Another year, another New York Film Festival with an outstanding line-up of indies and foreign films to dazzle New York City audiences. The 52nd New York Film Festival has revealed their full main slate line-up, featuring everything from the Dardennes to Godard to Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher (one of my favorite films from Cannes) to Cronenberg, Mike Leigh, Olivier Assayas, with Damien Chazelle's Sundance fave Whiplash tossed in there, too. Three other highly anticipated films have already been announced: Gone Girl, PTA's Inherent Vice, and Birdman to close the fest. But plenty of other great films will be showing.
As the Toronto International Film Festival looms closer, some images from the films that will be debuting at the Canadian showcase of cinema from around the world are trickling online. One of the more interesting titles is that of Maggie. Like Warm Bodies and Life After Beth, this film aims to put a new spin on the zombie genre by painting an intimate story of a father who vows to stay by his daughter's side as she turns into a flesh-eating zombie. Taking a father and daughter and using a zombie infection as a catalyst for drama should make for an interesting story, but we're a little skeptical with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the dramatic lead, even if he is paired with a talented young actress like Abigail Breslin. Look below now!
Normally when we see Seth Rogen, James Franco and Danny McBride get together, it's for outrageous comedies like Pineapple Express or the makeshift sequel from the apocalyptic hit This is The End. However, at the Venice Film Festival, we'll see the trio in a whole new light as they all have roles in Franco's adaptation of William Falkner's classic novel The Sound and the Fury. Franco is directing and starring in the film about the tragic crumbling of the Compson family decades ago. It's so odd seeing Rogen and McBride in period wardrobe like this, and we're very curious to see how they do in this kind of film. Look!
Continuing to broaden her horizons and skew away from young adult territory, Kristen Stewart stars in the prisoner of war drama Camp X-Ray. The story follows a newly enlisted female soldier who ends up taking shifts at the detainee camp at Guantanamo Bay. While making the rounds, she begins to strike up a meaningful relationship with one of the prisoners, played excellently by Payman Moaadi. Slowly she becomes skeptical of her role in the military and what they're doing at the titular camp. Unfortunately, I found the movie as a whole to be melodramatic and lacking any subtlety in its message when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, but perhaps audiences will feel differently this fall. Watch!
It's a big year for Miles Teller. The actor just finished shooting Fantastic Four, he stars in the Sundance award winning indie Whiplash hitting theaters later this year, he had a small but pivotal role in Divergent, and now he's leading another indie romantic comedy. Two Night Stand follows Teller and Crazy Stupid Love star Analeigh Tipton as two young New Yorkers just looking for a quick, sexy hook-up, but end up being stuck with each other for 48 hours as a bilzzard rages outside. There's some legacy involved since it's directed by Max Nichols, son of The Graduate director Mike Nichols, but this looks average. Watch now!
While Dan Stevens is better known for his role on "Downton Abbey," his turn in the indie action thriller The Guest from director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett (You're Next). In the film Stevens plays an Iraq War veteran who shows up at the doorstep of his dead army colleague’s grieving family. It seems like he just wants to help at first, but then people start dying, and his integrity and real reason for being there comes into question. This looks like an awesome flick, and our own Alex Billington named it as one of his favorites from the festival earlier this year. It's one indie you'll want to make sure to catch. Watch!
Inspired by a tweet asking "if you could recommend one obscure film you think more people should watch", we're launching a new monthly column today. The tentative title is "Monthly Must See" (I didn't want to use "homework" anywhere in this but that's kind of the idea behind it) and every month I want to highlight one "obscure" or underseen film that I want everyone to take a moment to see. In fact, we'll give you one entire month to watch the film, and we'll choose a film that is readily available in theaters or VOD/DVD/BR already. Up first it's The Lunchbox, directed by Ritesh Batra, starring Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur.
Get you first look at a likely awards contender this year. USA Today has unveiled a first look with two photos from Tim Burton's Big Eyes, which we have been hearing about for a while and is finally being readied for release in December. In the film, Amy Adams stars as real life painter Margaret Keane, along with Christoph Waltz as her husband, Walter Keane, who took credit for Margaret's works in the 1960s. The film is apparently something a bit different and perhaps more traditional for Burton, but looks like it might feature another fantastic performance by Adams, who was Oscar nominated for American Hustle last year.
