› Bing Liu of Minding the Gap
› Petra Volpe of Divine Order
› Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve
› Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky
› Lake Bell Talks Making Films
› Indie Filmmaker Jim Strouse
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Listen to the Newest Episode of The First Word Podcast:
"What seems to be the problem?" Fox Searchlight has debuted an excellent first trailer for the new film Can You Ever Forgive Me?, about author Lee Israel, played by Melissa McCarthy, who made her living in the 1970's & 80's plagiarizing from other famous authors. This is the new feature film made by filmmaker Marielle Heller, who made the outstanding indie debut The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Heller is one of my favorite filmmakers on the rise, and I'm so happy to get a glimpse at her latest. This looks delightfully droll, and entertaining in weird ways, but I'm still into it. The cast includes Richard E. Grant, Jane Curtin, Dolly Wells, Michael Cyril Creighton, Jennifer Westfeldt, and Anna Deavere Smith. This is a seriously great trailer for a film that looks exceptionally good. McCarthy giving a helluva performance, too.
To infinity, and beyond! This looks like a massive movie. Disney + Marvel have dropped the second official trailer, and most likely final, for the Russo Brothers' latest epic Marvel Studios installment - Avengers: Infinity War. Now opening around the world at the end of April, this Marvel movie is being billed as the game-changer, one of the most epic superhero movies yet, with everyone fighting everyone, and everyone fighting Thanos. What's going to happen? Who's going to die? How will the Marvel world change forever? We'll know in just a few months. This stars everyone from the Marvel movies: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, Tessa Thompson, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Pom Klementieff, Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner, Josh Brolin, Sebastian Stan, Chris Evans, Cobie Smulders, Dave Bautista, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman, Gwyneth Paltrow, & Paul Bettany. Get ready for Avengers mania.
"Do you want to hear a story about the Wildling?" IFC Midnight has released the first official trailer for a new werewolf horror film titled Wildling, which just premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin this last week. The film stars Bel Powley (from The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Carrie Pilby) as a young woman who seems to be a she-wolf, discovering the truth about her origins and who she really is. The cast includes Liv Tyler, Brad Dourif, James Le Gros, Mike Faist, Troy Ruptash, and Charlotte Ubben. This actually doesn't look so bad, more of a drama than a horror, but it looks to get into some werewolf action by the end. The final shot in this trailer is cool, and they of course don't want to reveal much else besides that for now. But it grabbed my interest, and I think this might be worth a watch. Fire it up below, werewolf fans.
"I miss the person that I met three years ago… That guy was romantic." Netflix has debuted the first trailer for a romantic comedy titled Happy Anniversary, which is the directorial debut of screenwriter Jared Stern. The story is about a couple, as they approach their third anniversary, who must decide whether to stay together or call it quits. This actually looks maybe even better than you're expecting, so you might want to take a look anyway. Ben Schwartz (from The Intervention, "Parks and Rec") and Noel Wells (from Mr. Roosevelt, Infinity Baby, "Master of None") star as the main couple Sam and Mollie, with a cast including Annie Potts, Joe Pantoliano, Isidora Goreshter, and Rahul Kohli. This does look like a good mix of humor and emotion, with some funny and still poignant moments. Might hit a little close to home for some.
"What part of your past as you trying to escape, Halliday?" Warner Bros has released one final trailer for Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Ernie Cline's book Ready Player One, hitting theaters at the end of this month. This nostalgia-packed, sci-fi action epic just premiered at the SXSW Film Festival over the weekend, and tickets are available to buy now if you want to get them early. If you're planning to see this, you should know what to expect, a super-nerdy movie filled with references and throwbacks, which is the entire point of it. Young actor Tye Sheridan stars as Wade Watts, known in the Oasis gaming world as "Parzival". The full cast includes Mark Rylance as Oasis creator, James Halliday, as well as T.J. Miller, Ben Mendelsohn, Simon Pegg, Olivia Cooke, Lena Waithe, Letitia Wright, and Kae Alexander. I'm honestly still very excited to see this movie, and I plan to be there opening night to catch it on the big screen. What about you?
