Posted on Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 by Angie Han
Two of the brightest foreign stars of 2011 have joined forces for a new movie in 2013. The Past teams Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian director behind the brilliant domestic drama A Separation, with Bérénice Bejo, best known in the U.S. as the sweet-faced ingenue from The Artist. Given that pedigree, it’s not surprising that there’s Oscar buzz surrounding the project already; Iran has submitted The Past as its foreign-language entry in this year’s Oscar race.
At the center of the drama is Marie (Bejo), a French woman who asks her estranged Iranian husband Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) for a divorce so that she can marry her new boyfriend Samir (A Prophet‘s Tahar Rahim). Once Ahmad arrives in Paris, however, secrets about the family come to light. See the new trailer from Sony Classics after the jump.
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It’s been years since we saw the arrival of a period that was as rich for Studio Ghibli fans as this year has been. We get new films from not one of the studio’s major directors, but two: Hayao Miyazaki, with The Wind Rises (see the new US trailer here) and Isao Takahata with The Legend of Princess Kaguya.
The latter film adapts the Japanese story The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, in which an aged and childless bamboo cutter slices open a glowing bamboo stalk to find a tiny child inside. He and his wife raise the girl, Kaguya, who grows into a delicately beautiful woman. The cutter also finds himself rich as his work, impossibly, yields gold from bamboo. The strange truth of her existence is revealed, as hopeful suitors arrive to ask for Kaguya’s hand in marriage.
We’ve seen various small trailers and footage breaks from The Legend of Princess Kaguya over the past couple months, but now we’ve got an extended six-minute trailer that really shows off the film’s gorgeous animation, influenced by ancient Japanese illustration styles. Read More »
Hayao Miyazaki‘s final feature film, The Wind Rises, just finished its Oscar-qualifying run in New York and LA, and will be back in theaters for a full run in February. This first brief run of the film was a subtitled affair, preserving the original Japanese voice track. When the movie returns next year there will be a choice of subtitled and dubbed versions.
We’ve got a new trailer for the US release, but we don’t get to hear those performances. In fact, we don’t even know who the English voice actors are. The sound here is mostly via one of the film’s songs.
Therefore, while this trailer gives you some idea of a few visual flights of fancy that take place in the movie, as Jiro Horikoshi dreams of becoming an aeronautical engineer and follows through to succeed at his goal, it does not let us hear much of the film’s stunningly unique sound design. I won’t be more specific, but the aircraft and natural events in this film don’t sound quite like you’d expect them to. Read More »
Twenty-five years ago Studio Ghibli’s second major release was the double feature of My Neighbor Totoro from Hayao Miyazai and Grave of the Fireflies from Isao Takahata. This year we’ve already seen Miyazaki’s latest, The Wind Rises, arriving to acclaim (and some controversy) in Japan, and we’ve now got a poster for the US release.
At the same time, Takahata’s latest film, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, is soon to be released in Japan, and we’ve got a new three-minute trailer for the film. We’ve seen some footage from that already, but this offers a lot more to take in. Read More »
Takeshi Kitano follows his 2011 film Outrage with a sequel Yakuza film, Beyond Outrage (originally called Outrage Beyond), and a new red-band trailer for the US release has come online.
This is red-band because Takeshi’s films tend toward extreme bursts of violence perpetrated by stoic men, with Takeshi himself typically the most prone to the worst action. In this case there’s a lot of gunplay, and a drill, and a pretty mean use of an automatic baseball pitching machine. The story concerns multiple crime families who are set against one another, with Takeshi as an instigator (or pawn?) in the middle. Seems a bit like Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest, with yakuza. Read More »
Among Jackie Chan‘s wonderful run of ’80s films, in that period when the writer/director/actor really became a superstar, some of the best are the first two Police Story movies. They’re brilliantly, gleefully anarchic when it comes to action, with Chan destroying shopping malls and shantytowns all for the benefit of the audience. But they can be sweet and almost naive from a character perspective, in a way that makes them feel like products of a time more removed than 25 years from now.
The third film in the series, Supercop, lost just a bit of the pleasant earnestness but more than made up for it with spectacularly huge stunts that shamed Hollywood productions of the early ’90s. The movie was huge. There were two more films, too, one of which was a reboot.
Now there’s a new film in the series — which is a spiritual sequel, sharing only Chan and the title with the first films — and it looks a lot more grim and gritty than anything else in the series. (Even more so than New Police Story, the remake from ’04.) But the stunts still look great, even if they’re not up to the standard Chan set at his peak over 20 years ago. Check out the trailer for Police Story 2013 below. Read More »
When Studio Ghibli comes up in conversation, it is inevitably co-founder Hayao Miyazaki who dominates the talk. For good reason: he’s made more movies than any other director at the studio, and his films have helped change the face of animation.
That said, while another Ghibli co-founder, Isao Takahata, is less prolific, his films are no less effective. Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies, which officially launched Ghibli along with Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro, is a testament to the power of animation as a straight narrative form, free of genre-based embellishments. Films like Only Yesterday, My Neighbors the Yamadas, and Pom Poko (a personal favorite) tell stories of modern Japan that are unlike any other animation director’s work.
For his latest film, however, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Takahata has gone back to ancient Japanese folklore. The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter is the inpiration for this film, and in keeping with that starting point, Takahata’s animation is inspired by charcoal, watercolor, and sumi-e ink illustration techniques. If you think of Studio Ghibli as having a house style, footage from The Tale of Princess Kaguya will shatter that notion.
It’s gorgeous to see in motion; have a look at a trailer below.
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Posted on Thursday, October 17th, 2013 by Angie Han
Is there a better time than Halloween season to unveil a trailer for a horror film? The studios apparently don’t think so, as we’ve seen several hit this week alone. Devil’s Due released its first promo yesterday, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones revealed a spot earlier today, and now comes Here Comes the Devil to try and make its own creepy mark.
Directed by Adrián García Bogliano, the thriller follows two kids (Michele Garcia and Alan Martinez) who go missing during a family trip to the caves of Tijuana. Though they eventually find their way back to their parents (Francisco Barreiro and Laura Caro), it quickly becomes clear that something terrible has happened to them. Hit the jump to watch the NSFW red-band trailer.
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