ENJOY THE SHOW
"I just have this feeling I'm going to die tomorrow." Neon has released the first official trailer for She Dies Tomorrow, a peculiar psychological thriller meets dark comedy starring Kate Lyn Sheil. The film is both written and directed by indie actress Amy Seimetz, her second feature following Sun Don't Shine in 2012. Kate plays Amy, who thinks she's dying tomorrow… and it's contagious. "As her delusions of certain death become contagious to those around her, Amy and her friends’ lives spiral out of control in a tantalizing descent into madness." It also stars Jane Adams, Josh Lucas, Chris Messina, Michelle Rodriguez, Katie Aselton, Tunde Adebimpe, Jennifer Kim, Kentucker Audley, and Madison Calderon. This looks super funky and slightly creepy, especially near the end of this trailer when it gets colorful and crazy.
Upset the setup! HBO has debuted the first official trailer for a documentary film titled Stockton On My Mind, from award-winning filmmaker Marc Levin (Class Divide, Rikers, Chasing The Thunder). This was set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this spring. Stockton On My Mind is a "hopeful and beautiful" portrayal of how Michael Tubbs, the youngest, and first African-American mayor of Stockton, California transformed a community through his love and radical imagination for it. With Tubbs' holistic approach to change, the city has become a kind of social policy incubator, using private and public partnerships to test methods of challenging the systems that create conditions of inequality and lack of opportunity. Yes, please. "Stockton On My Mind weaves Michael Tubbs’ story together with an extraordinary group of people living in Stockton, some of whose stories echo Tubbs' own experience, and many of whom are working alongside him to reinvent the city." Damn! Sounds like one hell of an exciting story to share with the world. Check this out.
"It's complete chaos." Universal Pictures has unveiled an official trailer for a wild new documentary called Red Penguins, the latest doc film from the director of the Red Army doc about the Cold War-era Russian hockey team. Red Penguins tells a story of capitalism and opportunism run amok - complete with gangsters, strippers and live bears serving beer on a hockey rink in Moscow. Shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the famed Red Army hockey team formed a joint-venture that showed anything was possible in the new Russia. Eccentric marketing whiz, Steve Warshaw, is sent to Russia and tasked to transform team into the greatest show in Moscow. Festival reviews say the film is "utterly stuffed with memorable stories and unforgettable people." This looks amusing and unbelievably crazy, and I can't wait to watch. Polsky makes such fascinating docs telling incredible stories from the other side of the world.
"Does the baby elephant get to be free?" Disney has unveiled the first trailer for The One and Only Ivan, a live-action hybrid mix with CGI animals telling the story of a gorilla who tries to escape captivity. This was originally going to open in theaters this summer, but Disney has shifted it directly to a Disney+ streaming premiere on the service later in August. The story is about a gorilla named Ivan who tries to piece together his past with the help of an elephant named Stella after the arrival a young new baby elephant named Ruby. Together they hatch a plan to escape from captivity. The movie stars Sam Rockwell as the voice of Ivan; Angelina Jolie as the voice of Stella; Danny DeVito as the voice of Bob the dog; Helen Mirren as the voice of Snickers the poodle; Brooklynn Prince as the voice of Ruby; with Ramon Rodriquez, Ariana Greenblatt, Chaka Khan, Mike White, Ron Funches, Phillipa Soo, and Bryan Cranston as Mack, the mall’s owner. Well, this looks absolutely wonderful! It's lovely to see a story about setting animals free.
"You can have your story. You can tell your own story however you want." Netflix has unveiled an official trailer for a short documentary film titled The Claudia Kishi Club, premiering on Netflix this week. This 17-min film is about the fictional Claudia Kishi, a main character in the best-selling "Baby-Sitters Club" books, who was one of the only Asian American characters in 80s/90s culture. "As a blossoming artist, [she] was a special role model for aspiring young creators—many of whom are now making groundbreaking work of their own." This short features a charismatic cast of Asian American artists and writers including Yumi Sakugawa, Sarah Kuhn, and Phil Yu. The film includes "nostalgic readings, personal recollections, and DIY-style stop motion collages, [making it] a timely and unique exploration of the importance of representation in media." A film about the power of being seen and of being represented as a person in pop culture stories.
"I'm determined to get change." After her son, Dontre Hamilton, is shot 14 times and killed by a Milwaukee Police Officer in a popular downtown park, Maria rallies grieving mothers from across the country to join her in a cross country trip to demand justice on behalf of their sons. Mothers For Justice is a short film about Maria Hamilton and the founding of the Mother for Justice United organization. It's a condensed 15-minute short version of filmmaker Erik Ljung's full documentary The Blood is at the Doorstep. "Maria's dream is to unite with other mothers who have lost children to state and vigilante violence, to make their voices heard in the halls of government, to demand justice for their murdered children, and to put an end to the race-based policies of police and vigilante violence in minority communities." It's moving and inspiring.
