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› Shadow Director Zhang Yimou
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Stay Well 😷 Theaters + Streaming on the 2021 Schedule⇣
"I didn't hear you come home… Mom?" Another clever, creepy horror short to give you a week of insomnia. Goodnight Darling is a scary little 6-minute horror short made by filmmaker Canadian filmmaker Adam Azimov, and it's now available to watch online via the YT channel Alter. It's about two sisters wondering if their mother's strange behavior that night is a response to a recent family loss, or if something more sinister is at work… The short stars AnnaSophia Robb, Vivien Lyra Blair, Lauren Bowles, and April Lang. Azimov explains that this idea came about from a fear he had as a child that his parents would come home and not be the same. The terrifying thought made him realize "it represented an unspoken and deeper fear that many children face - that my parents weren't the perfect people I grew up thinking they were." This was shot by Polish cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski, the same DP from the films Hereditary, Midsommar, and Nobody. So yes it looks great, but it's also just a damn fine horror short that should give you a good jolt.
If you haven't heard by now, the Golden Globes are embroiled in a massive controversy that began when they were ousted for having no Black members. And it probably means they're done for good. We can only hope that's the case. NBC has already stated they will not air the Golden Globes in 2022, which is essentially the "final blow" in the controversy, meaning that the actual show won't go on this time. The Golden Globes are put on by a shady group known as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, aka the HFPA, and thanks to lawsuits & journalists we now know everything (bad) about them. To put it bluntly, it's a group of power-hungry "international journalists" who are obsessed with Hollywood celebs. And to put it bluntly again, it's time to end the Golden Globes for good. 2021 should be their final year. They don't matter anymore, they're boring, they're bought-and-paid for awards, and that's on top of the problems with the HFPA membership.
"I think as she was dying part of her mind became part of the creature that was killing her." Monsters in movies have been scaring us for decades, since the early days of cinema. But which one is the scariest of all of them? Jonathan Hiller, known as "throughline", has made a video essay asking exactly that: What is the scariest movie monster Hollywood has ever created? His focus is on the iconic mutant bear creature from Alex Garland's Annihilation (2018), which many film critics have noted as one of the most haunting monsters in recent cinema. But this essay also digs a bit deeper, exploring the philosophy of horror and the emotions we feel watching movie monsters. It ends too quickly but is still worth a watch – only 10 minutes.
"I heard there's a safe place for kids like me." Netflix has unveiled an official trailer for a streaming series called Sweet Tooth, described as "a post-apocalyptic fairytale about a hybrid deer-boy and a wandering loner who embark on an extraordinary adventure." Based on the beloved DC Comic by Jeff Lemire, it was adapted by filmmaker Jim Mickle, who has been making great under-the-radar indies for years (including Stake Land, We Are What We Are, Cold in July). The is executive produced by Jim Mickle, Beth Schwartz, Robert Downey, Jr., Susan Downey, Amanda Burrell, and Linda Moran. The new series stars young actor Christian Convery as Gus, the hybrid deer-boy, and the cast features Nonso Anozie as Jepperd, Adeel Akhtar, Aliza Vellani, Stefania LaVie Owen, Dania Ramirez, Neil Sandilands, and Will Forte, plus James Brolin as the narrator. We're featuring this mostly because we've been fans of Jim Mickle for many years, he's a very talented storyteller and genre director. This looks crazy good and, yes, quite magical.
"It's like Freaky Friday, but on a Tuesday, though…" Sony Pictures has debuted the first official trailer for Hotel Transylvania 4, also known as Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, continuing the popular animated franchise with yet another new story featuring Dracula and his family. "Drac's Pack is back, like you've never seen them before in the final chapter of the Hotel Transylvania franchise." They're turned into *gasp* regular people!! When Van Helsing's mysterious invention, the 'Monsterfication Ray,' goes haywire, Drac and his monster pals are all transformed into humans, and Johnny becomes a monster. Drac loses his powers and they all need to find out a way to switch back before it gets out of hand! The extensive voice cast features: Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Brian Hull, Asher Blinkoff, Brad Abrell, Fran Drescher, Jim Gaffigan, and Molly Shannon. Made by Sony Pictures Animation, lead by co-directors Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska, and executive producer / co-written by Genndy Tartakovsky. This one definitely does look wacky, that's for sure.
"I think we're lucky to have him still with us…" 1091 Pics has debuted a new official trailer for an adventure sports documentary titled The Longest Wave, which originally premiered in 2019 at the DOC NYC Film Festival. And it also played at last year's Cinequest Film Festival. Oscar-nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Brother's Keeper, Paradise Lost, One Who Day, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster) travels the globe with legendary windsurfer and pioneering waterman Robby Naish as he figures out what to accomplish next in his life. The film also focuses on the usual adventure life challenges including getting older, injuries, family, and the risks of continuing to participate in considerably dangerous sports. The doc features Robby Naish, Kai Lenny, Laird Hamilton, and Gerry Lopez, among others. This seems like a nice companion to the other recent surfing doc Arc of Aleutia, or the classic The Endless Summer where they also seek the longest wave.
