Showing all posts tagged: trailer
27 November 2022
Moja Vesna is the slow-burning, deeply affecting, debut feature of Melbourne based Slovenian-Australian filmmaker Sara Kern, which premiered at the 2022 Melbourne International Film Festival. The trailer is certainly gripping.
In Melbourne’s outer suburbs, reticent Moja, her well-meaning Slovenian father Miloš and her volatile older sister Vesna all struggle to cope with the impacts of a significant death. But Vesna is in denial about the demands of late-stage pregnancy and Miloš barely speaks a word of English, so Moja is forced to assume the role of stabilising presence and cultural mediator — with little chance to mourn the loss of their mother.
Moja Vesna commences a theatrical season in Australian cinemas from today.
16 November 2022
If we really are witnessing the demise of social media, then Apples, trailer, the 2020 debut of Greek filmmaker Christos Nikou, might offer a glimpse of this brave new world. Of course some people will find the scenario familiar, but others — those who grew up with a parent’s smartphone constantly in their hand — might be left feeling disorientated.
Apples is set in contemporary Athens, the capital of Greece, where the world is in the grip of a pandemic that causes instant, and in many cases, permanent amnesia.
Recently widowed Aris (Aris Servetalis) is one of the virus’s victims. As he was carrying no identity documents at the time he lost his memory, Aris is taken to a hospital where he waits to be “claimed” by friends or relatives. Medical staff warn this may never happen though. His near and dear may have also succumbed to the disease, and no longer have any memory of him.
When it becomes apparent this is the case, Aris is placed on a program that gives patients a new identity and life. He is given an apartment and a living allowance, but must complete a daily task set by his doctors. Instructions are left on a cassette placed in his letterbox, which he listens to on a cassette player. He is also required to photograph his exploits, using a Polaroid camera.
Assignments variously include riding a bike, going to a horror film, and even crashing a car in a low-impact collision with a fence or a tree. The exercises are intended to help victims of the virus create new memories. While on one of his missions, Aris meets Anna (Sofia Georgovassili), herself a virus victim, and they begin to form a bond.
But nothing is quite what it seems to be in this world devoid of an internet, where people must interact in person, or call around to each other’s apartments if they wish to see each other. At times though it seems quite comforting. People appear to live normally, as if the advent of social media and the internet were a passing blip in history.
Could it be that straightforward though? Simply forget the internet — and anything else for that matter — both the convenient and inconvenient it has brought to the world? I doubt it, and so to, I think, do the protagonists in Apples.
8 November 2022
Manna from heaven is all eleven year old Irish girl Anna O’Donnell needs to sustain herself. She eats no other food. Or so she, and her family, say. Along with the inhabitants of the nineteenth century Irish Midlands village where Anna lives.
Her situation has come to the attention of the authorities. But is it true? Is the girl able to survive without eating? Or is it a stunt? A ploy contrived to lure curious, cashed-up, tourists to the region?
To ascertain whether the phenomenon is a medical anomaly, or perhaps a sign of something more divine, Lib Wright (Florence Pugh) an English nurse, is dispatched to investigate.
Together with a nun, Wright will take turns to keep watch on Anna (Kíla Lord Cassidy), to see what is happening, in Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio’s adaptation, trailer, of Emma Donoghue’s 2016 novel (published by Pan Macmillan) of the same name.
I read the novel in 2019, and am looking forward to seeing the story on the big screen. If the trailer is anything to go by, Lelio’s film looks like a faithful adaptation of Donoghue’s book.
31 October 2022
I miss afternoons spent whiling away more time than I should have, perusing the aisles of the long closed local video hire shop. Somewhere among the cram packed shelves there was bound to be a title I wanted to see, but had missed at the movies. Time consuming the process may have been, but it was somehow cathartic, transcendental even.
Despite a barrage of closures over the last decade, near to five-hundred video hire shops remain open in Australia. Some even experienced a shortlived uptick in business during the COVID enforced lockdowns, as people searched for ways to amuse themselves while housebound.
Those looking to relive the old days of the video hire shop might then enjoy the aptly name TV show Blockbuster, trailer, a Netflix produced comedy set in the last Blockbuster shop in America. Timmy Yoon, the hapless store owner, is not only hopeful of keeping the business afloat, but also, it seems, catching the eye of his favourite employee, Eliza.
