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.

An advert inside of Bong Joon-Ho’s latest film, OKJA, asks, “What do unhappy pigs dream about?”

Netflix is releasing Korean master Bong Joon-Ho’s latest science fiction picture, Okja, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Tilda Swinton, and their unorthodox advertisement takes a page out of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, by presenting a bit of corporate marketing to stand in for a teaser trailer. Watch Tilda Swinton in a white wig try to enhance your calm with the technological wonders of her large, benevolent, pharmaceutical company.

Would you like to know more about super-pigs? Well, here you go.

Teaser: Bong Joon-Ho’s Okja

It is the Korean auteur’s second collaboration with Tilda Swinton (after Snowpiercer) and his second creature feature (following 2005s The Host.) Netflix has ponied up some large cash for, Okja, a science-fiction animal-cloning story that, judging by this Netflix-Korea teaser, is a mixture of English and Korean language. Other than that, it gives you the tone of the piece, as a good teaser-trailer should.

Ahn Seo-Hyun, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Shirley Henderson, Giancarlo Esposito, and Lily Collins also have major roles. The film pops up on Netflix in June.

Sunday Video Essay: Memories of Murder

Adrian Martin and Christina Álvarez López wonderfully elaborate on the visual motifs and themes of art-house procedural (and my personal favourite South Korean film) Memories Of Murder. They sagely compare it to Zodiac, even though, in fact, Bong Joon-Ho’s film came out half a decade prior. Obviously there are spoilers in here, nevertheless, much like David Fincher’s film, the film is a difficult one to spoil in conventional ways. Want to know why I always point out and highlight (on the Cinecast) that Song Kang-Ho as a brilliant actor, you can see it even in the short snippets and contextual clips presented herein.

A very Magnificent Red Band Trailer for Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer, Bong Joon-Ho’s post-apocalyptic ‘society on a train’ action movie based on the French Graphic Novel (“Transperceneige”) has been released in pretty much every market except for USA/Canada at this point. There is even a uber-complete Blu-Ray in France if you have 40 Euros to spare. It is getting a proper (un-cut, original South Korean version) release at the end of June here in North America, and the powers that be have made, by far the most elegant, accurate and enticing trailer for the film that I’ve seen in any language or territory.

This is how you market a high-concept film folks, offer the big images, but do so in a clear, concise and well articulated fashion. And it certainly helps to have Tilda Swinton doing the talking. (“Precisely 74% of you shall die.”)

Cinecast Episode 346 – …And then Christian Slater Shat Himself

Kurt Halfyard boards a plane to Minneapolis specifically to talk face-to-face with Andrew about his two favorite things: his Doppelgänger, Russell Crowe and The Bible. Sex is everywhere with Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac (vol 1). We skip 1984 this week but will be back next with Purple Rain and Part II of the sex movie. Fifteen years have passed, yet we still love to talk about the mind blowing nature of The Matrix. And we cap it off with Noah’s double bill, Snowpiercer (sorry about the *MILD SPOILERS* on a film that has not played domestically yet – Kurt gets a bit carried away – but really what is said in this episode does not dent the number of turns/revelations in the film, which we suppose, is itself a spoiler…)

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!



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Trailer: Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer

After fellow Koreans Kim Ji-Woon and Park Chan-Wook launched their English language debut films (The Last Stand and Stoker, respectively) the most nuanced of the trio of directorial superstars, Bong Joon-Ho is delivering the largest in scale, the nuclear-winter bound science fiction flick, Snowpiercer. He has brought along the magnificent Song Kang-Ho for the train ride, alongside a sampling of Brit and American character actors including, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Ed Harris, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Steve Park, Ewen Bremner, Allison Pill and Chris Evans. You may not be able to recognize many of them covered in dirt, grease and facial hair.

Bong’s Memories of Murder and The Host are two of my favourite Korean films, thus, I have high expectations for this one, Inception soundtrack and all…

A train-trapped version of Alien3 with Orwellian grace notes and a lots of axes, this hopefully, will be my The Hunger Games! Set in a future where, after a failed experiment to stop global warming, an ice age kills off all life on the planet except for the inhabitants of the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe and is powered by a sacred perpetual-motion engine. A class system evolves on the train but a revolution brews. The film is an adaptation of Jean-Marc Rochette’s French graphic novel series Le Transperceneige.

