Trailer: Suffragette

“I‘ve worked there part-time since I was 7, full-time since I was 12.”

Sarah Gavron’s Sufragette, is set in the early 20th century film about the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement in the UK, stars Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep, Helena Bonham Carter and Natalie Press. Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson are on hand to represent the types of male authority at the time.

In 1912 England, women were forced underground to pursue a dangerous agenda with an increasingly brutal State. In other words, the film is a document on being a working filmmaker in Hollywood these days. The trailer even ends with Ms. Streep solemnly intoning, “Never give up, Never surrender.”

Suffragette opens in UK cinemas on October 30, 2015. The trailer is below:

Third Trailer: Inside Llewyn Davis

The third and probably final trailer for the new Coen Brother’s film has a wonderful song to get you through some (amusingly) depressing stuff, as Oscar Isaac’s struggling folk musician takes the hard edge of life from all sides. While I am not entirely sold on the ‘murky-attic’ cinematography of the new film (the Coen’s first film in over a decade without Roger Deakins on photographing duties), I am entirely sold on tone and content. From Carey Mulligan’s hurting looks to John Goodman’s bombast, to the caramel coloured kitty cat in Isaac’s embrace.

Check it out below.

It’s here! First trailer for Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis!


We haven’t seen much from the Coen Brothers’ much anticipated Inside Llewyn Davis, surprising considering that the movie is due for release on February 8th (thanks to the comments section for clearing up the erroneous date. No release date is confirmed), but a trailer has emerged and it looks very different from the directing duo’s last few outings.

Part of it is the fact that Roger Deakins was unavailable to shoot this project, too busy on Skyfall I presume, but Bruno Delbonnel, known best for Across the Universe and Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince brings a beautiful dreamlike aesthetic to the picture which nicely captures the 60s setting of the movie.

The story is loosely based on the life of influential folk musician Dave van Ronk and stars Oscar Isaac as the titular character with Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund and Justin Timberlake in supporting roles (though Timberlake is nowhere to be seen in this trailer). It’s certainly a fantastic cast and there’s some great dialogue in the trailer (surprise, surprise) particularly from Mulligan.

Trailer: Shame

One of the more polarizing films amoungst my social circles at last years TIFF, Steve McQueen’s follow up to the highly acclaimed Hunger, the equally succinct titled Shame (Kurt’s Review) widens the canvas by having it set in New York City, and drops the directors fascination with macro lenses. One of the stand-out shots in the film is an extended jogging scene where Michael Fassbender shakes off his mounting series of problems with sex addiction and family. It is used here exceptionally well to assemble a trailer for the film.

The trailer is tucked under the seat.
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There is a shot early on in Steve McQueen’s Shame, a frame filling close-up on Carey Mulligan as she sings a desperate, melancholic version of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” that is such pure cinema, albeit in a highly stylized and perhaps melodramatic form, but it gets at truth. Mulligan portrays Sissy, the emotionally need sister to Michael Fassbender’s, intimacy challenged Brandon, and her song, performed in an upscale New York City club is one of only a couple fleeting moments that she gets through to him emotionally. Earlier, for a instant or two, you see Fassbender’s face slightly out of focus with low lighting, the visage of a skull, as if to imply he is a drug addict or dying or dead. Shame is a movie about unfulfillment in a time and age where anything is possible, instant gratification for a buck, at any time during the day, particularly in a city like New York.

Brandon has some sort of successful corporate job, and a solid relationship with his boss, David. Despite David’s established domestic life, a wife and two kids await at home, the two of them cruise the nightclubs with after work. David is all manic and eager to please as he tries to pick up, whereas Brandon is silent, mysterious, cool. Brandon has a lot more success at the bars, leading to a series of one night stands. In the mean time, a steady diet of internet pornography, the occasional stalking of an random attractive woman on a subway train. That scene, actually a pair of scenes which form narrative bookends for the film, is also telling. There is an instant, honest – if that is the right word – attraction between this married woman and Brandon, a glance that recalls Nicole Kidman’s speech about mental infidelity and lust Eyes Wide Shut. This woman flashes her wedding ring as if some kind of ward, and nonplussed, Brandon practically chases her up the platform. She escapes, if only narrowly. A tryst with a co-worker in the film further underscores the tug and push of Brandon’s particular condition, there is a hint that something intimate and real might come out of things, and that shuts him down. It must be terribly confusing for her, after they share a warm and charming evening of food and conversation the night before. The movie flits from the woods and incandescent lighting of street level New York clubs with the press of flesh and life, to Brandon’s stark black and white apartment, trapped and isolated on the umpteenth floor of a glass and steel condo. Displacement is further underscored when Brandon listens to a series of desperate answering machine messages which echo in the cold space.

