ENJOY THE SHOW
"Everyone to the roof!" CJ Entertainment has revealed an official US trailer for the action survival comedy titled Exit, which will be opening in the US just a few weeks after it opens in Sotuh Korea at the end of this month. The big twist in the story is that a toxic gas engulfs the city, causing people to get very sick and die. One man, a lonely yet talented rock climber who hasn't done much with his life after graduating college, will show that his climbing skills aren't for nothing when he has to save his family and friends who are having a party in a tall building. Of course, his old crush is at this party, too. Starring Jo Jung-Suk, Lim Yoon-Ah, Go Doo-Shim, Park In-Hwan, and Kim Ji-Young. This looks extremely cheesy, as awful as Hollywood comedies with sound effects and absurdly bad action sequences. Still might be enjoyable to watch sometime.
"This world is upside-down." Vitrine Filmes has released a full-length official trailer for the Brazilian film Bacurau, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and won the Jury Prize during the fest. The film is the follow-up to Brazilian filmmaker Kleber Mendonça Filho's award-winning 2012 feature Aquarius. "Described as a mixture of western, adventure and sci-fi, Bacurau is set in a small town in the Brazilian backlands that disappears from the map" after the death of the town's matriarch at the age of 94. A local woman returns home and she discovers something much more mysterious going on. This new trailer reveals a lot more than the original festival teaser, potentially giving away too much, however there's still so much more to this. The film's key cast includes Sonia Braga, Udo Kier, Jonny Mars, Antonio Saboia, Chris Doubek, and Karine Teles. This is such a crazy, original film. Hopefully it gets a US release soon.
"Someday, I'll be the most powerful Shogun there ever was!" Funimation Films has debuted an official US trailer for a Japanese live-action manga adaptation titled Kingdom, based on the series by Yasuhisa Hara. This is an epic Japanese action film that is actually set in ancient China - hopefully that's not too confusing. Orphaned by war, a young slave boy and his friend dream of changing their fate and becoming the world's greatest generals of the Qin Kingdom. Starring Kento Yamazaki, Ryo Yoshizawa, Masami Nagasawa, Kanna Hashimoto, Kanata Hongō, Shinnosuke Mitsushima, and Takao Osawa. This is directed by veteran Japanese filmmaker Shinsuke Sato, who made the live-action Bleach movie last year, as well as The Princess Blade, Gantz, and Inuyashiki. The movie is actually getting a theatrical US release next month, for those interested in seeing it on the big screen. It looks seriously epic and awesome from this trailer. Enjoy.
The wooden boy returns again. From the director of Roman Summer, Gomorrah, Reality, Tale of Tales, and Dogman comes a new take on… Pinocchio. Wait - for real? Yep. Garrone is finishing up a new Pinocchio movie that is scheduled for release on December 25th, Christmas Day, this year in Italy - but has no other release dates set yet. This new take on the story originally published in Carlo Collodi's novel of the same name is staying true to that book, telling a more grounded story rather than going all out with fantastical elements. Roberto Benigni (who previously directed his own Pinocchio film in 2002) stars as Geppetto, Federico Ielapi as Pinocchio, with a cast including Marine Vacth, Marcello Fonte, Gigi Proietti, Davide Marotta, Massimiliano Gallo, Rocco Papaleo, and Massimo Ceccherini. We all know that Guillermo del Toro has been working on his own version of this story, but this film looks a bit like a del Toro production anyway - with the muted, dark colors and animal characters. I am quite curious, I will say that.
"Sell them your dream of the future." IFC Films has unveiled an official trailer for the latest spectacle from Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino (This Must Be the Place, The Great Beauty, Youth), an epic political satire titled Loro. The film profiles the life of Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi, played by Toni Servillo, an "egomaniac billionaire Prime Minister who presides over an empire of scandal and corruption." Sounds scary, but it's described as a "ferocious feast of satire" with plenty of Sorrentino's spunk and extravagance. "Exploding with eye-popping, extravagantly surreal set-pieces, the dazzling, daring new film from Academy Award-winning director Paolo Sorrentino is both a wickedly subversive satire and a furious elegy for a country crumbling while its leaders enrich themselves." Also starring Riccardo Scamarcio as the young hustler trying to move closer to Berlusconi, plus Elena Sofia Ricci, Kasia Smutniak, Euridice Axen, Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Roberto De Francesco, Dario Cantarelli, and Anna Bonaiuto. Worth a look.
"Everyone makes mistakes." "Not you." Strand Releasing has debuted the official US trailer for acclaimed Austrian film The Ground Beneath My Feet, also titled Der Boden unter den Füßen in German (which translates exactly to the English title). This premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in competition earlier this year, and has played at a few other international festivals. This new film from filmmaker Marie Kreutzer is "taut psychological thriller reminiscent of Repulsion", about a businesswoman who struggles to keep herself grounded while always on the go trying to manage clients. Valerie Pachner (who also headlines Terrence Malick's A Hidden Life) stars as Lola, along with Pia Hierzegger, Mavie Hörbiger, Michelle Barthel, Marc Benjamin, Dominic Marcus Singer, and Meo Wulf. I caught this film at Berlinale and it's very good, a brutally honest look at how the business life can swallow people up and suck all the life out of them.
