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Stay Safe 😷 In Theaters + Streaming on 2021 Schedule⇣
"Death is weird." Oscilloscope Labs has revealed an official trailer for the indie coming-of-age drama titled Sophie Jones, marking the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Jessie Barr. This premiered at a few film festivals last year, and it's getting a virtual release coming up soon in March. Inspired by true experiences of grief, girlhood, and growing up, Sophie Jones provides a stirring portrait of a 16-year old trying to figure out life. "Stunned by the untimely death of her mother and struggling with the myriad challenges of teendom, Sophie tries everything she can to feel something again, while holding herself together, in this sensitive, acutely realized, and utterly relatable coming-of-age story." Starring Jessica Barr as Sophie, with Skyler Verity, Claire Manning, Charlie Jackson, and Dave Roberts. This looks like a worthwhile indie gem.
"You are being considered for the amazing opportunity of life." Another year, another Top 10. Better late than never, as they say! Though this usually happens with me, getting this list out takes a lot of time… It was a tough year to keep writing during 2020, despite watching films all the time. I saw over 400 films during the year, trying to watch as much as I could despite the lockdowns and the shut downs, and everything else going on. But here it is anyway - my personal list of my Top 10 Favorite Films of 2020. Most of all, I just want to share my love for these glorious works of cinema. It's not that surprising that many of my favorite films are films about how magical and mesmerizing life is to live, which is important during this pandemic time anyway. We have to keep on living, despite all the challenges, we have to seek the light, despite all the darkness, we have to find beauty, despite all the ugliness. And these films provided that much needed bliss.
"This is not about you getting back your license to drive, this is about your license to live!" Screen Media Films has unveiled an official trailer for an old timers romantic comedy called Senior Moment, made by filmmaker Giorgio Serafini. This zany romcom set in SoCal features William Shatner and Jean Smart in a lovers-at-any-age romance. After drag racing his vintage convertible around Palm Springs, a retired NASA test pilot loses his driver's license. Forced to take public transportation, he meets Caroline. Now he must not only battle with the DMV, he must also find new ways to navigate love and life without his beloved vintage Porsche. The film's cast also includes Christopher Lloyd, Esai Morales, Katrina Bowden, and Carlos Miranda. This definitely seems like a "for adults only" kind of comedy, if you know what I mean. I'm not even old enough for it. And it looks like Lloyd is the best part about it, having all the fun as his wacky friend.
"I have forgotten about the past. Both mine and his." Luxbox has revealed a new festival promo trailer for an indie drama titled Moon, 66 Questions, marking the feature directorial debut of the Greek artist / filmmaker Jacqueline Lentzou. This Greek drama is premiering at the Berlin Film Festival next week, and is still looking for international distribution. After years of distance, Artemis has to get back to Athens due to her father's frail state of health. Discovering her father's well-kept secret allows Artemis to understand her father, in a way she was not able before, therefore love him truly for the first time. The cast includes Sofia Kokkali as Artemis, and Lazaros Georgakopoulos as her father Paris. This looks like a very tender film about forgiveness and vulnerability, I'm curious to give it a look at the festival. Check out the footage below.
"God gave us everything to also help those…" Cinetic has revealed a promo trailer for an indie documentary titled Dirty Feathers, premiering at this year's Berlin Film Festival kicking off next week. The film is a "poetic and humane portrait of the residents of a shelter in El Paso, Texas" from a producer of What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire? previously. Hear the story of two lovers, and others as they struggle to live. "On the streets of the US-Mexican border towns of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, we meet several people – including a grieving father, a war veteran and a 16-year-old – who are living without a home. At night, many of them sleep in the shelters of the OC, the Opportunity Center for the Homeless in El Paso, but during the day it is a matter of somehow surviving on the streets. Together and individually, they reflect on their past, their backgrounds and the here and now and share their dreams, their desires and their hopes for the future that are keeping them alive." This looks like a tough watch, but still meaningful in its intentions.
"You must always stay with me… You must always keep my secrets." The Match Factory has revealed a festival promo trailer for an indie German film titled Copilot, the latest feature from German filmmaker Anne Zohra Berrached of Two Mothers and 24 Weeks previously. The film is premiering at the Berlin Film Festival next week and it's still looking for international distribution. The German title is Die Welt wird eine andere sein (also listed as Die Frau des Piloten on IMDb) which translates directly to The world will be different, which is a much more evocative title than "Copilot". The film is a love story between two German Muslim people, but one day one of them disappears, leaving the other completely shattered. "Anne Zohra Berrached's film comprises several layers that are all of equal importance. It is a love story, but it is also an exploration of cultural differences, truth and faith, trust and delusion." The key cast includes Canan Kir, Roger Azar, Özay Fecht, Jana Julia Roth, Ceci Chuh, and Nicolas Chaoui. This looks superb.