"Don't seek success, seek purpose. And let success find you." Cranked Up Films has debuted the first official trailer for an indie comedy titled Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison, that is written and directed by and starring Romany Malco. He plays an ex convict finally out on parole who's set on becoming a world renowned motivational speaker and then "the success story they claimed he'd never be". Malco explains: "My goal with Tijuana Jackson is to redefine success as we know it and teach others that monetary gain, social status and the acquisition of THINGS mean nothing without purpose." The full cast includes Regina Hall, Alkoya Brunson, Tami Roman, Tyler Cassidy, Lyne Odums, and Shannon Dang. This seems like an amusing and seriously empowering film using humor as a means of motivation. I dig it. Take a look.
"Where the hell have you been, Barry?" Rock Salt has released an early promo trailer for a totally insane indie horror comedy titled Fried Barry, made in South Africa by a British filmmaker making his feature directorial debut after numerous music videos. This premiered at the Cinequest Film Festival and is playing at tons of other genre festivals this year. "The movie that breaks all the rules." Fried Barry is a bizarre tale told in a genre-bending onslaught of sex, drugs and violence. A spectacle that pulls you in and won’t let go as every expectation is subverted in this boundary-pushing tale of alien abduction. An alien assumes control of a drug addict's body and takes it on a bizarre joyride through Cape Town. Starring Gary Green as Barry, plus Brett Williams, Joey Cramer, Sean Cameron Michael, Steve Wall, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, and Tamer Burjaq. Casting this super weird lookin' guy in the lead role is what makes this shine. Check it out.
"Aren't you ever tired of just being so responsible?" Madman Films from Australia has just released the first official Australian trailer for Baby Done, a fun coming-of-baby comedy made by New Zealand filmmaker Curtis Vowell. It is also executive produced by none other than Taika Waititi! Supporting his own New Zealanders. Wannabe-adventurer Zoe freaks out when she falls pregnant with her long-term boyfriend Tim. As Tim embraces the prospect of fatherhood, Zoe attempts to rush through her dreams. "Growing a baby doesn't mean growing up." Ha. Starring Rose Matafeo and Matthew Lewis as Zoe and Tim, along with Rachel House, Emily Barclay, and Ryan O'Kane. It's cool to see this twist about a woman who doesn't really want a baby dealing with pregnancy, but the humor seems just as bad as so many other dull comedies.
"We teach people how to love." Brainstorm Media has released the first official trailer for The Cuban, a heartwarming indie drama from Canadian-Italian filmmaker Sergio Navarretta. This first premiered at the Whistler Film Festival last year, and it also played at the Sonoma Film Festival earlier this year. Ana Golja plays a naïve pre-med student who lands her first job working in a nursing home. An unexpected friendship with Luis, an elderly Cuban musician there, reignites her love of music and changes her life forever. Starring the tremendously wonderful Louis Gossett Jr. (last seen on HBO's "Watchmen") as the Cuban musician Luis. With a cast including Shohreh Aghdashloo, Lauren Holly, Shiva Negar, Jonathan Keltz, and Giacomo Gianniotti. This looks like it's an emotional, energizing film about the amazing power of music.
"Gentlemen - I'm here to help with your history report." Studiocanal UK has released an official trailer for the brand new 4K restoration of the 80s comedy time travel classic Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. Yes, we're getting a sequel this year finally - Bill & Ted Face the Music - but while we wait for them to figure when this will open, we can revisit the original movie in the best quality yet. Starring Keanu Reeves as Ted Theodore Logan, and Alex Winter as Bill S. Preston Esquire, two high schoolers from San Dimas who end up traveling through time in a phone both. Featuring George Carlin, Terry Camilleri, Dan Shor, Tony Steedman, Rod Loomis, Al Leong, Jane Wiedlin, Robert V. Barron, Clifford David, plus Hal Landon Jr. I love this movie so much! I watched it so many times as a kid. And it's still just as entertaining and educational and hilarious as it was back then! It's an all-timer goofball comedy classic. Party on, dudes!
"I used to dance in this room like 15 years ago!" Signature Entertainment in the UK has released the first official trailer for an indie comedy called I Used to Go Here, from filmmaker Kris Rey (Empire Builder, Unexpected). This premiered at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, and is arriving on VOD in the fall. Her engagement is called off, her first book isn't doing so well, and all her friends are having babies. Kate Conklin is in a real rut when out of nowhere she gets a call from her old professor, David Kirkpatrick, asking her to come back to her old university to do a reading. She gets sucked into college life again, hanging out with students and reconnecting with her old self. Gillian Jacobs stars with Jemaine Clement, and an indie cast including Hannah Marks, Jorma Taccone, Zoe Chao, Josh Wiggins, Forrest Goodluck, and Khloe Janel. This is really good! I had a chance to see this during SXSW and it's a charming discovery.