› La La Land's Damien Chazelle
› Emma Stone from La La Land
› Blair Witch's Wingard/Barrett
› Writer & Director Matt Ross
› Mia Hansen-Løve at Berlinale
› Taika Waititi Talks Comedy
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"To dance with people is the way to make the world a better place." Magnolia Pictures has debuted a trailer for a documentary titled Alive and Kicking about swing dancing, from director Susan Glatzer. The film provides viewers with an intimate, insider's view into the culture of the current swing dance world while shedding light on issues facing modern society. It features performances by famous dancer Norma Miller and many other people, some of which are introduced in this trailer. From the looks of it, this seems to be an energetic and inspiring documentary that shows how powerful dance can be, encouraging us all to come together and try to improve society by moving our bodies to the music. Who doesn't enjoy dance? Jump in.
"It's like it flowed through me. I don't remember painting this." IFC Midnight has unveiled the trailer for a horror film titled The Devil's Candy, a creepy satanic possession tale about a struggling painter who moves into a home in Texas. Ethan Embry stars as the father of a young family who is possessed by satanic forces, creating some freaky artwork. The cast includes Shiri Appleby, Kiara Glasco and Pruitt Taylor Vince. This is from the same filmmaker who made the cult horror hit The Loved Ones, and the film first premiered at festivals a few years ago. It looks intense, though I'm not sure why it took years to be released.
"We cross and re-cross our old paths like figure-skaters." That's a line from Cloud Atlas, but I kept thinking back to that film (and that storyline in it) while watching this one. Return to Montauk is the latest drama from German director Volker Schlöndorff, set primarily in New York following a few German characters around the city. It's a very tender, heartfelt film about the great regrets and lost loves in our lives, and how we attempt to get over what happened in the past (or, perhaps, not get over our past regrets). Maybe it's because I connected to it in a very personal way, but Return to Montauk kept me captivated and awake and intrigued from start to finish. Even if I didn't feel emotionally drained by the end I was certainly enthralled.
"First big thing in your life you're never going to get over." CBS Films has debuted a trailer for Demetri Martin's feature directorial debut, an indie comedy titled Dean, about a young man trying to figure himself out after his mother passes away. Kevin Kline co-stars as his father, and the full cast includes Gillian Jacobs, Reid Scott, Meryl Hathaway, and Mary Steenburgen. This is described in the marketing as "a comedic and heartfelt tale about a father and son coming to terms with love, loss and everything in between." I really like the music in this trailer, and the quirky hand-drawn title cards are a nice touch. I feel like this would be best seen at a film festival, but it only played at Tribeca last year. Still, looks pretty good.
Even though the first color movies were made over 100 years ago, black & white lived on in Hollywood until the 1960s. The Academy Awards even had a category from 1939 to 1967 under Best Cinematography for black & white films, splitting the section in two. Even now, black & white is still a strong aesthetic / visual choice and some filmmakers use it effectively to tell stories. Some of my favorite recent black & white films are: Frances Ha, Ida, The Artist, Pi, Sin City, The Turin Horse, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, A Field in England, Escape from Tomorrow and Computer Chess. This new video essay from Jack Nugent looks back at film noir in the 40s & 50s to make the case for black and white, even today. It's worth a watch.
"I can't, uh, pay rent with these things…" Marvel Studios has unveiled a teaser trailer for Part 2 of "Team Thor", the video dairies of roommates Thor & Darryl. The very first fan-favorite Thor & Darryl video premiered at Comic-Con last year in Hall H, and received some of the most buzz I've ever heard coming out of the convention. It eventually ended up online a few months later, and it's hilarious. The video diaries are made in the style of "The Office", involving Thor and his friend Darryl, who has a tough job of dealing with the "God of Thunder" as his roomie. I like the footage in this new teaser, it seems like Marvel is happily continuing this series and there may be even more footage beyond just Part 1 & 2. Only time will tell. Enjoy.
"I'm messing with your life." "My life is better with you in it." Warner Bros has debuted a trailer for the adaptation Everything, Everything, a drama about a young woman with a disease that keeps her locked up inside her home. She longs for a boy who lives across the street, and of course they try to get together. Amandla Stenberg, who played Rue in the original The Hunger Games (but is all grown up now), stars as Maddy in the film. The cast includes Nick Robinson as the boy she's in love with, Ana de la Reguera, Anika Noni Rose, and Taylor Hickson. It's based on the book by Nicola Yoon. This looks particularly cheesy and sappy, but that makes sense. It's obvious why Warner Bros released this on Valentine's Day - it looks like a mix between Me Before You and The Space Between Us and Bubble Boy, why not. Give it a look.
"We can find a way out of this…" This is a badass short to watch whenever you get the chance. Brix and the Bitch is an action short film written and directed by Nico Raineau, a friend & fan of the site, and up-and-coming filmmaker. This short has been picking up tons of awards at festivals throughout 2016 and is now available online to watch. It's about a tough woman caught up in an illegal fight club who must fight the one person she refuses to harm in order to escape. Starring Dre Swain and Alex Marshall-Brown. It's best to take a moment and watch this without reading any more about it, you may dig it more than expected.
"Do you two ever get lonely out here?" Lionsgate has released a trailer for an indie thriller titled Isolation, from director Shane Dax Taylor. This based-on-a-true story thriller about "modern day pirates" premiered at one small film festival in 2015 and never went anywhere, but it's finally getting a VOD release this spring. Isolation stars Tricia Helfer and Luke Mably as a couple on a vacation to a quiet part of the Bahamas. One day they wake up to find themselves under attack from a local. The cast includes Dominic Purcell, Marie Avgeropoulos, Claudia Church, Chelsea Edmundson, and Stephen Lang as another gnarly bad guy. Unsurprisingly this looks instantly forgettable, which explains why it took so long to be released.
"The chaos of this world is vast and unknowable. We'd like to think we can understand it. But we can't." Neon has debuted a teaser trailer for the new film from A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night director Ana Lily Amirpour, a dystopian cannibal western thriller titled The Bad Batch. The follow-up to her feature directorial debut follows a woman who drifts through a hostile desert wasteland overrun by cannibals. Suki Waterhouse stars, along with Jason Momoa, Yolonda Ross, Emily O'Brien, Alina Aliluykina, Giovanni Ribisi, Diego Luna, Jim Carrey, plus the one-and-only Keanu Reeves. This premiered at film festivals last fall to mostly very negative reviews, from many people I trust. Jeremy wrote a review from Fantastic Fest saying that it "seems like something of a big step back" for the director. Take a look anyway.