› Doc Filmmaker Jeff Orlowski
› Cedric Cheung-Lau on Mtns
› Alex Winter on Making Docs
› Aust. Filmmaker Jennifer Kent
› Shadow Director Zhang Yimou
› Darya Zhuk on Making Films
Find more of our interviews ›››
"You know, Joe, there ain't no roadmap to being a daddy. We're just doing the best we can…" Quiver Distr. has debuted an official trailer for a southern drama titled Walkaway Joe, marking the feature directorial debut of actor Tom Wright. The trailer makes it seem like a billiards hustling film similar to Rounders, with some interesting characters dealing with their own demons in this. Walkaway Joe is the story of an unlikely friendship between a young boy searching for his father in pool halls across the country, and a wandering loner hiding from his past. In their encounter with each other they experience the power of a second chance, and a shot at redemption. Starring David Strathairn, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Julian Feder, with Julie Ann Emery, David Jensen, and Susan Gallagher. Looks a bit cliche, but still maybe worthwhile.
"There are three kinds of people: the ones above, the ones below, and the ones who fall." On this episode of The First Word podcast we reconnect for a discussion about two small scale, contained sci-fi films now available to watch: Vivarium, directed by Lorcan Finnegan, starring Jesse Eisenberg & Imogen Poots; and also The Platform (aka El Hoyo in Spanish), directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, starring Ivan Massagué & Zorion Eguileor. Both worth watching. Friends Alex Billington (@firstshowing) and Mike Eisenberg (@Eisentower30) team up to bring you a podcast providing in-depth discussion, analysis, and interviews about the latest movies, and some old ones too. For this chat, we're joined by film writer John Bleasdale as our guest (he also joined us for our episode on James Gray's Ad Astra last year). Listen to our discussion.
"Love & intimacy can lead to grotesque physical transformation." Danger, danger. This quirky "dystopian rom-com" couldn't be more perfect for the current situation we're all in right now. Date Nite is a new short film made by filmmaker J.J. Shpall, that imagines a world where "romantic intimacy can lead to grotesque physical transformation" because there's a virus that preys on romantic desire. Of course. One lonely man decides to risk his life for a chance at human connection. Starring Josh Brener as Jon, Lauren Lapkus as Maya, along with Cleo King and Larry Hankin. This was obviously made before the coronavirus shut down the entire world, but it seems to fit right in with the times – fear of physical contact and all. This has a somber feeling to it that's lightened up by the awkward dark comedy jammed right in, which makes it extra strange. Seems like a funky mix of Her and The Lobster, with some pandemic anxiety thrown in. Have fun.
"Jack in the boxes were originally built in France to contain evil entities." 4Digital Media has unveiled an official trailer for a crazy low budget horror film titled The Jack in the Box, a new clown horror film from Welsh director Lawrence Fowler. We all know these freaky little jack in the box toys, so why not make one of them come alive. What an original horror concept, right? When a vintage Jack-in-the-box is unearthed and opened, its new owners soon have reason to believe the creepy clown doll hiding within has a life of its own. Starring Ethan Taylor, Robert Nairne, Lucy-Jane Quinlan, Philip Ridout, and Darrie Gardner. Described as "a heart stopping horror that will fuel your fear of clowns," if the two It movies didn't already do that for you. This seems like one of those bargain bin horror movies you'll probably never watch anyway.
This has to be one of the best short films ever made, right? Geri's Game is one of Pixar's early short films, that originally played in front of A Bug's Life in 1998 after winning an Academy Award earlier that year. Our friend and fellow cinephile H. Nelson Tracey (follow him @DrivingNelson) decided to create a fun "social distancing remake" version of Geri's Game, made entirely at his home by himself. "Few film projects can be made while social distancing, but I didn't want to let that stop me from creating," he explains. "I decided to take a stab at recreating it shot for shot myself, a rewarding process that taught me a few new things about filmmaking I wouldn't have expected. Stay until the end to see a glimpse of what it looked like making it (hint: a lot of bouncing back & forth between behind and in front of the camera!)" A great way to pass the time at home! You can also view Nelson's "Reading List" videos: Us, Lady Bird, Zodiac, Captain Fantastic.
"You have to choose which side you're on." Signature Ent. from the UK has debuted an official trailer for a WWII espionage thriller titled The Spy, the latest from Swedish filmmaker Jens Jonsson. This premiered at the Göteborg Film Festival in Sweden earlier this year, and arrives on VOD in the UK this summer. Norwegian actress Ingrid Bolsø Berdal stars as Sonja Wigert, a diva and actress living in Stockholm when WWII breaks out. rapidly getting attention from the Nazi officer Josef Terboven. She's recruited by Swedish intelligence as a spy, but she starts falling for the German officer she has been ordered to seduce. He orders her to spy on the Swedes. The Spy explores the murky field of love, espionage and double crossing. The cast includes Rolf Lassgård, Damien Chapelle, Alexander Scheer, Erik Hivju, Edvin Endre, Johan Widerberg, and Gitte Witt. Looks like another compelling WWII spy movie if you're in the mood for that.
