INDIE FILMS

New US Trailer for Danish Biopic 'The Pact' Starring Birthe Neumann

The Pact Trailer

"This could change everything. I can write without feeling guilty." Juno Films has released the official US trailer for an acclaimed Danish biopic titled The Pact, which originally opened in theaters in Denmark last year. The film examines the intense friendship between Karen Blixen, the Danish author best known for her autobiographical novel "Out of Africa" (written under the pen name "Isak Dinesen") and Thorkild Bjørnvig, a young and promising poet. She offers him a Faustian bargain and promises him stardom if he will obey her unconditionally. What a strange relationship. From director Bille August comes this sterling adaptation of Bjørnvig's bestselling memoir. Birthe Neumann stars as Karen Blixen, joined by Simon Bennebjerg, Nanna Skaarup Voss, Asta Kamma August, Anders Heinrichsen, and Marie Mondrup. This looks like a smart character study of an arrogant woman going mad at the end of her life. Perhaps worth a watch.

Juliette Binoche is a French Journalist in 'Between Two Worlds' Trailer

Between Two Worlds Film

"Make the invisible visible." Madman Films in Australia has released their official trailer for Between Two Worlds, a French drama from writer / filmmaker Emmanuel Carrère. This premiered last year at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival in the Directors' Fortnight section, and is opening sometime later this year. It is based on French journalist Florence Aubenas's bestselling non-fiction work Le Quai de Ouistreham, investigating rising precarity in French society through her experiences in the northern port city of Caen. The original French title is Ouistreham in reference to this location. Juliette Binoche stars as Winckler, who goes to live in northern France to research for her new book on the subject of job insecurity by working in various low end cleaning jobs. The cast includes a group of authentic unknown actors, including Hélène Lambert, Louise Pociecka, Steve Papagiannis, & Aude Ruyter. The film looks a bit like a Ken Loach drama but made in France, a social realist look at the honest struggles of low income workers. Definitely worth a watch.

First Trailer for Thriller 'Superior' with Alessandra Mesa & Ani Mesa

Superior Trailer

"I'm worried about her." Factory 25 has revealed an official trailer for an indie film titled Superior, which initially premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival last year. This grainy, retro indie is about a woman on the run who returns to her hometown to hide out with her identical twin sister, Vivian, which alters the trajectory of both their lives. Described as an "Almodovarian psychodrama" with touches of Lynch and De Palma and 80s psychological thriller cinema. She realizes that she can pass as her sister and gets into even more trouble pretending to be her while trying to stay out of any trouble. Starring Alessandra Mesa and Anamari Mesa as sisters Marian and Vivian; along with Pico Alexander, Jake Hoffman, and Stanley Simons. This has a very specific pastiche that will some will be very attracted to, but for others it may just be grueling. But there's intricacy in the two lead's performances playing off each other throughout the film.

Full Trailer for Witch Coven Comedy 'King Knight' with Angela Sarafyan

King Knight Trailer

"I'm going on a walkabout." XYZ Films has released a full-length official trailer for King Knight, an indie dark comedy about a leader of a coven of witches and his downfall. Set to open in February this year. The first teaser landed last year during its festival run. Matthew Gray Gubler & Angela Sarafyan star in this comedy as Thorn & Willow, husband-and-wife high priest and priestess of a coven of witches in California - basically a hippie commune. When Willow unearths a secret from Thorn's past, their lives are thrown into turmoil and Thorn ventures out on a journey of self-discovery. The film's cast includes Nelson Franklin, Johnny Pemberton, Barbara Crampton, Ray Wise, Andy Milonakis, and the voices of Aubrey Plaza and AnnaLynne McCord. Oh yes this trailer finally leans into the totally wacky, weird crazy stuff going on in this. Right down to the pine-cone heads, third eye, and funky animated sequences. Bring it on.

Sundance 2022: 10 Most Anticipated Films at This Year's Online Fest

Sundance 2022 Most Anticipated

It's January again, which means it's time for another Sundance Film Festival. The original plan for 2022 was to host a hybrid event - with the usual in-person screenings in Park City, Utah as well as online screenings. But they had to cancel the in-person event again thanks to the pandemic, returning to an entirely virtual / online event like last year. (Along with a few satellite screenings in select cities around the country.) This is our 16th year in a row covering this film festival; I'm always looking forward to returning and watching all the new films premiering at Sundance. Out of the 83 films showing at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, I've picked 10 films that I'm looking forward to seeing the most. To keep things well balanced, I've chosen 5 feature films and 5 documentaries from the line-up. There's a few gems in the line-up already. As usual with Sundance, you never can really tell what'll good or bad before the fest kicks off, but here's my picks anyway.

Official Trailer for 'Those Who Walk Away' Haunted House Horror Film

Those Who Walk Away Trailer

"Once a year his hunger needs to be satisfied." VMI has revealed an official trailer for an indie horror film titled Those Who Walk Away, introducing us to the "Rotcreep" creature. After Max and Avery meet on a social media app for a first date, they end up at a haunted house only to realize the trauma they share may either save them or erupt into an unforgettable nightmare. This haunted house they encounter, home of the Rotcreep, seems especially bizarre and crazy. Those Who Walk Away stars Booboo Stewart and Scarlett Sperduto, with Nils Allen Stewart as the Rotcreep. Freaky stuff! It's crazy how this trailer starts out so sweet & nice, then turns scary so quickly. Lots of crazy things going on! Looks so intense it's hard to handle.

