He seems like a nice person, doesn't he? Strand Releasing has debuted an official US trailer for the French-German indie drama Peter von Kant, one of the latest features from prolific French filmmaker François Ozon. This first premiered at the 2022 Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. Based on the Rainer Werner Fassbinder cult play, The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, François Ozon’s unique retelling finds "Peter von Kant", a successful, famous director (obviously RWF), who lives with his assistant Karl, whom he likes to mistreat and humiliate. Through the great actress Sidonie, he meets and falls in love with Amir, a handsome young man of modest means. He offers to share his apartment and help Amir get into the world of cinema. Beyond that, there's not much more to this. The cast features Denis Ménochet as von Kant, Isabelle Adjani, Khalil Gharbia, Hanna Schygulla, Stéfan Crépon, and Aminthe Audiard. I saw this film at Berlinale and it's dismal, a waste of time in every way. Don't watch it unless you're a major Fassbinder fan.
"I am an allegoria of nothing – a reflection that refuses to look back, a human vampire with endless time." RLJE Films & Shudder have revealed a very short official trailer for an intense new indie horror film titled Allegoria, marking the feature debut of director "Spider One" - better known as the lead singer of the band Powerman 5000. "Five stories about art and monsters." There's not much of a plot, it seems to be all over the place. Only this intro: A group of artist's lives become unwittingly entangled as their obsessions and insecurities manifest monsters, demons and death. The horror thriller film stars Krsy Fox, Adam Busch, Bryce Johnson, and Scout Compton. Arriving for streaming on Shudder later this summer if anyone's curious. This is a seriously creepy trailer for only 45 secs of footage! Starts out quiet and ends with screams.
"What would you miss if you were to disappear?" Screen Daily has revealed an early festival promo trailer for a Greek indie drama titled Silence 6-9, premiering soon at the 2022 Karlovy Vary Film Festival taking place July in Czechia. Aris and Anna meet one evening in a half-abandoned town surrounded by antennas. In this strange, dreamlike world the two solitary souls gradually start to develop feelings for one another… This sounds quite intriguing, not just a simple romance, with much more going on. "This melancholic love story with its mesmeric atmosphere and striking visuals is proof that Greek cinema has lost nothing of its originality." The film stars Angeliki Papoulia and Christos Passalis as Anna and Aris, along with Sofia Kokkali, Maria Skoula, Marisha Triantafyllidou, and Vassilis Karaboulas. Modern Greek cinema is always so strange and peculiar, but also heartfelt and hopeful deep within. This definitely looks intriguing.
"We are baptized in shame, and in shame we live." And shame we must break free from! XYZ Films has revealed an official trailer for The Summoned, an indie horror thriller that's landing on VOD in July. This recently premiered at the 2022 Overlook Film Festival this month, a good horror festival to show a film like this. It's described as a "Faustian morality tale" from a script by Jewish-Ukrainian writer Yuri Baranovsky. Elijah attends a self-help retreat with his rockstar girlfriend Lyn, unaware that the enigmatic doctor, Dr. Frost played by Frederick Stuart, who runs the estate has summoned him here to settle a generations-old supernatural debt. The film stars J. Quinton Johnson as Elijah, with Emma Fitzpatrick, Salvador Chacon, Angela Gulner, and Freddy Douglas. This looks like it has some good thrills and chills, better than your average indie horror. That between-the-legs axe shot is the best shot from the trailer. See below.
As time has gone on, moviegoers have been given more and more access to the behind-the-scenes of cinema and the filmmaking process. Nowadays, there's a clearer idea about the complexity and difficulty of creating a film. If being the director of a feature is already recognized as a herculean task on many levels, imagine also being solely responsible for the screenplay and playing the main character in addition to directing. At just 25 years old, Cooper Raiff is one of the most promising filmmakers working today, delivering one of the best movies of the year with Cha Cha Real Smooth, where Raiff nails these three roles impressively.
"I'm trying to understand how this could've happened to me… Am I bad at sex?" Utopia has revealed an official trailer for the film Sharp Stick, a body-positive, sex-positive indie drama from filmmaker Lena Dunham (she last directed the film Tiny Furniture in 2010). This premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to mixed reviews, exploring the same kind of topics also covered in Palm Trees & Power Lines and Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. Sarah Jo is a naive 26-year-old girl living on the fringes of Hollywood with her mother and sister. She just longs to be seen. When she begins an affair with her older employer, she is thrust into an education on sexuality, loss and power. When it ends with him, she decides to explore all aspects of sex and pleasure, as a way of growing up. Kristine Froseth stars as Sarah Jo, with Jon Bernthal, Luka Sabbat, Scott Speedman, Lena Dunham, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Taylour Paige, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. It's an intriguing film that attempts to discuss sex in a whole new way.
