"We're not lost!" "Are we lost…?" Passion River Films has released an official trailer for What Lies West, an indie dramedy about two friends from filmmaker Jessica Ellis making her feature directorial debut. What Lies West is a contemporary coming-of-age film set in the midst of a lush northern California summer. New grad Nicolette is desperate for work, so she takes a summer job "babysitting" a 16-year-old charge who's suffocating under her mother's over-protective rules. Together, they set out on their biggest adventure yet: a four-day hike from the backwoods of Sonoma County to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Starring Nicolette Ellis & Chloe Moore, with Jack Vincenty, Sionne Elise, Beverly Simmons, Jeff Prater, and Anna Peterson. This looks too much like a student film, but it still has some genuine charm to it from this trailer.
"I need one last favor… I want you to find him, and finish him." Cleopatra Ent has released a new trailer for Scavenger, an Argentinian post-apocalyptic action thriller also known as Carroña in Spanish. This looks exxactly like an Argentinian reboot/remake of Mad Max, with so many of the same aesthetics and costumes and everything. In a post apocalyptic world with its own rules, Tisha, an assassin and organ dealer with a dark past, seeks revenge for a crime that marked her life. This opened in Argentina in 2019, and recently screened at popular genre festivals such as FrightFest in the UK and Obscura in Germany, among others. Starring Nayla Churruarin, Eric Fleitas, Sofia Lanaro, Rosa Cuenya Macedo, Jose Manuel Solis Vargas, and Gonzalo Tolosa. Looks like it might be an enjoyable homage to Mad Max, but that's about it.
"Baby, let's go kill some sinners." Saints & Sinners + Strike Media has released this new official trailer for a gritty British thriller titled Red Rage, formerly known as Red Devil. Despite the title seemingly being a wink to hating Russians ("those red devils!") it's really a reference to the designer drug called "Red Devil", which is ruining the city. A murderous vigilante couple tear through the town, serving vengeance to dealers of the drug. "An intertwining tale of sex, drugs, rock and woe," is how they sell it. Red Rage stars Fernanda Diniz, Jack Turner, Adam Deacon, Steven Berkoff, Ian Reddington, and Vas Blackwood. This looks like it has way more weed in it than any other drug, but I dig the style and the craziness of it. Not that we haven't seen this so many times before; it's almost like Trainspotting crossed with The Boondock Saints.
"I don't think being alone is a bad thing." Bleecker Street has released the official trailer for the heartfelt friendship film Together Together, the second feature from filmmaker Nikole Beckwith (of Stockholm, Pennsylvania previously). This originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year, and was one of the underrated gems of the fest. When a young loner becomes the gestational surrogate for a single man in his 40s, the two strangers come to realize this unexpected relationship will challenge their perceptions of connection, boundaries and the particulars of love. It's a film about platonic love, and friendship, and how two people can be good friends without romance. Ed Helms & Patti Harrison star, with Rosalind Chao, Timm Sharp, Bianca Lopez, Nora Dunn, Fred Melamed, Vivian Gil, and Tig Notaro. Take a look.
"If we want respect, we have to behave respectfully!" An official Canadian trailer has debuted for an indie film titled Beans, which originally premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year to quite a bit of acclaim. Nominated for Best Picture at the Canadian Screen Awards, Beans is a coming-of-age tale set during the 78-day Oka Crisis in Quebec in 1990. Inspired by true events, the film is about a Mohawk girl on the cusp of adolescence who must grow up fast and become her own kind of warrior during the armed stand-off known as the 1990 Oka Crisis in Canada near Montreal. "Timely and touching, Beans is a powerful reminder of the resilience, beauty, and love Indigenous communities hold." The film stars Kiawentiio as Beans, and joined by Violah Beauvais, Rainbow Dickerson, Joel Montgrand, Paulina Alexis, D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Jay Cardinal Villeneuve, and Taio Gélinas. This film earned some rave reviews out of TIFF and looks like one of many worthy films ushering in the "Native cinema renaissance." Catch the first look below.
"From here on out, watch every move this b*tch make." A24 has finally debuted the full official trailer for the crazy funky dark comedy Zola, which first premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival last year. It was supposed to open last summer, but was delayed an entire year and is now reset to open this summer in theaters. This is the film that's based on a Twitter thread from 2015, in which a woman wrote "wanna hear a story about why me & this bitch here fell out???????? It's kind of long but full of suspense." Taylour Paige stars as Zola, a stripper in Detroit who befriends another stripper named Stefani, played by Riley Keough. When she convinces Zola to go to Florida, what was supposed to be a quick road trip turns into a weekend from hell. Also starring Nicholas Braun, Colman Domingo, and Ari'el Stachel. While there are many critics that loved this, I don't think it's "jaw-dropping" crazy at all. Just a boatload of dumb stuff happening.
