beasts of no nation

The dirty secret of culture writers on movie websites is that most of us don’t write lists to irritate people itching for the comments section. We do it to celebrate a big batch of films. I swear. We want to grab our pom poms for these things, especially the underrated work, and “The Underseen Gem” might as well be Bleecker Street‘s motto.

Cheerleading is exactly what this list is meant to do. Maybe it’s in the right qualitative order. Who knows. I simply want to draw attention to a quality distributor that nonetheless doesn’t get the same religiously whispered street cred as A24 or Annapurna. Led by former Focus Features exec Andrew Karpen, Bleecker Street isn’t as experimental as those outfits, but it still releases compelling, rich features for adult audiences. Whenever someone complains that the mid-budget movie is dead, that the ’90s-style era of solid drama is over, I always want to write “Bleecker Street” on a napkin and slap it on their forehead.

So, no clever introduction (most would skip over it to get to the numbers anyway) hyping their dense output in only 3 years. No hiding my purpose here. Everyone reads lists, so maybe this one will get more people watching their movies.

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Denial Trailer

Right now you can see Rachel Weisz starring alongside Colin Farrell in The Lobster, a darkly hilarious romance that is truly original and is best seen knowing as little as possible about the story. But later this year, she’ll bring a true story to life in the form of a Holocaust-centric drama. However, this one doesn’t take place in the heart of World War II.

Denial adapts the true story from Deborah E. Lipstadt’s book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier, and as the title of the book indicates, the film follows Rachel Weisz as the author who fought a legal battle against a man (Timothy Spall) who denied that the Holocaust ever happened. It looks like a movie prime for awards contention in good and bad ways.

Watch the first Denial trailer after the jump. Read More »