Cinecast Episode 214 – I Hate that I Know That

We start things off simple. No Kurt. Just some Pirates and Priests. With unpleasantness out of the way, Kurt jumps in with both feet for a indie post-apocalyptic film out of Toronto, a re-evaluation of Inglorious Basterds and Tarantino’s career. Trains and Toni Collette keep the conversation chugging along and with Gamble here, “Game of Thrones” is sort of unavoidable. We all revel in the love for Rip Torn and South Korea before rounding everything out with a talk about sequels that are crazier than a rat in a tin shithouse (ala Caddyshack II and Gremilns II). Nobody dies.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!



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Cinecast Episode 175 – There is no Spoon

The gang is all here, with the addition of RowThree contributor Bob Turnbull to talk the glossy mega-budget blockbuster that has been getting a lot of folks yammering. Yes, we spend an hour plus dissecting the themes and complex plotting of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice to help you understand the significance…er…If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person? Inception has big dreams and those dreams look like action movies and video games. But what is hiding amidst the fancy wardrobe, the bombast and the talky exposition? Gamble, Kurt, Andrew and Bob investigate the meaning and magnificence of Christopher Nolan’s brain teasing Blockbuster SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! and throw out a few criticisms to temper the love in. While they are at it we rank our favourite Nolan pictures which leads to Kurt and Gamble in flat out war over The Prestige. There is another heady-dreamy-glossy science fiction picture sneaking in under the radar (if you are in Canada), Jaco Van Dormael’s busy mix of destiny, love and string theory (this one is Spoiler Free). Opinions on the film vary, but we all agree that Mr. Nobody should be seen on as big of a screen as possible. Matt and Bob talk docs on iconic personages (Joan Rivers and Rush). Andrew makes a case for The Rock and The Race to Witch Mountain. Gamble makes a case for micro-budgeted comedian driven cult mayhem in Operation: Endgame. To cap it all off, it is a Powell & Pressberger and Bong Joon Ho love-in on the DVD front.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

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ALTERNATIVE (no music track):

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VIFF 09 Review: Mother



A few years ago, South Korean director Joon-ho Bong was essentially mobbed by adoring fans after a screening of The Host. At the time, many of us knew nothing about the director other than the fact that he’d made a monster movie that was more than a monster movie but since then, he’s become a recognizable name (at least among film fans) and the announcement of a new project brought much joy to my heart.

As expected, Mother is more than a mystery. It’s a story of love, devotion and ultimately, sacrifice. Hye-ja Kim provides a tour-de-force performance as a slightly offbeat herbalist/rogue acupuncturist. She lives a meagre life with her son who appears to be a little slow on the uptake. When a girl turns up dead and her son is charged with the murder, Kim takes it upon herself to track down the true killer. Using her considerable skills and a knack for getting people to talk, she beings to pull back the layers of the mystery surrounding the girl’s death but what she finds at the end of the tunnel isn’t exactly what she expected.

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Clip and Trailer from “Tokyo! The Movie”

Tokyo! The MovieGondry, Joon-Ho and Carax amazingly all come together to make one operatic feeling, visionary, fantastical anthology piece all based on Japan’s hustle and bustle of Tokyo.

In the tradition of such films as New York Stories, Night on Earth, Paris Je t’Aime and its forthcoming sequel New York Je t’Aime, Tokyo! addresses the timeless question of whether we shape cities, or if cities shape us.

I’ve heard very little about the film thus far but can tell you I’m highly anticipatory of what is likely to be one of the hidden gems of 2009. Great directors giving a fantasy look at one of their favorite cities as only they can tell it. As a huge fan of Paris Je t’Aime, this has got more greatness written all over it.

The clip below doesn’t give us much, but I stuck the newest trailer under the seats (thanks to filmjunk) along with a few stills. The OFFICIAL SITE has a bunch more information including several clips, images and synopsis.

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