Tokyo Tribe

I want you to go get a piece or paper or open the Notes program on your phone and write down two words: Tokyo Tribe. You’re going to want tangible proof you knew about one of the craziest, most surprising, surreal fun films of the year well before anyone else.

Tokyo Tribe is directed by Shion Sono, a director whose films (Love Exposure, Cold Fish) are usually pretty brutal. For the most part, this one isn’t. In fact, it’s the opposite. Tokyo Tribe is a hip hop musical about gang wars in Tokyo filled with sex, action, rapping and more rapping. Think Les Miserables if it were populated by The Warriors, who acted like they were in a kung-fu version of Beat Street, with the visual aesthetic of Spring Breakers. Set in an Eighties. That almost describes Tokyo Tribe, a film I loved to no end. Read More »

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Force Majeure trailer

I literally just walked out of a screening of Force Majeure at Fantastic Fest 2014 and had to let you know about it. Thankfully for me, a new poster and trailer came out earlier this week.

Directed by Ruben Östlund, the film follows a family who are on a ski vacation. When an avalanche unexpectedly hits, everyone is forced into a life or death situation where they’ll reveal their true colors. In one case, they aren’t what they expect. That might sounds like the set up to some kind of horror movie, but Force Majeure walks an absolute stellar tightrope of tone, seamlessly going from uncomfortable to funny, then tense and human. It’s poignant, it’s hilarious, it’s beautifully shot and it’s totally unexpected. The film won a special award at Cannes earlier this year and has been slaying the festival crowd, myself included. Below what the latest Force Majeure trailer and see the new poster. Read More »

‘The Crossing’ Trailer: John Woo Gets Romantic

Crossing trailer

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 »

John Woo’s ‘The Crossing’ Opens in China in December

john woo the crossing

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 »

Winter Sleep US trailer

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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Leviathan trailer

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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Cub trailer

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 »

Connection trailer

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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