› Alex Winter on Making Docs
› Aust. Filmmaker Jennifer Kent
› Shadow Director Zhang Yimou
› Darya Zhuk on Making Films
› S2BY Director Boots Riley
› Leigh Whannell of Upgrade
Find more of our interviews ›››
Follow Our Updates from the 2019 Cannes Film Festival
"When I'm dancing I block out the world." "I know what you mean…" Entertainment One UK has debuted a new UK trailer for Gurinder Chadha's Blinded by the Light, the joyous musical comedy about a teen from England who loves Springsteen. This premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to universal acclaim, and it's going to be a big hit when it opens later this summer. Inspired by a true story, based on Sarfraz Manzoor's memoir, the film is about a Pakistani boy named Javed who finds his own voice and his identity after being introduced to Bruce Springsteen growing up in the 1980s in the UK. This stars Viveik Kalra as Javed, including Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Ganatra, Nell Williams, Aaron Phagura, Hayley Atwell, and Dean-Charles Chapman. It was one of my favorite films from Sundance this year and one of my quotes (from this review) is featured in the trailer + on the new UK poster. Rock on. Have a listen below.
I genuinely love animation and I always enjoy catching every new animated film, wherever they may come from, however they may be made. I Lost My Body, also known as J'ai perdu mon corps, is a charming new French animated film directed by Jérémy Clapin about a missing hand. This first premiered in the Critics' Week sidebar at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and it's wonderful. Really wonderful. One of the most imaginative, ambitious, and touching animated films of the year - there's no debate. It's unconventional and unique, but so easy to enjoy and fall deeply into, even if it is just a bit creepy at times. I'm so glad I caught this film in Cannes, as it's a smaller one and animation usually gets brushed aside at this festival. But this deserves our attention, and the acclaim, as it's a truly beautiful film and a one-of-a-kind animation creation.
Two men on a rock in the ocean slowly go mad. In 2015, Brooklyn-based filmmaker Robert Eggers made quite an impression in the film industry with his vintage indie horror film The Witch. He's back with his second feature film, titled The Lighthouse, and let me be the first to tell you that it's a masterpiece. I have no qualms proclaiming this right away, because the film is absolutely phenomenal. Perfection. Eggers' The Lighthouse premiered in the Directors' Fortnight sidebar at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, and it deserves to breakout and be adored by moviegoers all over the world because it really is an extraordinary work of cinema. Every single shot is masterful. The score is exquisite. There are frames from this that will be studied for decades. It's visceral, intense, hilarious, terrifying, engrossing storytelling about two men and madness.
There's no rules, no limits, to the kind of stories that can be told in the sci-fi genre. They can be big or small, space operas or intimate dramas or even noir thrillers, commenting on and critiquing society, politics, and culture through smart storytelling. Vivarium is another terrific indie sci-fi feature, a twisted thriller set in only one location. This premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in the Critics' Week sidebar, and was barely finished just a week before they brought it here. It's also yet another new sci-fi film borrowing from "Black Mirror" and "Twilight Zone" as a contained concept that doesn't provide all the answers, but it's clever and captivating enough to keep us wondering what's next. I dug this film. It's my kind of twisted, minimal sci-fi.
"They realize later that this is the future." An official trailer has debuted for a new documentary titled And We Go Green, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, and directed by his collaborator on Before the Flood, Fisher Stevens (and co-directed by Malcolm Venville). The doc film is a look at the creation of Formula E, and all-electric version of the world famous Formula 1 races, which uses all the same tracks and similar vehicles that are quiet because of no gas. The film features footage from Jean-Eric Vergne's championship-winning season. "The documentary encapsulates the true mission and purpose of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, to show how competition drives technological development and how the excitement of sport can have a meaningful social impact and alter perceptions of electric vehicles." This is one of two new green docs that DiCaprio produced, including Ice on Fire, premiering at Cannes. Looks pretty good - check it out.
Maybe all we need is just a little bit of happiness. Maybe happiness is all there is. Or maybe not. Little Joe is a clever, crafty little sci-fi fairytale that is destined to become a cult classic. This low budget drama is the latest written and directed by Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner, and it's playing in competition at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The film has some flaws, and is way too slow, but there's something alluring and intelligent about it that sticks with you and buries itself in your mind. And even though it's honestly pretty easy to figure out what's going on, it's the way she brings this idea to life and portrays it all on screen very minimally that makes it especially captivating. The film achieves so much (in the way of thought-provoking storytelling) with so little, an effective example of very low budget filmmaking expanding upon bigger ideas.
