ENJOY THE SHOW
"You do it yourself first. You learn what your body likes." Film Movement has unveiled a new US trailer for an indie drama from Vietnam titled The Third Wife, the feature directorial debut of promising filmmaker Ash Mayfair. This originally premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year, and also played at the San Sebastián, Busan, Chicago, Warsaw, Denver, Cairo, Palm Springs Film Festivals. Set in 19th century rural Vietnam, the story follows a fourteen-year-old girl named May who is ready to become the third wife of a wealthy landowner. Little does she know that her hidden desires for another wife will take her by surprise and force her to make a choice between living in safety and being free. Starring Nguyen Phuong Tra My as May, with a cast including Nu Yên-Khê Tran, Long Le Vu, Lam Thanh My, Nguyen Thanh Tam, and Nhu Quynh Nguyen. Looks a like a very sensual, elegant study on love in a different time (and place).
Every year, cinephiles wake up early for the announcement from France of the films playing at the Cannes Film Festival. For the 72nd Cannes Film Festival taking place this May, they've confirmed a considerably impressive, enticing selection of films made by the finest filmmakers hailing from all over the world. The 2019 line-up includes new films by Xavier Dolan (Matthias & Maxime), Ira Sachs (Frankie set in Portugal), Terrence Malick (A Hidden Life formerly titled Radegund), Bong Joon-ho (Parasite), Corneliu Porumboiu (The Whistlers), along with Pedro Almodóvar, Ken Loach, Arnaud Desplechin, and Marco Bellocchio. We already know that Jim Jarmusch's zombie film The Dead Don't Die is opening the fest, and Dexter Fletcher's Elton John biopic Rocketman is premiering here as well. There will likely be a few additions last minute - as these numbers are a bit low so far. And no Tarantino yet, it's just not ready, they say. See the full list below.
"A duel between our chief commanders… means war." Well Go USA has debuted a brand new, official US trailer for Zhang Yimou's latest film, a historical fantasy drama titled Shadow - originally Ying in Chinese. This premiered at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals last fall, and also stopped by Fantastic Fest, Busan, and the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival. The film is a re-imagining of the classic Three Kingdoms story from Chinese history, and is another martial arts epic. The story is about a king and the people's struggle for their rightful land, as told through the perspectives of the king, his sister, his commander, the entrapped women of the palace, and a commoner. It's filmed in a unique "Chinese watercolor" style with a muted style resembling a B&W look (though it does have some color). The cast includes Ryan Zheng, Chao Deng, Qianyuan Wang, Jun Hu, Xiaotong Guan, Lei Wu, Li Sun, Jingchun Wang. We interviewed Zhang Yimou last year at TIFF, and the film is finally playing in US theaters beginning next month. Check this out.
"How far would you go to bring your child home?" Cohen Media Group has released an official US trailer for the French thriller My Son, originally titled Mon Garçon in French (which just translates to My Son). This premiered in 2017 in France, but is just now finally getting a theatrical release in the US starting in Los Angeles next month. Guillaume Canet plays a man in the midst of a failing marriage. One day he receives a distressing message from his ex-wife that their seven-year-old son has disappeared while at camp, which sends him on a dark path to find out the truth. Director Christian Carion "places long-time collaborator Guillaume Canet in unique shooting conditions to create this searing portrait of a man out of control, a father forced into violence by his desire to protect his son." This also stars Mélanie Laurent, Olivier de Benoist, and Mohamed Brikat. It's been a long wait for this to play in the US, but might've been worth it.
Get ready for the next Bong Joon-ho film! CJ Entertainment has debuted an official Korean trailer for Bong Joon-ho's next, a family drama titled Parasite. Don't be deceived, however, as there's definitely still some murder and mystery in this - it's not just a simple drama about a family. All unemployed, Ki-taek's family takes peculiar interest in the Parks for their livelihood until they get entangled in an unexpected incident. This stars Song Kang-ho (Bong's usual lead from Memories of Murder, The Host, Snowpiercer) with Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Jang Hye-jin, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, plus Park Seo-joon. We don't usually post international trailers without subtitles, but this is the new Bong Joon-ho film! Can't help it. He's one of my favorite filmmakers, and rumors are this will premiere in Cannes. Definitely worth a look.
Whoa! Toho Co. in Japan has debuted the first official trailer for a new Japanese 3D animated feature film titled Dragon Quest: Your Story, based on the popular video game series of the same name. For those in America, this game was released under the title Dragon Warrior, and the first version of it was released for the NES back in the 1980s. Maybe you remember playing it? The series has since continued and is currently up to Dragon Quest XI. This film pulls its story from Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride - the fifth instalment in the series, released on the Super Famicom in 1992 and re-released on the Nintendo DS in 2008. Featuring the voices of Kasumi Arimura, Kentaro Sakaguchi, Takeru Satoh, and Takayuki Yamada. Looks action-packed and wildly entertaining. As a fan of the old game, I can't help but be curious.