Timmy Yoon is an analog dreamer living in a 5G world. And after learning he is operating the last Blockbuster Video in America, Timmy and his staff employees (including his long time crush, Eliza) fight to stay relevant. The only way to succeed is to remind their community that they provide something big corporations can’t: human connection.
29 October 2022
The Novelist’s Film, trailer, the 2022 feature from Seoul based South Korea filmmaker Hong Sang-soo, casts a spotlight on “the importance of authenticity in the dishonest world of cinema.” And chance encounters.
The story might strike a chord with authors who have been fortunate enough to have a book of theirs adapted to film, though the writer here seems to be taking a slightly unorthodox approach to bringing her novel to the big screen:
A female novelist takes a long trip to visit a bookstore run by a younger colleague who has fallen out of touch. Then she goes up a tower on her own and runs into a film director and his wife. They take a walk in a park and meet an actress, after which the novelist tries to convince the actress to make a film with her. She and the actress get something to eat, then revisit the bookstore where a group of people are drinking. The actress gets drunk and falls asleep.
26 October 2022
States of decay can have a beauty to them. Depending on what’s in decay, and how up close you are to the action, that is. Leaves that have fallen from trees during autumn can be a colourful spectacle as they decay and breakdown. The same could be said — in some cases at least — for rotting food.
If you can’t see what possible appeal there is in watching food go off though, Wrought, trailer, a short timelapse film by Winnipeg, Canada, based producers Joel Penner and Anna Sigrithur, just might change your mind. After all, microbes spoil food, but sometimes they can enrich it:
While the very word ‘rot’ might give rise to revulsion — perhaps the memory of a mildewed fruit or the pungent stench of a past-its-prime cut of fish — the processes it describes often yield delicious results. Indeed, many of the world’s most popular foods, from beer and bread to kimchi and cheese, are born of chemical conversions that would, in other contexts, constitute a food ‘going bad’.
19 October 2022
Living amongst a tight-knit community aboard a ship as it sails the world’s seas might be a dream come true for some people. But that’s not quite the case for the residents living on a disused oil tanker anchored in waters off the the south coast of Iran, in Iron Island, trailer, the 2005 debut feature of Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof.
It may not be any world cruise, but the vessel isn’t exactly stationery either. It is slowly, oh so slowly, sinking. But for the moment this is the least of ship master Captain Nemat’s (Ali Nassirian) problems. The enterprising, some might say exploitive, captain is barely out of frame as he struts about the rusting hull being all things to all people.
One minute he’s greeting new residents, the next he’s fending off the vessel’s owner, who wants to sell the ship for scrap. But that’s probably because Nemat has the same idea. Nemat doesn’t ask rent payments from his tenants, instead they become his employees, and he deducts rent from the salary he pays them.
Everyone except children — whom Nemat provides a school for — and the infirm, are put to work. Work that entails gradually dismantling the crumbling hull of the vessel they call home. Biting the hand that feeds. Any fixtures and fittings that Nemat deems superfluous are cut away and taken ashore to be sold as scrap metal.
Captain Nemat is a compelling character, and one has to wonder what his true motives are. Is he really looking out for the interests of the down-trodden who have no choice but live on his leaky ship? Or is he a shrewd, calculating, business person who sees the ship’s residents as a captive workforce, who will follow him no matter what?
This is the question viewers are left with, when everyone must leave the vessel. While Nemat may not want to see members of his community end up truly homeless, he doesn’t want to lose faithful employees either. Nemat offers them an alternative, but is there any substance to it? Worse still though, does it even matter?
15 October 2022
The third series of Picard, another of the Star Trek franchise stories, goes to air in February 2023.
It seems to me the Star Trek stories get better as they go, if the trailer is an accurate indication of what to expect. Most of the original Next Generation cast are also set to appear alongside Patrick Stewart, who now portrays Admiral Picard, as they confront a mysterious enemy intent on destroying them, and the United Federation of Planets.
