"The Breakfast Club meets Waiting for Godot…" Now that's a funky pitch. But sounds good, kind of? Check out the official trailer for an indie comedy titled 18 to Party, the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Jeff Roda. This originally premiered at the Big Apple Film Festival last year, and also played at the Florida Film Festival this year. It's set in 1984 and takes place outside a small-town nightclub, where a group of 8th graders gather, grappling with a spate of recent suicides, UFO sightings, their absentee parents, and each other. Described by the festival as "a spot-on love letter to Gen X, awkward teenagers, and the transcendent power of friendship." The film stars Alivia Clark, Tanner Flood, Oliver GIfford, James Freedson-Jackson, Nolan Lyons, Sam McCarthy, Ivy Miller, Taylor Richardson, and Erich Schuett. It looks like classical indie filmmaking in a good way - no-budget project with a clever script about a time long gone.
"Why would I want to be like everyone else?" "Because it has to be better than this." Freestyle Digital has released an official trailer for an indie drama / dark comedy titled Ms. White Light, which first premiered at the SXSW Film Festival last year. It also then played at the Torino Film Festival in Italy, where it won the Audience Award a year ago. Roberta Colindrez (seen on the TV shows "Vida" and "The Deuce") stars as Lex Cordova, a young woman who counsels terminally ill clients that have trouble letting go. While uniquely talented in her ability to connect with the dying, Lex is at a total loss when it comes to dealing with everyone else. Until she meets a woman named Valerie. The indie cast also includes Zachary Spicer, John Ortiz, Judith Light, and Taylar Fondren. This actually looks quite intriguing, not only with all the wide shots of offices and hospital rooms. But the performance and the whole premise seems to offer something special.
"You first responsibility is to preserve the hearing you have." Amazon Prime has finally debuted an official trailer for Sound of Metal, an acclaimed indie drama about a rock band drummer who begins to lose his hearing. The film first premiered at the Toronto and Zurich Film Festivals last year to rave reviews, and is open in select theaters later this fall. Riz Ahmed stars as Ruben, a heavy-metal drummer whose life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing. The full cast includes Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Lauren Ridloff, Mathieu Amalric, Chris Perfetti, and William Xifaras. So far this looks as good as I've heard. Have been forward to watching it ever since the TIFF buzz dropped last year. One great review states: "Riz Ahmed turns in a spectacular performance that overcame my fears of disability appropriation."
"They're just people, no different from you and me." Anyone remember this one? Shout Factory debuted a new trailer for an indie film titled Delirious, now being re-released as a special "Director's Cut" edition after more than 12 years. This originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007 (and I reviewed it way back then!) and years later Tom DiCillo has come back to it and secured the rights and restored it to his original version. "Just before its original release some editing choices were forced upon me which I've always regretted. When I finally found the [rights] owner… I jumped at the chance to restore the film to its original cut. I wrote it for Steve Buscemi and he delivers one of his finest performances. I'm thrilled this Director's Cut will give people a chance to appreciate it." Buscemi stars a paparazzi who takes in a strange homeless kid, played by Michael Pitt, under his wing but then he becomes a famous TV star. The cast also includes Alison Lohman, Gina Gershon, Callie Thorne, Kevin Corrigan, and Elvis Costello. I still remember enjoying this film at Sundance, but I'm not really sure if it's worth revisiting all these year later.
"What separates us from animals?" Netflix has unveiled an official trailer for a Norwegian post-apocalyptic thriller titled Cadaver, from young Norwegian filmmaker Jarand Herdal. Set in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster, the film is about a family of struggling survivors who discover a hotel that entices them with a free meal and a theater play. When they arrive, the director, Mathias (Thorbjørn Harr), introduces the entire hotel as the stage. Attendees are given masks to help separate them from actors, but the play takes an eerie turn when audience members start to disappear. Starring Gitte Witt, Thomas Gullestad, Tuva Olivia Remman, Thorbjørn Harr, Maria Grazia De Meo, Trine Wiggen, and Bente Børsum. Oh my, this is a super freaky concept combined with intense post-apocalyptic dread - scary in all the
right wrong ways.
"It was like you were singing… just to me." Mental illness, Morrissey and guinea pigs. Vega Baby US has released a new trailer for the indie dark comedy coming-of-age film The More You Ignore Me, a spunky 80s flick from England that already opened there a few years ago. Adapted from Jo Brand's novel and set to the songs of The Smiths, The More You Ignore Me is a darkly funny coming-of-age story of dysfunctional family life in the 1980s. The film focuses on Gina, a young mother, whose efforts to be a loving mother & wife are undermined by her declining mental health. Things deteriorate once she develops an obsession with the local weatherman, which leads to an admission to the nearby psychiatric hospital. Starring Sheridan Smith as Gina and Ella Hunt (from Anna and the Apocalypse), with Mark Addy, Sally Phillips, Sheila Hancock, and Jo Brand. This looks enjoyable, especially because of The Smiths, but it's not great overall.
