ENJOY THE MOVIES
"Girls like you belong to the Sea Maiden." Variance Films has released a new official US trailer for a Saudi Arabian film titled Scales, which originally premiered back at the 2019 Venice Film Festival in the Critics' Week sidebar section. It picked up a few awards and also toured around through other festivals all over the world. Written & directed by Shahad Ameen, Scales was also Saudi Arabia's official submission to the 93rd Oscars earlier this year. Set in a dystopian landscape, Scales is the story of a young strong-willed girl, Hayat, who lives in a poor fishing village governed by a dark tradition in which every family must give one daughter to the sea creatures who inhabit the waters nearby. Saved from this fate by her father, Hayat is considered a curse on the village and grows up an outcast. Nevertheless, she does not surrender to this fate and fights for a place within her village. Starring Basima Hajjar as Hayat. This looks like an incredibly unique creation.
"Candyman ain't a 'he'. Candyman's the whole damn hive." Universal has unveiled a 2021 official trailer for the horror reboot Candyman, described as a "spiritual sequel" to the 1992 cult classic horror film starring Tony Todd. The first official trailer launched last year, and the movie was supposed to be out in theaters last year, but has finally been reset to open this August later in 2021. Producer Jordan Peele unleashes a fresh take on the blood-chilling urban legend that your friend's older sibling likely told you about at a sleepover: Candyman. The film stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris (from If Beale Street Could Talk), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo, Kyle Kaminsky, and Vanessa Williams, along with an appearance by the original Tony Todd. DaCosta explained in a video about the delay: "I started working on the film winter of 2019, I mean so much changed in that time… we had the really amazing show of political and cultural and emotional force." But now she wants everyone to watch it together. "Horror's just better in a room full of people who are also freaking out." It really looks like one of the best horror movies of the year.
"I just miss the way she used to look at me…" ScreenDaily has revealed the first official promo trailer for a Finnish-Russian drama titled Compartment No. 6, originally known as Hytti nro 6 in Finnish. This is premiering in the Main Competition at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival coming up in just a few weeks. This is Finnish filmmaker Juho Kuosmanen's follow-up to his acclaimed Cannes 2016 hit film The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki. As a train weaves its way up to the arctic circle, two strangers share a journey that will change their perspective on life. A woman must spend her long ride and a tiny sleeping car with a Russian miner, and this strange and unusual unexpected encounter leads them to face the truth about their own yearning for human connection. Oooh. Starring Seidi Haarla & Yuriy Borisov. "The film is a real journey through Russia's society with two unforgettable characters," a producer states. "It is a generous homage to humanity, in all its contradictions." Sounds great and this first look footage has already piqued my interest.
"He's an old man, I'll pay for his ticket!" Parkland Pictures has released the first trailer for The Last Bus, a film from the UK made by Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Behind the Lines, Hideous Kinky, Tara Road, Castles in the Sky, Whiskey Galore). The film is about an elderly man named Tom whose wife has just passed away, and he decides to use only local buses on a nostalgic trip to carry her ashes all the way across the UK to Land's End, where they originally met, using his free bus pass. This is a story that, obviously, got the attention of everyone he met along the way and has been turned into a film. Timothy Spall stars as Tom, along with Phyllis Logan, Grace Calder, Celyn Jones, Brian Pettifer, Colin McCredie, Iain Robertson, and Marnie Baxter. It looks quite charming and very sweet, even though it's a simple story.
"What's so disreputable about you?" Cohen Media Group has released the official US trailer for the French erotic drama Casanova, Last Love, one of the latest films from prolific filmmaker Benoît Jacquot. This already opened in France back in 2019, and is only now getting a release in the US years later. Arriving in select theaters in NY & LA starting on July 14th, 2021 - Bastille Day - this summer. Set in the 18 century, Casanova, known for his taste for fun and play, arrived in London after having to go into exile. In this city of which he knows nothing, he meets several times a young courtesan, "the Charpillon", who attracts him to the point of forgetting all of the other women. Casanova is ready to do anything to achieve her ends, but La Charpillon always escapes under the most diverse pretexts. She challenges him, she wants him to love her as much as he wants. The film stars Vincent Lindon, Stacy Martin, and Valeria Golino. Reviews describe the film as a "precise and dynamic" take on growing old while still trying to figure yourself out. Have a look.
"What should we do if one of us has to leave suddenly?" The Match Factory has released an official trailer for an emotional Mexican drama titled Prayers for the Stolen in English, originally known as Noche de Fuego (which translates directly to Night of Fire) in Spanish. This is premiering at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section, one of the few films from Latin America and one of the few films directed by a woman at this year's festival. Prayers for the Stolen is about life in a solitary town nestled in the mountains that is at war, as seen through the eyes of three young girls on their path to adolescence. "In their own impenetrable universe, magic and joy abound; meanwhile, their mothers train them to flee from those who turn them into slaves or ghosts. But one day, one of the girls doesn't make it to their hideout in time." Starring Mayra Batalla, Ana Cristina Ordóñez González, Marya Membreño, Norma Pablo, Eileen Yáñez, and Memo Villegas. It looks like an achingly beautiful Mexican film that's worth a watch.