"Expect explosions!" Dartmouth Films has debuted an official UK trailer for an intriguing new documentary film titled Bank Job, not to be confused with the Jason Statham bank heist film The Bank Job from 2008. In this film, the filmmaker and an artist team up with their local community to take on the world of finance by setting up a bank, printing their own money and blowing up a million pounds worth of high interest debt. "Fed up with predatory economic institutions and drastic wealth disparity after the 2008 financial crisis, community-led movements are ready to take aim at archaic economic systems that are beneficial for a few and predatory to many." The hand-crafted documentary film is an "insightful and humorous" look at banks and consumer debt and what's so wrong with banking nowadays. Yes! Tell us the truth, please. I dig the lo-fi vibe of this, having fun messing with bank money and making us think at the same time. Check it out below.
"I need warriors like you… Join us." Whoaaaa this looks dope! Paramount Pictures has unveiled the first official teaser trailer for Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins – a new G.I. Joe spin-off movie focusing on the badass character of Snake Eyes. Every warrior has a beginning. Uncover the classified origin story only in theaters this July. After the pandemic shut downs, this was reset for release in 2022, but Paramount decided to move it up and drop it in theaters this summer for an action-packed big screen treat. Henry Golding stars as Snake Eyes, replacing Ray Park who portrayed him in the previous films. He is trained in Japan was a ninja warrior by Arashikage, but his "honor and allegiance will be tested". The cast includes Samara Weaving as Scarlett, with Andrew Koji as Storm Shadow, Haruka Abe as Akiko, Úrsula Corberó as The Baroness, Peter Mensah, and Iko Uwais as Hard Master. Hot damn this looks badass so far! That car chase action scene at the beginning is incredible. I'm impressed! I'm really looking forward to watching this.
"Her search leads her into archives and libraries." Film Movement has released this documentary film (and it's available to watch already) and there's a new trailer for those who haven't heard about this yet. Women Composers (aka Komponistinnen) is a German doc film about the mysterious lack of well known female composers. Accomplished Leipzig pianist Kyra Steckeweh decided to look back at the history of female composers and realized there have been a few, though rather unknown and they never were that famous. She did discover three of them you probably haven't heard of before: Mel Bonis, Lili Boulanger, and Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel. The film highlights the historical and personal circumstances under which these three remarkable women created their works in the 19th and early 20th centuries. And it ask questions like What barriers did they have to overcome and how did they manage to cope with the obstacles of their time? The hope is that perhaps by telling their stories, maybe it will inspire even more women to become composers. This trailer has a very strange voiceover, but it seems like a fascinating dive into music history nonetheless.
"You can look away, or you can risk your life and expose it to the whole world." Signature Entertainment in the UK has released the official UK trailer for this Slovak WWII thriller The Auschwitz Escape, also known as The Auschwitz Report, inspired by the novel "What Dante Did Not See" by Alfred Wetzler. This is the true story of Freddy and Walter - two young Slovak Jews, who were deported to Auschwitz in 1942. On 10 April 1944, after meticulous planning and with the help and the resilience of their inmates, they manage to escape. They managed to return to Slovakia, but the report they wrote seemed too unbelievable to be true, despite providing direct evidence of what they had experienced. Noel Czuczor & Peter Ondrejicka star as Freddy & Walter, and the extensive cast includes John Hannah, Wojciech Mecwaldowski, Jacek Beler, Michal Rezný, Kamil Nozynski, Aleksander Mincer, and Christoph Bach. This looks better than just another horrifying Holocaust film, with high quality production work and harrowing storytelling. Most importantly a reminder that at the time, no could believe just how bad it really was in the Nazi camps.
"In all my years of doing press, I've been repeatedly asked about the white gaze. Rarely have I been set upon about the Black gaze; or the gaze distilled." This is something. Filmmaker Barry Jenkins' latest is now available to watch on Amazon Prime - The Underground Railroad, a series set in the antebellum South. Jenkins explains that he finally had this realization about "the gaze" while working on filming this series, and started to shoot these dialogue-less moments during the production. Jenkins explains: "None of these shots are planned. Occasionally, when the spirit moved us, we stopped making the planned thing and focused on making THIS thing." He started filming background actors and extras perfectly posed, staring, gazing into the camera. Featuring gorgeous costumes by Caroline Eseline. And that magnificent score by Jenkins' regular, Nicholas Britell. It's hard to watch and not be consumed by emotions. It's a stunning work of cinema of its own, alongside the real series they were making, which is an additional layer of magic on top of what Jenkins usually pulls off with his films. It runs almost an hour long but all of is breathtaking.
"That happens to men when they go crazy. They run… until they can't anymore." Netflix has unveiled the official trailer for the Mexican indie drama titled Tragic Jungle, which first premiered at last year's Venice Film Festival. It also stopped by the San Sebastian, Hamburg, Busan, Warsaw, and New York Film Festivals last fall. Set in the 1920s in the Mayan jungle on the border between Mexico and Belize, the film is about a mysterious young Belizean woman. She encounters a group of Mexican gum workers. "Filled with new vigor, they face their destiny, without knowing that they have woken up Xtabay, a legendary being that lurks in the heart of the jungle." Netflix's description provides a somewhat different perspective: To escape an arranged marriage, a woman flees into the depths of the Mayan jungle, where untamed nature merges the human and the supernatural. The film stars Indira Andrewin, Gilberto Barraraza, Mariano Tun Xool, Lázaro Gabino Rodríguez, and Eligio Meléndez. I really dig the poster for this. It looks like an entrancing film.