"Prepare yourselves… for a new form of extra-terrestrial terror!" Bleecker Street has released a fun "retro" trailer for Save Yourselves!, a relationship comedy mixed up with an alien invasion sci-fi. This premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and is opening next month. A young Brooklyn couple heads to an upstate cabin to unplug from their phones and reconnect with each other. Blissfully unaware of what's happening, they are left to their own devices as the planet falls under attack. "What if you unplugged from technology for a week and really reconnected with your partner? It’s not like the world would end, right? Right? Right?" Starring John Reynolds and Sunita Mani as Jack and Su, with a small cast also including Ben Sinclair, John Early, and Jo Firestone. This is a great trailer, I just wish it was only the old B&W trailer and not the bookends. But still! The voiceover is perfect. And the description of the story is hilarious.
"I definitely wouldn't be here if it weren't for this man next to me." Studiocanal UK has released the first official UK trailer for an indie romantic drama titled Supernova, the second feature from filmmaker Harry Macqueen (Hinterland). This is premiering at the San Sebastian, Zurich, and London Film Festivals this year. "How do we live and love, even as we near the end of our time?" Starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci and from the award-winning producers of 45 Years comes an intimate and modern love-story. Sam and Tusker are partners of 20 years, who are traveling across England in their old RV visiting friends, family and places from their past. Since Tusker was diagnosed with early-onset dementia two years ago, their time together is the most important thing they have. The cast includes James Dreyfus, Lori Campbell, Pippa Haywood, Ian Drysdale, Nina Marlin, and Sarah Woodward. This looks so spectacularly beautiful, a heart-wrenching but hopeful story of love and what it means to all of us. What a difference real love makes.
"We're here to make revolution, not just dinner." Roadside has revealed the full-length official trailer for the film The Glorias, made by acclaimed filmmaker Julie Taymor (Frida, Across the Universe). This initially premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and will be launching on VOD + Amazon Prime at the end of this month. It tells the story of feminist icon Gloria Steinem's itinerant childhood's influence on her life as a writer, activist and organizer for women's rights worldwide. The title "The Glorias" refers to the four different actresses as Steinem at different stages of her life: Alicia Vikander, Julianne Moore, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, and Lulu Wilson all play Gloria. The cast features a number of iconic women who've made profound contributions to the women's movement over the years, including Dorothy Pitman Hughes (Janelle Monáe), Flo Kennedy (Lorraine Toussaint), Bella Abzug (Bette Midler), Dolores Huerta (Monica Sanchez), and Wilma Mankiller (Kimberly Guerrero). It's an inspiring trailer that setups the film and shows some of the strange, creative scenes that Taymor crafted for it. Take a look.
"I'd rather drink poison than break my back for you." Kino Lorber has released an official US trailer for the Italian drama Martin Eden, which first premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year to tons of acclaim. It also played at the Toronto & New York Film Festivals last year. The film is adapted from Jack London's 1909 novel of the same name, but recreated as a very Italian story. Italian actor Luca Marinelli won the Best Actor prize in Venice for playing Martin, then went on to co-star in Netflix's The Old Guard this year. Martin Eden struggles to rise above his destitute, proletarian circumstances with an intense and passionate pursuit of self-education, hoping to achieve a place among the literary elite as a famed writer. The film also stars Jessica Cressy, Vincenzo Nemolato, Marco Leonardi, Carlo Cecchi, Pietro Ragusa, Denise Sardisco, Carmen Pommella, Elisabetta Valgoi, & Savino Paparella. This was supposed to open in the spring, but has been delayed for months. Now it's reset for release in October in virtual cinemas. Enjoy.
"Let herself do the honors." Picturehouse has revealed the first official UK trailer for an indie drama titled Herself, which originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. The film is the latest from acclaimed director Phyllida Lloyd (of Mamma Mia! and The Iron Lady) and earned some rave reviews at Sundance (read Kate's review). It's playing at the London Film Festival next this fall. This is the story of young mother Sandra who escapes her abusive husband and fights back against a broken housing system. She sets out to build her own home from scratch and in the process rebuilds her life and rediscovers herself. Clare Dunne (who also co-wrote the screenplay) stars as Sandra, with a cast including Harriet Walter, Conleth Hill, Cathy Belton, Rebecca O'Mara, and Sean Duggan. I saw this one at Sundance and it's excellent - it has more heart and understanding than it may seem, telling an inspiring story of perseverance.
"The only dangerous animals I've run into are your men." REI Co-op Studios has released an official trailer for their first feature film, titled The Dark Divide. The film tells the story of Dr. Robert Pyle, a shy nature lover and butterfly expert who spent 6 weeks on a life-changing expedition in 1995 through Washington's Gifford Pinchot National Forest in search of new species of butterflies. A story about the outdoors and about life, and dealing with all the good and the bad that comes our way. David Cross stars as Dr. Pyle, joined by Debra Messing playing his sick wife, and a cast including David Koechner, Cameron Esposito, Gary Farmer, and Patterson Hood. Featuring music by The Avett Brothers, The National Reserve, Samantha Crain, Bombadil, Giants in the Trees, and a few more. A portion of the film's profits will be donated to the National Wildlife Federation’s mission to protect wildlife and wild places. This looks like a fun story, made even better by David Cross starring as he brings his own quirkiness to this role. I might just give it a watch.