After the magnificent Knight of Cups and the egregious Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey in 2016, Terrence Malick is back (so soon) with a rock and roll sour romance (Mike Nichol’s Closer with guitars and keyboards?) featuring some of the best A-list actors working today: Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara and Natalie Portman. Not featured in the trailer are the host of other actors, Cate Blanchette, Clifton Collins Jr., Christian Bale, Benicio Del Toro, Holly Hunter, Angela Bettis, Val Kilmer, and Halley Bennett. Nor do you see the various musicians: Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Johnny Lydon or Arcade Fire.
Shot with his signature style (lots of voice over, wide angle lenses, and pretty much zero emphasis on narrative) with his usual cinematographer, Emmanual Lubezki, if you wanted to know what an indie-rock tale would look like from the elegiac master of cinema, well, the trailer is tucked below.
Another day, another Kaiju picture. OK, not fair, and in these parts we have not given enough love to Nacho Vigalondo’s feminist, metaphorical-literal toxic-relationship cum monster movie, Colossal. This unorthodox (as is the film) poster, is hot pink, giving the genre the finger, while simultaneously affectionately putting on a puppet show. This is, in fact, exactly what the film is. I saw it at TIFF last year, and it is a solid genre effort that has some progressive meat on its bones; in spite nothing being subtextual, as the movie wears its ideas right on its sleeve. (I wonder if in the poster if it is a hand model, or actually Anne Hathaway’s hand.)
Just for completeness sake, we have tucked the trailer under the seat, but this movie plays better if you go in with no expectations. You’ve been warned, as with every Vigalondo picture, the discovery of the mystery/puzzle/rules is one of the chief pleasures of the thing, best not to have a trailer do the short-hand work in advance.
Billed as, “A dystopian love story in a Texas wasteland and set in a community of cannibals,” having seen the film, i can attest that that is a pretty accurate description of the film. And yet, even with that description, the film is a bit of an oddball. This is fitting, as the film is given a very unconventional trailer – which confirms one of the films chief strengths, its integration of music in to story and image.
From Ana Lily Amirpour, the director of Iranian set (Los Angeles shot) vampire picture, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, the film is brimming with top actors in tiny parts (Keanu Reeves, Giovanni Ribisi, Diego Luna, and Jim Carrey all have superb supporting roles). Suki Waterhouse and Jason Mamoa star in the film (and have some excellent chemistry.) Unlike the moody black and white Jarmusch-ian urban nightscapes of her first feature, she has gone saturated sunshine in the desert here, and it is both gorgeous not easily comparable to any other filmmaker.
Great tagline: “Being good or bad depends on who you are standing next to.”
When you see the above logo, you now you’re about to see something good; likely great. We’re probably looking at something here that is not an exception to that rule. You can tell by the awesome trailer they’ve cut. It’s got great mood, hints at something sinister and dark without giving us any details about what kind of world we’re in or what kind of evil we’re dealing with. Is it zombies? Is it ghosts? Is it a demon? Is it a disease? Is it simply a dangerous person? Or maybe it’s something more intangible or ethereal. Whatever is going on here, I wanna know more. And by the grace of (the almost always wonderful) Joel Edgerton, Riley Keough (American Honey), Carmen Ejogo, Christopher Abbot and acclaimed director Trey Edward Shults (Krisha), I’m going to find out this summer!
Clouds of Sils Maria was far and away my favourite movie of 2015 and while hitting the back catalog over the years I’ve come to really love the many different flavours of Olivier Assayas’ direction. So with Clouds being one of my favourite films of the past decade, it’s exciting to see him doing something similar with the same lead (who’s been showing amazing versatility and charisma since the Twilight garbage) in Kristen Stewart.
Well received at TIFF and in limited screenings around the country, this trailer gets me really excited for Assayas neest project, Personal Shopper.
High on my list of 2017 films is the sad-sack comedy, Wilson is based on Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel of the same name, directed by Craig Johnson (The Skeleton Twins) and starring Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern. The trailer is pretty heavy on the slap-stick kind of humour, where you can either see Harrelson’s character be beat up, or beat people up, but there are a few zingers in there too. The trailer makes the film look a bit more uneven than (hopefully) the finished film will be. Much like Clowes’ Ghost World, it is the longer development of character and ideas about society that make that one a winner.
A lonely, neurotic and hilariously honest middle-aged man reunites with his estranged wife and meets his teenage daughter for the first time.
After a very lauded run on the festival circuit (From Cannes to Sitges, both of which it won major awards), Julia Ducournau’s flesh-eating slash coming-of-age slash trial-by-fire Raw gets a red band trailer. I caught this at TIFF in September, and can assure you that seeing this on a big screen, with big sound is the way to go. Particularly as the film doubles as a French University Party Culture primer. Not to belabour a Toronto micro-controversy, but there was a tempest in a teapot about whether or not several patrons in the Ryerson Cinema during Midnight Madness passed out from the film. Either way, at least one person went to the hospital directly from the screening. The film makes no bones about being icky, particularly with human hair and flesh.
Everyone in Justine’s family is a vet. And a vegetarian. At sixteen she’s a brilliant student starting out at veterinary school where she experiences a decadent, merciless and dangerously seductive world. Desperate to fit in, she strays from her family principles and eats raw meat for the first time. Justine will soon face the terrible and unexpected consequences as her true self begins to emerge…
Check out the very accurate trailer below. Focus is releasing the film March 10th, 2017 through their World Pictures arm.
As an aside, the pull quote from Variety, “A deliciously fevered stew of nightmare fuel,’ pleases me to no end.
The Horror Anthology film is nothing new, but with XX, offering the platform to fresh and established female voices, it makes this one worth a look. And, the line, “You’re son tore my daughter’s finger nails off.” Yie! HER ONLY LIVING SON, directed by Girlfight and The Invitation‘s Karyn Kusama is just one of four shorts featured here, with an animation wrap-around by Sofia Carrillo. The other three are Annie Clark’s THE BIRTHDAY PARTY, Roxanne Benjamin’s DON’T FALL, and Jovanka Vuckovic’s THE BOX.
One of my favourite films on the festival circuit last year, from Sundance to Toronto After Dark, was the debut feature from Polish director Agnieszka Smoczynska. It is a thoroughly unorthodox adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid, retold as a 1980s period musical, with a healthy dose of blood and drugs and sex.
A literal, fish-out of water tale, set it in a burlesque club in 1980s Warsaw. A family of musicians, whose main gig is to play back-up for the strippers at a night-club, discover two mermaids in the water while drinking and singing on the beach. They bring them aboard as part of their act, sort of like adopting two new children, and drop them right in to soft-core sex trade. What could possibly go wrong?