"You didn't want to be old, what you wanted is to be YOU." Gravitas Premiere has unveiled a trailer for an indie comedy titled Mack & Rita, the latest from filmmaker Katie Aselton after her films The Freebie and Black Rock. This is being given a full on wide release in August, most likely because it has Diane Keaton in it and she can usually bring in audiences. A 30-year-old writer, played by Elizabeth Lail, spends a wild weekend in Palm Springs and wakes up to find she has magically transformed into her 70-year-old self - as played by Diane Keaton. "Freed from the constraints of other people's expectations, Rita comes into her own, becoming an unlikely social media sensation" and sparking a tentative romance. The film's ensemble cast includes Taylour Paige, Loretta Devine, Simon Rex, Dustin Milligan, Amy Hill, Lois Smith, Wendie Malick, Patti Harrison, Martin Short, Addie Weyrich, Aimee Carrero, and Nicole Byer. This is a fun coming-of-old-age concept and getting Keaton is perfect. Much like Big but going older! Enjoy.
"Ohh, mon amour!!" IFC Films has revealed the sultry official US trailer for an indie "erotic thriller" made by French filmmaker Claire Denis titled Both Sides of the Blade, which originally premiered at the very forgettable 2022 Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. The film also goes under the title Fire, or the French title Avec amour et acharnement which translates directly to With love and dedication; but I've heard Denis has been upset about the title she prefers and none of them really work well for this one anyway. The film is a love triangle story about a woman caught between two men, her long-time partner and his best friend, her former lover. Both Sides of the Blade stars Juliette Binoche, Grégoire Colin, and Vincent Lindon. I saw this film at Berlinale and hated it, along with everyone else I talked to, it's a poorly shot mess and has no redeeming message or qualities with mediocre performances from everyone in it. I was surprised by how miserable it is to watch, unfortunately. But that's my own take - perhaps others will find more to it… or not.
"I want to be so close to someone that it's not enough that your skin touches." Strand has revealed a new official US trailer for the indie film Girl Picture, a Finnish coming-of-age dramedy from filmmaker Alli Haapasalo. This first premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and also played at Berlinale. The Finnish title is Tytöt Tytöt Tytöt which translates directly to Girls Girl Girls. Best friends Mimmi and Rönkkö work after school at a food court smoothie kiosk, swapping stories of their frustrations and expectations regarding love and sex. "Writers Daniela Hakulinen & Ilona Ahti consistently present the film's teen protagonists as complex individuals, while director Alli Haapasalo, rather than aestheticizing the girls' femininity, vibrantly depicts their trials and tribulations through their own eyes." This stars Aamu Milonoff, Eleonoora Kauhanen, and Linnea Leino. I wrote about this one last year as one of the great Finnish films at Sundance, and I'm glad it's getting a proper theatrical release in the US soon. Worth a look.
"It's the content of what will become the industry of motion pictures: stories and sex." Madman Films in Australia has unveiled an official trailer for a documentary film titled Exposing Muybridge, which tells the story of trailblazing 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge, who changed the world with his camera. This premiered at DOC NYC last year and is still touring festivals this summer, including at the Sheffield Doc Fest most recently. Muybridge set the course for the development of cinema when he became the first photographer to capture something moving faster than the human eye can see--Leland Stanford's galloping horses. Artful, resilient, selfish, naive, eccentric, deceitful--Muybridge is a complicated, imperfect man and his story drips with ambition and success, loss and betrayal, near death experiences and even some murder (what?!). More than a century after his death, Muybridge's photographs have never ceased to seduce cutting-edge artists, scientists, innovators, and general viewers alike. This looks crazy fascinating! Let's go.
"You have discovered that the veil that separates your ordered life from disarray is wafer thin." Mubi has revealed another official trailer for the fascinating music performance documentary This Much I Know To Be True, the follow-up from filmmaker Andrew Dominik and their doc One More Time with Feeling from 2016. Similar in concept, but different - this one is shot in color. This new music film explores the creative relationship and songs from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis' latest two studio albums, "Ghosteen" and "Carnage". It premiered at the 2022 Berlin Film Festival earlier this year, and already opened first in theaters back in May. The doc will be streaming on Mubi's platform this summer. In this document of their first ever performances of these albums, filmed in spring 2021 ahead of the UK tour, we observe the two, accompanied by singers and string quartet, as they nurture each song into existence. The film features a special appearance by close friend and long-term collaborator, Marianne Faithfull. It looks quite profound and visually stunning, might be worth turning up the volume and enjoying it one evening with your friends.
"He's right in front of me, but I can't see him. I can't talk to him, get to know him…" Film Movement has revealed an official US trailer for an indie drama from Greece titled Moon, 66 Questions. This premiered at various film festivals last year, including playing at the Berlin, Melbourne, and Helsinki Film Festivals, and is opening in the US in art house cinemas this July. After years of distance, Artemis has to get back to Athens due to her father's frail state of health. Discovering her father's well-kept secret allows Artemis to understand her father better, in a way she was not able before, therefore love him truly for the first time. A bittersweet story about a daughter and father reconnecting in tough times. The film stars Sofia Kokkali and Lazaros Georgakopoulos. It's described in reviews as "part coming-of-age, part illness narrative, the film is above all an intimate portrait of Artemis." The film looks really moving and beautiful in subtle ways.