ENJOY THE SHOW
"A concert audience won't wait." Strand Releasing has debuted the official US trailer for an indie German film titled The Audition, originally known as Das Vorspiel in German. This initially premiered at the Toronto and San Sebastian Film Festivals in the fall last year, and is getting a VOD release this summer in the US. Acclaimed German actress Nina Hoss stars a violin teacher at a renowned music school in Berlin. She vouches for a young student, and spends all her time and effort training him hoping he'll be the star she thinks he is, while neglecting her own musician son and her husband. The film also stars Simon Abkarian, Jens Albinus, Ilja Monti, and Serafin Mishiev. This is a very good film lead by a great performance by Nina Hoss that carries the entire story, so much emotional weight and so much frustration. Worth a watch.
"The world is marvelous and beautiful." Well Go USA has released an official US trailer for an indie Korean drama titled House of Hummingbird, marking the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Bora Kim. This first premiered at the Busan Film Festival in Korea last year, then it went on to play at the Berlin, Tribeca, Seattle, Fantasia, and London Film Festivals as well. Positioned against the backdrop of a rapidly expanding Seoul in 1994, a lonely 14-year-old Eun-hee moves through life like a hummingbird searching for a taste of sweetness wherever she may find it. Only when she meets a new teacher does she finally feel like an adult really understands her. Described as a "critically-acclaimed coming-of-age drama," this won the Audience Award in Busan last year. Starring Ji-hu Park as Eun-hee, with Sae-byuk Kim, Seung-yeon Lee, and In-gi Jeong. This looks sad but also a reminder there is hope in connecting with others - whoever they are.
"It's a mask, not the devil." Holy hell! The first official trailer has debuted for a horror fantasy thriller titled Skull: The Mask, emerging out of Brazil this year. The gory horror film just premiered at the Chattanooga Film Festival online to some crazy good buzz so far, and if you're curious what this looks like, you can see some footage below. The film is an action-packed contemporary horror depicting a supernatural serial killer based on pre-Colombian mythology in a hunt for revenge in the metropolis of São Paulo. It's described as "mystical slasher film" and a "Brazilian bloodbath", and another review calls it an "insanely gory, ambitious effort." Starring Guta Ruiz, Tristan Aronovich, Ivo Müller, and Gilda Nomacce. The big, bad guy in this looks gnarly! Stay away from him. This is a brutal, uncensored trailer full of blood and guts - watch out.
"Can we really live?" "We have to make sure we do." Lotte Ent. has unveiled a teaser trailer for the Korean zombie thriller titled #Alive, yes including the hashtag. The rapid spread of an unknown infection has left an entire city in ungovernable chaos, but one survivor remains alive in isolation. That synopsis sounds a lot like a pandemic virus thriller, but it's really about zombies. After locking himself into his apartment alone, a neighbor across the street finds him. This trailer sets up that part of the film - the rest is them struggling to survive in isolation. This stars Yoo Ah-In (from Burning) and Park Shin-Hye (from The Royal Tailor). There's not too much in this trailer, but what they do show us looks awesome. A gnarly updated twist on the stuck-inside thriller with an apartment complex as a playground. Click the [cc] button for English subtitles.
"Who are you?" "The people." Well Go USA has released an official US trailer for the Indonesian superhero action movie Gundala, from writer / director Joko Anwar. Indonesia's preeminent comic book superhero and his alter ego Sancaka enter the cinematic universe to battle the wicked Pengkor and his diabolical squad of orphan assassins. While it may look like this character was made for the big screen, he originally comes from an Indonesian comic book series of the same name. Follow the story of Sancaka, an orphan who lost his father during a riot, intertwined with Pengkor, an orphan who (also) lost his father during a riot. One got struck by lightning, the other got burned by fire. Starring Abimana Aryasatya as the heroic Gundala, and Bront Palarae as Pengkor, with Tara Basro, Ario Bayu, and Lukman Sardi. This looks like a badass superhero movie! Fun to see different versions of superheroes from other countries. Seems worth a watch.
"This world is made up of memories." What is this?! A trippy teaser trailer has debuted for a Russian sci-fi action thriller titled Coma, also known as Koma or The Coma. The film marks the feature directorial debut of a visual effects supervisor, which is why there are tons of crazy cool VFX shots in this. After a mysterious accident a young architect comes back to his senses in a very odd world. He must find out the exact laws and regulations of it as he fights for his life and keeps on looking for the exit to the real world. Starring Rinal Mukhametov, Lyubov Aksyonova, Anton Pampushnyy, Milos Bikovic, Konstantin Lavronenko. I love all the twisted, blended worlds and the way everything is frozen in mid-air. This is my kind of visually stunning sci-fi! Even if it looks a bit derivative, I can't help but say I'm more than sold. Have to watch this.
