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First Trailer for the Documentary Daft Punk Unchained:
"What happened?" "We did what we had to do." Oh yes. 20th Century Fox has debuted the second official trailer for Alejandro González Iñárritu's The Revenant, the new film from the director of Birdman and Babel. This is the one he has been filming with only natural light up in the wilderness of Canada for almost a year now, shooting it in the cold and snow without the use of artificial lighting equipment. And it looks so crazy amazingly brilliant. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a frontiersman left for dead after a bear attack, who goes on a mission of revenge. The cast includes Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson, Paul Anderson and Lukas Haas. The footage in this looks stellar, this is cinema at its finest. Do not miss this.
"What if he's Darth Vader…?!" Not that we need another trailer for this, after two of them previously, but here's another one why not. The Weinstein Company has debuted an "official trailer" for Burnt, formerly known as Adam Jones, starring Bradley Cooper as hot shot top chef Adam Jones. After hitting the top, then falling apart and letting it all go, he must rise from the bottom and work his way up in the kitchen all over again. The big ensemble cast includes Alicia Vikander, Jamie Dornan, Sienna Miller, Uma Thurman, Emma Thompson, Daniel Brühl and Omar Sy. This looks very intense and entertaining, but I'm still not sure it'll be any good. The Star Wars references feel a little bit odd. So - what's for dinner?
This is Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos' best film yet. Maybe it's because it's his first film in English, but also because the film is an insanely ingenious indictment of modern romance and relationships told in an utterly fascinating way. The Lobster is a drama starring Colin Farrell set in a very odd sort of reality, one where those who are single and not in a relationship are turned into an animal after 45 days (if they don't find someone else in that time). The concept, which is fun to describe, is brilliantly executed by Yorgos Lanthimos and his ensemble of actors. It's the kind of film that if taken seriously, won't be liked, but as long as you don't forget to laugh at every little thing that they're poking fun at, it is so easy to caught up in this.
Ben Wheatley is a cinematic genius. That's the only explanation for the adrenaline shooting through your veins while watching his films, that feeling you get when you know you've just seen something special. The high that comes from experiencing one of his works is indisputable. It charges back into you each time you reflect on one of his films and every time you mentally organize the puzzle pieces the filmmaker has set forth. Wheatley's films are immensely rewarding, because the director doesn't hold your hand, doesn't tie everything together, and certainly doesn't connect all the dots. You're on your own with that, and that's one of the many reasons why High-Rise, Wheatley's adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel, is so damn great.
"A single moment can change everything." Whoa! This looks great. Disney-Pixar have finally unveiled a must see new TV trailer for The Good Dinosaur, their November release, and it's the best look at the movie yet - explaining the story and featuring lots of dialogue. Arlo, an apatosaurus voiced by Raymond Ochoa, gets lost and befriends a human boy, who helps him fight of foes and make new friends. There are some fun lines in this: "If you ain't scared, you ain't alive". I'm really looking forward to it. Two brand new, original Pixar movies in one year! Don't know if I can handle that. This one looks heartfelt and fun. Enjoy!
There are a lot of avenues a filmmaker can take when discussing the emotions that drive us humans as well as the contradictory nature between love and relationships. With The Lobster, writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos creates a strange, cynical look at these contradictions with enough sardonic wit to consider it a satire. The filmmaker who hit with the equally strange comedy, Dogtooth, returns to bring yet another dry and somewhat surreal comedy that may just have you cringing in your seat as much as it has you rolling. With a stellar cast and Lanthimos' unapologetic vision, The Lobster is a unique experience that will question your faith in love as much as enhance it.
"Hail Satan." Those two words put together create an unnerving feeling for anyone who sees – or hears – them regardless of one's own personal, religious beliefs. Just the thought of the Devil's presence emits an air of discomfort that horror films have been riding for nearly century. That same level of unease - and that troublesome, two-word phrase - haunts every scene of Osgood Perkins' feature debut, February. Told through disjointed chronology, Perkins's film is difficult to piece together as you're watching. The unsettling and atmospheric results that remain after February has ended and left the viewer are undeniable, though.
One more time! BBC Worldwide has debuted an official trailer for the doc Daft Punk Unchained, from director Hervé Martin Delpierre. After their involvement in Mia Hansen-Løve's film Eden (which I highly recommend), the Daft Punk guys seem a bit more relaxed with telling their story. Daft Punk Unchained is apparently an entire documentary, with a runtime of 85 minutes, about Daft Punk and their rise to fame. Maybe they didn't want to go with "Unmasked" because there is no real unmasking? "Unchained" is so much wilder. I am hoping that this is the definitive doc that examines them from the inside, but I'm not sure. It features the likes of Giorgio Moroder, Kanye West, Michel Gondry, Paul Williams and many others. Dig it!
"Cut him down for me, expertly." As you wish, master. Well Go USA has debuted the official US trailer for Hou Hsiao-hsien's The Assassin, starring Taiwanese actress Shu Qi as an assassin who must return to her hometown and kill the man she loves. The cast includes Chang Chen and Satoshi Tsumabuki. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and has been playing to rave reviews at fests like Sydney, TIFF, and Busan. It's also playing at the New York Film Festival coming up. If quiet, meticulous Taiwanese cinema is your thing, you don't want to miss it. This trailer is an improvement over the first teaser & follow-up. Enjoy.
I'm sure you've all heard this said before – Lord knows it's been said enough – but war truly is Hell. It's Hell for the people fighting it, Hell for the people who are swept up in it, and even Hell for the people who stay home and await their loved ones' return. During the American Civil War, those loved ones charging onto the battlefields didn't go that far, and the wives, children, and family they all left behind were forced to keep their homes safe from threats both domestic and… well, domestic. It's with this time, place, and situation in mind that director Daniel Barber brings us his new film The Keeping Room (playing Fantastic Fest), a powerful and terrifying drama about war and the people who are destroyed in its unquenchable wake.
Have you ever wondered why CG explosions are looking better and better? Algorithms! That's how. For a deeper exploration, watch this interesting YouTube video by University of California featuring Theodore Kim explaining one of the algorithms he developed for explosions, specifically the smoke. Kim discusses an algorithm called Wavelet Turbulence, which is a series of swirls to simulate actual smoke. After creating and releasing their algorithm open source, it ended up being used in movies like Avatar, Iron Man 3, Super 8 and Man of Steel. It's a very technical breakdown but still fascinating to hear him explain. Watch below.
It was at his intro to Sion Sono's Tokyo Tribe at last year's Fantastic Fest that HitFix's Drew McWeeny put it best: "You are all my tribe," he said to the packed auditorium, and the sentiment was apparent even before the crowd erupted in of approval and applause. There really is no film festival quite like Alamo Drafthouse's Fantastic Fest - about to kick off its 11th year. There is no program like the one put together every year by Drafthouse and Fantastic Fest founder Tim League and his selection crew. There is no, and I stress this, NO crowd like a Fantastic Fest crowd, and the kinship felt among those who have attended and keep returning is undeniable. There's just something about Fantastic Fest.