Trailer: Louder Than Bombs

Norwegian director Joachim Trier, a darling on the festival circuit after 2006’s Reprise and 2011’s Oslo, August 31, returns with his English language debut, Louder than Bombs, which stars the ubiquitous Jesse Eisenberg, the always wonderful Isabelle Huppert, Gabriel Byrne, David Straithairn and the boy who plays ‘Young Louis’ on Louis CK’s TV show, Devin Druid. His understated but powerful visual style is in full display in the trailer below.

An upcoming exhibition celebrating photographer Isabelle Reed three years after her untimely death, brings her eldest son Jonah back to the family house – forcing him to spend more time with his father Gene and withdrawn younger brother Conrad than he has in years. With the three of them under the same roof, Gene tries desperately to connect with his two sons, but they struggle to reconcile their feelings about the woman they remember so differently

Having already played Cannes and Karlovy Vary film festivals, and with Trier’s previous two films playing the Toronto International Film Festival in the past, here is hoping that some of us can catch this on this side of the pond before quite far off its April 2016 release date. If you’re in Norway, however, Louder Than Bombs opens in October.

A link to the trailer and two embedded clips are both tucked under the seat.

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Fantasia 2015 Review: Crumbs

Ethiopian post apocalypse dystopian fairy tale Crumbs has a decaying handsomeness to match its unique vision. It has a confident and accomplished auteur unwillingness for either pandering or traditionally pleasing its audience while simultaneously offering an archetypal hero-journey tale. An optimistic message (“the ducks are coming home…”) cloaked in a walkabout of despair and confusion that leads ultimately to ‘home is where the heart is.’ platitudes that are not platitudes for sheer will of the performances.

That eerie feeling you get wandering the early morning fog of an abandoned theme park is what Miguel Llansó has harnessed here, and the gorgeous melancholy is tempered with a sharp wit and soothing empathy. The film is a balm. It is also an African riff on Stalker, with the whole world being Tarkovsky’s uncanny Zone. It has a similar abandoned train-yard, a pretty young woman left at home in a deliciously decayed bowling alley. Water bubbles and broils in the post-nuclear desert of sulphur formations while the few remaining humans scavenge and weld. A curious space-ship floats in the sky similar to South Africa’s District 9, albeit similarities to Neill Blomkamp’s debut feature sharply end here.

Those on earth, in particular, hunchbacked pacifist Candy, dream of marshalling the means to get to that ship, as if it were the last hopeful place. It will take his journey through the wasteland towards a meeting with the fabled prophet Santa Claus, avoiding the ‘Second Generation Nazis’ and other third century Molegan warriors. Holy artifacts such as an acrylic painted vulcanized rubber Ninja Samurai Statue (i.e. a happy meal Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figure), a vinyl copy of Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous” and other twentieth century pop cultural detritus delicately litter the world and act as a kind of talismans of hope and desire; as well as consumer currency for a comically cynical pawn shop broker at the end of space and time. A photo of sweat-beaded-on-his-forehead, Michael Jordan clothed in his Chicago Bulls uniform is Buddha, Shiva and Christ, all rolled into one. It is played for easy yuks, and yet they still land. More sophisticated comedy is also present in the Santa Claus’ inflexible process. It reminds me of a mix of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil mashed with Mel Brook’s Spaceballs: “Fuck! Even in the post-apocalypse nothing works without bureaucracy!”

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Review: Baahubali – The Beginning

Director: S.S. Rajamouli (Eega)
Writers: S.S. Rajamouli, Vijayendra Prasad
Producer: Prasad Devineni
Starring: Rana Daggubati, Satyaraj, Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah Bhatia
MPAA Rating: G
Running time: 159 min.

 

 

The original posting of this review can be found at Malaysian Blogger/Journalist Allan Koay’s website, The Storyboard

 


Some years ago, when Aamir Khan’s Ghajini came out, a friend of mine was all excited to see it solely because it was a remake of Christopher Nolan’s Memento, which was one of his favourite films. He did, and came away sorely disappointed, even though it generated positive reviews, achieved blockbuster status in India and did well around the world. The problem was, he had gone to the movie expecting it to be like Memento, but was met with the usual Hindi song-and-dance and melodrama.

The problem was, he didn’t understand Indian cinema.

The film industry in India is one of the biggest, most prolific in the world. Forbes reported that 1,602 films were produced in 2012 alone. The Indian film industry is also completely self-sustaining. By number of tickets alone, Bollywood outsells even Hollywood (even though Hollywood revenues remain unmatched).

So, why did that friend of mine not get Indian films?

The massive juggernaut that is Baahubali, the Telugu/Tamil fantasy epic directed by S.S. Rajamouli, has a story that we’ve come to be all too familiar with – the rivalry between a good king and his evil brother who usurps the throne while the good king’s son escapes death as an infant only to return as an adult to avenge his father. Yet the film works, for two reasons. One, it is well-directed, imaginative, a barrel of fun and is genuinely exciting. And two, it is appropriately over-the-top, melodramatic and fearlessly idiosyncratic in the grand, old Indian-cinema tradition.

