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 »
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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 »
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 »
The rumors of Studio Ghibli‘s demise have been flying for a couple years, and intensified when co-founder Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement from directing feature films. And while the Gibli documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness hasn’t been officially released in the US, one sequence from the film has been floating around over the past week. In that sequence Miyazaki says “the future is clear. It’s going to fall apart. I can already feel it.” But has Studio Ghibli closed already? Nope!
No matter what a badly-translated quote said as it did the internet rounds on Sunday, the studio is still moving forward. Precisely how it will move forward is the question.
Ghibli co-founder and current general manager Toshio Suzuki has appeared on Japanese television program Jonetsu Tairiku on Sunday to talk about what the studio may do in the wake of Miyazaki’s retirement. While he said that one option would be to shut down the production department, the takeaway is that Studio Ghibli is looking into “housecleaning” or “restructuring” as it prepares for the future.
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The first trailer for the new Studio Ghibli movie When Marnie Was There was barely a trailer at all. Rather, it was more of a music video for the film’s primary song, by Priscilla Ahn. Now we’ve got a proper look at the film, in HD, via the When Marnie Was There Japanese trailer. This sets up a great deal of the story of a young girl who makes her first true friend. The only complication is that Marnie has her own unique situation.
At least, we think the trailer sets up that story. None of the dialogue is in English, so we have to rely upon an understanding of the source novel, and the exemplary visual storytelling in the footage. Being a Ghibli film — in this case, one directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (The Secret World of Arrietty) — the animation and storytelling look to be wonderfully refined and elegant. Check out the trailer below. Read More »