"An artist draws. And I… drink." Uncork'd Ent. has released an official US trailer for an indie drama from The Netherlands titled Bloody Marie, which is one of the films that was considered for submission to the Oscars this year. This premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival earlier this year, and is already available on VOD now. Award-winning German actress Susanne Wolf (also seen in Styx) stars as Marie Wankelmut, a once successful comic artist, who lives among the prostitutes in Amsterdam's Red Light District. Nowadays drunken and bold, she gets into one big conflict after another. A gruesome sobering event at her neighbors forces her to take action. Co-starring Dragos Bucur, Alexia Lestiboudois, Teun Luijkx, Jan Bijvoet, and Therese Affolter. Looks like this gets extra wild in the second half, turning into a crazy crime thriller.
"It takes courage to get back on the bike." Vision Films has released the official trailer for an indie action-thriller titled Nation's Fire, the latest from producer / director Thomas J. Churchill (of Check Point, The Rack Pack). This looks like one of these "how did this even get made?!" kind of terrible films that no one will even see. The former leader of an all-female motorcycle club loses her son in a drug-fueled school shooting caused by a Russian gangster and his daughter. Now she will rally her old gang and their male counterpart's motorcycle club to seek vengeance for her son's death and to prove her son was not the shooter. Sounds… very American. Starring Krista Grotte, Gil Bellows, Bruce Dern, Paul Sloan, Chuck Liddell, Lou Ferrigno Jr., Kristen Renton, Laurene Landon, Tom Proctor, Kyle Lowder, and Wyatt Walter. I don't know whether to condemn this film, or just laugh at it. Looks so stupid, absolutely awful in every way.
"Pashka, a dog, be a dog." Kino Lorber has unveiled the official US trailer for an acclaimed Russian drama titled Beanpole, which first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this summer. After winning the Best Director in Un Certain Regard award in Cannes, the film has gone on to play at the Telluride, Toronto, Hamburg, London, Busan, and New York Film Festivals this fall. Beanpole is made by a 28-year-old Russian filmmaker named Kantemir Balagov. Set in the city of Leningrad (now known as Saint Petersburg), in 1945 at the end of WWII, two women search for meaning and hope in the struggle to rebuild their lives amongst the ruins. Described as a "richly burnished, occasionally harrowing rendering of the persistent scars of war." Starring Viktoria Miroshnichenko & Vasilisa Perelygina. This definitely won't be for everyone; some critics are flipping for it, others not so much. Worth a look anyway, at least for the distinct "painterly" style.
"Didn't really plan this trip, I just had to… get away." Dark Star has released an official trailer for the film titled Spell, with a screenplay written by the lead actor Barak Hardley. "Featuring a new original song and forthcoming video from Weezer, a fun cameo from Weezer's frontman Rivers Cuomo, and a 'sparse, icey' score by Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump, the surreal tale made its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival to great acclaim, bringing home the award for 'Best Ensemble Cast.'" This dark comedy, "bizzaro thriller" is about an American illustrator who runs out of medication while wandering the isolated Icelandic countryside - unsure if his compulsions are related to his disorder or if he's being forced to unlock ancient secrets. Starring Barak Hardley, with Jackie Tohn, Magnus Jonsson, and Birna Rún Eiríksdóttir.
"The world isn't how you think it is." "Why not? This is my life." Netflix has debuted an official trailer for an indie film from Italy titled The Man Without Gravity, also known as L'uomo senza gravità in Italian. This film seems similar, in a few ways, to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. But instead of a baby being born old, this baby has no connection to gravity. He just floats. A gravity-defying baby raised in seclusion matures into an extraordinary man—and an international celebrity—but he still longs for an ordinary life. Starring Elio Germano as Oscar, with a cast including Michela Cescon, Elena Cotta, Silvia D'Amico, Vincent Scarito, and Pietro Pescara. This actually looks quite charming and uplifting (no pun intended, but it definitely works). Perhaps a little cliche, but still seems like a good story about how to live your own life even when everyone else wants a part of it. I'm curious about seeing this one, might be a good discovery.
"About his discussions with a frog…" Stage Russia has debuted an official trailer for a documentary titled Rezo, a film about the famous Georgian writer, artist and puppeteer Rezo Gabriadze. Rezo is best known as the screenwriter of the iconic Soviet movies Mimino and Kin-dza-dza. He has been awarded the title of Commander of the Order of Arts and Literature in France, and New Yorker recognized his Stalingrad as one the best theatrical performances of 2010. His sculptures adorn the streets of Saint Petersburg and Odessa. Timur Bekmambetov also produced the film, and says about it: "Rezo has become family for me. This movie is my homage to a senior colleague and a sign of the deepest recognition of his identity, talent and incredible charm. There is no room for indifference in his stories. They cut directly to the heart." Half of this film is drawn by Rezo himself, a mix of classic doc storytelling & animation. I will say - it looks crazy mesmerizing.