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LAFF 2011: Drive

The Los Angeles in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive is a real place geographically – the garage on Reseda Blvd, the apartment building in Echo Park, the car chases through downtown and the canyon roads, the exit off Cahuenga past the Hollywood Bowl – these are all places I more or less recognize. On the other hand, the almost wall-to-wall techno music (reminiscent of Run Lola Run in its quieter moments), the arty slow-motion and slow-burn pacing of much of the film, and the enigmatic characterization of the main character, known only as “The Driver,” lend a surreal feel to the city I know. And that feeling is mirrored by the film itself. Drive both is and isn’t something familiar, weaving brutally realistic violence in with lyrical beauty, switching back and forth with rapid unexpectedness.

The otherwise unnamed Driver moves laconically between fixing cars at a garage in the Valley, doing driving stunts for the movies, and being a wheelman for robberies. He has simple rules for the latter – he’s there at a certain time and takes responsibility for five minutes of robbery and getaway. After that, the crooks are on their own. The opening sequence (which is excerpted for the Cannes clip so far acting as trailer) is one such job, and it is utter perfection as a self-contained sequence and as a teaser for the film. It balances patience and speed in the chase itself, while also showing with essentially zero dialogue exactly how good a driver this man is, both in terms of actual pedal-to-the-metal precision and street smarts of when to hang back and when to go for it. He drives methodically, but knows the right time to strike.

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Review: Never Let Me Go


Science fiction in the vein of Never Let Me Go is a rare thing – not showy or obvious, no aliens or space travel, no visible scientific apparatus, nothing really even explicitly stated. Yet the characters’ lives are utterly defined and guided by science fiction elements (of the sort that could soon be science reality), and the kind of ethical questions implicitly explored are those of classic science fiction going back to Asimov and Wells, here told with a poignant humanism and thoughtfulness rarely found on the screen today. The way understanding of the characters’ situation gradually dawns as the story unfolds is part of the pleasure of it, so I’m going to try not to spoil it as much as possible. (Even though it’s been long enough now since release that if you’ve remained unspoiled, you’re kind of amazing and you should definitely go into this film knowing as little as possible – not because it depends on not knowing what’s going on, but because it just gives it that much more oomph and poignancy if you learn gradually along with the film.)

Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy grow up together at what seems to be an upscale boarding school in rural England, going through the joys and squabbles that any children do, but there are signs that things may not all be as they seem. We learn more about who these children are and what the school is as the story unfolds, but we remain firmly focused on their relationship with each other, especially as Ruth and Tommy begin dating, leaving Kathy a patient but longing third wheel. This is a story primarily concerned with relationships, but relationships that are predicated on and intensified by these individuals’ particular status in society. Sure, there’s stuff in the book that was great and is left out here, but the choices made are solid and make for a strong and coherent film.

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Cinecast Episode 184 – Death Lottery

The 4 hour barrier is broken as The Documentary Blog’s Jay Cheel joins Kurt and Andrew on the longest Cinecast ever – you know it is even longer than the previous epic length TIFF show. What do we talk about? For starters, Kurt & Jay examine the Let The Right One In remake, Let Me In (*SPOILERS*), in painstaking detail, and how not to process American remakes of foreign language films. Next we move along for a solid hour on Never Let Me Go (*SPOILERS*) which keeps going on the vibe of comparing source material to eventual film adaptation and why you probably should not do that. More Carey Mulligan talk as Andrew skims and sums up Wall Street 2 with out spoilers. Then, a spoiler-free discussion on Catfish follows, although only Jay caught it, so it is more of a discussion on fake/faux-Documentaries, and ‘narrative-ethics’ which leads to more more talk on I’m Still Here, with a little Last Exorcism and The Blair Witch Project to round things out. Next we move along to the avant garde and barely-narrative Cannes Palme D’Or winner, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, and a lot of other films we watched: An overview of the “Middletown” documentary series, a bit of Daybreakers-Redux, a bit of Season 6 of “LOST” (you guessed it, with *SPOILERS*), and more avant garde cinema with Last Year At Marienbad. We also debate the finer points of Steve Buscemi and the cast and crew of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” Finally (finally!) at around the 4 hour mark, our DVD picks round out a show that carried us well into the wee hours of the night recording. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed chatting. It may be long, but it is a solid and whip-smart show this time around, although we are biased on that front.

