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"Do you really think they're going to be talking about this in 40 years?" Okay, yes this isn't a film, but it's close enough! The Shark is Broken is a stage play, currently on West End in London, about the making of Spielberg's Jaws (1975). So it's a play about making one of the best films of all-time? I want to see it!! Set on a boat in 1974 - shooting has stalled. The lead actors – Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss – are stuck on a boat, at the mercy of foul weather and a faulty mechanical co-star. Awash with alcohol and ambition, three hammered sharks start to bare their teeth… Ian Shaw stars as his father Robert Shaw. He is joined by Liam Murray Scott as Richard Dreyfuss (reprising the role he performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019), and Demetri Goritsas as Roy Scheider. The play actually got GREAT reviews, which should be more than enough to convince you to book a ticket to London and catch it before the run is over.
"I'm trying to protect my son!" Saban Films has unveiled a trailer for Two Deaths of Henry Baker, a generational crime thriller from filmmaker Felipe Mucci. It will be arriving on VOD / DVD this January to watch. A decades-long family feud pits two brothers and their sons in a bloody battle for possession of a fortune in gold. On the outskirts of a dusty, rural town, a young boy watches as his father buries a cache of stolen coins. The secret stash is entrusted alone to his favored son, Henry. Thirty years later, a corrupt cop and his crew descend on the now-adult son to snatch the treasure. A bloody ambush ensues, leaving several dead or maimed and Henry being sent away to prison. His only son, Hank, is now in possession of their gold coins, that is until other family members show up to find them. The cast includes Gil Bellows as Henry Baker, plus Tony Curran, Joe Dinico, Sebastian Pigott, Dani Kind, and Jess Salgueiro. This looks like another solid thriller about the endless cycle of greed, everyone betraying everyone else every chance.
"A story the NYPD doesn’t want you to see." Greenwich Ent. has debuted an official trailer for A Cops and Robbers Story, a searing documentary film from Romanian filmmaker Ilinca Calugareanu. This originally premiered at the 2020 DOC NYC Film Festival last year, and it's finally opening in January 2022. In the 1980s, Corey Pegues found himself embroiled in a life of crime as a member of New York’s City's infamous "Supreme Team" gang. A near-death incident forces Pegues away from the streets, but later he unexpectedly emerges as a rising star in the NYPD, his past unknown to his fellow officers. A decorated 21-year police career is threatened when his political stances and revelations about his former life cause strife within the police community. This sounds like a VERY important doc for the times we're living in, but I also doubt it'll make the NYPD fix their problems. it's just a story about how dirty and scrupulous they can be. Take a look.
"Often wrongheaded but sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, [this film] has been rejected by film distributors worldwide. All I can say is that the movie sure as hell delivers." Ohh John Waters! It's always a delight to discover his Top 10 list every year. One of our favorite "best of the year" lists that kicks off this time of the year is from filmmaker John Waters - his Top 10 favorite films released this year. For 2021, Waters has chosen yet another (expected) eclectic mix of films, lead by the extravagant Sparks Brothers + Leos Carax musical Annette (watch the trailer). He goes on to highlight other underseen gems and indie film favorites, including Quentin Dupieux's Mandibules and Sean Baker's Red Rocket. I'm honestly more excited to find out what's on his list than almost anyone else, just because he always chooses some of the most unexpected yet worthy films. No one else has a Top 10 like Waters'. And that's why I dig his Top 10 picks year after year.
"We can help you… and we need your help." Metrograph has unveiled the official US trailer for Last and First Men, an experimental documentary made by the late composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. This initially premiered at the 2020 Berlin Film Festival just before the pandemic took over, and has been waiting to be released ever since. It's the only feature film directed by iconic Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, who made this before he died in 2018. Featuring narration by Tilda Swinton. This feature is a repackaged version of the video Jóhannsson made for his concerts, inspired by Dutch photographer Jan Kempenaers' 2010 art book "Spomenik" about these oddly shaped war monuments. It was shot on 16mm B&W film by the Norwegian cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen (DP on the films Victoria, Rams, Shelley, Wendy). The Tilda narration is based on text from Olaf Stapledon's book "Last and First Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future". I flipped for this when I had the chance to watch it on the big screen at Berlinale, writing in my review: "My mind melded with the screen on this journey. I loved every last second of this experience."
"Maybe this isn't the story you think it is…" Oh yes! WB has unveiled a brand new 45-sec promo trailer for The Matrix Resurrections, which opens later this month. I can't wait!! This is the first trailer since the original debut in September that contains new footage (everything else has been different edits / remixes). And this trailer makes things even more interesting by cutting & transitioning between some familiar faces & scenes. A very clear indication that there's layers upon layers of Matrixes (Matrices?) in this next movie. The rumor has been that this bright new Matrix is actually another Matrix within the old Matrix to control Neo and his narrative. The returning cast includes Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lambert Wilson, & Daniel Bernhardt as Agent Johnson. Along with Resurrections newcomers Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Christina Ricci, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt, and Eréndira Ibarra. Tickets go on sale starting December 6th - as mentioned in the tweet where this latest trailer was first seen. Check it out below.