"You really believe that absurd plan will work?" Nothing better to forget about the real world than an epic disaster movie. Ashfall is a Korean volcano disaster epic that first premiered last fall in Korea. Somehow we missed this entirely, but we're catching up now with these trailers anyway. Mt. Paektu, an active volcano straddling the China–North Korea border, suddenly erupts, causing severe earthquakes in both North and South Korea. Pandemonium ensues on the Korean peninsula, so the government puts together an elite team of specialists to figure out how to stop and destroy the volcano before it causes more desturction. The team includes both North and South Korean members, who must overcome their differences and unite the entire peninsula. Starring Lee Byung-hun, Ha Jung-woo, Ma Dong-seok, Bae Suzy, and also Jeon Hye-jin. This looks cool! The quality VFX make this stand out, along with some solid production value. Check it out.
"We'll come back soon." Parkland Ent. has released the official UK trailer for a World War I drama titled The Rifleman, from Latvian filmmaker Dzintars Dreibergs. This film also has the title Blizzard of Souls, and its adapted from a book which was originally banned in the USSR; a story based on Aleksandrs Grins' own war experiences figghting in a Latvian battalion. A sixteen-year-old boy named Arturs enlists to fight in First World War as one of the first national battalions of Latvia, with dreams of becoming a hero. After surviving the brutalities of trench warfare and the loss of his family, he wonders if his efforts in battle were futile and if hope is only to be found in rebuilding a family and a home as Latvia itself is (re)born from the atrocities of war. Starring Oto Brantevics as Arturs, along with Raimonds Celms, Martins Vilsons, Jekabs Reinis, Gatis Gaga, Renars Zeltins, and Vilis Daudzins. This looks like it has some stunning cinematography and rivals 1917 as a thrilling, ultra-realistic The Great War film. But war is hell. It always is.
"You're saying Monstrum really exists?" "Monstrum is real." Shudder has unveiled a new official US trailer for the Korean monster movie titled Monstrum, which originally opened in South Korea in late 2018. This is finally getting a streaming release in the US this week, for those who have been waiting to catch it. Set in the 16th century during the time of the plague, a mythical vicious creature has been rumored to be roaming Mount Inwangsan. Yoon Gyeom is a loyal subject of King Jung Jong of Joseon. He is sent to find and fight a monster that threatens King Jung Jong's life causing panic among the people. Starring Woo-sik Choi (seen in Parasite and Train to Busan), Myung-Min Kim, In-kwon Kim, Sung-woong Park, Hyeri Lee, and Hee-soon Park. Not sure why it has taken two years for this to get released, but it certainly looks badass! Gnarly creature, lots of wild fights, lots of wild characters. Looks like a worthwhile weekend watch! Enjoy.
"That's what happens when you play bad boy." Netflix has debuted an official trailer for a Mexican drama titled I'm No Longer Here, from writer / director Fernando Frias. This premiered at the Cine Festival last year, and also played at the Mar del Plata, Tallinn Black Nights, Puerto Escondido un Oaxaca, and Göteborg Film Festivals. The film is about a teen from a young street gang in Monterrey, Mexico who is sent to live in Queens. There he struggles with the death of his brother and feelings of isolation and loneliness in his new surroundings. Starring Juan Daniel Garcia as Ulises, with other non-professional actors including Coral Puente, Leonardo Garza, Luis Leonardo Zapata "Leillo", and Fanny Tovar. This looks quite good.
"It is my duty to protect the country!" Capelight Pictures has debuted the official US trailer for a Korean thriller titled The Man Standing Next, the latest from filmmaker Woo Min-ho (Man of Vendetta, The Spies, Inside Men). Based on real events, this political espionage suspense film is set in the 1970s in Korea. The country is under the absolute control of the president Park who controls the KCIA, the one organization with the edge over any branch of government. A former KCIA agent is exiled to America, where he begins to reveal the truth about the government's obscure and illegal operations. Starring Lee Byung-hun (seen in I Saw the Devil, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Terminator Genisys) as Kim Kyu-Pyeong, with Lee Hee-joon, Kwak Do-won, and Lee Sung-min. This looks like a compelling film about the politics of Korea, but it seems a bit bland at first glance. But I still like the 1970s outfits and all the mysterious behind-closed-doors intrigue.
"What if you gave back what you took?" Strand Releasing has debuted an official US trailer for a film titled On a Magical Night, a French comedy formerly known as Chambre 212 (aka Room 212) when it initially premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year. This is the latest from sultry French filmmaker Christophe Honoré (Dans Paris, Love Songs, Beloved, Metamorphoses, Sophie's Misfortunes, Sorry Angel) and deals with a woman who leaves her husband and moves into a hotel opposite of her home. There she wonders if she made the right decision, re-examining her entire life with him. Award-winning French actress Chiara Mastroianni stars, with Benjamin Biolay, Vincent Lacoste, Camille Cottin, and Carole Bouquet. Nothing like a French comedy about infidelity and marriage, right? This one looks whimsical and amusing.