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


To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:

ALTERNATIVE (no music track):

Full show notes are under the seats…
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NEVER LET ME GO Trailer is Understated and Ominous


It has been far too long since Mark Romanek’s directorial debut, One Hour Photo. It has been eight years, in fact. After bailing on a lot of pre-production work in The Wolfman (which eventually flopped under jobber Joe Johnston) Romanek picked a whopper of a challenge for a follow up; a difficult to adapt Kazuo Ishiguro novel, Never Let Me Go. The book is one of the best books I have read in the past few years or so (along side Cormac McCarthy’s The Road). And Fox Searchlight and Co. have cast the film wonderfully: Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Charlotte Rampling, Sally Hawkins and Keira Knightley. The sumptuous (sunset and foliage) visuals can be seen instantly from the trailer that came online today at The tricky part, is how Romanek will manage the high amount naivete and drama and mystery; where the characters (in the novel, anyway) are ignorant of what is going on moreso than the audience. I recommend avoiding spoilers or any sort of plot synopsis for this film. Even the trailer is close to spoiling – VERY close (consider this is your fair warning.)

Nevertheless, along with Christopher Nolan’s Inception and Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life, this is one of my three most anticipated films of the year for me.

Trailer is tucked under the seat or at Apple in all shapes and sizes.
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Cinecast Episode 161 – Nightmares of Incomprehensibility

Picking up where we should have started last week is easy (at least we think so) as nothing really noteworthy was theatrically released over the weekend anyway (Those looking for yet another round of movie pundits bagging on the bad 3D and lack of coherence in Clash of the Titans look elsewhere, we wisely skipped this one). Instead we munch on some mumblecore-tinged Noah Baumbach, Greenberg starring Ben Stiller and a little How To Train Your Dragon earns some love for CG Animations second fiddle, Dreamworks. As a bonus, some retro goofery with Hot Tub Time Machine, depressed Danes in Terribly Happy and some steamy Canadian voyeurism with Chloe. As a further bonus, extensive Mad Men love from Gamble, cannibalism in the rain forests of Tasmania, Harrison Ford in the dirty back alleys of Paris with Roman Polanski and joined in the jungles of South America by Andre Gregory. Oh, and the joys of The Dude as President eating a shark sandwich. To confuse things further, some of our DVD picks are from this week and some are from last. It is a nightmare of incomprehensibility (in the parlance of our times), but it is a good time (parts of it, anyway) as we managed to make up for a messy part of the release calender with a lot of older movies on TV and Netflix. Enjoy.

As always, feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:

Full show notes are under the seats…
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“The Greatest” Trailer

Immediately after arriving at home from seeing An Education a few months back, I declared that Carey Mulligan was going to one day be a big big star – of likely Julia Roberts caliber. Not exactly going out on a limb there, but still.

Then a pair of films receive buzz at Sundance. Then an Oscar nod and in the top 5 best dressed at the Kodak that night. This is the beginning of the beginning folks.

The other film at Sundance, not nominated for a best picture Oscar, was The Greatest, co-starring Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon. Yesterday a trailer for the film hits the Tubes of You and was suddenly removed. Thanks to the gnarly kids over at Trailer Addict, we’re still able to check out the clip.

The film concerns a pregnant young girl whose boyfriend dies in a car crash, and the uneasy relationship she forges with his parents. Overly melodramatic at least, vomit-inducing at worst, I fear the movie could be rather eye-rolling. Still, Mulligan looks good here and for now, she’s got my money.