"You won't be able to see it until it's about to hit." It's the end of the world as we know it… and I feel fine! How about some apocalyptic cinema to relax you? This short film Red Rover originally premiered in 2015, but is just now being featured online thanks to a feature from Short of the Week. It's written & directed by Australian filmmaker Brooke Goldfinch, who was inspired by the news of a cult predicting the end of the world, so she started asking her friends "how they would spend their final hours." It follows two teenagers from a remote religious community who head to town looking for others after their Evangelical parents tell them an asteroid will soon destroy the Earth. Starring Natalie Racoosin and Christopher M. Gray as Lauren and Conrad. This film is especially melancholic, but has a beautifully tragic ending that makes it all worth it. Low key filmmaking that is meant to make you think about what matters, rather than how it ends.
"Money!!!!" Gravitas has released an official trailer for an indie drama titled Funny Face, the latest from indie filmmaker Tim Sutton (Memphis, Dark Knight, Donnybrook), who often makes low key unsettling films where nothing much happens. The destruction of his grandparents' home leads a young man to take revenge under a masked persona. It's kind of a different take on Joker. Cosmo Jarvis stars as a disturbed man from Coney Island who dons the menacing “Funny Face” mask, transforming himself into a makeshift superhero with a rage disorder as he seeks revenge on the Real Estate Developer of a soulless high rise that has displaced his grandparents. Also stars Jonny Lee Miller, Dela Meskienyar, Victor Garber, Dan Hedaya, Jeremy Bobb, and Rhea Perlman. This seems like one of those "acquired taste" kind of films.
"It's the foundation of us…" eOne has released an official trailer for Big Giant Wave, a "cinematographic wave" doc film that is described as an "ode to music." Big Giant Wave illustrates our essential connection with rhythm, music, our planet, the brain, daily lives and our collective humanity. Presented by Jean-Marc Vallée. Conceived as a cinematographic wave, this documentary essay takes us from Montreal to Cremona via Sweden, Mexico and the American West Coast to meet fascinating scientists and artists who, from their various horizons, illustrate the essential link between rhythm, music, our planet, the brain, everyday life and our collective humanity. The film is premiering in competition at The International Festival of Films on Art taking place in a few weeks. This looks exquisite! I'm very much looking forward to experiencing it myself.
"Jumping off stuff… is part of me." Greenwich Entertainment has released the new trailer for an adventure sports documentary called Super Frenchie, profiling the life of French adventurist Matthias Giraud. This originally premiered at last year's Newport Beach Film Festival, but hasn't shown up anywhere else yet; now arriving later this March. Super Frenchie provides an intimate look at the life of professional skier and BASE jumper Matthias Giraud, who stops at nothing to pursue his passion for adventure. The film follows Matthias as he dares ever more dangerous stunts while simultaneously falling in love and starting a family. The story takes a turn when Matthias suffers a catastrophic crash just days before the birth of his first child. But of course, that doesn't stop him from continuing on. Nothing can ever stop these guys from jumping! It's always a passion and a lifelong pursuit no matter what. That avalanche cliff shot at the end is just incredible.
"Some things even I find too unsettling to recount." RLJE has released their official trailer for the upcoming VOD / DVD release of the horror anthology indie The Mortuary Collection, which initially premiered at the 2019 Fantastic Fest a few years ago. This also already debuted on Shudder streaming last fall, but we're just now catching up with this final trailer (we first posted a teaser a few years back). This anthology film features four unique horror stories that progress through four decades - a '50s housewife struggles with a mysterious presence in her bathroom; a '60s college boy gets a taste of his own fraternizing medicine; and a '70s husband makes some tough decisions about his wife; culminating in '80s-set The Babysitter Murders. The film is wrapped around with a story featuring a young girl who enters a secret room in a mortuary and learns the backstory of the mortician’s favorite deaths. Starring Caitlin Custer, Clancy Brown, Barak Hardley, Christine Kilmer, Mike Nelson, and Sarah Hay. Looks like a spooky set of stories to enjoy.
"But there's just one thing… No one can find out." Disney has revealed a teaser trailer for Pixar's next new original movie titled Luca, the feature directorial debut of Italian storyboard artist Enrico Casarosa (who directed the Pixar short La Luna as well). Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, the film is about two friends and an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides. But both boys are actually sea monsters from the water. Casarosa explains his inspiration: "I met my best friend when I was 11. I was really shy and I found this troublemaker of a kid… I wanted to make a movie about those kinds of friendships that help you grow up." The Pixar movie pays homage to Fellini and other classic Italian filmmakers, "with a dash of Miyazaki." There's no voice cast revealed yet for Luca and Alberto. After the success of Soul, I'm excited to see Pixar back on track with original work and this looks so delightful already.