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Kick right into this. An early trailer has arrived online for the film being called Chasing Dream, originally titled Chihuo Quan Wang in Chinese. The film is the latest from Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To, who hasn't made anything since Three in 2016. He's back with this intense romantic drama, about a relationship between a young MMA fighter / boxer and a young women who wants to become a singer (in a punk band, I guess?). Wow. How original. A passionate love story between a brutal man and a woman who loves to sing? We've never seen that before… There's not much footage in this first trailer, perhaps only a teaser, but it is something at least. Chasing Dream stars Jacky Heung and Keru Wang. I doubt this will end up playing outside of China, but you never know; only time will tell. This is our first glimpse so far - take a look below.
"A film of meticulous details and sly, subtle ironies." Grasshopper Film has debuted an official US trailer for the cult hit German indie film In My Room, which originally premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year more than a year ago. They're finally releasing this hidden gem in US cinemas starting this October, for anyone who still wants to catch up with it. In My Room is about a man, played by Hans Löw, who wakes up one day to discover he is the only person left alive on the entire planet. But this isn't really a sci-fi film, it's more of a low-key drama that plays this scenario out to the fullest. He builds a home and starts living on his own there. I saw this at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival last year and I seriously loved it, writing a glowing review saying it's a "brilliant" film that provides unique "commentary about relationships and humanity and life on this planet." This is a very odd, brief trailer that doesn't show much - perhaps that's best for this film.
"What are our chances for a pardon now?" Signature Entertainment in the UK have debuted this official UK trailer for the Norwegian true story drama Congo, originally titled Mordene i Kongo (which translates to The Murders in Congo). In the spring of 2009 two Norwegian adventurers, Joshua French and Tjostolv Moland, are accused of killing their hired driver just before crossing into the eastern Congo. The following manhunt starts a political and diplomatic headache. Congo is the unfathomable and controversial real-life story and murder case that shocked the world. Described as "hard-hitting and often harrowing" in reviews. Aksel Hennie (from The Martian) and Tobias Santelmann (from The Last Kingdom) star as the friends whose journey into the Congo turns into a waking nightmare. Tobias Santelmann already won two key Best Actor awards in Norway. Also starring Ine F. Jansen, Dennis Storhøi, Tone Danielsen, and Anthony Oseyemi. This looks like a very tricky, riveting international thriller about the turbulent times we live in.
"Is that young queen still refusing to submit to company rule?" Roadside Attractions has just unveiled an official US trailer for an Indian historical action drama titled The Warrior Queen of Jhansi, also known as Swords and Sceptres: The Rani of Jhansi while in development. A tale of women's empowerment, The Warrior Queen of Jhansi tells the true story of Lakshmibai, the historic Queen of Jhansi who fiercely led her army against the British East India Company in the infamous mutiny of 1857. She is played by Devika Bhise in this film, and seems to be a bonafide warrior of both past & present. The full cast includes Jodhi May, Rupert Everett, Derek Jacobi, Nathaniel Parker, Ben Lamb, Omar Malik, R. Bhakti Klein, Arif Zakaria, and Yatin Karyekar. This looks especially cheesy, and if it weren't a true story, I'd say this is worth skipping. But it does look like an inspiring story. "We will fight for what is ours, and we will win."
"You can't take money to the grave." Sony Pictures Classics has debuted a new official US trailer for the Italian mafia drama The Traitor, originally titled Il Traditore, which first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year. It's stopping by the Toronto Film Festival next, then will be hitting US theaters sometime in early 2020. The film tells the real story of Tommaso Buscetta, the so called "boss of the two worlds", who became the first mafia informant in Sicily in the 1980s. The film received mostly negative reviews out of Cannes, with critics saying that, "there's just no real perspective on Buscetta, which separates this brisk but uninvolving history lesson from the truly great mob movies." The film stars Pierfrancesco Favino, Luigi Lo Cascio, Fausto Russo Alesi, Maria Fernanda Cândido, Fabrizio Ferracane, Nicola Calì, and Giovanni Calcagno. This looks like an epic retelling of this big mafia trial, but perhaps a bit too indulgent.
"Why do people only remember their past? Why does no one listen to premonitory dreams? Why does the perception of time only travel in one direction? Why is free will an illusion? Why is man only an animal?" Gaspar Noé is back! With a new cut of one of his older films… Who knows why Noé thought now was the right time to bring back Irréversible, but he's premiering a brand new "straight cut" version of the film at the Venice Film Festival this week. Irréversible first shocked audiences in 2002 at the Cannes Film Festival, launching Noé's career in a major way. Starring Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel, the provocative film is presented in reverse-chronological order showing what happened over the course of one traumatic night in Paris as a woman is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in an underpass. This new version flips things back to normal, showing it in the "correct" chronological order. Because, Noe says, "time reveals all."