"I can honestly say I've never killed someone who didn't deserve it." Netflix has debuted an official trailer for an Italian crime drama titled The Ruthless, also known as Lo Spietato in Italian (which just translates to The Ruthless). Set in Milan in the 1980s, the film tells the story of a rebellious teen named Santo Russo who grows up to become one of the city's most ambitious criminals. Riccardo Scamarcio stars as Santo Russo, with a cast including Sara Serraiocco, Valentine Payen, Alessio Praticò, Marie-Ange Casta, Fulvio Milani, and Alessandro Tedeschi. This looks as intense and as brutal as you'd expect for another Italian mafia film, with some of the usual gritty touches. Those greedy mobsters always try to take too much.
"An exquisite hangout movie." The Cinema Guild has debuted an official US trailer for the film Grass, one of the latest works from prominent Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo. This originally premiered at the Berlin Film Festival last year, and also played at the Busan and New York Film Festivals last year, but is only now getting a release in US cinemas. Grass is Hong Sang-soo's fourth feature film over the last two years - following On the Beach at Night Alone, which also premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, as well as The Day After and Claire's Camera. This one, also shot in black & white, is about a young Korean woman, played by award-winning actress Kim Min-hee, who sits at a cafe in the corner writing on her laptop about people she sees around here and their interactions. Seems like a good time, offering some nice insight. It's only 68 minutes, a quick watch if you're curious about it. Though this is a strange trailer, as usual with Hong's films.
Get a first look at a trailer for the acclaimed Colombian thriller Monos, which played at both the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals to excellent reviews from critics all over. Monos is made by filmmaker Alejandro Landes, born in Brazil to Colombian & Ecuadorian parents, he infuses much of the social-political elements of those areas into the film. Monos is one of those beautifully strange, abstract films where this isn't any real explanation given, but you're compelled to follow along anyway. On a faraway mountaintop, eight kids with guns watch over a hostage and a conscripted cow. Starring Moisés Arias, Julianne Nicholson, Sofía Buenaventura, Karen Quintero, Laura Castrillón, Deiby Rueda, Julián Giraldo, Paul Cubides, and Sneider Castro. It's one of the best I've seen out of the festivals this year, one of my favorites as well.
"Memories mix truth and lies… They appear and vanish before our eyes…" Kino Lorber has debuted an official US trailer for Bi Gan's fascinating Long Day's Journey Into Night, which first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year to a few glowing reviews. The film has earned most of its acclaim because it features a 50+ minute uncut, one-take 3D sequence at the end that is truly breathtaking and spectacular. It's hard to describe this film because it is so dream-like, especially that ending scene. The story is about a man who goes back to Guizhou, to track down a mysterious woman. He recalls the summer he spent with her 20 years ago. This stars Tang Wei, Sylvia Chang, Lee Hong-Chi, Zeng Meihuizi, and Huang Jue. The film became China's biggest arthouse hit of all-time, earning more than $40 million when it opened there. Now it's arriving in US theaters next month. If you love experimental cinema, you can't miss seeing this one.
"I always wanted to expose something hidden." The Cinema Guild has debuted an official US trailer for an acclaimed Chinese coming-of-age film titled Suburban Birds, the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Qiu Sheng. This premiered at the Locarno Film Festival last year, and is next playing at the prestigious New Directors/New Films festival in New York City later this month. The mysterious Suburban Birds is about an engineer sent to investigate a suburban area. After days of wandering around in the empty suburb looking for answers, Hao walks into a primary school where he finds a diary chronicling the story of a boy. As the investigation continues, he discovers that this diary might contain prophecies about his own life. Described as "'Stand By Me' meets Kafka's 'The Castle,'" the indie drama is "both a reflection on the slippery nature of memory as well as a comment on China's rapid urbanization that heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice." Starring Zihan Gong, Lu Huang, and Mason Lee. This looks like a real unique cinema discovery.
"Come to me." Doppelgänger Releasing has debuted a new official US trailer for the German horror thriller Hagazussa, set in the 15th century in Europe in a remote village in the Alps. Made by Austrian filmmaker Lukas Feigelfeld, this premiered at a number of major horror festivals in late 2017, but is just now making its way to American cinemas. Hagazussa is about an orphan woman named Albrun, played by Aleksandra Cwen, who begins to assert her otherworldly birthright as a marked woman. The plague she conjures makes human cruelty look pathetic and small by comparison. Described as "Germany's answer to The Witch that has stunning atmosphere mixed with brooding terror… Fans of slow-burn horror are going to want to settle in next to a crackling fire and let the story wash over them." The cast includes Claudia Martini, Tanja Petrovskij, Haymon Maria Buttinger, and Celina Peter. Check out this snowy, witchy thriller below.