ENJOY THE MOVIES
"People like to think a crime has meaning. But most of them don't." Criterion Collection has launched a new trailer for a 4K restoration and re-release of the Japanese horror masterpiece called Cure, from filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa. This originally premiered in 1997, and played at the Tokyo Film Festival, San Francisco & Toronto Film Festivals, though it never had a release in the west until 2001. Praised by Martin Scorsese, it's a "hypnotic & psychological" cinema experience that is "part atmospheric crime film and part philosophical meditation." The story follows a detective investigating a string of gruesome murders where an X is carved into the neck of each victim, and the murderer is found near the victim of each case and remembers nothing of the crime. The film stars Kōji Yakusho, Tsuyoshi Ujiki, Anna Nakagawa, and Masato Hagiwara. As always, there's no better time than to catch up with films like this than now – whether you have a chance to watch it on the big screen or grab a Blu-ray when it's out. Need any more convincing? Take a look below.
"The ways of the Lord are often terrifying." Or sometimes tantalizing. IFC Films has revealed a sultry official US teaser trailer Paul Verhoeven's latest film Benedetta, already infamously known as the "lesbian nuns" film. This rocked the 2021 Cannes Film Festival in the summer, playing at the festival and earning a mix of love and hate reviews (as expected with a Verhoeven film - don't let these opinions sway you). We also posted the full French trailer back then. A 15th-century nun at a convent in Tuscany, Italy suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions. She is assisted by a young companion, and the relationship between the two women at the convent develops into a romantic love affair. Belgian actress Virginie Efira stars as Benedetta Carlini, also with Daphne Patakia as Bartolomea, Charlotte Rampling, Lambert Wilson, Olivier Rabourdin, Hervé Pierre, Clotilde Courau, and Guilaine Londez. I had a blast watching the film, it's as sexy and wild and epic as it seems from this teaser. Definitely worth catching in theaters this fall.
"The wind wanted to tell her that Lisa wouldn't be the only one to wake up with different looks the next day…" Mubi has unveiled an official trailer for an acclaimed indie film from Georgia titled What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?, which is an evocative title for this charming film about a young woman longing for a romantic encounter. It originally premiered at the 2021 Berlin Film Festival earlier this year, and many critics flipped for it. The film next plays at the New York, Vancouver, London, and Chicago Film Festivals this fall. A chance encounter on a street corner has Lisa and Giorgi fall in love at first sight, but an evil spell is cast on them. Will they ever meet again? This slow cinema feature is described as "an irresistibly radiant romantic fable from Alexandre Koberidze." Starring Ani Karseladze, Giorgi Bochorishvili, and Vakhtang Panchulidze. You really need to sit with this one, but once you get into the rhythm of it, it is a remarkably moving and tender film taking us to other lands - the country of Georgia! Which I want to visit.
"Have you forgotten? Or are you just afraid?" Dekanalog Releasing has debuted an official US trailer for an acclaimed Taiwanese horror film titled Detention, directed by John Hsu. This originally opened in Taiwan back in 2019, and is finally showing in the US after playing at various festivals - including Fantasia, Busan, and the New York Asian Film Festival last year. Set in 1962 in Taiwan, during the time of the White Terror. Martial law is in full force. In a time of extreme repression, all ideas considered to be dissident are banned, and the culprits are tortured or executed. Adapted from a video game, based on true events, this "masterful debut from director & co-writer John Hsu creates at once a shocking historical drama, melancholy coming-of-age tale + nightmarish horror film that recalls the masterworks of Guillermo del Toro, and with enough blood, striking sound design, art direction, and special effects to evoke the best of Silent Hill." The film stars Gingle Wang, Fu Meng-po, Tseng Ching-hua, Cecilia Choi, & Hung Chang Chu. Horror fans have been raving about it for a while and now it's finally getting a theatrical release here. Check it out below.
"Do you realize what you're doing? What you're destroying?" Neon has unveiled the first US teaser trailer for an award-winning, instant favorite Norwegian film titled The Worst Person in the World, the latest from director Joachim Trier (Oslo August 31st, Louder Than Bombs, Thelma). This premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival in the summer, where I first flipped for it (here's my full review), and then Renate Reinsve won the Best Actress award starring as Julie. The Worst Person in the World, which isn't the best title but so be it, chronicles four years in the life of Julie, a 30-something young woman who navigates the troubled waters of her love life and struggles to find her career path, leading her to take a realistic look at who she really is. The film focuses on her relationships with two different men - Aksel, played by Anders Danielsen Lie, and Eivind, played by Herbert Nordrum. It's one of the best modern relationship films I've seen since 500 Days of Summer, and I am so glad Neon is bringing it to US audiences this year. Enjoy.
"For the first time, a woman gave herself to me… It was total love." A festival promo trailer has debuted for the French romantic drama titled I Want To Talk About Duras, which is premiering at the 2021 San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain this week. Originally known as Vous ne désirez que moi in French, which translates to You Only Want Me (this title is more alluring for sure), this is the latest fictional film from filmmaker Claire Simon, known for many of her docs as well as her narrative films (On Fire, God's Offices, Gare du Nord). I Want To Talk About Duras explores the relationship between French writer Marguerite Duras and her last partner Yann Andréa, who was 38 years her junior. César-winning actors Emmanuelle Devos and Swann Arlaud co-star as Manceaux and Andréa in the film, which is "based on an unedited transcript of a 1982 interview between Andréa and writer and journalist Michèle Manceaux." Worth a look.
