ENJOY THE MOVIES
"Quit lurking my friends!" Is technology making us dumber? (Rhetorical question.) This thought is explored in this amusing short created by filmmaker Peter Huang based in Toronto. 5 Films About Technology is a brisk five minute short featuring five vignettes about "the dumber side of technology." As described, a satire about people staring into screens. This initially premiered in 2016 and stopped by the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, where I first saw it years ago, before earning quite a bit of acclaim. Huang has since taken on a number of directing jobs and recently made an extended series of these "films about technology" for FXX's Cake called Nine Films About Technology. Which is why our friends at Short of the Week have picked up on this short again and brought it to our attention. We never shared it back in 2017, so what better time than now to feature this wickedly funny and brutally honest take on just how tech has made everyone dumb.
"I felt good in my head… I had nothing to lose." Metrograph is re-releasing this iconic sports documentary through Metrograph Pictures online starting this week in June. The French is a 1982 sports doc film, one of the first times any film crew was allowed to film on the iconic Roland Garros courts in France. Follow this up with the excellent tennis doc In the Realm of Perfection, also made from Roland Garros footage. For the very first time, a documentary team is allowed to shoot sequences in the backstage of the French Open. The film is also being presented by filmmaker Wes Anderson, who has featured tennis in plenty of his films. He provided this quote for the re-release: "For me, this film encapsulates everything I loved and love about the tennis of that moment; and in the hands of the great and singular William Klein, it is at once a gripping sports page, a fascinating piece of reportage, and a work of art." I find these films so utterly fascinating, taking us deep into a world we're normally not allowed to examine this closely. Even if you don't like tennis.
"Make it stop!" Cinedigm already released this film in the spring, but we're just catching up with this trailer for Unearth, an "eco-horror" thriller about farmers and the deadly consequences of allowing fracking. This originally premiered at the Fantasia Film Festival last year, where our writer Zofia gave it a positive review. The bond between two neighboring farm families is put to the test when one of them chooses to lease their land to a gas company with fracking plans. In the midst of this growing tension, the land is drilled and something long-dormant and terrifying is released. Don't mess with nature. "Unearth is about the horrifying repercussions sown by shortsighted decisions, and what our children reap from our actions." The film stars Adrienne Barbeau, P.J. Marshall, Allison McAtee, Rachel McKeon, Monica Wyche, Brooke Sorenson, and Marc Blucas. Yeah this does look incredibly terrifying. Don't frack! Keep that land intact.
"The problem is you listen to your kids too much." Netflix has unveiled an official trailer for the dramedy titled The Guide to the Perfect Family, a Quebecois film from filmmaker Ricardo Trogi attempting to tackle the question: are we in an "overparenting" society? (Yes.) "The kids? Under pressure. The parents? Exhausted. But at least on social media, they're one #happyfamily." The film follows a few families dealing with the difficulty & complexity of raising children in a society of ultra performance, nurtured by parents who, wanting to give the best to their children, but risk smothering them. This stars Louis Morissette, Catherine Chabot, Émilie Bierre, Xavier Lebel, and Isabelle Guérard. I like hearing all the French-Canadian in this and the Quebecois slang. It's a totally different sound to French from France. This looks like an amusing and honest take on the overparenting problem, but I wish it was just a bit more humorous.
"That couldn't be further from the truth." Tribeca Studios has debuted a trailer for the eye-opening doc film titled The Price of Freedom, premiering at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival this week. It will then open in select US theaters starting this July - and hopefully it will have an impact. The Price of Freedom exposes the hidden past of the American gun debate and reveals how the outsized political and cultural influence of the National Rifle Association (NRA) divided a nation and changed the course of American history, costing countless lives along the way. Featuring passionate pleas from President William J. Clinton, Representative Lucy McBath (D-GA) and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT); NRA Board Member and former NRA President David Keene, and activists on all sides of the issue, The Price of Freedom presents a compelling case for those brave enough to take a stand against the NRA in defense of our communities and collective future. We need to do more to stop this so called "freedom" and recognize that the health & safety of all citizens is more important. And I'm glad there's a film like this that strips away the propaganda and lies to tell us the truth.
"Sometimes people find life just really hard, and go to dark places…" Kaleidoscope Ent. has released the official trailer for an Irish indie road trip adventure film titled Poster Boys, marking the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Dave Minogue. This originally premiered at last year's Galway Film Fleadh and will be released later this year. With the help of his smart ass kid nephew, broke Al Clancy steals a camper-van and heads on a cross country road trip to finally get his life together. "A semi-autobiographical comedy featuring a range of brilliant new Irish talent (and a cameo from Boyzone's Keith Duffy), this festival favourite is a road-trip adventure with undeniable heart and an uplifting message at its core; that families need to look out for each other no matter what circumstances they may find themselves in." The indie film stars Trevor O'Connell, Ryan Minogue-Lee, Norma Sheehan, and Amy Hughes. Looks like wholesome Irish fun.