"All games must end." I suppose that's true. A trailer has debuted for an Edgar Allan Poe-inspired film called Stonehearst Asylum, originally known as Eliza Graves, referring to a character played by Kate Beckinsale. The film is being readied for release this October and to show you what it's all about they've debuted this trailer, which delves deep into a psychological mystery set at the creepy Stonehearst Asylum. The cast includes Michael Caine, Jim Sturgess, Ben Kingsley, David Thewlis, Brendan Gleeson, Jason Flemyng and Sinéad Cusack. Despite some solid names, this looks a bit too much like Shutter Island, even though I like the Poe connection. I can't really tell if it will be any good. Check it out yourself.
Briefly: We now have a release date for Jon Stewart's new film Rosewater, which was filmed last year in the Middle East, and is already set for a big premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September. Open Road Films has schedule Rosewater for a limited debut starting November 7th this fall, putting it right smack in the middle of awards season. Guess what else opens on November 7th? Nolan's Interstellar; not to mention Disney's Big Hero 6. It's up against quite a few films, but it might have the power to take some adult crowds to the art house. Stewart's Rosewater stars Gael García Bernal as BBC journalist Maziar Bahari, who was detained in Iraq for more than 100 days. We expect to hear more about this film soon, as well as a first look.
As we dive deeper into the fall awards season in 2014, more prestige films are suddenly being unveiled. This isn't a new trailer, but it is a trailer for a film that might end up with tons of acclaim by the end of this year. The next film from The Reader director Stephen Daldry is an adaptation titled Trash, about three young orphaned boys (played by newcomers Rickson Tevez, Eduardo Luis & Gabriel Weinstein) in Brazil who make a discovery in a garbage dump and find themselves running from the cops in a corrupt society. Rooney Mara, Martin Sheen, and Elysium's Wagner Moura also co-star in a film that looks like yet another intense drama on the crime-ridden streets of Brazil - a bit like City of God with a fresh twist. I'm in.
"That's what I'm talking about - you're Birdman!" Fox Searchlight has unveiled an extended (nearly 3 minutes long!) new trailer for Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman, which will be getting a centerpiece unveiling at the Venice, Telluride and New York Film Festivals. Michael Keaton stars as washed up actor Riggan Thomson, who once played the character Birdman, struggling to figure out meaning to his life when he decides to put on one last show. Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Amy Ryan and Zach Galifianakis all co-star with Keaton. This trailer is more straightforward than the last one, telling more of Birdman's actual story, but I still love all the music, I love the humor, I really can't wait to see this.
"I'm sick to death of poor people!" Say what? The first trailer has debuted for a film called The Riot Club, adapted from a played by Laura Wade called "Posh" about a fictional "club" called the Riot Club at Oxford University in England, based on the Bullingdon Club. The "filthy rich, spoilt rotten" story involves a bunch of undergrads getting wild in the Riot Club and doing some deadly dangerous things. The cast includes Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Jessica Brown Findlay, Holliday Grainger, Olly Alexander, Tom Hollander and Sam Reid. This looks wild, debaucherous, potentially amusing, but mostly sad and crazy. I think I already prefer Scherfig's other two films, but I'll check this out when it comes by. Have fun.
Walrus Yes! After hosting a panel at Comic-Con 2014 for Tusk, filmmaker Kevin Smith and A24 Films have debuted the trailer online for your viewing pleasure. Or distaste, perhaps. The movie is about a man, played by Michael Parks, who wants to make another human, played by Justin Long, into a walrus. Kind of like Human Centipede but with a weird, wacky, funny Kevin Smith twist. In addition to those two, the cast includes Genesis Rodriguez as his girlfriend, and Haley Joel Osment (yea, him!) as another friend, who go on the hunt for him when he goes missing. I must say this actually looks pretty damn good, although it looks really fucked up. But I'm glad there's some humor to it, too. Not much is revealed in this, so enjoy!