"So just play, Henry… Play for them. I'll be listening…" Gravitas Ventures has debuted an official trailer for indie drama called Coda, the feature directorial debut of writer turned filmmaker named Claude Lalonde. This premiered at a film festival last year but hasn't shown up anywhere else, and will be released on VOD at the end of this month. Patrick Stewart stars as a famous pianist struggling with stage fright and sadness late in his career finds inspiration with a free-spirited music critic he connects with. Katie Holmes plays the critic, named Helen, and the cast includes Giancarlo Esposito, Letitia Brookes, and Drew Davis. Never heard of this film before, which is strange, but it looks rather sweet. Always like films about pianists.
"We fight today, we fight tomorrow!" HBO has launched an official trailer for a documentary titled We Are The Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical, launching on HBO next month. This trailer is debuting on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and arrives on HBO in February during Black History Month. Focusing on the Oakland Unified School District's MLK Oratorical Festival in California—one of many oratorical competitions that take place across the country—the film follows students from schools across the city in the months leading up to the 40th annual festival as they hone their speeches, hoping for a coveted spot in the finals. Through interviews with the contestants and scenes of rehearsals and performances, the film reveals the deep connection these students make between King's words and the world they live in. The doc is executive produced by Mahershala Ali, Amatus Karim Ali, Mimi Valdés, Julie Anderson. Take a look.
"It's time you tell me what's really going on here." Netflix has debuted the first official trailer for Spenser Confidential, the latest film from the actor-director team-up Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg (of Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day, Mile 22). Based on the "Wonderland" book series, Wahlberg plays an ex-cop named Spenser, of course. Just out of prison and trying to escape Boston, he is sucked back into Boston's criminal underbelly when two Boston Police officers are murdered. He teams up with his no-nonsense roommate, Hawk, to take down some criminals in this Boston crime world action-comedy. Also starring Winston Duke, Alan Arkin, Colleen Camp, Bokeem Woodbine, Michael Gaston, Marc Maron, Iliza Shlesinger, with an appearance by Post Malone. This looks like exactly what you'd expect from Peter Berg, which nowadays means some forgettable action nonsense. Berg keeps churning these out.
"Leave me alone, please!" The Cinema Guild has unveiled an official US trailer for the acclaimed German indie drama titled I Was at Home, But… (with ellipses officially / translated from Ich War Zuhause, Aber in German). This premiered at the Berlin Film Festival last year, and stopped by numerous other prestigious festivals including Hong Kong, Melbourne, San Sebastián, Toronto, New York, Chicago, and Vienna. This complicated family drama set in Berlin "tells the story of Astrid, a forty-something mother of two, struggling to regain her balance in the wake of her husband's death…" Her son disappeared for a week and now that he has returned, he faces trouble at school and his toe requires amputation. As new questions confront Astrid from every angle, even simple activities like buying a bicycle or engaging with a work of art, are fraught with unexpected challenges. Starring Maren Eggert as Astrid, Jakob Lassalle as her son. For cinephiles only.
"Enough is enough! I'm not going to take it anymore." Gravitas has unveiled an official trailer for an indie documentary titled Tread, telling the story of the infamous "Killdozer" incident that took place in Granby, Colorado in 2004. Pushed to his breaking point, a master welder in a small town at the foot of the Rocky Mountains quietly fortifies a bulldozer with 30 tons of concrete and steel and heads out to destroy those he believes have wronged him. Though it was armed with three high-powered firearms, no one but the driver was killed - after the police confronted him. His name was Marvin Heemeyer. Tread explores the polarizing perspectives on this man, his motives, and what drove him to the breaking point. This premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and will be out to watch at the end of February. I have to admit this certainly intrigues me, another "true crime story" with much more going on than what's seen on the surface. Take a look below.
"When the sh*t goes down, you better be ready!" Saban Films has followed up with an official US trailer for Guns Akimbo, the totally insane New Zealand action movie that we featured the first Australian trailer for earlier this week. The concept for this is crazy: in a near-future world where a live deathmatch video game rules the internet, one online troll find himself in deep shit when he wakes up to find two pistols bolted onto his hands. Things get even worse when he's pulled into the game and forced to go up against one of the meanest players to ever exist. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Samara Weaving, Ned Dennehy, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Hanako Footman, Mark Rowley, Set Sjöstrand, and Rhys Darby. From my review of the film: "it's all out, totally insane, uber violent, wildly hilarious, unbelievable action movie fun." Fire it up.
