Friday One Sheet: Dunkirk

Many of the posters for Christopher Nolan’s war-rescue picture Dunkirk have been of the super-wide banner variety. Here is a classic vertical design (and nothing gives a vertical impression than a sailboat) that emphasizes the scope and chaos through depth of field rather than panorama. There are a lot of elements and things to see here, shadows of air planes, fishermen working frantically, soldiers drowning in the water, or floating on objects. The fire offers a few flashes of colour in an otherwise desaturated ‘grim seas’ palette. It is also noteworthy that the IMAX specialty releases of films tend to be a bit more adventurous with their poster designs, probably because they are not distributed as widely.

Trailer: Stronger

If Peter Berg’s Patriot’s Day wasn’t your thing, and you are yearning for a less ‘rah-rah-rah’ story about the Boston Marathon bombing, well, I am not entirely sure you will get that with David Gordon Green’s survivor story, Stronger. While it focuses less on ‘finding those responsible’ and more on ‘dealing with the trauma’ of these incidents, it is definitely swinging for the fences in terms of Oscar-bait kind of performances. Nothing wrong with that when you have Jake Gyllenhaal doing the heavy lifting. Gyllenhaal has proven over the past decade that he one of the best American actors working today, whether it be in a weird arthouse thriller like Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy or Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler, or in mainstream Hollywood adult movies such as Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoner, or Jean-Marc Vallée’s Demolition.

Jeff, a 27-year-old, working-class Boston man who was at the marathon to try and win back his ex-girlfriend Erin. While waiting for her at the finish line the blast occurs, and he loses both his legs. After regaining consciousness in the hospital, his battle has just begun as he tackles months of physical and emotional rehabilitation with the unwavering support of Erin and his family.

Sunday Video Essay: Why Do We Watch Trash?

Vox makes a nice 5 minute inquiry on why we watch and enjoy bad movies so much. Not the intentionally bad animal-weather hybrids (aka Sharknado), but rather the earnestly awful movies like The Room. It also introduces (to me anyway) the notion of ParaCinema, and the far more familiar notion of Camp, and that there is a notion of good ‘bad’ taste.

Stay for the credit stinger, because Bissell is absolutely correct in the best way to watch The Room for the first time, albeit that probably doesn’t apply to many of the readers in these parts, as The Room has been in the popular culture for the better part of a decade at this point in cinephile circles.

Trailer: Bong Joon-Ho’s Okja

To rave reviews (and this trailer is not afraid to splash a lot of them on screen) at Cannes, Bong Joon-Ho’s Okja is currently enjoying a very successful release in South Korea. It will play Netflix world-wide on June 28th. The first teaser, along with Tilda Swinton’s viral-style teaser, was to guarantee mandatory viewing spot for this year. To those who really want to get a look at the ‘super-pig’ at the heart (emphasize on heart) of the story, this trailer offers that in spades. It also features a curiously sweet cover of Nine Inch Nails “Something I Can Never Have,” which I like a lot more than the usual, ‘slow choir cover’ of an angsty pop song. The trailer also features a lot more Paul Dano, but mainly the focus remains on An Seo Hyun and her creature. Fun fact, to those who watch all the credits here, British Author, Jon Ronson (“So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed”) who writes about empathy in an sharp and accessible way, is also the co-writer of the screenplay.

Friday One Sheet: War For The Planet Of The Apes

It is a slow week for posters, large campaigns for Cars 3, Baby Driver, and The Nut Job 2 do the usual thing that character posters do. So I offer you, with out much elaboration, this Banksy street art styled anti-war propaganda poster for the new Planet of the Apes film. It is not a character poster, as there are no others released in this fashion, but it still highlights a key character in the film at the exclusion of all else. I hope to possibly see it framed in a multiplex nearby, but I have my doubts it will exist outside the internet.

It cannot be any further in design than the one below, which also has the vague notion of a character poster. This design eschews the monochrome minimalism, and goes all-in on the use of the colour pink – not a hue typically associated with this franchise, or war in general. It’s a solid piece of ‘flower child’ anti war propaganda coming from a completely different angle, and the poster itself is designed in what I call, the “Korean School” of unadorned single, well framed, photography. The pair of these posters is a really solid example that you do not need a perfectly integrated style across elements or characters for your film, just put out catchy designs, that defy expectations.

Trailer #2 for Katheryn Bigelow’s Detroit

“Change is coming.” is the mantra of this second, ominous trailer for Kathryn Bigelow’s retelling of the 1967 Algiers Motel massacre during Detroit’s 12th Street Riot’s. There is also a period snapshot of the city, including a rather tense collection of police coercion, both in the station house, and in the field. This film looks like a technical and emotional tour-de-force, and remains one of my most anticipated films for 2017.

Trailer: Flatliners

Behold! The sound of scraping the bottom of the barrel. In this, the year of our lord, Two Thousand and Seventeen, Ellen Page will star in a remake of inessential goofball 1990 young actor showcase, Flatliners. Directed by Niels Arden Oplev (Dead Man Down), and catering to an audience of absolutely no-one, the trailer primal-screams, “Maybe you should be watching Final Destination 3.” Words cannot describe how un-interesting this idea is at this point in time. People should be sacked, which is the only reason why I am posting the trailer (above) in the first place. Ellen. Ellen. Ellen. Did you need a new swimming pool that much?

Glenne Headly: 1955 – 2017

Although never a super-star, actress Glenne Headly had a wonderful one-two punch in the 1980s, with the gloriously funny remake Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and offbeat technicolor comic-strip blockbuster Dick Tracy. Headly also had a steady television career with regular roles on ER and MONK. The actress was always doing one or two films on top of one or two TV shows, being a serial guest star on shows as diverse as the X-Files, Parks & Recreation and one of the several CSI spin-offs. She started out her career in Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where she met her first husband, John Malkovich. The marriage ended in divorce after only a few years, after Malkovich started cheating on her with Michelle Pfeiffer on the set of Dangerous Liaisons. Like Nicole Kidman, about the same time she stepped away from a high-profile husband, opportunity for edgier material in more sizable roles, seemed to present itself. Like most great character actors, she was an onscreen chameleon, going from funny to sexy to vulnerable to hyper-intelligent to invisible across projects, and her works speaks for itself in its own quiet way, because she was never a Hollywood celebrity.

Friday One Sheet: The B-Side

Errol Morris’s latest film portrays he friend and neighbor, portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman, and her body of work which is mainly ultra-large format Polaroid portraits, both of families and of some rather famous folks too. The poster design is offbeat and unusual and a little unassuming but also kind of quietly rebellious (as is Ms. Dorfman herself.) Take the handwriting on the poster, yes, people sharpie labels on their Polaroids all the time, so there is that, but you rarely see this kind of thing on a bit of promotional material. Also, the inky roll-lines on the sides of the poster, also a part of the large format roller-driven process, but still rather striking on the edges of a movie-poster. Then there is Ms. Dorfman herself, hardly imbued with movie-star looks, yet easily able to command the frame, is her pose a display or a query or an example of her work, this is a perfect incitement into what is Morris’ most gentle and casual (albeit not lacking in rigour in the slightest!)