"People are the virus. And we are the cure." Signature Entertainment has debuted an official UK trailer for a very freaky abduction horror thriller titled Rupture, featuring Prometheus star Noomi Rapace as an "ordinary woman" and mother of a boy who is randomly abducted on a highway. She wakes up strapped to an operating table and is forced to undergo a series of terrifying psychological experiments. The film also stars Peter Stormare, Kerry Bishé, Michael Chiklis, Ari Millen, Lesley Manville, Percy Hynes White and Morgan Kelly. It's made by the same filmmaker who made Secretary over a decade ago. This looks very stylish yet also creepy, almost like Saw with a psychological twist. Horror fans should watch this.
This is a wonderful, heartbreaking short film that everyone needs to see. Borrowed Time is an animated short film from directors Andrew Coats & Lou Hamou-Lhadj. It's about an aging Sheriff going back to retrace the steps of the location where an accident took place years ago that he can never forget. Coats and Hamou-Lhadj explain in the making of video that they wanted to tell a more "adult" story with animation that "contested the notion of animation being a genre, and one for children specifically." The bigger theme of forgiveness is very potent in this, but there is also a focus on the emotions of overcoming hardship and letting go of your past. I've been thinking about this short every day since I first watched it. Don't miss this.
"This case is about exonerating our entire community." There's a brand new film from the director behind Ebert's Life Itself and the classic documentary Hoop Dreams. Steve James' latest documentary is titled Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, and it first premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and is playing at the New York Film Festival next. Abacus is about the Abacus Federal Savings Bank in Chinatown in New York City, which was one of the few banks labeled as "small enough to jail" during the mortgage crisis. They were targeted by the Manhattan District Attorney, despite that all the bigger banks were given free passes and government support. This doc examines how Abacus, a family-run bank, is fighting to stay alive and clear their name. This isn't a full trailer, but it is our first look - this seems to be another unique doc worth seeing.
"The challenge is how you make cinema evolve, how you make cinema fresh." This is about to premiere at the New York Film Festival, and they're showing it in 3D at 120FPS, so get ready for some wild reactions. Sony has released a new featurette for Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, examining the decision to film at a high framerate. This is exactly what I've been waiting to see, as it shows some of the cameras they used and spends time discussing the decision with Ang Lee - who defends his choice to use 3D and 120FPS (in a few scenes) by stating: "it's about intimacy… You lose your judgment, you really get sucked into that world." Joe Alwyn stars as Billy Lynn, a soldier who returns home from the Iraq war and struggles with PTSD. I'm very curious to hear reactions from NYFF and get a look at this (in 120FPS) myself.
"Before Harry Potter. Across an ocean. A new world of magic awaits!" Warner Bros + IMAX have released an extended 4-minute featurette with tons of new footage for the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, directed by David Yates, in theaters this November. A special fan event was held in IMAX theaters around the world on October 13th, where fans were treated to footage and Q&As with cast & crew. To celebrate the occasion, they put out a featurette which explains this new storyline better than any other trailer. Eddie Redmayne stars as Newt Scamander, a magizoologist who accidentally lets loose a suitcase full of magical creatures in New York City. This also stars Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, Ron Perlman, and Samantha Morton. Fire up the footage below.
"If I don't take a photograph, I've made a terrible mistake." Magnolia Pictures has debuted a trailer for a documentary titled Harry Benson: Shoot First, about the life and work of famed photographer Harry Benson. He gained notoriety in the 60s when he was assigned to shoot The Beatles during their inaugural trip to the United States in 1964. He has since gone on to photograph many famous musicians, politicians, and celebrities, and is still working today at age 86. There have been some superb docs about photographers recently (The Salt of the Earth, Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, Smash His Camera, Finding Vivian Maier are the best of the bunch) and this looks like yet another fantastic profile of a talented artist. Enjoy.
One Man, One Mission, One Choice. If you haven't already seen this trailer, it might be worth checking out. Capsule is an indie film about Britain's first manned mission to space. It's not actually a true story (as they never sent anyone into space at that time), so this technically counts as "sci-fi", but considering it plays very much like a real thriller that's probably how it should be categorized. Edmund Kingsley plays Guy Taylor, the first British pilot ever sent up into space in 1959, but his capsule malfunctions and he starts to suffer from hypoxia (oxygen deprivation). The cast includes Lisa Greenwood, David Wayman, Nigel Barber and Michael Koltes. This looks like a nice contained thriller, there's just something off about it. See below.
"Life happens. And it sweeps you up, and then you die. That's it. Stupid really…" Need a good laugh? Watch this short. Curmudgeons is a comedic short film directed by Danny DeVito, starring Danny DeVito and his longtime friend David Margulies as two old "curmudgeons" who meet up again at an assisted living home. The cast includes Danny DeVito's daughter Lucy DeVito, as well as Sarah Nina Hayon and Kett Turton. It's a wonderful mix of hilariously crude humor and life lessons being imparted to youngsters, with a sweet side to it that comes out in just the right way. I'm really impressed by this - it's the kind of film you should watch if you're feeling sad and need a reminder of what happiness is. Take a few minutes and watch.
"Don't be scared, we're all hunters." Oiffy has debuted a trailer for a very interesting dystopian drama titled The White King, based on the novel of the same name, a reference to chess as well as the actual story. The film is about a care-free 12-year-old boy growing up in a ruthless dictatorship in a dystopian future. His father is suddenly imprisoned as a traitor, and he sets off to try and find him again. Starring Jonathan Pryce, Agyness Deyn, Ross Partridge, Fiona Shaw, and newcomer Lorenzo Allchurch as the boy - named Djata. There's certainly a bit of The Hunger Games vibe to this, but it also seems like an intriguing story of struggle in a world that purports to be perfect. There are a few really great shots in this, I am sold.
"I'm just going ’round in circles." Sundance Selects + IFC Films have debuted another official US 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 back in May. We posted the UK trailer a few months ago. 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. The film has been earning buzz all year as it's one of the most emotional and provocative looks at how broken bureaucracy is in the UK right now. IFC will be putting this out in theaters in December, just before the end of the year, in hopes that it will find a good audience here in the US, too.
"I enjoy listening to you." The Orchard has unveiled a trailer for a quirky romance titled Operator, about a relationship that goes awry when the programmer creates a digital version of his wife's voice. The indie film stars Martin Starr (from "Silicon Valley" and "Party Down") and Mae Whitman (seen in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and The Perks of Being a Wallflower), along with Nat Faxon, Cameron Esposito, Retta, Christine Lahti and Kate Cobb. I hate to say it, but this almost seems like a low-rent TV-movie version of Spike Jonze's brilliant Her, playing on the technology angle and the romance. Maybe there's something to it, but it didn't really grab my attention aside from Whitman's performance (she's a voice actor in real life, too).
"What? I wouldn't let myself be eaten!" Eureka has released an official UK trailer for Japanese director Kôji Fukada's latest film Harmonium, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year and won the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard category. Harmonium is a slow burn drama about a Japanese family. One review stated "the film's insights into the isolation evident in the relationships most take for granted – marriages, parent-child connections and long-term friendships – don't merely hit their targets; they smash them with a sledgehammer." The cast includes Mariko Tsutsui, Tadanobu Asano, Kanji Furutachi, Kana Mahiro, Takahiro Miura, Taiga, and Momone Shinokawa. This also reminds me of Hirokazu Koreeda's Like Father, Like Son a bit, but I'm sure it has plenty of insight to offer on its own. Have a look.