"You want to survive, you do exactly as I say. Move fast, stay low." Netflix has launched the first official trailer for Extraction, a kidnapping rescue action thriller made by another stuntman turned filmmaker. Chris Hemsworth stars in the film as Tyler Rake, a fearless black market mercenary who embarks on the deadliest mission of his career when he’s enlisted to rescue the kidnapped son of an international crime lord in India. Directed by Sam Hargrave, this action-packed, edge-of-your-seat thriller is produced by Marvel filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo. Also starring Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Randeep Hooda, Golshifteh Farahani, Pankaj Tripathi, Priyanshu Painyuli, and David Harbour. This looks pretty damn good, I have to say! Some seriously badass action with a heartfelt story. Looking forward to catching this on Netflix.
"You have something they want, and now they are coming." Hewes Pictures has debuted an official trailer for a short film titled Nightlife, the latest from filmmaker Brando Benetton (American Bullet). This film is barely a "short" as it comes in at 43 minutes, closer to being a "medium-length" film than anything. And it will be available to rent/watch streaming starting May. Two American agents are hired to retrieve military chips containing top-secret content. Their plan goes awry when an unexpected political prisoner enters the picture. Starring Dylan Baker, with Bradley Stryker, Francesco Pannofino, and Becky Ann Baker. Described as a "white-knuckle thriller", this looks like it has some serious urban action to offer. Take a peek.
"Ready for this? Three, two…" Time for a silent detox. Fix is a short film made by actor / filmmaker Peter Molesworth, and it's only 10 minutes long. The short follows two sisters, Willa & Lanie, who take a vow of silence as they detox Willa's boyfriend Daniel from alcoholism. Written & directed by Peter Molesworth, the film stars Brigette Lundy-Paine and Annie Young as the two sisters, along with Peter Molesworth as the boyfriend. It's much more moving and meaningful than you might be expecting, thanks to some lovely cinematography throughout, and the power of silence. Could you go for eight days without speaking? Can that actually change someone for the better? Give this film a quick look and let us know what you make of it.
"I cannot stress enough the importance of this mission. Good luck, stay sharp." Shout Factory has released an official US trailer for a British bomber "war epic" titled Lancaster Skies, which originally opened in the UK in spring last year. A loving homage to the classic British war films of the 1940s and '50s, Lancaster Skies soars in its depiction of the legendary bomber crews who fought for our freedom. The storyline follows Douglas, a broken, solitary Spitfire Ace, who must overcome his past to lead a Lancaster bomber crew in the pivotal aerial war over Berlin, in 1944. The film stars Kris Saddler, Rosa Coduri, David Dobson, Josh Collings, Joanne Gale, and Jeffrey Mundell. This looks a bit too jingoistic for my tastes - doesn't seem like there's much of a story here other than "it's rough flying a bomber during a war!" Which is, indeed, true.
"I think Peter Rice was like a magician. He had tricks." Music Box Films has debuted an official US trailer for a documentary titled An Engineer Imagines, which originally opened in the UK + Ireland over a year ago. An Engineer Imagines is a cinematic homage to an individual named Peter Rice, the distinguished structural engineer behind some of the 20th century’s most iconic structures – such as the Sydney Opera House, The Pompidou Centre, La Defense, and the Lloyd's Building. Directed by filmmaker / photographer Marcus Robinson, the film uses stunning time-lapse photography and revealing interviews to tell the story of a genius who stood in the shadow of architectural icons. Most people probably don't know who Peter Rice is, but they definitely know the iconic structures he helped build. Looks like a fascinating and inspiring film.
"We're stranded and alone out here in the middle of nowhere…" Lionsgate has released an official trailer for an indie survival thriller titled Outback, which leans more towards horror thriller than adventure drama. Down Under for an adventure-filled vacation to rekindle their romance, a young American couple quickly finds themselves stranded in the unforgiving Australian outback. This is one of those concepts that seems so simple and obvious, you wonder why it hasn't been done before. But of course it has (e.g. Tracks), and yet here we are. Starring Brendan Donoghue, Lauren Lofberg, and Taylor Wiese. This looks horrifying, especially because it's all the dangerous animals that are worse than anything else. The snakes! Watch out.