The film also uses Hollywood fantasy-epic conventions, such as two colliding hordes on a battlefield and stylish slo-mo’s, something we’ve seen over and over and should now be a tiresome staple of big battle scenes. But in the hands of Rajamouli, there are many refreshing twists and turns in Baahubali‘s 45-minute battle where everything that happens advances the story, unlike in a Hollywood film where big battles are mostly just for showing off CGI.

Yet, I knew I wasn’t just seeing an Indian-cinema version of a Hollywood fantasy epic. What I was experiencing was quite something else. I started to think about why I like Indian cinema and what draws me to it.

Like no other cinema in the world.

Mainstream Indian films work according to their own rules and by their own logic. They are like no other mainstream films in the world. In fact, Indian mainstream cinema is like no other in the world.

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*NSFW* Teaser: Love

What space would be possible for avant-garde French director, Gaspar Noe to go after Enter The Void? Well, clearly, a 3D sex film that could play Cannes was the direction he took, and indeed, it played (somewhat muted in response however) at the festival in May. Love in 3D now has a teaser trailer that gives new definition to ‘fade to white.’ Need I say that this one is not for watching in casual mixed company?

The trailer is tucked under the seat.

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Trailer: Baahubali

If you managed to catch the gonzo science-fiction romantic comedy slash revenge picture (musical), Eega from the Telugu speaking region of India, you might be wondering how does one follow up a movie about sentient housefly who tries to assassinate his romantic rival to win the pretty artist girl.

The answer that question can be found in the trailer for Baahubali: The Beginning. Namely, to make a Ridley Scott sized epic that is equal parts Game of Throne and Battle of Red Cliff. Yes the acting and special effects here often veer into silliness (note the raging bull), but the filmmaker has a way of mixing his sense of humour and over-the-top indulgences in a very self deprecating way. How this plays out in the sword and sandal epic he has crafted remains a mystery, but expect Telugu cinema to come out of the tiny cult circles in North America, and into some kind of light with this big-production design epic, that judging from “The Beginning” subtitle, is one of many from director S.S. Rajamouli.

Clips from Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster

Not exactly a trailer, but given the general weirdness intrinsic to the films of Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, ALPS), they could function as one. Much like his French contemporary, Quentin Dupieux (Rubber, Wrong), film-language and odd characters are the driving force to understanding the extreme ends of human behavior.

An architect checks into a hotel after his wife leaves him. Set in a society that highly values relationships, the architect has but 45 days to find a new partner or else he will be transformed into an animal of his choosing.

The Lobster is currently playing at Cannes, Lanthimos has a cast of international stars including Collin Farell, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw, Olivia Colman and Lea Seydoux. Watch some of them speak in sublimely weird ways in the two clips which are tucked under the seat.

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Friday One Sheet: The Silenced

I have always been a fan of South Korean posters. They take a simple still, color and buff the hell out of it, and do not clutter it up with much else beyond a title and a release date. Often there is no credit block.

Such is the case here, for the upcoming horror-mystery film The Silenced. Beautiful symmetry of women standing in file, with the lead character (played by Park Bo-Young) looking pleadingly at the camera and the head of the institution facing away at the end of the line. This kind of poster tells you everything you need to know, tonally, without giving anything away plot-wise, and it does it with grace.

Also, I have tucked the trailer, which features some pretty lush production design, under the seat.

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Trailer: Arabian Nights

Playing at Cannes in three separate 2 hour parts, Miguel Gomes (Tabu) examines contemporary Portugal with dozens of short stories in the structure of the classic Arabian Nights structure. Gorgeously shot, but I’m sure ponderously pace, this is certainly not going to be for everyone, but I also expect if you get the chance to watch all six hours of it together, it will probably be a very rewarding experience.

A film that asks “Where are stories born?” and answers, “They spring from the wishes and fears of man.”

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MSPIFF Review: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared

 


 

For all of us who feel Robert Zemeckis’s Forrest Gump is a sentimental, condescending insult to cinema audiences everywhere, and Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is not any better, we finally have an entry into ‘the man who fumbles successfully through history’ nano-genre to call our own. Do not let the maladroit title fool you, Felix Herngren’s big screen adaptation of the bestselling novel by Jonas Jonasson, is a Swiss-fucking-watch in the plotting department, and savagely amusing in its come-what-may temperament. It sneaks up on you in similar ways as Jo Nesbo’s Headhunters even as it dazzles you with the sweep of history.

After a tone-setting and highly unfortunate incident involving a sweet kitty, a hungry fox and a bundle of dynamite, one of cinemas strangest heroes, Allan Karlsson, finds himself confined to a retirement home on the eve his centenary year on this little planet called Earth. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared (hereafter The 100 Year Old Man) is the delightfully absurd story of our eponymous very senior citizen who does indeed bail out the open glass portal of his tiny room right on the day while the nurses are attempting to count and light all those candles on his marzipan cake, but it is also the story of us as a conflicted and nutty species.

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