"We wanted progress. We're Black people and we should be proud of this…!" Time to get your groove on! Searchlight Pictures has dropped the full-length official trailer for the music history documentary Summer of Soul, the feature directorial debut of DJ / musician Questlove - who MC'd the Academy Awards show this year. Summer of Soul initially premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. Now it's set to rock cinemas this July!! This film won over critics and audiences with audacious, joyful, uplifting look back at this remarkable music event. Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) is a doc feature about the legendary 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival which celebrated African American music and culture, and promoted Black pride and unity. The documentary feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ray Baretto, Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach and more. One of the best docs of the year so far, and the perfect film to watch in theaters with a lively audience.
"Do you know how to get out of this forest?" "This is not a forest." Netflix has revealed the unsettling full-length official trailer for a creepy horror offering this summer, along with their Fear Street horror trilogy in July. Despite being titled A Classic Horror Story, this definitely isn't any classic horror movie at all. Five strangers share a journey aboard a camper, but after an accident they find themselves in a forest populated by strange beings from which it is impossible to get out. Listed as a "cerebral" & scary" horror about an an abandoned house and a "spine-chilling cult." Described as "the Italian Midsommar meets Texas Chain Saw Massacre," which is quite a freaky twist. Starring Matilda Lutz, Francesco Russo, Peppino Mazzotta, Yuliia Sobol, Will Merrick, Alida Baldari Calabria, plus Cristina Donadio. This looks super scary and entirely fresh, despite that clever marketing trick of it (not) being "A Classic Horror Story." Take a look.
"Excellence runs in the family." Another marketing spot short film for a fashion company, this one runs less than two minutes (everyone's got short attention spans nowadays). Sisters is a promo short film made for the Alexander Wang "Pre-Fall 2021" womenswear collection. It was written and directed by Pavel Brenner and features a cast of Asian women walking around, driving motorcycles, and uh, fighting in fancy rooms. "Sisters tells the story of three Asian women who subvert stereotypes [a Princess, Warrior, and Mentor], and exemplify power and excellence in each of their respective storylines." Starring Ashley Wang as Princess, Piya Chitsmaran as Mentor, Yoa Mizuno as Warrior. With music by GRRL, clothes by Alexander Wang (who has been caught in a sexual assault controversy recently). A badass video featuring some badass ladies.
"Run away with us…" Film Movement has released the official trailer for a low key indie drama titled Sweet Thing, made by Massachusetts native filmmaker Alexandre Rockwell. This initially premiered at the Berlin Film Festival last year, and it also played at the Tokyo Film Festival. The story revolves around two siblings and their struggle to find solid ground in the homes of their alcoholic father and negligent mother. The three children ultimately run away and make up a temporary life for themselves. They discover freedom and enchantment among New Bedford's boats and railway tracks. They fantasize about a life of luxury when they break into a posh home, and are able to carry the taste of affluence into their adventures. The film celebrates their ability to make poetry and a joyful life out of hardship. Starring Lana Rockwell, Nico Rockwell, Will Patton, Karyn Parsons, Jabari Watkins, M.L. Josepher, & Steven Randazzo. Haven't heard much about this despite it playing at a number of film festivals, but I'm intrigued nonetheless. Check it out.
"Careful what you ask for…" Gravitas Ventures has released a trailer for a supernatural documentary titled The Sleepless Unrest, from filmmakers Kendall & Vera Whelpton. The world-famous haunted house that inspired The Conjuring films has recently been sold to new owners and is now (re-)open for paranormal investigations. With special access and 14 cameras rolling 24/7, a small team of filmmakers and paranormal investigators move into the house to document the real-life paranormal activity for two weeks. Is the real-life Conjuring home still haunted? Or is there something else more sinister going on? This seems like a mix between The Blair Witch Project and an actual "hey look, this is a real house that inspired horror." Though it seems much more like a setup than an actual doc, but it's not the first time we've seen a horror film try it.
"Some guy came today looking for you – what did you do?!" Trinity Creative Partnership & Reel 2 Reel Films have debuted an official trailer for an Irish mystery thriller film titled The Green Sea, marking the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Randal Plunkett. This arrives on VOD in July for anyone intrigued. A troubled heavy metal musician lives in self-imposed isolation in the Irish countryside until a chance meeting lures her into a potent mystery, tied to the unexpected appearance of a wayward teen girl and an enigmatic stalker who lurks in the shadows of her every move. Sounds chilling. Even though this is getting a direct-to-VOD release, it has an NC-17 rating from the MPAA. Starring Katherine Isabelle, Hazel Doupe, Jenny Dixon, Dermot Ward, Michael Parle, & Zeb Moore. Very strange trailer with some frightening scenes.