ENJOY THE MOVIES
"Did you go to the border last night?" Celluloid Dreams has unveiled an official trailer for the latest Jafar Panahi film titled No Bears, which is premiering soon. Unfortunately Panahi was recently arrested by the Iranian government after he went to check on his friend, another filmmaker also imprisoned under dubious claims. No Bears is premiering at the Venice Film Festival, TIFF, and New York Film Festival back-to-back. "Panahi continues to push against the boundaries of the medium with his latest film, involving two parallel love stories and the dire consequences that can bubble up out of seemingly insignificant artistic pursuits." It's obvious from this trailer that the film also acts as meta commentary on his own situation, unable to cross the line. "He feels trapped, with no future, no freedom, and no job." The cast includes Panahi, Naser Hashemi, Vahid Mobaseri, Bakhtiyar Panjei, Mina Kavani, and Reza Heydari. Get your first look.
"Hip-hop IS an art form, ma'am." Kino Lorber has revealed an official US trailer for an indie film from France & Morocco titled Casablanca Beats, which first premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival last year. This received pretty much nothing but negative reviews from everyone who dared to see through it. The film is a Moroccan hip hop musical that rips off School of Rock and sets it in the city of Casablanca instead. Anas, a former rapper, is employed in a cultural centre. Encouraged by their new teacher, the students will try to free themselves from the weight of traditions to live their passion and express themselves through hip hop culture. Starring rapper Anas Basbousi, plus an ensemble of kids: Ismail Adouab, Zineb Boujemaa, Meryem Nekkach, Nouhaila Arif, Abdelilah Basbousi, Mehdi Razzouk, Amina Kannan, Samah Baricou. I saw this in Cannes and was hoping it would be good fun, but it's such a mess of a film with bad performances throughout. Even if the raps are pretty good, that's pretty much all this little film has to offer.
"My father started it. But I've expanded it." The Cinema Guild has unveiled the US trailer for the Mexican indie drama titled Dos Estaciones, which translates to Two Seasons - it's also the name of the tequila in this film. This initially premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and it also played at New Directors/New Films. 50-year-old María García is the owner of Dos Estaciones, a once-majestic tequila factory struggling to stay afloat and the final hold-over from generations of Mexican-owned tequila plants in the highlands of Jalisco; the rest have all folded to foreign corporations. When a persistent plague and an unexpected flood cause irreversible damage and put the factory's financial situation in grave danger, María is forced to do everything she can to save her community's pride. Starring Teresa Sánchez as María, with Rafaela Fuentes, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Tatín Vera. This looks stunning - I want to watch just to see all the intimate shots of how they make the tequila with the blue agave plants. What an ethereal trailer.
"He's preparing for something. Something… he isn't telling us." Shudder has unveiled an official trailer for a film from Africa titled Saloum, a break-out feature from Congolese director Jean Luc Herbulot. This first premiered in Midnight Madness at TIFF 2021 last year and rocked numerous other genre festivals including Fantastic Fest and Beyond Fest. I flipped for this, one of the most creative and badass African films paving the way for a New Wave of African cinema. The film takes place in the West African nation of Senegal, on the delta known as Saloum. The film follows a trio of mercenaries escorting a foreigner drug dealer through dangerous lands. Not only is the film packed with vibrant, often neon, style expressed through colors and light and distinct costumes, but it switches up genres part of the way in and dips a bit into action horror. Starring Yann Gael, Evelyne Ily Juhen, Roger Sallah, Mentor Ba, and Bruno Henry. Yeah this film is awesome and you need to take some time to watch because it will rock your TV as soon as you press play.
"Are you… Doctor Feel Good?" Filmoption Intl. has revealed the first look festival teaser trailer for a new Quebecois coming-of-age film titled Montréal Girls, marking the first narrative feature from filmmaker Patricia Chica. It's premiering in a few weeks at the Cinequest Film Festival, though as no US distributor set yet. A Middle-Eastern medical school student, new to Montreal, puts his relationship with his father at risk when he forfeits his education after being forever changed by two young women who "shatter" his limited beliefs in himself and his destiny. The film stars newcomer Hakim Brahimi, alongside Jasmina Parent and Sana Asad, with Jade Hassouné, Nahéma Ricci, and Manuel Tadros. The brief synopsis only vaguely mentions "his destiny" but this trailer teases that it involves the underground scene and slam poetry and who knows what else. It looks really rough around the edges, hopefully the film is better than the teaser.
"Don't get mad at him, no matter what he says." Netflix has revealed an official trailer for a Turkish film titled The Festival of Troubadours, from director Özcan Alper. It's streaming on Netflix in September, including in the US for anyone interested in it. The Festival of Troubadours tells the story of a wandering musician who stops by to see his son after 25 years after visiting the grave of his wife. He is one his way to a music festival but when his son learns about his declining health, he accompanies his father. Thus begins a journey that could resolve their past issues. But as he expresses his frustrations and the meaning of being a Father is understood, will the two find peace with themselves before it is too late? The film stars Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ, Settar Tanrıöğen, and Laçin Ceylan. This looks like a very emotional, very honest story about a father and a son. And how that relationship is not easy to maintain and often comes with many problems.
