› 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 ›››
"Stop it!" "I'm not doing anything!" Ohhhhhh, brothers. Oscilliscope Labs has debuted an official US trailer for an indie documentary titled Don't Be a Dick About It, which originally premiered at the IDFA Film Festival in Amsterdam last year. It also stopped by numerous other doc festivals last fall, including DocPoint Helsinki and Docs Against Gravity. Ben Mullinkosson's doc film is a hilarious and beautiful portrait of two brothers growing up in Maryland. He follows the brothers – Peter and Matthew – around for one summer capturing the nuances of pissing each other off. A film about brotherly love, and brotherly hate. Anyone with siblings definitely knows these mixed feelings. As odd as this doc sounds, it's been picking up rave reviews from multiple critics - calling it "an absolute charmer from start to finish." You just need to see for yourself.
"It will heal me." "It will heal us." Kino Lorber has debuted a full-length official US trailer for the acclaimed Russian drama Beanpole, which first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. After initially winning the Best Director in Un Certain Regard award in Cannes, the film has since gone on to play at the Telluride, Toronto, Hamburg, London, Busan, and New York Film Festivals this fall. Beanpole is made by a 28-year-old Russian filmmaker named Kantemir Balagov. Set in the city of Leningrad (now known as Saint Petersburg), in 1945 at the end of WWII, two women search for meaning and hope in the struggle to rebuild their lives amongst the ruins. It's described as a "richly burnished, occasionally harrowing rendering of the persistent scars of war." Starring Viktoria Miroshnichenko and Vasilisa Perelygina as the two main women. If you're watching for an acclaimed international film to discover - you don't want to miss this one.
"It gets easier… But it ain't ever gunna be easy." An official trailer has arrived online for an indie coming-of-age comedy titled Bully, the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Santino Campanelli. This premiered at the Dances With Films Festival last year, but hasn't played anywhere else yet - and it's pretty clear why as there's not much here. Bully is about a heavy-set high school kid named Jimmy who is constantly tormented by the resident school bully and his cronies. But after he meets a boxer, he starts training and learns how to fight back. Truly the best way to fight bullies is to literally fight them! Right?! Starring Tucker Albrizzi as Jimmy, along with Danny Trejo, Ron Canada, Vincent Pastore, Jack DiFalco, Elanna White, and Jay Lee. Despite the good intentions, it looks pretty bad and impressively derivative. Check it out anyway.
"Beware - even those who look innocent can be dangerous." Vertical Entertainment has unveiled an official trailer for an indie crime mystery thriller titled The Host, the feature directorial debut of TV director Andy Newbery. There have been at least two other major films with the name The Host, including Bong Joon-ho's monster movie, and also the sci-fi flick from Andrew Niccol. Can we stop using this especially bland title, please? Newbery's The Host is about a London banker who risks everything taking on a job carrying a briefcase to Amsterdam. "But all is not as it seems in a city veiled by dark secrets. Fuelled by power players, drugs, seduction and violence Robert awaits his turn in a deadly game of choice and consequence." Starring Maryam Hassouni, Mike Beckingham, Dougie Poynter, Nigel Barber, & Suan-Li Ong. Watch out.
"Suddenly all the doors open, and everything I'd known I could record." Greenwich Ent. has unveiled an official trailer for a documentary called The Times of Bill Cunningham, which first premiered at the New York Film Festival last year. This is yet another great documentary about an iconic photographer - Bill Cunningham. He sadly passed away in 2016 at the age 87, but this film is based on an extensive interview he gave in 1994 discussing his entire life history and multitude of remarkable experiences around the world. Not to mention his work as a photographer and his eye as an observer of humanity. This doc is described in reviews as, "a snapshot of a life that leaves you grateful for having encountered it." There was also a biopic doc film from 2011 about him, Bill Cunningham: New York, which is a bit different from this. Have a look.
"Just took a little bit of work, and a whole lotta love." Sony Pictures Animations has released the short film Hair Love for everyone to watch. This initially premiered in front of The Angry Birds Movie 2 in theaters, but I don't think many people saw that - luckily it's on the web now. It's up to Daddy to give his daughter an extra-special hair style in this ode to self-confidence and the love between fathers & daughters, by former NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry. He also wrote a book also titled "Hair Love", which you can find at bookstores everywhere. I love how honest and pure and beautiful this short is, especially without dialogue. There's a lovely score by Daniel D. Crawford & Paul Mounsey that compliments the story. Watch below.