"Might be taking these letters a little too seriously…" Epic Pictures has debuted the first official trailer for the indie horror comedy Red Letter Day, which will be available to watch this November after premiering at numerous film festivals earlier this year. A typically quiet suburban community descends into chaos and paranoia after the delivery of mysterious red letters. A recently divorced mother and her two teens receive the letters, instructing them each to kill or be killed. As the bloodshed begins, they find themselves in a race against time to protect the ones they love from the people they thought they knew. This looks quite twisted. Starring Dawn Van de Schoot, Hailey Foss, Roger LeBlanc, Tiffany Helm, Kaeleb Zain Gartner, and Peter Strand Rumpel. It's a wicked concept, that definitely brings out the worst in people. Have fun.
"Go and find him!" Sony Classics has unveiled a trailer for the film The Song of Names, an emotional drama that spans two continents and half a century. This just premiered at the Toronto and San Sebastian Film Festivals, and will be opening in the US on Christmas Day at the end of this year. The Song of Names tells the story of a prodigy violinist from Poland, who moves to London to study music at the beginning of WWII. The film splits the time between his youth, and years later when him and his British friend are both adults. Tim Roth stars as the adult Martin, attempting to find his friend Dovidl who disappeared years ago right before playing a major concert in London. Clive Owen also co-stars, with a cast including Jonah Hauer-King, Gerran Howell, Catherine McCormack, Saul Rubinek, Richard Bremmer, Misha Handley, Luke Doyle, and Eddie Izzard. It's a lovely film, with a gorgeous music and strong emotions.
"It's not a hobby, mother… I have to do it! I'm compelled to put down everything. I need to capture a way of life." Cleopatra Entertainment has debuted the first official trailer for an indie biopic titled Mrs. Lowry & Son, the latest from acclaimed British director Adrian Noble (of the films A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Importance of Being Earnest). The very talented Timothy Spall continues his famous painters series by starring as L.S. Lowry. The film is a portrait of Lowry and his relationship with his mother, Elizabeth, who tries to dissuade him from pursuing his passion. The cast includes Vanessa Redgrave, plus Stephen Lord, David Schaal, Michael Keogh, John Alan Roberts, & Wendy Morgan. Why do artists always live such tormented lives?! Always so much struggle and pain, but perhaps this is where great art comes from. I like the way this trailer shows his paintings after sharing the scenes they're inspired by. Check it out.
"But I don't know what I'm supposed to do!" A festival promo trailer has debuted for an indie drama titled Drowning, the second feature directed by actress Melora Walters. She writes, directs, and stars in the film, which is premiering at the Austin Film Festival later this month after first showing at the Rome Film Festival. Drowning tells the story of a mother trying to come to terms with the emotions and intense grief associated with her only son going off to war, directly inspired by Walters' own experience. The cast includes Mira Sorvino, Gil Bellows, Jay Mohr, Joanna Going, Christopher Backus, Steven Swadling, and Jim O'Heir. There's tons of emotion in all those intimate, close-up shots. Looks like a tough film to watch.
"What was done to your daughter, doesn't come cheap…" Netflix has debuted the first official trailer for a psychological horror-thriller called Rattlesnake, a very plain title for this film since it's about a rattlesnake (bite). Talented actress Carmen Ejogo, who we last saw in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, stars in this Netflix film. When a single mother accepts the help of a mysterious woman after her daughter is bitten by a rattlesnake, she finds herself forced to make an unthinkable deal to repay her debt. Described as a "pulse-pounding, psychological horror" also starring Theo Rossi and Emma Greenwell. This seems to be borrowing from (and then twisting) the Monkey's Paw concept, except it's only one thing that the mother must do in exchange for her daughter's life being spared. Might be good? Especially with Ejogo in the lead.
"This doesn't look like anything I've ever seen." Witness Films has debuted the official trailer for an indie thriller titled Night Sweats, the latest feature from filmmaker Andrew Lyman-Clarke (of Have You Seen). This pharma thriller is about a skateboarder whose roommate mysteriously dies one night. Attempting to figure out what happened, he uncovers the inner-workings a self-help company, and the pharmaceutical lab behind it. Starring Kyle DeSpiegler, with Mary Elaine Ramsey, Brett Azar, Allison Mackie, John Wesley Shipp, Jason Abrams, and Trey Gibbons. This looks like one of those cautionary tales where they borrow real-world issues (like big pharma's obsession with opioids) and turn it into some horror-esque film as a way of expressing frustration. Unfortunately, I don't think this has much of anything else to offer.