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"The mind can be a precarious thing… It can either serve or deceive." The Talash Video Centre and Digital Boulevard have released the official trailer for a peculiar new sci-fi project titled Cognition, the first film made by filmmaker Ravi Ajit Chopra. Cognition is a 27 minute short dystopian sci-fi drama / thriller about a son confronting his past trauma. Journeying through the symbolic landscape of the subconscious mind, the story follows an unbreakable bond between father and son…. A bond that transcends space and time. This uncompromising short fuses two distant worlds in a hallucinogenic roller-coaster ride through the darkest chasms of the mind. Starring Andrew Scott, Jeremy Irvine, Lucy Russell, Wolf Kahler, Milo Panni, and Georgia Sandle. The making of this short film has been a labour of love for the team involved - watch a featurette about Ravi's family video shop "Talash Video Centre" and about the making of the film. This has some stellar visuals + stunning shots of future worlds - hopefully there's a coherent story to go with all that.
"What does that mean for me to change my DNA, what does that mean for me as a human being?" Good questions. Showtime has released an official trailer for an intriguing documentary film titled Citizen Bio, examining the controversial world of "bio-hacking." This hasn't premiered at any festivals, but will debut streaming on Showtime soon. Citizen Bio follows the stories of four of America's most notorious biohackers and their relationships with Aaron Traywick, a self-proclaimed biohacker whose life took a tragic turn when he was mysteriously found dead in a float pod at a meditation spa at the age of 28 in 2018. Biohacking is the part of the new "do-it-yourself biology" culture, a growing biotechnological social movement, which involvements individuals developing their own methods for body modification or improving body functions. The film introduces us to biohackers and their experiments. A very captivating look at the pharmaceutical / medical industries and how new technology is disrupting / evolving this entire world. I'm definitely curious.
"I need to see my family in person, and not on a screen!" Netflix has debuted a homemade comedy sequel to the Father of the Bride movies. This one is titled Father of the Bride Part 3 (ish), since it's not really a full-length feature film - and you can watch it for free below. This 30-min short was made entirely on Zoom and is presented as a family get-together with everyone – there's a big surprise, too. The entire family from the two movies is back: Steven Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Kieran Culkin, George Newbern, and Martin Short. Plus there's an appearance by Florence Pugh as baby Maggie all grown up, and Ben Platt playing Annie's son Georgie, and a few other special guests. This "sequel" is also crafted as a fundraising effort – to support the World Central Kitchen – they're providing meals for families impacted by the pandemic. Nancy Meyers wrote and directed this short, and it's all a bit cheesy, but it's still a fun watch. With pandemic jokes galore, Steve Martin as lovable father George Banks, and plenty of laughs.
"I've got the vision, I just need someone who can help me execute. Gravitas has released an official trailer for an action movie + crime thriller titled Narco Soldiers, which is about exactly what the title says it's about. Narco Soldiers is a timely, action-packed crime thriller that explores the resurgence of the Caribbean drug routes and one couple's violent, Bonnie and Clyde-style rise to power. Nothing more to this than just that. The film stars Rafael Amaya, Carolina Guerra, Ricardo Chavira, Rafael Amaya, and Carolina Guerra. There's actually more action in this trailer than I expected, but it still has all the cliche action junk tropes: guns galore, drugs, women, sex, violence, terrible dialogue. Same as always. This one you can ignore.
"You're not the only one in this car, ya know." Buckle up, strap in, helmet on, get ready to goooo. Group B is a thrilling, engrossing short film made by acclaimed British filmmaker Nick Rowland. This originally premiered back in 2015, before Rowland went on to break out with his debut feature film Calm With Horses last year. It hasn't shown up to watch online until just now. Richard Madden (from "Game of Thrones") stars in this high-octane drama set in the golden era of rally racing. "Known for its incredibly dangerous off-road races, notorious for lack of crowd control, and some of the most powerful and sophisticated cars the world has ever seen, driver Shane Hunter is facing a comeback to Group B competition after a long and troubled absence." The cast includes Michael Smiley, Dominic Wolf, and Walter Sweetman Jr. And it features a score by Terence Dunn. For those interested, Rowland is already working on a new feature film that takes place within the same world of competitive rally driving as Group B. Fire up the short below.
"Let's get monster hunting!" Netflix has unveiled the first official trailer for a fun adventure horror comedy called A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting, a new movie from the director of Tank Girl! Adapted from the popular scary book series of the same name. A young babysitter is recruited into a secret monster hunting society and embarks on a mission to bring back a child she is babysitting who's been abducted by monsters. Tamara Smart (seen in Artemis Fowl and "The Worst Witch") stars in this as Kelly, and the full cast includes Oona Laurence, Alessio Scalzotto, Ian Ho, Tamsen McDonough, Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson, Lynn Masako Cheng, Ty Consiglio, Ashton Arbab, Crystal Balint, Ricky He, along with Indya Moore and Tom Felton. This is described as an "action-packed adventure about working together to overcome your fears" and looks like Harry Potter + Men in Black + monsters. Which seems like good fun.