"They are the egg men. I am the walrus." This is something you don't see everyday. Listen to Me Sing is a fascinating stop-motion animated short film made by a Welsh animation filmmaker named Isabel Garrett. After playing on the festival circuit and picking up a few awards, it's now online to watch. "Set in an isolated, rundown hotel, the story follows entertainer Sophie as she struggles to find her place in a confusing world. That is until a walrus mysteriously appears in her bathtub one night and she forms an unexpected bond with it." This is easily one of the strangest, wackiest short films we've featured all year. Not only is there a pink walrus in it, but the entire story and the way it plays out is especially kooky. This reminds me of The Shape of Water in many ways, but it also ventures down its own path in many other ways. Meet the walrus below.
"You have no idea who she is!" Universal Pictures has debuted the second trailer for the film Redeeming Love, a passionate romance story from filmmaker D.J. Caruso and adapted from Francine Rivers' novel of the same name. Redeeming Love is a powerful retelling of the biblical book of Hosea against the backdrop of the California Gold Rush of 1850. Abigail Cowen and Tom Lewis co-star as Angel and Michael, the two young lovers are the center of this story of love against all odds, as they connect despite their differences. Opening in early 2022 in theaters. "Redeeming Love shows there is no brokenness that love can't heal." The ensemble cast also includes Famke Janssen, Logan Marshall-Green, Nina Dobrev, Livi Birch, Eric Dane, Brandon Auret, Jamie-Lee O'Donnell, and Josh Taylor. This looks like a passionate story of true love, but the religious aspects seem overwhelming. Enough to turn me away from wanting to watch this.
"When I'm done with you, no one will remember who you are." Retro Video Pictures has debuted a trailer for Forgotten Trash, a wacky 80s throwback indie creation made by filmmaker Brandon Espana. A film graduate stumbles across an alien in the woods who convinces him to help with an intergalactic television show. In it, the alien travels from planet to planet torturing and killing its inhabitants. Rather than adding digital effects, Espana shot the movie on a MiniDV camcorder then transferred it to VHS to get the grainy visuals. It plays like a genuine relic rather than a pastiche of tongue-in-cheek nostalgia. "I wasn't trying to make something self-referential," he explains. "It was always intended to be a straightforward, low-budget genre movie that draws influence from '70s and early '80s regional horror." The indie film stars Connor McDonald and Steve Kasan. "Clocking in at just shy of an hour, Forgotten Trash is a brisk throwback to the halcyon days of VHS." Accompanied by the ghastly short The Apparition & Ms. Delware. Take a look.
"Were you painting something?" Another chance to talk about one of my favorite films! Don't mind if I do. Studiocanal UK has released another 60-second official trailer for The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, directed by Will Sharpe, with Benedict Cumberbatch as British artist Louis Wain. "From Ancient Egypt to TikTok, cats have accompanied humans on life’s journey. But who made the creatures cute? Louis Wain tells the story of the Victorian-era artist whose widely published [artwork of] cats transformed them from mysterious to irresistible. In a dazzling, career-best performance, Cumberbatch plays one of Britain's most influential eccentrics as a flurry of wild ideas and prodigious artistic output." The cast also includes Claire Foy as his wife Emily, Sophia Di Martino, Olivia Colman narrating, Andrea Riseborough, Jamie Demetriou, Toby Jones, and Stacy Martin, plus a number of fun cameos (a few of which are spoiled in this trailer). I adore this film! It's so delightful and beautiful and quirky and enjoyable in all the right ways. It's available on Prime Video in the US now, opening in the UK this December. I highly recommend this one.
"I'm not some lonely old cougar looking for some young stud to take care of…" 1091 Pictures has unveiled an official trailer for a passionate indie romance titled Maya & Her Lover, the latest feature film made by filmmaker Nicole Sylvester (also the director of Minor Blues, Layla's Girl, and The Owner previously). This recently premiered at the 2021 American Black Film Festival, and it arrives on VOD starting this December. The mundane life of a 39 year old introvert is disrupted when she begins a steamy but contentious affair with a much younger Man. Kaseem has dark side that impedes his journey as he navigates his way as a Black Man in America, while Maya is stifled by memories of her overbearing father. Starring Ashanti J'Aria, Shomari Love, Faiven Feshazion, Al Thompson, and Hisham Tawfiq. It's nice to see something that goes against the expected & cliche "old guy, young girl" romance and instead gives us an empowering story.
"Let's show them what they can be…" Lionsgate has debuted an official US trailer for the animated movie Birds Like Us, the very first Bosnian full-length computer animated feature. It originally premiered at a few animation festivals back in 2017, but is only just now getting a release in early 2022. The story follows a group of birds on a journey where they try to find a better life for themselves and the ones they love. In the land of Birdabad, a treebound community in the middle of a vast desert, a society of flightless birds is ruled by a tyrannous leader and his carnivore crew. The fruit-eating birds unthinkingly swap their eggs to survive. But one young couple, Huppu & Hassan, are determined to defy the system and save their rare chick from this terrible fate… It's described as "part comedy, part political allegory." The ensemble voice cast features Jeremy Irons, Alicia Vikander, Khalid Abdalla, Jim Broadbent, Sheridan Smith, Kevin Bishop, Christopher Villiers, Ella Smith, Michele Austin, and Jay Villiers. I quite like that this doesn't look like every other animated movie, even if it does all seem a bit strange, it has some unique style. Check it out.