Gwendoline Christie in Game of Thrones

The first season of Jane Campion‘s Top of the Lake was a master class in tension and dread, a meticulously crafted mystery powered by pain and fury. Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss proved to be perfectly cast as the brittle detective at the heart of the action, trying to solve a puzzle in a hometown full of traumatic memories.

All of which means the second season has a pretty high bar to clear if it wants to live up to the first, let alone surpass it. But hiring Gwendoline Christie is probably a good first step. The Game of Thrones and Star Wars: The Force Awakens actress is set for a “major” role in the drama, and a bunch of new plot details have just been revealed to go along with that casting announcement.  Read More »

partisan-trailer

Partisan marks the feature directing debut of Ariel Kleiman, who made the short films Young Love and Deeper than Yesterday, and this coming-of-age story looks like a compelling tale. The film, which won a Special Jury Award for cinematography at Sundance this year, follows a cult leader played by Vincent Cassel, and the group of abandoned women and children who make up his private little society.

Cassel’s character Gregori acts as surrogate father to the kids, but also trains them in more violent ways than most regular upbringings would offer. One child, Alexander (Jeremy Chabriel), is a promising student, but soon shows a problematic mind of his own. Check out the Partisan trailer, which introduces the basics of the story and characters.  Read More »

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we ponder what happens when first contact is made, deal with rape on college campuses, get fatherly advice from Vincent Cassel on how to raise an assassin, explore a moment in underground pop culture, and spend some time with a man who made sense of the Ben Affleck/Bill Maher tussle. 

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Vincent Cassel in Partisan

The Sundance Film Festival is proving to be a source of endless delight even for those of us who are just reading reviews from home. Because while we might not be able to watch the movies from our couches, we can still enjoy the trailers as thoroughly as anyone in Park City.

The latest Sundance entry to unleash a trailer is Partisan, directed by Ariel Kleiman. At the center of the story is Alexander (Jeremy Chabriel), an 11-year-old trained as an assassin. When this dangerous but sheltered boy begins thinking for himself, he poses a problem for father figure Gregori (Vincent Cassel). Watch the first Partisan trailer after the jump.

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