"What did you say to her?! They told me you were smart!" Bleecker Street has debuted the first trailer for an indie drama titled The Assistant, a sort-of-fictional take on the Harvey Weinstein debacle, following a young assistant who starts working at his offices in New York City. This already premiered at the Telluride Film Festival, and it's also included in the Sundance 2020 line-up as one of their Spotlight selections. The film is about the stressful daily life of Jane, played by Julia Garner (from "Ozark", "Dirty John"), who is a new hire. As Jane follows her daily routine, she, and we, grow more aware of all the abuse that insidiously colors every aspect of her workday, and she finally tries to make a stand. Also with Matthew Macfadyen, Makenzie Leigh, Kristine Froseth, Jon Orsini, Noah Robbins, and Stéphanye Dussud. This looks incredibly chilling and upsetting, which is the point, to show you what it was really like to work for Harvey.
"We look forward to seeing what you little girls are made of!" Amazon Studios has debuted the first official trailer for Troop Zero, which originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and also stopped by the Seattle Film Festival and AFI Fest. This feature from filmmaking duo Bert & Bertie (Dance Camp) is set in the late 1970s and is about a misfit young girl who dreams of life in outer space. When a competition offers her a chance to be recorded on NASA's Golden Record, she recruits a makeshift troop of Birdie Scouts to travel to the talent contest, forging friendships that last a lifetime. Mckenna Grace stars as Christmas Flint (that is actually her name), with Viola Davis, Allison Janney, Edi Patterson, Jim Gaffigan, Mike Epps, Charlie Shotwell, Ashley Brooke, Maureen Brennan, and Johanna Colón. I didn't hear much about this at Sundance, but it looks like an amusing, inspiring film to enjoy sometime.
"It's all about image - the super yacht, the models. It's all part of a brand." Film4 & Sony have debuted the first official trailer for an indie film titled Greed, the latest feature from filmmaker Michael Winterbottom (of A Mighty Heart, The Look of Love, The Wedding Guest). This cautionary-tale is a satire about capitalism and greed, focusing on a wealthy fashion designer / clothing retailer. This initially premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, and it also stopped by the London Film Festival this fall. Steve Coogan plays a billionaire named Sir Richard McCreadie, who's planning an elaborate party on the Greek island of Mykonos in hopes of "repairing his image" after the world turns on him. Also starring Isla Fisher, Asa Butterfield, Sophie Cookson, Stephen Fry, Shirley Henderson, Jamie Blackley, Sarah Solemani, & David Mitchell. Reviews from TIFF were mixed, but I still really want to see this. I love these kind of brutally honest satires.
"You havin' a good time?" It's time for another rousing look back at all the movies from 2019. Our longtime friend the "Sleepy Skunk" has revealed his annual end-of-the-year recap video - the 2019 Movie Trailer Mashup - featuring footage from all the movie trailers released throughout 2019 edited together to make you cry. Or laugh, or smile, or whatever movies do to you. Louis, who makes this mashup every year, puts a lot of time and effort into making sure it's just right. Not too loud, not too wild, with a clip from every trailer to make you smile as a year of movies whizzes by in 6 minutes time. These are always so emotional to watch.
"Loyal, brave, and true - it is my duty to protect my family." Disney has just debuted the official full-length official trailer for their live-action Mulan movie, following the initial teaser reveal earlier this summer. This live-action update of Mulan is directed by Niki Caro (Whale Rider, McFarland USA, and The Zookeeper's Wife) and stars Liu Yifei as the legendary Hua Mulan. It's still based on the 1998 animated movie, about a young Chinese maiden who disguises herself as a male warrior in order to fight and save her father. Set in China during the Han dynasty, she takes her father's place to fight off a Hun invasion. The cast includes Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Yoson An, Gong Li, Jason Scott Lee, Tzi Ma, Ron Yuan, Jimmy Wong, Rosalind Chao, and Utkarsh Ambudkar. I almost don't want to admit it, but this looks great! Yes, it's more Disney product but I'll be damned, it looks like a thrilling story told beautifully. Looking forward to watching this.
Every new year brings us another Sundance Film Festival and with exactly 50 days left until Sundance 2020 kicks off on January 23rd, it's time to find out what's playing this year. Sundance has revealed their 2020 selection of ALL of their official feature films in the selection this year, including 118 films playing across 9 different categories, ranging from thrilling documentaries to bold comedies, provacative dramas, and everything else good. The entire line-up with Midnight and Premieres has been revealed - check out all the Sundance picks. There are plenty of exciting, ambitious, unique, and hopefully superb films headed to the mountains in January, and I can't wait to see as many of them as I can catch. Complete selection below.