"I'm just a boxer." Well Go USA has released the full-length official US trailer for Takashi Miike's latest film, titled First Love - originally known as Hatsukoi. This first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, and it's playing at TIFF next in the Midnight Madness category before hitting theaters later this month. This is Miike at "his most fun and anarchic, a noir-tinged yakuza film blending genres in the story of a young boxer and a call girl, who fall passionately in love while getting innocently caught up in a drug-smuggling scheme over the course of one night in Tokyo." The film stars Masataka Kubota, Nao Omori, Shota Sometani, and Sakurako Konishi. Reviews describe it as a "hard-boiled and soft-hearted" action film. TIFF says it captures "the yearning that blooms with one's first brush with" love and the "instant when a person resolves to live for another besides themselves — be it with fists raised, or swords drawn." Fight on.
"There's magic in this play. As if I've given it all that I lack." Roadside Attractions has debuted an official trailer for the French historical drama Cyrano, My Love, which premiered last year and opened in most of Europe at the beginning of this year. The film is about Edmond Rostand, played by Thomas Solivérès, a famous playwright who is struggling to figure out his next project before he turns 30. Ignoring the whims of actresses, the demands of his producers, the jealousy of his wife, his best friend's heart and the lack of enthusiasm of all those around him, Edmond must focus and put to pen to paper. For now, he has only the title: "Cyrano de Bergerac". The cast includes Olivier Gourmet, Mathilde Seigner, Tom Leeb, Lucie Boujenah, Alice de Lencquesaing, Clémentine Célarié, and Igor Gotesman. This looks like a lively look back in time at the life of a playwright and the creation of his finest work. That mustache is a wild one.
"Any breaches of the order, are hastily being eliminated." Our friends at Bloody-Disgusting have debuted an official promo trailer for an indie horror-thriller film premiering at the Toronto Film Festival titled The Antenna. This surreal thriller is about a dystopian Turkey, where the Government begins installing new networks throughout the country to monitor people. The installation goes wrong in a crumbling apartment complex and Mehmet, the building's super, will then have to confront the evil entity behind the inexplicable transmissions that threaten the residents. Starring Ihsan Önal as Mehmet, Gül Arici, Levent Ünsal, Isil Zeynep, Murat Saglam, Elif Çakman, Mert Toprak Yadigar, Eda Özel, and Enis Yildiz. This looks like some very Cronenberg-ian, Videodrome-esque paranoia with tons of cool imagery. Give this one a look.
"I'm going to make sure you never forget what he told you." The Match Factory unveiled the first official promo trailer for Ema, the latest film from acclaimed, award-winning Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín (of Post Mortem, No!, The Club, Neruda, Jackie). This is premiering at the Venice Film Festival this week, and then will hit the Toronto Film Festival next. Mariana Di Girolamo stars as Ema, a reggaeton dancer who "sets out on an odyssey of personal liberation" in the aftermath of an adoption that goes awry as their household falls apart. Also starring Gael García Bernal, Paola Giannini, and Santiago Cabrera. The first poster for this is also stunning - such attention-grabbing imagery! And this trailer is splendid, setting the tone and introducing this colorful story. I'm a big fan of Larrain and can't wait to see this in Venice soon.
"We can't go on like this." Memento Films has released an official trailer for the latest film made by talented Singaporean filmmaker Anthony Chen (of Ilo Ilo) titled Wet Season, which will be premiering at the Toronto Film Festival starting next week. The film is looking for distributors worldwide which is why they're promoting it with this superb festival trailer. Wet Season, also known as Re Dai Yu in Mandarin, is about the friendship / relationship that builds between a Malaysian-born high school teacher and a lonely student living in Singapore. They connect "but the time will come when even this alliance will reach its inevitable limit." Starring Yann Yann Yeo, Koh Jia Ler, Christopher Lee, and Yang Shi Bin. This looks good, a tender drama about loneliness. TIFF says it boasts "elegant, unobtrusive camerawork and fluid storytelling."
"Keep on shooting! Keep it rolling!" Shudder has unveiled a brand new US trailer for the Japanese zombie comedy One Cut of the Dead. This film has already earned legendary status (seriously) as one of the best zombie comedies ever made, after playing at numerous film festivals all througohut the world throughout 2018. From director Shinichirô Ueda, this Japanese horror comedy is about a father who tries to make a low-budget zombie film in an abandoned warehouse. At first you see the version of the film they're making, then it flips and you see what's really going on when they make it and it's absolutely amazing zombie bliss. The film stars Takayuki Hamatsu, Mao, Harumi Shuhama, Yuzuki Akiyama, Kazuaki Nagaya, and Manabu Hosoi. Our own Jeremy Kirk flipped for the film at Fantastic Fest, and wrote in his glowing review that it's "a sweet, funny, little magic trick of a movie that once again reinvents a been-there premise." If you haven't already seen this yet, or even if you have, GO see it again when it's in US theaters next month.