"One wrong step and they will deport us." Focus Features has revealed the official US trailer for an indie trailer for Limbo, the latest from filmmaker Ben Sharrock (of Pikadero previously). This was selected for the 2020 Cannes Film Festival, but premiered later at the Toronto & London & Zurich Film Festival in the fall last year. Nominated two times at the 2021 BAFTA Film Awards, Sharrock's Limbo is a "wry, funny and poignant cross-cultural satire that subtly sews together the hardship and hope of the refugee experience." Set on a fictional remote Scottish island, this follows a group of new arrivals as they await the results of their asylum claims. Amir El-Masry stars as Omar, a Syrian musician hoping to start his new life in the UK. The cast includes Vikash Bhai, Ola Orebiyi, Kwabena Ansah, Sidse Babett Knudsen, and Kais Nashif. This one opens in the US first in theaters in April before the summer in the UK - it looks like a must watch.
"You are flirting with everyone here… Chugging wine…!" Utopia has revealed the second official trailer, a "naughty" red band one, for the acclaimed indie comedy titled Shiva Baby, which premiered at last year's Toronto Film Festival and was one of the big breakouts from the fest. The film marks the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Emma Seligman, who channels her own personal experiences in life to make this an authentically hilarious comedy. College student Danielle must cover her tracks when she unexpectedly runs into her sugar daddy at a "shiva" (a Jewish tradition of seven days' mourning for the dead)—along with her parents, ex-girlfriend and family friends also in attendance. That sounds mortifying. Rachel Sennott stars in this as Danielle, with Molly Gordon, Polly Draper, Danny Deferrari, Fred Melamed, and Dianna Agron. This looks like it's going to be extra raunchy and extra funny – and reviews confirm it's worthwhile.
"Sings and sparkles!" Samuel Goldwyn Films has released a second official US trailer for the award-winning film Another Round, which now has two Oscar nominations for Best Director + Best International Film. It was originally selected for Cannes, but eventually premiered at the Toronto Film Festival this fall, and was one of my Top 10 of 2020. The film follows four teachers who embark on an experiment where they each sustain a certain level of alcohol intoxication during their everyday life, believing that all people in general would benefit from a bit higher Blood Alcohol Content. Of course, things start to get out of hand… Starring Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe, Magnus Millang, and Maria Bonnevie. This new trailer is pretty much a "look at all the awards we've received and these two Oscar nominations!" Which is all good by me if they want to show off, because this is a tremendous film that offers joy and happiness in addition to all the dark sides of life. And it's now available to watch on VOD for those who still hasn't seen it.
"She's nothing like her grandmother… Queen Victoria." Samuel Goldwyn Films has released the US trailer for a Romanian historical epic called Queen Marie, originally known as Queen Marie of Romania. This opened in Romania back in 2019 and has been playing around Europe, but is only now getting a US release on VOD this spring. Devastated by the First World War and plunged into political controversy, Romania's every hope accompanies its queen on her mission to Paris to lobby for international recognition of its great unification at the 1919 peace talks. Starring Romanian actress Roxana Lupu as "Queen Marie of Romania", and a full cast including Daniel Plier, Anghel Damian, Adrian Titieni, Iulia Verdes, Patrick Drury, Caroline Loncq, Iulia Verdes, Philippe Caroit, and Emil Mandanac. This has an epic look and feel, but it also seems a bit drab and melodramatic, lost in all the historical accuracy more than the storytelling.
"Because the only way to have fun is to stick your neck out and bite the other team's head off…!" Gravitas Ventures has released an official trailer for an indie drama titled Giants Being Lonely, marking the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Grear Patterson. This originally premiered at the 2019 Venice Film Festival a few years back, and it also played at the Santa Barbara Film Festival earlier this year. A pair of players on a successful high school baseball team, the Giants, come of age in the American South. "Set in a semi-rural landscape of verdant forests and pent-up yearning, the debut feature from lauded mixed-media artist Grear Patterson is a deeply personal story of youth and young manhood, tracing the ups and downs of love, sex, loneliness, friendship, baseball, and death – as the pressure mounts to make it out alive." Damn. This stars Jack Irving, Ben Irving, Lily Gavin, and Gabe Fazio. The film seems like an intense and authentic look at toxic masculinity and how growing up shapes these boys as they deal with pressures of a small town life.
"How long have you been waiting?" Mubi in the UK has released the first UK trailer for an acclaimed indie titled Limbo, the latest from filmmaker Ben Sharrock (of Pikadero previously). This was selected for the 2020 Cannes Film Festival, but premiered later at the Toronto & London & Zurich Film Festival in the fall last year. Nominated for Outstanding British Film and Outstanding Debut at the 2021 BAFTA Film Awards, Sharrock's Limbo is a "wry, funny and poignant cross-cultural satire that subtly sews together the hardship and hope of the refugee experience." Set on a fictional remote Scottish island, this follows a group of new arrivals as they await the results of their asylum claims. Amir El-Masry stars as Omar, a Syrian musician hoping to start his new life in the UK. The cast includes Vikash Bhai, Ola Orebiyi, Kwabena Ansah, Sidse Babett Knudsen, and Kais Nashif. This looks like something truly special, cannot wait to watch.