"Belfast will still be here when you get back." Focus Features has debuted a wonderful second official trailer for Belfast, written and directed by Irish actor / filmmaker Kenneth Branagh, described as his "most personal film" yet. Similar in many ways to Alfonso Cuaron's Roma, but with Irish sensibilities. The film won the Audience Award at the 2021 Toronto Film Festival, and recently played at the London Film Festival. A coming-of-age drama set during the tumult of late-1960s Northern Ireland, the film follows young Buddy while he navigates a landscape of working-class struggle, sweeping cultural changes, and sectarian violence. Jude Hill stars as Buddy, with a stellar ensemble cast featuring Caitríona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, Colin Morgan, and Lara McDonnell. I've been looking forward to seeing this since first hearing about it! Audiences at all of the festivals have embraced it as one of the best of the year.
"Your father, that helmet, you, they're all connected." Vertical has unveiled a trailer for a peculiar fantasy action thriller titled Alpha Rift, which seems to be another homage to Dungeons & Dragons from a fan who loves to play tabletop games. When a helmet thrusts Nolan into a world of modern-day knights fighting supernatural evil, he's forced to become the hero he was destined to be. When he puts on the mysterious old armored helmet, his whole world changes. The helmet comes to life and calls out to an evil demon who was imprisoned by Nolan's father. Nolan discovers he's next in the bloodline, heir to The Nobleman, destined to become a hero whether he wants to be or not. Aaron Dalla Villa stars as Nolan, with Lance Henriksen, Richel Nielsen, Philip N. Williams, Graham Wolfe, Allyson Malandra, and Peter Patrikios. This kind of plays like a mashup of Highlander with The Kid Who Would Be King with D&D. Alas it doesn't look that great - I'd recommend watching The Kid Who Would Be King instead, especially if you've never seen it.
"Do you know what you're here for?" The Jokers distribution in France is opening this film in theaters in France starting today - October 20th. The film initially premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to a number of rave reviews (ours included). Pleasure is an extremely explicit journey deep in the pornography industry in Los Angeles, a story about a young Swedish woman who thinks she can make it big in the industry and heads to Los Angeles. But she learns there's many issues with the porn industry above all the sex and debauchery. Sofia Kappel stars, with a cast including Revika Anne Reustle, Evelyn Claire, Dana DeArmond, Kendra Spade, and Jason Toler. As sultry as this is, I think it's a brilliant criticism of how most industries operate these days, how fame and glory is impossible without losing your integrity. No US release date is set yet, but we're watching. Warning: this trailer is definitely NSFW - only in private.
There's something new coming to your local neighborhood art house theater! MUBI is launching a brand new subscription service called MUBI GO, starting out in NYC at the end of this month. What exactly is it? Here's how they describe it: "A ticket to see a brand new hand-picked film. In a theater. Every single week. Plus a MUBI subscription. Only $10.99 a month, for a limited time." On their website, it explains that every week they'll choose a new film, then you login with the app and can choose any venue showing it (that works with MUBI GO) at the best time for you, and that's it. You've got a ticket! In theory, this means that every month you can see up to 4 or 5 films, if you go to every one. Other info (about repeat viewings, venues, etc) is not yet available. This is a great idea! I'm all for it. And you get access to MUBI streaming, too. Excellent.
"There's a feast waiting for us." IFC Midnight has unveiled an official trailer for a twisted new horror film titled The Feast, filmed in Welsh and directed by Welsh filmmaker Lee Haven Jones. This one originally premiered at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival, and has been playing at numerous other genre festivals through the year, including at Beyond Fest and the Telluride Horror Show most recently. This horror feature follows a young woman serving privileged guests at a dinner party in a remote house in rural Wales. The assembled guests do not realize they are about to eat their last supper. Annes Elwy stars as the very creepy Cadi, she's joined by Lisa Palfrey, Caroline Berry, Nia Roberts, Julian Lewis Jones, Steffan Cennydd, Sion Alun Davies, and Chris Gordon. Not sure what exactly is going on, but it looks unsettling in many ways.
"I've been such a coward. I should've left you ages ago!" Picturehouse in the UK has debuted anther new official UK trailer for a Norwegian indie drama titled Hope, which originally premiered at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival a few years ago. This already opened in the US this spring and we featured a trailer earlier in the year, but another reminder that it's out is good for this one. Hope is an award-winning film written & directed by Maria Sødahl, starring Stellan Skarsgård and Andrea Bræin Hovig. Norway's selection for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards earlier this year, though it didn't end up with a nom. Hope is based on the true story and experiences of director Maria Sødahl whose terminal cancer diagnosis led to a nine-year hiatus from filmmaking. All about the relationship between artist-partners Tomas & Anja. It looks like such a deeply emotional film, I am very curious to see how their story plays out.