"What brings you to Mongolia?" Vertical Entertainment has debuted a new trailer for an indie adventure comedy titled Burn Your Maps, from writer/director Jordan Roberts. This first premiered at film festivals back in late 2016, and has taken three years to finally get an actual US release. No idea why, but this trailer might give you a hint that it's just not all that. Burn Your Maps is about a family in emotional turmoil that is taken by surprise when an eccentric 8-year-old American boy, Wes, has an existential epiphany - he believes that he is in fact a Mongolian goat herder. So they travel to Mongolia and things get even crazier, of course. Jacob Tremblay stars with Vera Farmiga, and a cast including Virginia Madsen, Marton Csokas, Jason Scott Lee, Suraj Sharma, Arielle Rombough, Ramon Rodriguez, and Glynis Davies. This looks cute but also awkward and just strange, not sure what to make of it or why it was delayed for so long.
With the original John Wick, screenwriter Derek Kolstad and co-directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch created an atmospheric neo-noir thriller with exhilarating action sequences, an iconic action hero in John Wick, and an equally iconic lead performance by Keanu Reeves. The film, about an ex-assassin (Reeves) who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that killed his dog, earned $88 million worldwide, and thus began the John Wick Cinematic Universe™. Stahelski and Kolstad doubled-down on the non-stop, exquisitely choreographed bloodshed in the sequel John Wick: Chapter 2 while exploring the mythological, hyper-real criminal underworld John Wick inhabits. Now, with John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Stahelski and Kolstad walk a tightrope between world-building and trigger-pulling to deliver a propulsive action flick with some of the most impressive stunts and set pieces in American action cinema.
"It is such a fundamental change in the way the Earth is behaving that we need to communicate that as powerfully as possible." Kino Lorber has debuted the first US trailer for the documentary Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, which has been playing at every major film festival since it premiered at TIFF last fall. It has also played at Sundance, Berlinale, Vancouver, Calgary, Santa Barbara, Boulder, Portland, Hong Kong, CPH:DOX, and the Seattle Film Festival most recently. Three experienced doc filmmakers travel to six continents and 20 countries to document the impact humans have made on the planet. And it doesn't look good. "A stunning sensory experience and cinematic meditation on humanity's massive reengineering of the planet, Anthropocene: The Human Epoch is a years-in-the-making feature documentary." Scientists now argue that the Holocene Epoch gave way to the Anthropocene Epoch in the mid-twentieth century as a result of profound and lasting human changes to the Earth. The footage in this looks jaw-dropping amazing.
"We started out with nothing… you built all of this!" Breaking Glass Pictures has debuted the official trailer for an "arthouse thriller" titled She's Just a Shadow, a new film by director Adam Sherman set in Tokyo. This "modern, dreamlike take on the gangster genre" is an action-packed story about "a matriarchal crime family engaged in a vicious gang war. A deranged killer is leaving his victims on railroad tracks all over Tokyo, and the only thing more dangerous than him is the vicious love triangle within the family itself." Three stories involving multiple characters collide in this Japanese gangster flick. Starring Tao Okamoto, Haruka Abe, Mercedes Maxwell, Haruna Ayane, Noriko Arai, plus Japanese musician Kihiro, and Kentez Asaka. I'd say this is a hyper-stylized, neo-noir, but I'm not even sure that does it complete justice.
"After you left, I sat by the window every day. Just hoping that one day I'd look out and you'd be there…" Animation is not just a genre, it's a powerful storytelling tool, a technique that any filmmaker can use to bring their story to the screen. Cradle is an exceptional example of the power of storytelling in animation. Written & directed by Devon Manney as his USC thesis project, the short film won the Student Academy Award in 2017. Returning to home after losing both arms overseas, a young veteran battles phantom pains, prosthetics, and memories of his pre-war life while reaching for a sense of normalcy. Featuring the voices of Devon Manney, Alexa Nikol Curran, Trevor Larson, & Rosie Richards. Another must watch short.
"Are you scared?" Universal + Illumination Ent. have debuted a final trailer, dubbed "Together", for Chris Renaud's The Secret Life of Pets 2, the sequel to the animated hit from a few years ago about pets and the life they have after their owners leave. This gives us the best look at the story yet, taking them to a farm and on another adventure around the city. Each of the pets from the original are now dealing with different life changes. Can Max, Snowball, Gidget and the rest of the gang find the inner courage to face their biggest fears? The full voice cast includes Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Jenny Slate, Dana Carvey, Albert Brooks, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Kylie Hart, Nick Kroll, Pete Holmes, and Harrison Ford as Rooster. This really looks like it will be amusing and adorable, and also uplifting and inspiring. The Killers track used here is pretty much perfectly in this, I have to say. Enjoy.