I had the misfortune of missing out on this year's Cannes Film Festival, and while I usually prefer Berlinale's chilly pleasures and the Mostra's replenishing sunshine, this year's roster made me think twice about my life choices. Thankfully, during a recent trip to Lyon, I got to catch several films during their French theatrical releases and during special Cannes retrospective screenings. It was during one of these screenings that I got to catch up with French filmmaker Céline Sciamma's fourth feature film, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, a breathtaking tour de force that is as mesmerizing on a stylistic level as it is rewarding on an emotional one.
"I'm more of a spiritual guide." Samuel Goldwyn Films has debuted an official trailer for an indie film from Mexico titled This Is Not Berlin, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It also won a number of major awards, including a Special Jury Award and Best Cinematography, at the Málaga Spanish Film Festival this year. From Mexican filmmaker Hari Sama, This Is Not Berlin is described as a "thrilling and sexy clash of art, drugs, and punk music". Seventeen-year-old Carlos doesn't fit in anywhere, not in his family nor with the friends he has chosen in school. But everything changes when he is invited to a mythical nightclub where he discovers the underground nightlife scene: punk, sexual liberty and drugs. This stars Xabiani Ponce de León, José Antonio Toledano, Mauro Sanchez Navarro, Klaudia Garcia, Ximena Romo, Américo Hollander, and Marina de Tavira (seen in Roma). Looks vibrant & sincere.
"Have we met?" "Yes." Pathe UK has debuted the full official UK trailer for Pedro Almodóvar's latest lovely feature film, titled Pain & Glory, or also Dolor y gloria originally in Spanish. This just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year, where it won the Best Actor award. Antonio Banderas stars as Salvador Mallo, a Spanish filmmaker, in what is essentially an autobiographical film about Pedro Almodóvar and his experiences throughout life. This has multiple storylines at different times in his life, including his first love, and reconnecting with an old actor later in life. Almodóvar's "Pain & Glory talks about creation, about the difficulty of separating it from one's own life and about the passions that give it meaning and hope. In recovering his past, Salvador [Mallo] finds the urgent need to recount it, and in that need he also finds his salvation." Also starring Penélope Cruz, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Asier Etxeandia, Cecilia Roth, Raúl Arévalo, Julieta Serrano, Nora Navas, Rosalía, and Agustín Almodóvar. Must watch for cinephiles.
"I was in a war over Abel." Kino Lorber has debuted an official trailer for the French relationship drama A Faithful Man, originally titled L'homme fidèle in French. This is the second film directed by French actor-filmmaker Louis Garrel, who also co-stars in it. A couple's relationship becomes complicated when she leaves him for his best friend, and returns after he dies. The full cast includes Laetitia Casta as Marianne, Lily-Rose Depp as Ève, plus Joseph Engel, Vladislav Galard, and Diane Courseille. This is another one of these very French films about romance and love and sex and the complexities of it - which might be enticing for some of you. "Shifting points of view as nimbly as its players switch partners, the sophomore feature from actor/director Louis Garrel—co-written with the legendary Jean-Claude Carrière—is at once a beguiling bedroom farce and a playful inversion of the patriarchal tropes of the French New Wave." Dive in.
"Do you really consider yourself a normal citizen?" Signature Ent. has debuted an official UK trailer for a political drama titled The Candidate, originally titled The Realm or also El Reino. This Spanish dramatic thriller is about a politician whose high-class lifestyle is based on nefarious and illegal business threatens to break his entire party after a newspaper exposes the truth to the public. Antonio de la Torre stars as an influential regional vice-secretary "who had everything in his favor to take the leap into national politics", until he gets caught up in a scandal that changes everything. Also starring Mónica López, José María Pou, Bárbara Lennie, Nacho Fresneda, Ana Wagener, Luis Zahera, Francisco Reyes, and María de Nati. This premiered at the Toronto & San Sebastian Film Festivals last year, and is getting a UK release this summer but nothing in the US yet. Looks damn good. Perhaps a story real-life politicians should heed.
"Why are you half-naked in my trunk?" Cradle Walk Pictures has released the first official US trailer for the adventure comedy The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir, following a young Indian man as he gets lost in travels around Europe. The film is directed by Canadian filmmaker Ken Scott, based on the novel by Romain Puértolas - with the full title "The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe". Ajatashatru Lavash Patel has lived all his life in a small Mumbai neighborhood tricking people with street magic and fakir stunts. He sets out on a journey to find his estranged father, but instead gets dragged on a never-ending adventure - from Paris to Italy to Spain and all over. Indian superstar Dhanush stars, along with an international cast including Erin Moriarty, Bérénice Bejo, Barkhad Abdi, Gérard Jugnot, Ben Miller, and Abel Jafri. This looks charming and amsuing, and just a tiny bit cheesy at times.