Stewart officially announced the season soon after, with filming ending in March 2022. The return of other Next Generation cast members was confirmed a month later, and [series showrunner Terry] Matalas hoped to make the season a satisfying ending for Picard’s story and the whole Next Generation cast.
11 October 2022
Ulysses | Film, a documentary by Irish filmmaker and theatre director Alan Gilsenan, is screening as part of this year’s online Irish Film Festival. The work is Gilsenan’s own interpretation of Irish author James Joyce’s novel Ulysses.
Alan Gilsenan’s Ulysses | Film is a personal response and cinematic ‘reading’ of Joyce’s novel. Fractured and poetic, this non-narrative film/installation is a myriad of images and sounds evoking Joyce’s imaginary world. Intended as a creative echo of Joyce’s work and life, this work is neither a film of the book nor a visual illustration of the novel. It is instead a personal interpretation of the book, acting as a doorway into the work, an invitation to read or re-visit this seminal piece of literature.
10 October 2022
James Whitman (Lucas Jade Zumann) is a troubled sixteen year old. With only one friend, Kwane (Odiseas Georgiadis), who sees the friendship as a social experiment more than anything else, James’ life is in turmoil following the disappearance of his older sister Jorie (Lily Donoghue), a month earlier.
If things were bad at home before Jorie vanished, they’ve taken a turn for the worse since. His father, Carl (Jason Isaacs), whom James refers to as “the brute” is an angry ex-navy officer, who won’t hesitate to hit his mother Elly, (Lily Donoghue) when he loses his temper.
Elly meanwhile is disillusioned with her life. In her younger days a promising career as an artist in New York City beckoned. But she was forced to abandon these ambitions because Carl wanted to move to a small town and open a sushi restaurant. Or so she tells James.
A ray of light arrives in the form of James’ classmate Sophie (Taylor Russell). Sophie is the editor of the school’s literature zine, and asks James if he can track down a poem Jorie promised to submit for publication before she disappeared. Sensing Sophie may be seeking more though, he’s happy to oblige.
While searching Jorie’s room — which Carl had placed out of bounds — for the poem, he instead finds a photo of Jorie with some friends, a few of whom James recognises. Believing they may know her whereabouts, he sets off with Sophie, who has agreed to help him, to locate his sister.
Despite its comedy billing, Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, trailer, has more than a few dark moments. James is not as well as his father likes to believe, and as the pressure builds, James begins unravelling.
Light relief in the form of the titular Mr Bird, a pigeon voiced by Tom Wilkinson, who dispenses wisdom to the downtrodden James, lifts the mood. As do the musings of James’ hero Walt Whitman (voiced by Michael H. Cole), along with nods to the work of Wes Anderson, who is clearly a hero of director Yaniv Raz.
8 October 2022
Daniel Morcombe, a thirteen year Sunshine Coast boy, went missing in December 2003, as he set off to do some Christmas shopping. In August 2011, after an extensive police investigation, and a sting operation, Brett Peter Cowan, who would later be convicted of Morcombe’s kidnapping and murder, was arrested by detectives.
The Stranger, trailer, directed by Thomas M Wright, is a dramatisation of the police operation to apprehend Cowan, and is based on the 2018 book, The Sting, by Kate Kyriacou. But The Stranger is not a direct re-telling of Morcombe’s disappearance. Instead it focuses on efforts to bring the person responsible to justice.
Australian actor and director Joel Edgerton stars as Mark, an undercover police officer, who befriends a man named Henry Teague. Teague is suspected of committing a serious crime, but police lack sufficient evidence to charge him. Mark sets about gaining Teague’s trust, and he hopes, an admission of Teague’s guilt.
A friendship forms between two strangers. For Henry Teague, worn down by a lifetime of physical labour, this is a dream come true. His new friend Mark becomes his saviour and ally. However, neither is who they appear to be, each carry secrets that threaten to ruin them and in the background, one of the nation’s largest police operations is closing in.
The Stranger is currently screening in Australian cinemas.
4 October 2022
The Bling Ring were a gang of American teenagers who broke into the homes of actors and celebrities in Los Angeles in 2009. Having ascertained their victims were out of town — usually by way of media reporting — the group would locate their houses.
