ENJOY THE SHOW
"We'll come back soon." Parkland Ent. has released the official UK trailer for a World War I drama titled The Rifleman, from Latvian filmmaker Dzintars Dreibergs. This film also has the title Blizzard of Souls, and its adapted from a book which was originally banned in the USSR; a story based on Aleksandrs Grins' own war experiences figghting in a Latvian battalion. A sixteen-year-old boy named Arturs enlists to fight in First World War as one of the first national battalions of Latvia, with dreams of becoming a hero. After surviving the brutalities of trench warfare and the loss of his family, he wonders if his efforts in battle were futile and if hope is only to be found in rebuilding a family and a home as Latvia itself is (re)born from the atrocities of war. Starring Oto Brantevics as Arturs, along with Raimonds Celms, Martins Vilsons, Jekabs Reinis, Gatis Gaga, Renars Zeltins, and Vilis Daudzins. This looks like it has some stunning cinematography and rivals 1917 as a thrilling, ultra-realistic The Great War film. But war is hell. It always is.
"You're saying Monstrum really exists?" "Monstrum is real." Shudder has unveiled a new official US trailer for the Korean monster movie titled Monstrum, which originally opened in South Korea in late 2018. This is finally getting a streaming release in the US this week, for those who have been waiting to catch it. Set in the 16th century during the time of the plague, a mythical vicious creature has been rumored to be roaming Mount Inwangsan. Yoon Gyeom is a loyal subject of King Jung Jong of Joseon. He is sent to find and fight a monster that threatens King Jung Jong's life causing panic among the people. Starring Woo-sik Choi (seen in Parasite and Train to Busan), Myung-Min Kim, In-kwon Kim, Sung-woong Park, Hyeri Lee, and Hee-soon Park. Not sure why it has taken two years for this to get released, but it certainly looks badass! Gnarly creature, lots of wild fights, lots of wild characters. Looks like a worthwhile weekend watch! Enjoy.
"That's what happens when you play bad boy." Netflix has debuted an official trailer for a Mexican drama titled I'm No Longer Here, from writer / director Fernando Frias. This premiered at the Cine Festival last year, and also played at the Mar del Plata, Tallinn Black Nights, Puerto Escondido un Oaxaca, and Göteborg Film Festivals. The film is about a teen from a young street gang in Monterrey, Mexico who is sent to live in Queens. There he struggles with the death of his brother and feelings of isolation and loneliness in his new surroundings. Starring Juan Daniel Garcia as Ulises, with other non-professional actors including Coral Puente, Leonardo Garza, Luis Leonardo Zapata "Leillo", and Fanny Tovar. This looks quite good.
"It is my duty to protect the country!" Capelight Pictures has debuted the official US trailer for a Korean thriller titled The Man Standing Next, the latest from filmmaker Woo Min-ho (Man of Vendetta, The Spies, Inside Men). Based on real events, this political espionage suspense film is set in the 1970s in Korea. The country is under the absolute control of the president Park who controls the KCIA, the one organization with the edge over any branch of government. A former KCIA agent is exiled to America, where he begins to reveal the truth about the government's obscure and illegal operations. Starring Lee Byung-hun (seen in I Saw the Devil, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Terminator Genisys) as Kim Kyu-Pyeong, with Lee Hee-joon, Kwak Do-won, and Lee Sung-min. This looks like a compelling film about the politics of Korea, but it seems a bit bland at first glance. But I still like the 1970s outfits and all the mysterious behind-closed-doors intrigue.
"What if you gave back what you took?" Strand Releasing has debuted an official US trailer for a film titled On a Magical Night, a French comedy formerly known as Chambre 212 (aka Room 212) when it initially premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year. This is the latest from sultry French filmmaker Christophe Honoré (Dans Paris, Love Songs, Beloved, Metamorphoses, Sophie's Misfortunes, Sorry Angel) and deals with a woman who leaves her husband and moves into a hotel opposite of her home. There she wonders if she made the right decision, re-examining her entire life with him. Award-winning French actress Chiara Mastroianni stars, with Benjamin Biolay, Vincent Lacoste, Camille Cottin, and Carole Bouquet. Nothing like a French comedy about infidelity and marriage, right? This one looks whimsical and amusing.
"I'd like to know how much you charge." Monument Releasing has debuted a new US trailer for an indie French drama titled simply Alice, marking the feature debut of writer / director Josephine Mackerras. The film won the Grand Jury Award top prize at the SXSW Film Festival last year, and played at numerous other festivals all over the world. French actress Emilie Piponnier stars as the titular Alice. After discovering that her husband's addiction to escorts has left their family penniless, she finds herself drawn into the world of high-end prostitution as a means of caring for herself and her child. Also stars Martin Swabey, Chloe Boreham, & Juliette Tresanini. This looks strikingly provocative, and seriously compelling, challenging audiences to rethink their prejudices in order to understand motivations and identify in a whole new light.
