"We have something no one else could share… Don't you know that?" Netflix has unveiled the first official trailer for an indie thriller titled Earthquake Bird, which is premiering at the London Film Festival this month. The latest from English filmmaker Wash West (Quinceañera, Still Alice, Colette), the film is about a young woman living in Tokyo who becomes the prime suspect in a horrific murder when her friend goes missing in the wake of a tumultuous love triangle. Alicia Vikander stars as Lucy Fly, with a cast including Riley Keough, Naoki Kobayashi, Kiki Sukezane, Yoshiko Sakuma, Kazuhiro Muroyama, Ken Yamamura, Crystal Kay, Akiko Iwase, and Jack Huston. This looks like yet another standard peculiar love-triangle murder-mystery psychological thriller, but it doesn't seem the Japanese locale makes much of a difference. I wish this looked better than it does so far, because the idea for it does sound quite appealing.
"There is no room for weakness in Georgian dance." Peccadillo Pictures in the UK has debuted an official UK trailer for the acclaimed Georgian indie drama And Then We Danced, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this summer. It's also playing at the London & Chicago Film Festivals this fall. The story is about a carefree dancer named Irakli who arrives at the National Georgian Ensemble, causing fellow dancer Merab to push himself more all the while he falls hard for him. The film is an "interesting look into a part of the world not so many people are familiar with but also a heartfelt movie about the importance of being free." This stars Ana Javakhishvili, Anano Makharadze, Bachi Valishvili, Giorgi Tsereteli, Levan Gelbakhiani, Ninutsa Gabisonia. This film was one of the most beloved discoveries at Cannes this year, and is playing to rave reviews at other festivals recently, too. This trailer should get your attention.
"What if none of this is real after all?" Uncork'd has debuted an official US trailer for an indie dark comedy titled Love Is Blind, marking the feature directorial debut of two veteran music video directors - Monty Whitebloom & Andy Delaney. A woman with selective perception, who cannot see her mother, is prescribed by her wacky psychiatrist to spend time with a suicidal man that has fallen in love with her - but she cannot see either of them. The eccentric psychiatrist is trying to help them both – is he though? Starring Shannon Tarbet, with Aidan Turner, Benjamin Walker, Matthew Broderick, and Chloë Sevigny. "Seductive and surreal; stylish and a little dark, Love Is Blind is a modern-day fairytale about choosing to see only what you want to see – from your very own mother to the beauty of how connected we all are." An odd little film.
"Liberty, or death!" Focus Features has released a shorter 60-second new trailer for Harriet, telling the extraordinary true story of American icon Harriet Tubman. This premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last month to mixed reviews, and it's playing at the London Film Festival next. Tubman is responsible for helping free numerous slaves using the Underground Railroad in the 1800s, bringing them to the North to freedom. Based on the story of the iconic freedom fighter, starring Cynthia Erivo, telling of her escape from slavery and subsequent missions to free dozens of slaves in the face of growing pre-Civil War adversity. The cast includes Janelle Monáe, Joe Alwyn, Clarke Peters, Tim Guinee, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Leslie Odom Jr., Tory Kittles, Deborah Ayorinde, and Omar J. Dorsey. This certainly looks like a powerful film about an American hero. Despite the bad early reviews, I'm still hopeful.
"Something took hold of me last night." Netflix has finally unveiled the official US trailer for Atlantics, the award-winning film from up-and-coming French filmmaker Mati Diop that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival playing in-competition earlier this summer. The film also goes under the title Atlantique, which is just the French version of Atlantics - a direct reference to "people of the Atlantic". The film is set in Dakar, Senegal, which sits on the western coast of Africa in the middle of the Atlantic. Workers at the construction site of a futuristic tower, without pay for months, decide to leave the country on a boat across the ocean in hope of a better future. Among them is Souleiman, lover of Ada, promised to another. Atlantics stars Mama Sane, Amadou Mbow, Ibrahima Traore, Nicole Sougou, Aminata Kane, and Diankou Sembene. This won the Grand Prix award in Cannes and has been getting rave reviews from critics - keep an eye on it.
"I'm not going anywhere…" Utopia has debuted the first official trailer for a small town indie drama called Mickey and the Bear, marking the feature directorial debut of actress Annabelle Attanasio. This first premiered at the SXSW Film Festival this year, and has also stopped by IFFB, and the Seattle, Montclair, Deauville, and Hamptons Film Festivals. Faced with the responsibility to take care of her opioid addicted, veteran father, headstrong independent teen Mickey Peck keeps her household afloat. Camila Morrone (from Never Goin' Back, Death Wish) plays Mickey, with a cast including James Badge Dale as her father, Calvin Demba, Ben Rosenfield, and Rebecca Henderson. This will definitely be a career-defining role for Morrone, "she shines as Mickey" and lead her role is reminiscent of Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone.