"Wondrous yet rueful." Kino Lorber has unveiled a brand new trailer for Jia Zhangke's documentary film I Wish I Knew, which originally premiered in 2010 at the Cannes Film Festival but was never properly released. While there is a new "Director's Cut" (it premiered at Göteborg Film Festival last year), this release seems to specifically celebrate the films 10th anniversary - and this is the first time it will actually show in theaters in the US. I Wish I Knew (also known as Legend on the Sea) focuses on the people, their stories and architecture spanning from the mid-1800s, when Shanghai was founded as a trading port, to the present day. "The film was commissioned by the World Expo, but is anything but a piece of straightforward civic boosterism." Described as a richly textured tapestry full of provocative juxtapositions. This does look like a stunning film that deserves to be admired on the big screen. Opening in select US theaters later this month.
"Now you're lying to the cops?" IFC Midnight has debuted a trailer for an indie psychological thriller titled Disappearance at Clifton Hill, which first premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last fall. The film follows a troubled young woman returning to her hometown of Niagara Falls, where the memory of a long-ago kidnapping overwhelms her. What happened to the young boy she saw being violently abducted in the woods? "Bristling with an air of surreal menace, this mood-drenched thriller is a tantalizing psychological puzzle box that unfolds in the hallucinatory realm between reality and perception." Starring Tuppence Middleton, Hannah Gross, Marie-Josée Croze, Eric Johnson, Andy McQueen, Noah Reid, Dan Lett, with David Cronenberg acting in it, too. This doesn't seem like anything worth writing home about.
"Fine isn't the same as happy. Now we're happy, aren't we Edward?" Roadside Attractions has debuted an official trailer for an indie drama titled Hope Gap, which first premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last fall before stopping by the London Film Festival and FilmBath Festival. TIFF explains: "Featuring brilliant performances from Bill Nighy and four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening, this exquisite drama from writer-director William Nicholson will resonate with anyone who has ever navigated the choppy waters of long-term love." The story follows a woman who, after 29 years of marriage, must deal with the challenges of divorce and splitting up. Grace ultimately regains her footing and discovers a new, powerful voice. It also stars Josh O'Connor, Aiysha Hart, and Ryan McKen. A moving story about finding yourself at any age.
"This was a real band… All those spark plugs needed to be ignited or it didn't work." Magnolia Pictures has unveiled an official trailer for a new rock doc called Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band, telling the story of the rock band known as The Band. This first premiered at the SXSW Film Festival last year, and showed at a few other doc festivals. Described as a "confessional, cautionary, and occasionally humorous tale of Robbie Robertson's young life and the creation of one of the most enduring groups in the history of popular music, The Band." Once Were Brothers blends rare archival footage, photography, iconic songs and interviews with Robertson’s friends and collaborators including Martin Scorsese, Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, and more. Another fascinating rock doc about an iconic band in music history.
"Have you nannied before?" Oscilloscope Labs has debuted the trailer for an indie dramedy called Saint Frances, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival last year. It also played at the Montclair, Lighthouse, Munich, Traverse City, Nashville, Milwaukee, and Denver Film Festivals last year. Kelly O'Sullivan stars, and also wrote the screenplay, playing a woman in her 30s who finally lands a job as a nanny for a six-year-old girl. After an accidental pregnancy turned abortion, and other troubles, she finds an unlikely friendship with the six-year old she's charged with protecting. Also starring Ramona Edith-Williams, Jim True-Frost, Francis Guinan, Lily Mojekwu, Mary Beth Fisher, and Charin Alvarez. The poster for this is utterly fantastic. Described in reviews as "a quintessential millennial comedy and a timeless commentary."
"I've been dismissed and ignored, but one thing I won't be is silenced." Netflix has revealed the first official trailer for the investigation drama Lost Girls, which is premiering at the Sundance Film Festival later this month. Lost Girls is based on the true story of Mari Gilbert, adapted from the non-fiction book by Robert Kolker investigating what might be going on and why the cops aren't helping. When Mari Gilbert's daughter disappears, police inaction drives her own investigation right into the gated Long Island community where Shannan was last seen. Her search brings attention to over a dozen murdered sex workers. Amy Ryan stars as Mari Gilbert, with a full cast including Thomasin McKenzie, Lola Kirke, Oona Laurence, Gabriel Byrne, Miriam Shor, Kevin Corrigan, Dean Winters, & Austyn Johnson. A very powerful first look.