"I'm forty-five years old, and I hunt dead bodies for a living." ScreenDaily has revealed an official promo trailer for an indie film from Africa titled The Gravedigger's Wife, marking the feature directorial debut of a Somalian filmmaker named Khadar Ahmed. This is premiering at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival in the sidebar known as Critics' Week (Semaine de la Critique), where they often premiere a lot of great under-the-radar films. The Gravedigger's Wife is set in the East Africa country of Djibouti. In times of misfortune, Guled and his family have to push themselves to the limits. Guled is already working hard as a gravedigger to make ends meet: how can they find more money to save Nasra and keep the family together? The film stars Omar Abdi as Guled, Yasmin Warsame, Kadar Abdoul-Aziz Ibrahim, Samaleh Ali Obsieh, Hamdi Ahmed Omar, and Awa Ali Nour. "The family drama plays out against the colourful backdrop of the makeshift homes & teeming streets of Djibouti City, which has rarely been captured on the big screen…"
Neon has unveiled a promo teaser trailer for the the film Titane, the second feature film made by acclaimed French filmmaker Julia Ducournau following her horror hit Raw a few years ago. There is not much of a synopsis available yet, only that "Titane" means "A metal, highly resistant to heat and corrosion, with high tensile strength alloys often used in medical prostheses due to pronounced biocompatibility." There's clearly a lot of crazy things going on in this! It stars Agathe Rousselle and Vincent Lindon - seen prominently throughout this teaser. Along with Garance Marillier and Laïs Salameh. The French description also adds: "After a series of unexplained crimes, a father finds his son who has been missing for 10 years." Even without any idea what's going on in all this footage, I am very interested in this and all the intense moments in this trailer. Titane is premiering at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival in the Competition in just a few weeks.
"Honor the fallen… by claiming revenge." Well Go USA has released an official trailer for a violent Hong Kong action film titled The Fatal Raid directed by Jacky Lee. This originally opened in Hong Kong in 2019 and is part of the new wave of "girls-with-guns" action films coming out of HK recently. It also played at the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), and arrives in the US this August. Two elite police teams head up a secret operation following a dangerous smuggling ring across the Macau border, but when their presence is discovered, the mission ends in a deadly firefight. Twenty years later, an escort mission brings the survivors back to the scene of the tragedy—and fosters a highly unwelcome reunion. Starring Patrick Tam, Michael Tong, and Jade Leung, this "police action thriller" also features a hard-hitting cast including Jeana Ho, Hidy Yu, Min-Chen Lin, and Jadie Lin. Unfortunately it doesn't look like this has much worth watching.
"I heard you had great abilities, sir." Kino Lorber has released an official US trailer for the strange Polish drama Never Gonna Snow Again, which first premiered at the Venice Film Festival this year. We ran a teaser and a full trailer last year in the fall. On a gray, foggy morning outside a large Polish city, a masseur apparently from Ukraine named Zhenia enters the lives of the wealthy residents of a gated community. With his hypnotic presence and quasi-magical abilities, he is able to get a residence permit and starts plying his trade. The well-to-do residents in their own cookie-cutter suburban homes seemingly have it all, but they all suffer from an inner sadness, some unexplained longing. The attractive and mysterious newcomer's hands heal, and Zhenia’s eyes seem to penetrate their souls. Starring Alec Utgoff, Maja Ostaszewska, Agata Kulesza, Weronika Rosati, Katarzyna Figura. I'd say that comparison to Twin Peaks and Teorema in this trailer is spot on. Not even sure how to properly describe the film - very odd yet very "beguiling" indeed.
"There is no place like home." Dark Star Pictures has released the new US trailer for an Argentinian horror thriller titled Rock, Paper and Scissors, originally the same in Spanish, Piedra, Papel y Tijera. This initially premiered in 2019 at FrightFest in London and the Morbido Film Fest in Mexico. Jesus and Maria José are siblings living in the house of their recently deceased father. Their usual routine is interrupted by the arrival of Magdalena, their paternal half-sister. After many years without being with her other siblings, she comes from Spain to claim her share of the house inherited from their father. However, these siblings, who do not want to sell it, start playing wicked games with her, in which it is difficult to distinguish who has the stone, who has the paper and who has the scissors. This stars Agustina Cerviño, Valeria Giorcelli, Pablo Sigal. Looks like another unsettling, creepy Argentinian horror film to catch this summer. Disfrutar.
Le Pacte in France has revealed the first official trailer for a French-Japanese film titled Onoda – 10,000 Nights in the Jungle, from filmmaker Arthur Harari. This was just announced as the Opening Nigh Film in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival coming up soon this summer. Which is a big premiere! Shot in Japanese, this international co-production tells the story of the soldier Hiroo Onoda (played by Endô Yûya) who was sent to an island in the Philippines in 1944, to fight against the American offensive. When "Japan surrenders, Onoda ignores it, trained to survive at all costs in the jungle, he keeps his war going. He will take 10,000 days to capitulate, refusing to believe the end of the Second World War." Also with Tsuda Kanji, Matsuura Yūya, Chiba Tetsuya, Katō Shinsuke, Inowaki Kai, and Ogata Issey. Cannes describes it as "a staggering internal odyssey, an intimate and universal view of the world and the history." This sounds and looks great and I will be catching it in Cannes. Get a first look at some footage.