardy, set entirely in one car. In the film, Hardy plays a construction manager driving home from his job who deals with a number of stressful phone calls all entirely inside his car (a nice BMW) while he's driving. It's surprisingly engaging and oddly entertaining for a film about someone taking phone calls in their car, but that's what makes this such an impressive original creation. This is one of those must see it to believe it unique concepts for a film, and it's actually pretty damn good. This dream-like UK trailer does a good job of setting up the concept, but it's not the best trailer for this indie film. That said, it's worth watching anyway.
As another film festival comes to an end, it's time to celebrate and commemorate with the announcement of the awards. The 64th Berlin Film Festival just ended (my own mini recap here), and the winners were announced at the Closing Ceremony, including the winner of the coveted Golden Bear for Best Film. That top prize was given to a Chinese film titled Black Coal, Thin Ice, starring Liao Fan and directed by Diao Yinan. Among the winners were Richard Linklater, who picked up a prize for Best Director of Boyhood, as well as Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel winning the Grand Jury Silver Bear prize. More below.