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First Teaser Trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi is Here:
"Where you're making art, and you're making life, and it feels like anything is possible." Now this might be something worth watching. An official trailer has debuted for a film titled Flames, a "docu-art hybrid" that was filmed over five years. The story follows a couple, filmmakers/artists Zefrey Throwell & Josephine Decker, who documented their own romance over the course of these five years. It's apparently a very real romance and real story, but doesn't end well. The two "simmer in the white hot apocalypse of first love until the throw of a dart finds them on a spontaneous trip to the Maldives and cracks open the question -- is their love true or just a performance?" Even after breaking up, the two of them still came together to finish this film and present it as a remarkable inside look at real romance, including the bad side of what can happen.
"You're asking me how I didn't know?" HBO has revealed a second official trailer for the HBO Original Film titled The Wizard of Lies, telling the story of stockbroker Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi scheme which got him arrested back in 2008. This is a follow-up to the first teaser trailer we posted last month, and it features plenty of intense footage. Made by director Barry Levinson, this stars Robert De Niro as Bernie Madoff, with Michelle Pfeiffer as his wife Ruth, examining how Madoff kept his tricks a big secret from even his family. Also starring Hank Azaria, Kristen Connolly, Lily Rabe, Alessandro Nivola, Kelly AuCoin, Nathan Darrow, & Kathrine Narducci. There's lots of yelling in this trailer, but it's a damn good trailer.
"I hope they kill him, I really do." Lionsgate has debuted the first red band teaser trailer for director Patrick Hughes' new action film, titled The Hitman's Bodyguard. This action comedy stars Ryan Reynolds as the world's top bodyguard who is hired to protect a hit man who must testify at the International Court of Justice. Samuel L. Jackson plays the notorious hit man, and they must get over their differences in order to make it to the trial on time. Also starring Gary Oldman, Salma Hayek, Elodie Yung, Joaquim de Almeida, and Sam Hazeldine. I'm glad they are introducing this with a red band trailer, as it makes a difference with this footage. All the dialogue is hilarious, and I'm looking forward to seeing more. Have fun.
Every year, cinephiles wake up early to catch the announcement direct from France of the films playing at the Cannes Film Festival. For the 70th Cannes Film Festival taking place this May they've revealed a fascinating selection of films premiering. The selection includes new features from Todd Haynes, Michael Haneke, Sofia Coppola, two new films from Hong Sangsoo, François Ozon, Lynne Ramsay, Noah Baumbach, Bong Joon-ho, Takashi Miike, and Yorgos Lanthimos. I'm most excited to see Okja, the new creature feature from Bong Joon-ho, as well as John Cameron Mitchell's How to Talk to Girls At Parties. And of course it's all about discovering and experiencing whatever Thierry Frémaux has decided to play. Full list found below.
Time for some film education and film appreciation in the form of a video essay from "The Royal Ocean Film Society". The video essay is titled "In Praise of 16mm" and it is exactly that - filmmaker/cinephile Andrew Saladino examines the use of 16mm film (as opposed to the standard 35mm or larger 65mm) for making movies. For those wondering how often 16mm gets used, some filmmakers do still use it every so often. Here are some recent films that were shot on 16mm: Carol, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, The Squid and the Whale, The Hurt Locker, Moonrise Kingdom, Black Swan, Happy Christmas, Primer, Listen Up Philip, and others. Watch below to learn more about the aesthetic and what makes 16mm "so darn cool."
"We makin' music with our bodies!" Fox Searchlight has revealed the first official trailer for an outstanding documentary titled Step, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year where it received rave reviews from critics and audiences. The film follows a few different teenage women at a special high school in Baltimore, Maryland who are part of the prestigious step dance program. The school is designed to help them get into college, many of them being the first in their family to attend, and it shows how step dancing is a way for them to come together and focus on what maters - expressing themselves creatively. I caught this film at Sundance and really, really loved it. It's exciting, and energetic, and inspiring, and moving, with just the right balance of heart and honesty. I will be strongly supporting it throughout this year. See below.
"This can't possibly end well." Roadside Attractions has unveiled an official trailer for the rebellious indie comedy Beatriz at Dinner, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January this year. Salma Hayek stars as a woman from a small town in Mexico now working as a health practitioner in Los Angeles, who accompanies a friend to a dinner party. Hosted by a billionaire, played by John Lithgow, she goes to town and argues with them about all of their insane bullshit. The cast includes Connie Britton, Chloë Sevigny, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass and David Warshofsky. This looks kind of amazing. I'm a bit sad I didn't see this at Sundance, I'm particularly excited to catch up with it now. Kick some rich ass, Salma!
"Should I tell your wife and your son who you really are?" Screen Media Films has launched a trailer for Drone, yet another movie about drone pilots, this one featuring Sean Bean. Yes, that Sean Bean, the one from Lord of the Rings and "Game of Thrones". Drone is about a father who is secretly a drone pilot who spends his workdays flying covert missions then returns to family life. Everything changes when a Pakistani businessman, who feels he is responsible for the deaths of his wife and child, tracks him down leading to a harrowing confrontation. Starring Patrick Sabongui, Mary McCormack, Joel David Moore, Sharon Taylor, and Kirby Morrow. This looks intriguing, but pretty much the same as all the other drone films.
"If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done." Samuel Goldwyn has released a trailer for an indie drama titled Tracktown, a sort-of semi-autobiographical story of an Olympic athlete and her trials and tribulations in life and love. That athlete is Alexi Pappas, a Greek-American long distance runner who competed for Greece in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. She stars in, co-writes, and co-directs this film, taking on the full responsibility of bringing her story to the big screen. Also starring Chase Offerle, Rachel Dratch, Andy Buckley, Rebecca Friday, and Sasha Spencer. Her two biggest obstacles: a twisted ankle, a boy she meets that makes he heart beat. This looks charming.
"I need you to survive the night." Annapurna has unveiled the first official trailer for the newest film from Kathryn Bigelow, titled simply Detroit, profiling the story of the infamous Detroit riot of 1967. The film features an ensemble cast of characters to tell the story of why so many citizens decided to rise up, and how the riot expanded so quickly to become so massive that the President had to send in federal troops to get things under control. The huge cast includes John Boyega, Jack Reynor, Will Poulter, Ben O'Toole, Hannah Murray, Anthony Mackie, Jacob Latimore, Algee Smith, Joseph David-Jones, Kaitlyn Dever, Jason Mitchell, John Krasinski, Jeremy Strong, and Laz Alonso. This looks like an intense, riveting, honest portrayal of what happened back then and I'm certainly looking forward to watching this.