"Give the parrot his medicine." Studiocanal has unveiled a new trailer for the 4K restoration and re-release of The Ladykillers, celebrating the film's 65th anniversary. This "flawless" black comedy first opened in 1955 in London, and is considered one of the best British comedies ever made. A 35mm 3-strip Technicolor print was used as a reference for the colour grade to ensure the new HDR Dolby Vision master stayed true to the films original 1950s "Colour by Technicolor" look. Five oddball criminals planning a bank robbery rent rooms on a cul-de-sac from an octogenarian widow under the pretext that they are classical musicians. The film features an all-star line-up of the finest comedy actors of the era: Alec Guinness plays mastermind "Professor Marcus"; Cecil Parker is Claude otherwise known as "Major Courtney"; Peter Sellers is Harry aka "Mr Robinson"; Herbert Lom is Louis aka "Mr Harvey" and Danny Green plays One-Round also known as "Mr Lawson". Topped off by an exquisite Katie Johnson as their landlord "Mrs. Wilberforce". The footage in this trailer is pristine, and as always, restorations are a perfect way to catch up with classics.
"Now our ship is abandoned by the gods already." Oh no no no no. Another new official trailer has arrived for the freaky deaky Chinese horror film Abyssal Spider. We featured the first teaser trailer last month, but the footage didn't have a single shot of any spider in it. A new trailer from Taiwan has been found online and it's packed with spiders - small ones and a few medium size ones. And there's probably one giant one that they battle at the end. The Chinese release title for this is offiically Mad Spider Sea, which is just as cool as the other title Abyssal Spider. Most of the film takes place on a fishing boat vessel, starring Sunny Wang, Cheng Jen-Shuo, Ke Jiayan, Li Liren, Li Kangsheng, Lian Kai, Xie Peien, Jiu Kong, and Chunfeng. After complaints about "no spiders" in the first trailer, the screenwriter went on Twitter to say that there will be plenty of them. And they've delivered on that promise! Only 60 seconds of footage and I'm already shaking with fear. I hate spiders so much. They are clearly CGI spiders, but this still looks scary AF.
"The Breakfast Club meets Waiting for Godot…" Now that's a funky pitch. But sounds good, kind of? Check out the official trailer for an indie comedy titled 18 to Party, the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Jeff Roda. This originally premiered at the Big Apple Film Festival last year, and also played at the Florida Film Festival this year. It's set in 1984 and takes place outside a small-town nightclub, where a group of 8th graders gather, grappling with a spate of recent suicides, UFO sightings, their absentee parents, and each other. Described by the festival as "a spot-on love letter to Gen X, awkward teenagers, and the transcendent power of friendship." The film stars Alivia Clark, Tanner Flood, Oliver GIfford, James Freedson-Jackson, Nolan Lyons, Sam McCarthy, Ivy Miller, Taylor Richardson, and Erich Schuett. It looks like classical indie filmmaking in a good way - no-budget project with a clever script about a time long gone.
"I don’t want to go back to the life I had before you…" Love is a powerful force. And love can be a beautiful thing, especially when it connects two people who don't have any interest in love. But true love is also rare, and honestly hard to find. As hard to find as a complete, unbroken fossil hidden inside a rock, just waiting patiently for millions of years to be discovered. That is the primary metaphor in this film, and it's a lovely metaphor. Ammonite is the second feature from British filmmaker Francis Lee, following his breakout debut God's Own Country a few years ago. It was selected for the Cannes Film Festival this year, but instead is premiering at the Toronto & London Film Festivals this fall (following Cannes' cancellation). I was lucky to catch the film, as Lee only wants to show it in a cinema. Rightfully so - it's worth to wait to see it properly.
"Why would I want to be like everyone else?" "Because it has to be better than this." Freestyle Digital has released an official trailer for an indie drama / dark comedy titled Ms. White Light, which first premiered at the SXSW Film Festival last year. It also then played at the Torino Film Festival in Italy, where it won the Audience Award a year ago. Roberta Colindrez (seen on the TV shows "Vida" and "The Deuce") stars as Lex Cordova, a young woman who counsels terminally ill clients that have trouble letting go. While uniquely talented in her ability to connect with the dying, Lex is at a total loss when it comes to dealing with everyone else. Until she meets a woman named Valerie. The indie cast also includes Zachary Spicer, John Ortiz, Judith Light, and Taylar Fondren. This actually looks quite intriguing, not only with all the wide shots of offices and hospital rooms. But the performance and the whole premise seems to offer something special.
"Do we continue to fight, or do we heal each other?" Together Films has released an official trailer for an indie documentary titled The Ground Between Us, made by two conservationists / filmmakers named Zeppelin Zeerip & Galen Knowles. Since 2017, public lands throughout America have faced unprecedented threats. Bears Ears National Monument was shrunk by 85%, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was opened to oil exploration, and the Elliott State Forest in Oregon was nearly privatized. Throughout this, Americans from both side of the political spectrum have stood up and made their voices heard in support of protecting these areas. The Ground Between Us presents these public lands debates alongside the day-to-day realities of three families who hold vastly different connections and perspectives on public lands. In our extremely divided America, The Ground Between Us shows that public lands can be a uniting factor. An important doc about nature and about how we can save this land and protect it for everyone to both enjoy & benefit from.