Saddle up, boys! Time to round up the bad guys. Watch this amusing 4-minute animated short film titled Cowboyland, made by filmmaker David Stumpf as his Bachelor Film at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. This animated short played at the Annecy Festival and Animation Festival Hiroshima in 2016, as well as a few other fests, and it's finally available to watch online for free. The film is described by Stumpf as an "anti-dressage" story about a drunken cowboy sheriff, who is "unable to realize the steed he's trying to ride is actually a child's wooden horse." He animated this short by hand, with pencil and paper, and it took 6 months to complete: 4 months animating, 1 month coloring and scanning, and 1 month of post-production.
"Part of me wants to know what's going on. Part of me doesn't…" Netflix has released the first trailer for an indie dark comedy titled Sun Dogs, the feature directorial debut of actress Jennifer Morrison. The film premiered at a few smaller film festivals last year, and it will be available on Netflix this April. Sun Dogs is about a young, emotionally unbalanced man from a small town, played by Michael Angarano, who wants to become a soldier to "save lives", fueled by the belief that Al-Qaeda terrorists might be operating in his neighborhood. Melissa Benoist co-stars as his friend Tally, and the full cast includes Allison Janney, Ed O'Neill, Xzibit, Jennifer Morrison, Eric Christian Olsen, J.R. Ramirez, and Niko Nicotera. This looks funky and weird and somewhat amusing, might be an original American indie comedy worth a watch.
"I can create a parallel reality for you, with other Laura's and other Sandro's." This looks like a very fun sci-fi indie. Below is the official trailer for a time travel sci-fi, romantic comedy film titled Melocotones, which translates to Peaches in Spanish, made/set in the Dominican Republic. The film also used the title Mr. Emmett & The Canned Peaches during production, though Peaches is much simpler. This sci-fi features some lo-fi tech and filmmaking tricks to make it feel more unique, including an appearance by an old 5¼-inch floppy drive. Peaches is about a guy named Diego who uses a time travel machine to try and save his relationship with his girlfriend Laura, but things get even worse when her ex shows up. The cast includes Peter Vives as Diego, Joaquín Ferreira as Sandro, María Guinea as Laura, with Frank Perozo and Ramón Langa. This really looks very cool, something about it just seems like the perfect amount of quirky.
"I admired Spots… I would love to have a dog like Spots." Fox Searchlight has released a fun new promo featurette for Wes Anderson's stop-motion animated movie Isle of Dogs, which hits theaters at the end of this month. Every movie records interviews with the cast while on set, to use for promotional purposes later. For this movie, they recorded these interviews with the cast, and then animated their interviews as the dogs they're playing. It's adorable. Anderson explains to Vulture: that after recording spontaneously, "we spent the next several months figuring out how to make those into the cast interviews." Isle of Dogs features the voice of Edward Norton as Rex, along with a huge ensemble: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Liev Schreiber, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, and Bob Balaban. I really, really love this film, mostly because it's all about why dogs are the best. Enjoy.
"I'm not going anywhere without you - come sail with me." STX Entertainment has debuted the first trailer for survival drama Adrift, based on the true story of a sailing couple who barely survive riding through a Category 5 hurricane. Shailene Woodley & Sam Claflin star as Tami Oldham & Richard Sharp, two free-spirits who fall in love and embark on a sailboat journey. The cast includes Jeffrey Thomas, Elizabeth Hawthorne, and Grace Palmer. The film tells of "a young couple's chance encounter" which "leads them first to love, and then on the adventure of a lifetime." With a damaged boat and Richard injured, Tami works to keep them both alive as they wait to be rescued, adrift in the Pacific Ocean. This looks like yet another survival-on-the-ocean story, but with a strong core of love keeping it afloat. Hope is on the horizon.