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"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.
"This is the best place on Earth, Juan." Monument has debuted an official US trailer for the film Our Time, also known as Nuestro Tiempo, the latest from acclaimed Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas (Silent Light, Post Tenebras Lux). This initially premiered at the prestigious Venice and Toronto Film Festivals last year to much discussion - some think it's a masterpiece, others not so much, but at least people are talking about Reygadas again. The film is about a family that lives in the Mexican countryside raising fighting bulls. Esther is in charge of running the ranch, while her husband Juan, a renowned poet, raises the beasts. When Esther becomes infatuated with a horse-breaker, Juan seems incapable to reach his own expectations about himself. Indeed a "soul-searching" drama about life and humanity. Starring Carlos Reygadas as Juan, with Natalia López, Natalia López, Maria Hagerman, and Yago Martínez. Definitely worth a watch.
"Why don't you forget about that sister of yours?" Take a look at one of the award winners from the Cannes Film Festival this year. The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão, originally A Vida Invisível de Eurídice Gusmão in Portuguese, is a Brazilian film made by filmmaker Karim Aïnouz (Madame Satã). This feminist drama set in Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard category, meaning the jury voted it the best film from that section. The story follows two sisters, Euridice and Guida. They live at home, each with a dream: become a renowned pianist, or find true love. Because of their father, they are forced to live without each other. Separated, they will take control of their destiny, while never giving up on their hope of being reunited. Starring Fernanda Montenegro as Euridice, and Júlia Stockler as Guida, with Carol Duarte, Gregório Duvivier, Marcio Vito, and Bárbara Santos. In addition to the award, I've heard nothing but great things about this from everyone who saw it in Cannes. Keep an eye on this one.
"Do you want to live or die?" SBS Distribution has unveiled an official promo trailer for the Brazilian film titled Bacurau, which is premiering at the Cannes Film Festival starting this week. This highly anticipated film is the follow-up to Brazilian filmmaker Kleber Mendonça Filho's award-winning 2012 feature Aquarius. This is one of the few sci-fi films playing at Cannes, and the description hints at some kind of aliens being in this town. There's even a UFO on one of the posters. "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 filmmaker goes to investigate and discovers something much more mysterious. The film's key cast includes Sonia Braga, Udo Kier, Jonny Mars, Antonio Saboia, Chris Doubek, and Karine Teles. This an enticing tease - just enough to leave me even more curious to see this.
"He's so strange, this new boy." Our friends at MovieZine.se have debuted the first promo trailer for a film titled And Then We Danced, which is premiering at the Cannes Film Festival coming up this month. This dramedy is set in Georgia (the country) but is made by a Swedish filmmaker, who went back to his Georgian roots to tell this story about dancers. The story is about a carefree dancer named Irakli who arrives at the National Georgian Ensemble, causing fellow dancer Merab to push himself more all the while he falls hard for him. "This film will not only be a very interesting look into a part of the world not so many people are familiar with but also a heartfelt movie about the importance of being free." Starring Ana Javakhishvili, Anano Makharadze, Bachi Valishvili, Giorgi Tsereteli, Levan Gelbakhiani, Ninutsa Gabisonia. There's just a small taste of footage in the trailer, but it looks excellent so far - lively and energetic and cute.