Get ready to dive into the abyss! While this trailer isn't brand new (it first debuted a few months ago), it's still worth featuring anyway - because there's no dialogue and it's all visuals. And because people may still be catching up with the remarkable HBO series "Chernobyl" (like me! holy shit it's good!), and wondering if there's a Russian version. Well, here it is! Sort of. Chernobyl: Abyss is the "first large-scale Russian film" about the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in 1986. It has a few major power producers behind it (who also produced the award-winning films Loveless, Beanpole) and is directed by Russian actor Danila Kozlovsky (from Hardcore Henry, Viking, The Coach). The focus seems to be on the three men recruited for one of the most dangerous missions - to don diving suits and go inside the plant to open a water release valve so that the entire thing doesn't explode (again). The movie stars Danila Kozlovsky, Oksana Akinshina, Filipp Avdeev, Ravshana Kurkova, Nikolay Kozak, and Igor Chernevich. A super intense first look trailer.
"Nobody wants to see these politicians disappear…" Netflix has revealed the official trailer for a Spanish mystery thriller called The Silence of the Marsh, which is already available to watch on the streaming service this week. The film was developed by RTVE & TV3 in Spain, with Zeta Cinema and Netflix. While researching corruption for his new book, a successful crime novelist blurs the line between fiction & reality, uncovering the corrupt ties between politicians and the local mafia in Valencia, Spain. This stars Pedro Alonso, Nacho Fresneda, Carmina Barrios, José Ángel Egido, Àlex Monner, Raúl Prieto, and Maite Sandoval. The trailer is dubbed in English, though it should be available on Netflix with subtitles. Looks like an intriguing all-the-way-to-the-top mystery, with some intense Spanish politics thrown in, too.
"We're zombies. We're dead. We're dying. But we're alive. I don't know which… So we might as well do what we want." Oscilloscope Labs has debuted an official US trailer for a funky fun Japanese experimental indie drama titled We Are Little Zombies, a very dark comedy rock musical one-of-a-kind film. This first premiered at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals last year, and will be getting a US release later in the year. The film is about four kids whose parents have all died, and they come together to form a rock band. "Tragedy, comedy, music, social criticism, and teenage angst are all subsumed in this eccentric cinematic tsunami." Starring Keita Ninomiya, Satoshi Mizuno, Mondo Okumura, and Sena Nakajima as the four main kids. This kind of became an under-the-radar hit on the festival circuit last year, and it's getting a proper release sometime this year - keep an eye out for it soon. All the weirdness in this makes it awesome.
"The odyssey of a Oaxacan girl…" The Match Factory has debuted the festival promo trailer for a Mexican drama titled Kokoloko, which is the latest feature from acclaimed Mexican filmmaker Gerardo Naranjo. He broke out big with his film Miss Bala (which was later remade by Hollywood) but he hasn't made a film since that premiered in 2011. Now he's back with Kokoloko! Set in a tropical seaside village on the Oaxacan coast, Marisol pursues personal freedom while navigating between the two men in her life - her lover, and her violent cousin who is keeping her captive. Starring Alejandra Herrera as Marisol, along with Noé Hernández and Eduardo Mendizábal. This has that old school, grainy 16mm style to it that makes it all the more dream-like. I am looking forward to seeing what Naranjo has created for us this time. Not only a story about toxic masculinity, but a story about a woman trying to break free from the men who control her.
"Do the traumas of the past remain with us?" Our friends at The Film Stage have released an official trailer for an indie film from Mexico titled 499, which was supposed to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this month. The was a part of this year's "Documentary Competition" section as a world premiere, which is only to describe the clever style and format - though it's clearly a fictional story (since conquistadors can't really time travel). Upon the 500-year anniversary of the Spanish Conquest, a ghostly Conquistador miraculously arrives in modern Mexico. As he journeys toward the capital city, he remembers events from his past while encountering the testimonies of real people, the survivors of contemporary violence. History and the present begin to merge, giving nightmarish reflection on the enduring legacy of colonialism in our world today. 499 stars Eduardo San Juan as the conquistador. This looks like much more than just an experimental film, a very poetic and haunting examination of history and how pain stays with us and never leaves. Worth a look.
"Everything is at a standstill." 1091 Media has debuted an official US trailer for a contemporary drama titled Until the Birds Return, the feature directorial debut of Algerian filmmaker Karim Moussaoui. This premiered at the Cannes Film Festival back in 2017, and is just now finally getting a VOD release in the US. "A property developer is witness to random street violence. A pair of secret lovers make their way across the desert. A doctor is accused of having a criminal past. In these three interconnected tales, exciting newcomer Karim Moussaoui—whom critics at Cannes compared to Abbas Kiarostami and Leos Carax—takes the pulse of modern-day Algiers, a country once riven by colonial occupation and sectarian warfare yet still abundant in beauty and promise." The film stars Mohamed Djouhri, Sonia Mekkiou, Hania Amar, Mehdi Ramdani, Chawki Amari, Saadia Gacem, Hassan Kachach, Nadia Kaci, Samir El Hakim, & Aure Atika. This looks very good! Always refreshing to see stories of modern life in different parts of the world.