Once onsite they’d find a way to enter the property, often by finding a hidden key, or an unlocked door, and go about helping themselves to whatever they wanted, typically designer clothing and prestige fashion accessories.
Targets included Kirsten Dunst, and Paris Hilton, whose house the teenagers repeatedly raided. Their escapades were the subject of Sofia Coppola’s 2013 film of the same name, starring Katie Chang, Emma Watson, and Israel Broussard. The movie includes cameos by Kirsten Dunst, Hilton, who is a friend of Coppola.
Nine years later, the Bling Ring’s activities are the subject of a new Netflix series, The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist (trailer). Instead of actors though, this time members of the gang feature, including Nick Prugo, Rachel Lee, and Courtney Ames, as they tell their side of the story.
24 September 2022
At the centre of the series is Cassian Andor, and his involvement with the then fledgling rebellion against the Galactic Empire:
The “Andor” series will explore a new perspective from the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make. The series brings forward the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved. It’s an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero.
In its third instalment, Andor finally becomes the gritty, kinetic spy thriller it has been billed as, after a surfeit of thoughtful world-building. Thankfully, somebody at Disney+ has their head screwed on, because Andor has debuted with a triple bill. Make it through that opening marathon and you have what’s shaping up to be the best Star Wars show since The Mandalorian.
17 September 2022
Iconic Australian high-school television drama Heartbreak High, which screened during the nineties, has been rebooted for a new generation. No holds barred might be one way to describe the original series, which didn’t hesitate to confront viewers, as Kylie Northover, of The Age, writes:
A spin-off of the 1993 film The Heartbreak Kid (itself a spin-off from a play of the same name), the series depicted an inner-city Sydney high school, Hartley High, that looked like the real multicultural world, and dealt with taboo topics such as racism, drugs, sexuality, domestic abuse and even teacher-student affairs.
If the trailer for Heartbreak High 2022 is anything to go by, then it looks like producers Netflix intend to continue where the original series left off.
Fun fact: a former colleague of mine appeared in one episode of the original series.
2 September 2022
Christopher Robin was one of the main characters in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories, originally written by British author A. A. Milne, nearly one hundred years ago. Together with a posse of friends — based on soft toys — including a teddy-bear called Winnie-the-Pooh, they lived in an imaginary forest called the Hundred Acre Wood. Readers of the books and poems written by Milne, will recall Christopher Robin one day left the forest to go to boarding school.
The parting of ways appeared to be quite amicable. Christopher Robin’s soft toy friends, including Piglet, Kanga, and Tigger, held a farewell party before he left. But it seems the geniality didn’t last, with Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet later becoming resentful of Christopher Robin’s departure. So much so, that when the boy returns to Hundred Acre Wood as an adult with his girlfriend, they are intent on murdering their one time friend, and those close to him.
That’s the situation at least in Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood and Honey, trailer, by Rhys Waterfield. Never return to your past, what else is there to say? Think I’ll be sleeping with the lights on tonight though…
24 August 2022
Maxie, Summer and James share a deep bond and love for music. When James receives a devastating diagnosis, the friends throw themselves into a whirlwind of festivals in an attempt to escape reality.
De Souza’s debut was his 2007 documentary, Bra Boys, about the surf culture at Sydney’s Maroubra Beach, and a local gang called the Bra Boys, whose name derived from the last three letters of Maroubra. De Souza co-directed Bra Boys with Sunny Abberton, who founded the gang with his brothers Koby, Jai, and Dakota.
22 August 2022
When writing her journal, World War II diarist Anne Frank imagined she was relating her experiences to a girl called Kitty. Kitty was not a real person, but Frank felt she needed to write to someone, rather than merely document her thoughts in a dairy she believed not a single person would ever see.
The film follows the journey of Kitty, the imaginary friend to whom Anne Frank dedicated her diary. A fiery teenager, Kitty wakes up in the near future in Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam and embarks on a journey to find Anne, who she believes is still alive, in today’s Europe. While the young girl is shocked by the modern world, she also comes across Anne’s legacy.