"What else have you got to say?" 1091 Pictures has unveiled the official trailer for an indie coming-of-age drama titled Vandal, the feature directorial debut of up-and-coming filmmaker Jose Daniel Freixas. This originally premiered at the 2019 Miami Film Festival a few years ago, and is finally getting an official VOD release this fall. The young leader of a legendary Miami graffiti crew, Nick "Damage" Cruz, looks back on his legacy and experiences love & loss while battling a longtime rival on the streets. Daniel Zovatto stars as "Damage", and is joined by Frankie J. Alvarez, Beau Knapp, Otmara Marrero, Juan Pablo Raba, Richard Schiff, Dax Rudnak, Ralph Rodriguez, Angeline Appel, Manolo Gonzalez-Vergara, and Veronica Gessa. This doesn't look like the greatest movie, but it does look authentic, made by people who actually know what it's really like to be a graffiti artist on the streets of Miami. And that makes a difference.
"Children are a crushing responsibility." Netflix has debuted the first official trailer for an acclaimed film titled The Lost Daughter, marking the feature directorial debut of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal. She both writes and directs this adaptation of the Elena Ferrante novel of the same name about two mothers who meet on a beach. The Lost Daughter premiered at both the 2021 Venice & Telluride Film Festivals this year, earning a number of rave reviews (ours included). A woman's beach vacation in Greece takes a dark turn when her obsession with a young mother forces her to confront the decisions of her past. Olivia Colman stars, with a cast including Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson, Ed Harris, Peter Sarsgaard, Dagmara Dominczyk, and Paul Mescal. This is one of my favorite films from the Venice Film Festival this year, I can't stop thinking about it. I adore the score AND performances AND the story, everything going on in this.
"She drives me stupid crazy. I'm obsessed." Madman Films in Australia has unveiled an official trailer for the film Paris, 13th District, originally known as Les Olympiades. This is the latest film from award-winning French filmmaker Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, Rust and Bone, Dheepan, The Sisters Brothers) and it originally premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. The film is a black & white story of young love in modern Paris - following three different stories of people living in the 13th district of Paris. Technically this is an adaptation of the graphic novel" Killing and Dying" by Adrian Tomine, a modern tale of love and friendship, co-written with Léa Mysius and Céline Sciamma. The full cast includes Lucie Zhang, Makita Samba, Noémie Merlant, Jehnny Beth, Camille Léon-Fucien, Oceane Cairaty, and Anaïde Rozam. This wasn't my favorite film from Cannes, but it does have some wonderfully modern takes on intimacy and sex and love that are nice to see in a film. Plus the electro score by Rone totally rules.
"This was your idea from the start!" Vertical Ent. has released a trailer for an indie romantic comedy titled Mark, Mary & Some Other People, directed by actress / filmmaker Hannah Marks. This premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and is out to watch this November. Newlyweds Mark and Mary reluctantly decide to give ethical non-monogamy a try as their lives get increasingly complicated. "The decision changes things for the couple and opens a lot of personal questions for both as Mary starts to realize she's more traditional than she thought whereas Mark starts to open up and [begins to see] the world differently through Mary and a polyamorous lens." Quite interesting, an perhaps the expected results. Ben Rosenfield and Hayley Law star as Mark and Mary, with a cast including Nik Dodani, Matt Shively, Sofia Bryant, Kelli Berglund, Esther Povitsky, Joe Lo Truglio, and Haley Ramm. Not the first contemporary romance to get into the polyamory game, with Ma Belle, My Beauty and Lust Life Love this year as well. But this looks much better.
"Now I'm suspicious of everyone… We're so terrified of stepping out of line." IFC Films has just unveiled a second official trailer for The Beta Test, a seductive, provocative thriller from filmmaker Jim Cummings (of Thunder Road and The Wolf of Snow Hollow). The first UK trailer arrived a few weeks back, time for another look. Cummings teams up with actor PJ McCabe to co-write & co-direct this film, which initially premiered at the Berlin Film Festival this year. It's opening in the US in art house cinemas starting in early November. A married Hollywood agent receives a mysterious letter for an anonymous sexual encounter and becomes ensnared in a sinister world of lying, infidelity, and digital data. It's partially a commentary on the world of agents in Hollywood, and partially a commentary on the disruptive nature of sexual provocation, how easily it can tear things apart. The film stars Cummings & McCabe, plus Virginia Newcomb, Kevin Changaris, Olivia Grace Applegate, Jessie Barr, Malin Barr, Christian Hillborg. Have a nice time.
"You can't force these soldiers to become political." 1091 Pictures has revealed an official trailer for an indie drama titled The Drummer, from filmmaker Eric Werthman. This first premiered last year, and is out on VOD this fall - timed to honor Veterans Day. Set in 2008, The Drummer revolves around active and former members of the U. S. military. With the US engaged in a seemingly perpetual war, the devastating traumas that soldiers suffer abroad continue to be felt at home. The film stars Danny Glover as a Vietnam veteran who has become a lawyer and political advocate for soldiers who've suffered mental health issues. Glover's statement: "My brother was a Vietnam vet, given to the recent announcement that there are more veterans suicide than soldiers killed in Iraq makes the film The Drummer more timely than ever." The cast includes Prema Cruz, Sam Underwood, Daniel K. Isaac, Camilla Perez, Frankie J. Alvarez, Jennifer Mudge, and Lillias White. This looks heartbreaking and meaningful, a story with an important message.