Jenna Ortega & Maddie Ziegler in Heartfelt Drama 'The Fallout' Trailer

The Fallout Trailer

"What are you feeling right now?" "I feel… mad." Warner Bros has unveiled an official trailer for the indie film The Fallout, marking the feature directorial debut of actress Megan Park. This first premiered at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival last year, and will be debuting streaming on HBO Max later this month. The film deals with the "fallout" of a school shooting - focusing on one young student named Vada who struggles with all the overwhelming emotions afterwards. Relationships with her family, friends and view of the world are forever altered. In the process, she befriends another student named Mia, who she had never been friends with before. Jenna Ortega co-stars with Maddie Ziegler, and a cast including Niles Fitch, Will Ropp, John Ortiz, Julie Bowen, and Shailene Woodley. This and Mass are the only films so far that honestly and appropriately deal with the crisis of school shootings in America. May be hard to watch but is worth it.

Second Trailer for Cruz & Banderas' Satire Film 'Official Competition'

Official Competition Trailer

"It's not the first time I've worked with an idiot." Madman Films in Australia has unveiled an official trailer for Official Competition, the kooky Argentinian satire about making an indie film to play at film festivals. It's made by two Argentinian filmmakers and co-stars the powerhouse duo Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas. A wealthy businessman hires an enigmatic art-house filmmaker to help make an award-winning film based on a Nobel Prize-winning novel. She casts two superstar leads that hate each other. Alternating between exacerbating the actors' mutual antipathy and uniting them in their shared discomfort with her psychologically tumultuous rehearsal techniques, Lola seeks to capture the drama of two alpha males vying for the limelight — but it won't be long before the gambit goes off the rails. Also starring Irene Escolar, Melina Matthews, Oscar Martínez, Pilar Castro, Manolo Solo, and Karina Kolokolchykova. This premiered last year at both the Venice & Toronto Film Festivals (here's the teaser), which is extra amusing because the film mocks festivals. I wish more films were this honest about how ridiculous it all is! Have fun.

Tom Schilling in 3-Hour 'Fabian: Going to the Dogs' Official US Trailer

Fabian: Going to the Dogs Trailer

"And what comes after ruin?" Kino Lorber has revealed the official US trailer for an acclaimed German film titled Fabian: Going to the Dogs, which originally premiered at the 2021 Berlin Film Festival last year. This 3-hour long feature already opened in Germany last fall and earned quite a bit of good buzz despite the extensive running time. Adapted from the classic German novel of the same name set in 1930s Berlin. Dr. Jakob Fabian, who works by day in advertising for a cigarette company and by night wanders the streets of the city, falls in love with an actress. As her career begins to blossom, prospects for his future begin to wane as layoffs hit the city and other problems begin to appear before WWII. "Veteran German director Dominik Graf (Beloved Sisters) wowed audiences at the Berlin Film Festival with this dazzling adaptation of Erich Kästner's classic of Weimar literature, set amid the twilight hedonism of pre-Nazi Germany." Starring Tom Schilling as Fabian, with a cast including Saskia Rosendahl, Albrecht Schuch, Meret Becker, and Michael Wittenborn. I've heard plenty of great things about this film and plan on giving it a watch soon.

Official Trailer for Indie Sci-Fi Film 'Saul at Night' with a Sleep Curfew

Saul at Night Trailer

"I prefer to suffer." Utopia has revealed an official US trailer for Saul at Night, a quirky indie sci-fi drama marking the feature debut of filmmaker Cory Santilli. This originally premiered in 2019 at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, and is opening in the US this week on VOD for anyone interested. In Saul at Night, a mandatory sleep schedule has been enforced worldwide with one outlier who is forced to become acclimated to isolation in a bizarre experiment. He invents new ways to connect with his sleeping family. Starring Kentucker Audley as Saul, with Suzanne Clément, Stephanie Ellis, and Acadia Colan. Described as a "carefully drawn study of human nature and the nature of connections to both loved ones and strangers." This looks much darker & more dramatic than I was expecting, but I'm still curious to see what it's all about.

Bhutan's Oscar Submission 'Lunana: A Yak in The Classroom' Trailer

Lunana: A Yak in The Classroom Trailer

"I have hope that you will give these children the education they need to become more." Samuel Goldwyn Films has revealed a new official US trailer for the indie film Lunana: A Yak in The Classroom, made in Bhutan by a filmmaker named Pawo Choyning Dorji. This originally premiered at festivals back in 2019, but has been waiting for an official release ever since then. An aspiring musician living with his grandmother in the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu, dreams of getting a visa to move to Australia. But he is instead sent to Lunana, to teach at a remote school high in the mountains. Starring Sherab Dorji as Ugyen. The film was submitted by Bhutan as their Oscar submission for 2021, but they ran into some problems. "Unfortunately, it was not officially accepted by the Academy because Bhutan hadn’t submitted a film in decades and did not have an officially recognized committee. [But] by the time the Bhutanese government was informed by the Academy of Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom's submission being disqualified, there was no time" to do this correctly. Bhutan is such a beautiful country, I can't wait to visit one day. This looks like an uplifting story.

First Trailer for UK Prison Drama 'A Violent Man' with Craig Fairbrass

A Violent Man Trailer

"The truth is, Frank, I'm a violent man." Vertigo Releasing has unveiled an official UK trailer for a British crime drama titled A Violent Man, opening in cinemas in the UK this February. Not to be confused with the other US crime drama also titled A Violent Man. Steve Mackleson is a dangerous prisoner, incarcerated for double murder in a maximum security prison. He tries to navigate his struggle against redemption, the system, and his inner turmoil when a young black gang member becomes his unlikely new cell mate and a daughter he has never met finally requests to meet her estranged father – face to face. Craig Fairbrass stars as Steve, with a cast including Jason Flemyng, Stephen Odubola as his cell mate, Ross McCall, Ulrich Thomsen, and Zoë Tapper. Reviews say the film is "punctuated by moments of electrifying and ferocious violence, including a couple of truly savage cell face-offs that are shockingly effective." Get a look.

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