After years away from the big screen, John Woo is back this year — at least in China — with The Crossing. The first installment of the two-part film hits China in December. The movie is set in 1949 and will tell the stories of three couples whose lives intersect on the doomed Taiping steamer. The ship was carrying many hundreds of passengers from China and the last days of the communist-dominated Civil War, to new lives in Taiwan. All aboard were doomed, and the ship has been called the “Chinese Titanic” as a result. This first Crossing trailer introduces many of the people on board, albeit without subtitles. Check out the footage below. Read More »
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John Woo has been quiet for several years as he dealt with throat cancer, and as government script approval was delayed for his latest film, but he’s ready to return to cinema screens with a new two-part epic. Much as his last major effort, Red Cliff, was a two-part tale drawn from Chinese history, so too The Crossing is a period piece split into two parts. (Between the two projects, Woo also co-directed Reign of Assassins.)
The Crossing is very different from Red Cliff in other respects, however. It is set in 1949, and follows the stories and fates of the passengers of the steamer Taiping, which sank with as many as 1500 passengers on board. (The ship is often called “the Chinese Titanic,” because of the number of casualties.) Now the first film is set for a December release in China, meaning we can perhaps expect to see it in 2015. Read More »
We’re on the topic of big Cannes 2014 films, as we just offered up the trailer for Leviathan. I noted in that post that Leviathan didn’t win the Palme d’Or, but here’s a new trailer for the film that did: Winter Sleep, from Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylon. Where Leviathan appears to be a small story that gets bigger as it goes, Winter Sleep is about a small set of characters that are gradually drawn into tighter proximity. Expect a quiet film, slowly rhythmic, that follows a one-time actor, his young wife, and his recently divorced sister, all of whom are pushed together as winter begins. Check out the new Winter Sleep US trailer below.
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Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return, Elena) made a big impression on Cannes audiences with Leviathan, and though it won only the Best Screenplay award rather than the Palme d’Or, the film remains one of the most anticipated winter releases thanks to the big Cannes buzz. Leviathan reworks the Book of Job as it charts a small-town battle between a family and local officials, and draws in themes of corruption, class, and oppression as the battle escalates. Watch the new Leviathan trailer below.
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The Midnight Madness program at the Toronto Film Festival is one of the most reliable lineups of provocative genre movies each year — programmer Colin Geddes does a great job of choosing films that are memorable and full of new talent. Here’s the Cub trailer, which will be your first look at one of this year’s Midnight Madness titles.
Jonas Govaerts makes his debut as a director with the film, which tells the story of “a troupe of young Cub Scouts who find themselves stalked by a psychopathic huntsman who has riddled the forest with ingenious and deadly traps.” There’s some weird stuff and much bloody violence in this trailer. Oh, and the film boasts a score by Steve Moore, from the band Zombi, who also did music for Adam Wingard’s The Guest. You won’t hear the score here, but check out the trailer below. Read More »
La French, aka The Connection for international festival audiences, jumps off from the same ’60s and ’70s drug-trafficking patterns that inspired The French Connection. Jean Dujardin stars as a young magistrate thrust into an attempt to corral international heroin smuggling, and follows his “violent six-year campaign to bring down the kingpin of a major narcotics ring.”
A French-language trailer (no subs, sorry) has arrived just in advance of the film’s world premiere at TIFF. Shot on 35mm, this one has a great look, and Dujardin seems to be in a particularly energetic mode. Cédric Jimenez directed the film, which also stars Gilles Lellouche, Céline Sallette, and Benoît Magimel. Check out The Connection trailer below. (Update: there’s an English-subbed trailer now, too!)
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Fernando Meirelles‘ City of God is one of those movies you can constantly turn people onto. When it was released in 2002, it opened to incredible acclaim but many people missed it simply because it’s a foreign language film. Now, if ever asked for a movie recommendation, City of God is at the top of the list.
That interesting cultural niche between critical acclaim, mainstream success and cult classic is why the brand new company, FAMP Art, chose the film to kick off its new endeavor. They’re a New York based screen print company who plan to specialize in smaller films that rarely get attention, both from the mainstream and in the art world. Their first print is by UK artist Dan Norris, who took the visceral visuals of City of God and condensed them down into a single, striking image. Below, check out our exclusive debut of the first FAMP Art City of God poster. Read More »
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Studio Ghibli’s next release in the US is The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, and we’re happy to present the first US teaser for the film. Directed by Grave of the Fireflies director Isao Takahata, the movie explores the folk tale of a young princess who is found as an infant by a bamboo cutter, and tells of the fate that befalls her. The English-language version of the film is to be released by Gkids in October, with James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, and Chloë Grace Moretz voicing the lead roles. There’s no dialogue in this first trailer, but you will get to see some of the unique and lovely visual style employed for the tale. See The Tale of the Princess Kaguya US teaser debut below. Read More »