"People think ghosts are scary… I think it would be wonderful if they were real." Sure, that would be nice. Grasshopper Film has debuted an official trailer for an indie drama title Light From Light, which initially premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It also went on to play at the Sarasota, Montclair, Oak Cliff, and San Diego Film Festivals throughout the year. This is the film that is being described as the "unscary" ghost story film, about a man who recently lost his wife who feels like her presence is still around in his house. He hires a single mother and local part-time paranormal investigator to determine whether there really is a ghost or not. It's one of the few dramatic supernatural films that have ever been made, and it's very good, a tender look at the emotional struggles of still-alive human beings. Starring Marin Ireland and Jim Gaffigan, with Josh Wiggins, Atheena Frizzell, David Cale, & Rhoda Griffis. Take a look.
"You gotta speak your truth, that's what's gunna free you." Lightyear Ent. has debuted an official trailer for an indie documentary titled 16 Bars, the latest from filmmaker Sam Bathrick. The film is about a prison music program to help prisoners find a better outlet for their anger. Inmates in a Virginia jail attempt to transcend the cycle of recidivism through an artistic collaboration behind bars with the Grammy-winning hip hop artist Todd "Speech" Thomas. "As the creative process unfolds, these incarcerated artists must confront the traumas of their past, and music becomes the key to unlocking a new chapter in their lives." There are a number of good prison program films, including the doc 45 Seconds of Laughter and the film The Mustang, so this isn't anything new. But it is a bit of a different angle (music) we haven't seen too often.
"We're going to dive ’em out." Screen Daily has debuted the first official trailer for The Cave, the very first (of many in the works) narrative feature based on the daring cave rescue in Thailand that captured the world's attention in June/July of 2018. Directed by filmmaker Tom Waller, who was born in Thailand, the film features a few of the real divers playing themselves, however they cast Thai actors to play the kids and their soccer team coach. It took 18 days, with teams from around the world, to rescue all 12 of the children from deep inside the Tham Luang cave. Tom Waller's The Cave film stars Ekawat Niratvorapanya as the coach, plus Jim Warny and James Edward Holley. This looks exactly as expected without any surprises - a very powerful, heroic recreation of this harrowing cave rescue in northern Thailand. Check it out below.
"Are you experiencing increased appetite?" Warner Bros & DirecTV have debuted an official trailer for a wild indie coming-of-age comedy titled Good Girls Get High, the second feature film made by filmmaker Laura Terruso (following Fits and Starts previously). This is pretty much a riff on Booksmart (and Eighth Grade), about two high school girls who are "good girls" just about to finish up and graduate. The decide to become "bad girls" and get stoned on their last night of senior year, only learning that being bad really ain't so good after all. Surprise, surprise. The film stars Abby Quinn and Stefanie Scott, along with Lauren Lapkus, Matt Besser, Isabelle Fuhrman, Chanté Adams, Cole Carter, and Danny Pudi. This looks a bit too cheap, and a bit too cheesy for my tastes, but maybe I'm not the target audience. Still - light one up.
"I don't sleep much anyway…" Smithland Films has debuted an official trailer for this indie horror thriller called Dementer, the second feature from filmmaker Chad Crawford Kinkle (of Jug Face previously). This is premiering at the Nashville Film Festival coming up this month, hence this new trailer to promote that festival debut. After fleeing a creepy backwoods cult, a woman tries to turn her life around by taking a job in a home for special needs adults only to discover that she must face her dark past to save a down syndrome girl. Described as a "daring, full-force arthouse horror that pulls absolutely no punches." Starring Katie Groshong, Stephanie Kinkle, Brandy Edmiston, Eller Hall, and Larry Fessenden. An odd trailer. This reminds me a bit of Ben Wheatley's Kill List, especially with that eerie blood logo. Check it out below.
"We have so much time for all the other serious stuff…" FilmRise has debuted an official trailer for an indie drama titled The Cat and the Moon, marking the feature directorial debut of young actor Alex Wolff (seen in Thoroughbreds, My Friend Dahmer, Jumanji, Hereditary, and Stella's Last Weekend). Whilst his mother seeks treatment in rehab, teenager Nick comes to New York to stay with Cal, a Jazz musician friend of his late father's. During his stay he makes friends who show him what the city has to offer. In addition to writing & directing, Alex Wolff also stars as Nick; he's joined by Mike Epps, Skyler Gisondo, Stefania LaVie Owen, Quincy Chad, Giullian Yao Gioiello, Eric Tabach, Olivia Boreham-Wing, & Tommy Nelson. This looks like it starts slow but gets wild pretty quick, just some kids living it up in the Big Apple.