Talking of Anne Frank, reports have been surfacing on social media that Dairy of a Young Girl, the journal she wrote while in hiding with her family in Amsterdam from the Nazis during World War II, had been banned by a school district in Texas. While it is true a recently published graphic-novel version of Frank’s dairy has temporarily been removed from the shelves of school libraries in Texas, pending a review of its content, other versions of the title remain available for reading.
20 August 2022
Brian MacKinnon studied at Bearsden Academy, a school near Glasgow in Scotland, until his graduation at age seventeen in 1980. After leaving Bearsden, MacKinnon went to Glasgow University, but his enrolment was revoked after failing course exams. MacKinnon was bitterly disappointed, so he decided — quite literally — to start over again.
In 1993, at the age of thirty, he re-enrolled at Bearsden Academy, posing as a sixteen year old Canadian expatriate named Brandon Lee. For the year he spent there, no one saw through the ruse. None of his classmates were suspicious, nor the handful of original teachers still there, who had taught MacKinnon over a decade earlier.
The deception only came to light after “Lee” had left Bearsden for a second time. Now his story has been made into a documentary My Old School, trailer, by Jono McLeod, a former TV news reporter, who was a classmate of “Lee” in 1993.
[McLeod] says he always gets asked how he did not know that Brandon was an imposter at the time. “It is everyone’s nightmare to wake up at 30 years old and be back at school, so why would anyone choose to place themselves in that situation?” he says.
While parents of some students were alarmed that a thirty-year-old was in close proximity to teenagers, many people were certain MacKinnon’s motives were not untoward, including numerous former students and teachers. He sought only to right a perceived wrong.
While MacKinnon agreed to be interviewed for the documentary, he refused to be filmed, and instead actor Alan Cumming stands in for him. In perhaps attempting to rationalise the escapade, MacKinnon says: “the thing you have to do if you really want to prevail is do the unimaginable.”
16 August 2022
Beginning, trailer, is the 2020 debut feature of Georgian filmmaker Dea Kulumbegashvili. Yana (Ia Sukhitashvili) is the wife of a Jehovah’s Witness minister, David (Rati Oneli). They have a young son Giorgi (Saba Gogichaishvili). But Yana begins to question her life after their small church is fire-bombed by a group of extremists, during a service one afternoon.
She is frustrated by local police who have little interest in investigating the attack, even though security camera footage clearly identifies the perpetrators. After being assaulted by a man, Alex (Kakha Kintsurashvili), who claims to be a police officer, Yana sinks deeper into despair, but also finds a steely, though grim, resolve. Beginning is equal parts meditative and unsettling. We sense Yana at times on the verge of catharsis, yet never quite attaining the peace of mind she seeks.
But what of Yana’s shocking act at the conclusion of the story? Is her victim intended as a surrogate for the police officer, Alex, whom we see die, possibly having been poisoned, on a dried out riverbed? Does Yana see the patriarchal abuse of women as a cycle with no end? But a cycle she’ll do the unthinkable to try and curb? This is what I saw in the final scenes of the film.
13 August 2022
I couldn’t go passed the title… A Guide to Dating at the End of the World, trailer, the debut feature of Queensland, Australia, based filmmaker Samuel Gay, which is set in the state’s capital, Brisbane.
The story follows unlucky-in-love Alex (Kerith Atkinson), a thirty-something woman who wakes one morning to find she’s apparently alone in the city, after a Large Hadron Collider experiment somehow dissolves everyone else.
Alex meets John on a blind date set up by her friends, and declares that she ‘wouldn’t see him again even if he were the last man on earth!’ The next day Alex wakes to find that a scientific experiment seems to have wiped out the rest of humanity. The streets of Brisbane are deserted; her annoying boss has disappeared; no longer does she have to put up with her friends trying to set her up with losers. Alex finds that she has the City of Sunshine to herself — at first it’s bliss. No traffic, no queues, no deadlines — though the novelty wears thin after a few weeks of harmless carjacking, home-invasions and tinned food. Until Alex discovers that there is someone else still alive, and it’s John!
The premise reminds me a little of The Quiet Earth — made in 1985 by late New Zealand filmmaker Geoff Murphy — though minus the star crossed lovers. A Guide to Dating at the End of the World premieres in Brisbane on Friday 26 August 2022.