"We did everything we could, right?" Modern Films in the UK has revealed an official UK trailer for Silent Land, a Polish drama set on an Italian island. This originally premiered at the 2021 Toronto Film Festival last year, and it has been showing at many fests including Zurich, Chicago, Göteborg, Thessaloniki, and at the New Horizons Film Festival in Poland. A perfect couple rents a holiday home on a sunny Italian island. The reality does not live up to their expectations when they find out the pool is broken. Ignorant of the fact that the island faces a water shortage, they ask to fix it. The presence of a stranger invades the couple's idea of safety and starts a chain of events, which makes them act irrationally, leading them to the darkest place in their relationship. The film stars Dobromir Dymecki, Agnieszka Żulewska, Jean Marc Barr, Alma Jodorowsky, and Marcello Romolo. Definitely looks like it has shades of Antonioni and Haneke, as one of the critic quotes in this trailer points out. I'm very curious to see how this story plays out with this couple.
"Is it okay that we kidnapped a corpse?" Strand Releasing has unveiled an official US trailer for the Russian dark drama Petrov's Flu, described as a "deadpan, hallucinatory romp through post-Soviet Russia." This originally premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival last year, and has been on hold for release due to the war in Ukraine. But Cannes brought back Serebrennikov this year to show his next new film (Tchaikovsky's Wife) so that sort of cleared his name (despite his connection to oligarchs) and now they're going to release Petrov's Flu finally starting in the end of September at a few select art house cinemas. The film follows a day in the life of a comic book artist and his family in post-Soviet Russia. While suffering from the flu, Petrov is carried by his friend Igor on a long walk, drifting in and out of fantasy and reality. Very trippy. This stars Semyon Serzin, Chulpan Khamatova, and Vladislav Semiletkov. The film earned mixed-to-positive reviews at Cannes last year and if you're curious to see what the strange chaos is about - then dive right in.
"We exist, we exist…" Janus Films has revealed a superb new 4K restoration trailer for the Czech New Wave feminist masterpiece Daises, first released in 1966. Directed by Vera Chytilová as her second feature at the time, the film was restored and premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in the Classics section earlier this year. After realizing that all world is spoiled, Marie and Marie are committed to be spoiled themselves. They rip off older men, feast in lavish meals and do all kinds of mischief. But what is all this leading to? A very good question, and hopefully the film criticizes that lavishness instead of continues to indulge in it. The film stars Jitka Cerhová as Marie I the Brunette + Ivana Karbanová as Marie II the Blonde. Described in reviews as: "Among the essential movies of the '60s, a bolt of liberatory lightning that illuminates future possibilities." This is the kind of vibrant classic that I enjoy catching up with and rediscovering nowadays.
"Justice can be messy" Well Go USA & Hi-YAH! have revealed an official US trailer for an Indonesian action thriller titled Preman: Silent Fury, which will be streaming on the Hi-YAH! service this week. This had a special preview at Comic-Con a few weeks ago and premiered at festivals last year including Fantastic Fest. A deaf criminal with a traumatic past and his son must fight their way out of their small Indonesian village after witnessing a horrible murder, pitting the gangster against the mob outfit that employed him. The film stars Khiva Iskak as Sandi the Preman (meaning a member of the Indonesian crime syndicate) who must turn against his crew and take on former allies to protect his son. The cast includes Muzakki Ramdhan, Kiki Narendra, Salvita De Corte Putri Ayudya, Egi Fedly, Gilbert Pattiruhu, Paul Agusta, and Emil Kusumo. This doesn't look as refined as The Raid, but it looks like it still might be as badass as that.
"That blade can wake up prisoners, and it can move you through time." Sounds like one powerful blade! Korea's CJ Entertainment has revealed another official trailer for the epic sci-fi Alienoid, which is finally set for a US release. Well Go USA will drop this one in US theaters at the end of August. We already posted two other trailers for this movie before, but there's always more footage to see. During the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), Taoists try to take a mysterious holy sword. Meanwhile in present day (in 2022), aliens appear on Earth. A time door soon connects the late Goryeo period and the present day. The two parties cross paths when a time-traveling portal opens, causing chaos and confusion. The science fiction action fantasy features a cast including Ryu Jun-yeol as the master swordsman, Kim Tae-ri as "a woman who shoots thunder", Kim Woo-bin, So Ji-seob, Yum Jung-ah, Kim Eui-eung, Lee Ha-nee, and Jo Woo-jin. I can't tell if this is still being released as two parts in the US, but for now they're just promoting it as the Alienoid movie. Curious to watch and find out how these two storylines are mashed together and if this movie is any good.
"French cinema, man. Quality guaranteed." Film Movement has unveiled an official US trailer for a quirky, fun little Indian film titled Adieu Godard, from award-winning filmmaker Amartya Bhattacharyya. After premiering at film festivals in 2021 it's finally arriving on VOD in the US this month. Here's the amusing concept: An old man in a small village in India is addicted to watching pornography with his friends. One fine day, he accidentally brings home a DVD with a Jean-Luc Godard film inside. Though his friends were disgusted, Ananda gets attracted to Godard's film and gradually develops an obsession. He initiates the idea of hosting a film festival in their village where Godard's films will be screened. The festival gets organized after a lot of drama, but what happens next is something else… "We can change the culture of this village." Starring Choudhury Bikas Das as Ananda, with Sudhasri Madhusmita, Dipanwit Dashmohapatra, Swastik Choudhury, and Abhishek Giri. This looks so perfectly wacky and kooky yet at the same time is paying tribute to transformative power of cinema. Yeah I think I need to watch this - don't write this one off.