I absolutely adored Keiichi Hara’s quiet and fierce animated portrait of artist Tetsuzo, a.k.a. Hokusai Katsushika, and his grown daughter O-Ei when I caught it at Fantasia in 2015.
Set in 19th century Edo, Japan. Miss Hokusai blends the magical realism sensibility of Studio Ghibli with Ozu Yasujirô-like framing. The film is a father-daughter tale, but really it extends its scope to cover the entire artist and publishing community (and spirit world) in the region at the time. It is as much about the rhythm of a city as it is about the subject insofar as Miss Hokusai is a film that you get so deeply lost in that it is difficult to discern beginning, middle or end. This is a good thing in a genre that is often mocked for its short attention span.
The lovely and sophisticated US Distributor GKIDS (who also brought Boy & The World, Ernest & Celestine, The Secret of Kells and When Marnie Was There in the US) is giving the lovely and sophisticated Miss Hokusai a domestic cinema release in October.
Remember movies like Bottle Shock or The Full Monty or Mrs. Henderson Presents, in which something “scandalous” hits a small town and meets opposition; only to become embraced and eventually adored by the community, changing everyone’s lives for the better, forever? Here is the iteration of that type of film for 2016: The Dressmaker. And this one is in Australia! What, all of it?*
The Dressmaker stars Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving (where has thing guy been?), Sarah Snook and Judy Davis. Directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse who has apparently taken an almost two-decade long hiatus from film making.
Now, this is Winslet and constume design, so I’m all over this thing. But I imagine for others, this will look like pretty safe and uninteresting territory for just about everyone and everything involved.
Not sure I totally believe the pull quotes this thing is dishing out; they’re pretty hyperbolic. That said, it looks like there maybe something special in here. If this isn’t just another run-of-the-mill home invasion slash splatterfest, there could be a lot of fun to be had here. A concotion of Inside, Hobo with a Shotgun, Blind, Green Room and 10 Cloverfield Lane could be interesting… or something. That’s just my weird brain building something out of something else.
Billed as an ‘announcement,’ but lets call it a teaser as Christopher Nolan’s World War II rescue picture, Dunkirk does not release until July 2017. Shot on 70mm, with all the production value and weight a film can muster, I am excited that Warner Brothers keeps giving him money to make whatever movie he pleases. Enjoy the rhythm and the photography of this handsomely cut teaser trailer.
One of the best films I caught at this years Fantasia Film Festival was Marcin Wrona’s Polish wedding gone horribly awry tale, Demon. In the midst of his wedding celebration, the groom, one of the only celebrants not from Poland, becomes possessed by the ghosts that live on the property. The film is mounted with some impressive photography, and a delicate balance between genre and historical allegory, as the mother and father of the bride attempt to ‘keep the party going’ no matter how terrifying things become as the night goes on. The poster here reflects that as the Bride beckons while her family parties hard in the background, and the groom is blind to his fate.
The trailer also just dropped this week, and you can check it out below:
I really like indie director Adam Wingard, who gave us a nice mix of films in the past 10 years, Pop Skull, You’re Next and The Guest. But this all-fury-with-no-silence trailer for his entry in the now-official Blair Witch franchise makes it look like just another shitty Blumhouse picture. I hope, like the Ghostbusters comeback, the trailer is mis-representative of the tone of the film. Please, internet and horror community, get the #JumpScareWithCare hashtag going so that the message gets out that horror isn’t just about a quick edit and loud ringing noise. Sheesh.
Zhang Yimou, China’s, subversive provocateur turned favourite son, brings his opulent colour-centric visual sensibility to the big old monster movie. This time with mist and fog and Matt Damon (and Willem DaFoe, absent for this trailer) along for the ride. I have kind of been missing this director since about the time he took a break from making movies to do the Opening Ceremony Spectacular for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Since that time, he has made movies both big (The Flowers of War), small (Coming Home) and downright baffling (A Girl, A Gun and A Noodle Shop). But he has always stayed kept full Chinese sensibility with whateverhe does, and re-writing the history of The Great Wall of China seems like something well suited for the man. The trailer is kind of weird and generic and a wee bit over-done with CGI. But hey, it is good to see the man is going for it. Gweilo or no.
From now on, when I say “T2”, I’m not talking about shapeshifting robots and time traveling assassins. I’m talking Sick Boy and Danny Boyle.
There really isn’t much to go on here other than an announcement, but it’s nice to see the four guys back together again. I’m really hoping Kelly Macdonald makes an appearance as well. Normally I’d be skeptical about something like this – and there have been a lot of “something like this” as of late – but for me, Danny Boyle is a go to screenwriter/director that can do (almost) no wrong. So I have faith in this cast and crew to make T2 something special.
I sort of wonder if Boyle and co. can go back and capture the gritty, independent spirit that the first film had to make it somewhat of a cult classic. Afterall, Boyle has been pretty glossy ever since then and something this dark hasn’t been part of his repertoire for some time. But hey, like I said, I have faith. Anyone else excited for this?
About 3/4 of the way through Batman v Superman (which was not very good by the way), Bruce Wayne finds an old photo of Wonder Woman hanging out with some soldiers that looked to be from World War I. I noted to my wife that one of those guys sure does look a lot like Captain Kirk. Well, this explains that then doesn’t it.