"Hallucinema!" Time to drop some acid and dive in. Altered Innocence has released a brand new trailer for the 4K restoration and re-release of the 1979 of Iván Zulueta's "cult masterpiece" 1979 feature Arrebato, which translates to Rapture. Described as "a dimension-shattering blend of heroin, sex, and Super-8 is the final word on cinemania. This towering feat of counterculture was the final film from Zulueta, Spanish cult filmmaker and movie poster designer." It's apparently Pedro Almodóvar's favorite horror film (he calls it "an absolute modern classic") and is also said to capture "an addiction/obsession to cinema better than any other film that I can think of…" The very meta Spanish film is about a filmmaking trying to make his second film, much like Zulueta. A low budget horror filmmaker gets in touch with an eccentric who is trying to film his consciousness during intense drug abuse. Starring Eusebio Poncela, Cecilia Roth, and Will More. I've never seen this and whoa. Looks like totally wild and trippy "hallucinema" indeed. Check it out below.
"Why do mothers always do that?" "Do what?" "Access the danger." Netflix has revealed an official trailer for a mysterious spiritual horror feature that was filmed in Chile, directed by a Peruvian filmmaker, called Fever Dream. It recently premiered at the 2021 San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain, and is arriving on Netflix this October. A young woman named Amanda lies in pain, while a young teenager named David urgently questions her, forcing her to unravel the truth of what happened to her. She is not his mother and he is not her son. Together they will reveal a disturbing and evocative tale of broken souls, an invisible lurking terror, and the fragile threads that bind parents and children. Based on the internationally critically acclaimed novel by Samanta Schweblin. Fever Dream stars María Valverde, Dolores Fonzi, Germán Palacios, Guillermo Pfening, Emilio Vodanovich, Guillermina Sorribes, Marcelo Michinaux, & Cristina Banegas. I'm always curious about experimental, artistic films like this - it's something different.
"Did you know that I was trying to tempt you this entire time?" Film Movement has revealed an official US trailer for the delightful Japanese film Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, from award-winning Japanese filmmaker Ryûsuke Hamaguchi. This originally premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year, and it's one of my favorite films from this year's festival. Hamaguchi also premiered another brand new film in Cannes, titled Drive My Car, which won the Best Screenplay prize. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy also won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize in Berlin this year. An unexpected love triangle, a failed seduction trap and an encounter that results from a misunderstanding, told in three movements to depict three women and trace the trajectories between their choices and regrets. The film features an set of three contemporary love stories in Japan. This stars Kotone Furukawa, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, and Katsuki Mori. I honestly highly recommend this! They're such uplifting and amusing stories of modern romance - it's worth a watch.
"We're not doing this just for you, but for ourselves. For all of us." Zeitgeist Films has released an official US trailer for an acclaimed, award-winning indie drama titled Hive, marking the feature directorial debut of talented Kosovan filmmaker Blerta Basholli. This won three awards at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year - the Audience Award, Directing Award, and Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema section. Fahrije's husband has been missing since the war in Kosovo. She sets up her own small business to provide for her kids, but as she fights against a patriarchal society that does not support her, she soon faces a crucial decision. Against the backdrop of Eastern Europe's civil unrest and its lingering misogyny, Fahrije and the women of her village join in a struggle to find hope in the face of an uncertain future. Hive is described as "a pithy, devastating portrait of loss and our uphill journeys to freedom." The film features Yllka Gashi as Fahrije. This would play as a superb double feature with the doc film Honeyland as well. Check it out below.
"If history makes men, some men make history." Samuel Goldwyn Films has released an official US trailer for the French biopic drama De Gaulle, about the legendary French politician Charles de Gaulle. The film takes place during World War II, just as France is dealing with the Nazi army invading their country. It already opened in France last year, and is finally arriving in the US this fall. Set in France, June 1940. The de Gaulle couple is confronted with the military and political collapse of France… Charles de Gaulle joins London while Yvonne, his wife, finds herself with her three children on the road of the exodus. Starring Lambert Wilson (from The Matrix Reloaded, Catwoman, Babylon A.D., Benedetta) as Charles de Gaulle, with a cast including Isabelle Carré as his wife Yvonne, plus Olivier Gourmet, Catherine Mouchet, Pierre Hancisse, Sophie Quinton, Gilles Cohen, Laurent Stocker, Philippe Laudenbach, and Tim Hudson as Churchill. This French biopic seems as campy as most American biopics. Still worth a look.
"I called you here to tell you to be prepared." Kino Lorber has revealed an official US trailer for a Japanese thriller called Wife of a Spy, which initially premiered at the 2020 Venice Film Festival last year. The film won a Silver Lion award there for Best Director, given to prolific Japanese filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who works non-stop making films – his latest was To the Ends of the Earth before this. Kurosawa's Wife of a Spy is described as a "riveting, gorgeously crafted, old-school Hitchockian thriller shot in stunning 8K." A Japanese merchant leaves his wife behind in order to travel to Manchuria just before the start of WWII, where he witnesses an act of barbarism. His subsequent actions cause misunderstanding, jealousy and legal problems for his wife. When she finally discovers his true intentions, she is torn between loyalty to her husband, the life they have built, and the country they call home. The film stars Yû Aoi, Issey Takahashi, and Masahiro Higashide. Reviews say the film is an "unflinching gaze at the horror of a world gone mad."