Showing all posts tagged: trailer

Trailer for Heartbreak High second series, airing 11 April 2024

1 April 2024

The first episode of season two of Sydney set, Australian high school drama, Heartbreak High, goes to air on Thursday 11 April 2024. This is a day fans of the rebooted show (which aired in 2022), and indeed the original 1990’s series, will have marked on their calendars.

Check out the trailer. It looks like Sydney based activist Danny Lim has a cameo at some point in the second series. Anyone who’s in Sydney on any sort of regular basis has been seen Lim, pacing the streets, with one of his sometimes controversial sandwich board signs.

In other news, it occurs to me that Heartbreak High makes my high school days, which had their moments (well, one or two…), seem positively sedate in comparison. Maybe that was something to do with the high school I went to though.


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The Acolyte, a new addition to the ever expanding Star Wars universe

28 March 2024

The great thing about the Star Wars universe is the way it can move up down left right forwards and backwards. Like any good fiction franchise, the potential to create new stories, new universes within a universe even, are virtually limitless. This even though I’m way behind on anything Star Wars beyond most of the movies (mainly the Skywalker Saga films) released to date.

But since Disney bought the Star Wars franchise from creator George Lucas, it has been in overdrive expanding exponentially. The Acolyte is the latest offering from this exponentially expanding universe, and is set about one hundred years before events of The Phantom Menace, in what is referred to as the High Republic era.

The trailer looks impressive, and the new show begins streaming on Tuesday 4 June 2024.


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The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, a film by Wes Anderson

9 October 2023

Are we at peak Wes Anderson yet? With Asteroid City still showing in some cinemas, maybe some film-goers would welcome a break from the American filmmaker. If that’s not you though, then check out The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, trailer, a short film made by Anderson, based on the 1977 book of the same name, written by Roald Dahl.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar tells of a man, Henry Sugar, portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, who learns meditation techniques that let him see through things. Things such as playing cards for instance, something that could be advantageous at say a casino. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar had a limited theatrical run in September, but can be streamed on Netflix.


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The Super Models, Cindy, Linda, Christy, and Naomi, reunited

22 September 2023

Nineties supermodels Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington, were household names thirty years ago. At least in my household, that is, because when you had an aspiring fashion photographer in your midst, little that the four did would go unmentioned. But thirty years on, Cindy, Linda, Christy, and Naomi, remain household names, on account of their now legendary trailblazing exploits.

The Super Models, trailer, a four part documentary produced by Apple TV+, which began streaming on Wednesday 20 September 2023, sees Cindy, Linda, Christy, and Naomi reunited thirty years later, and traces their epic story, from the 1980’s onwards:

“The Super Models” travels back to the 1980s, when four women from different corners of the world united in New York. Already forces in their own right, the gravitas they achieved by coming together transcended the industry itself. Their prestige was so extraordinary that it enabled the four to supersede the brands they showcased, making the names Naomi, Cindy, Linda and Christy as prominent as the designers who styled them. Today, the four supermodels remain on the frontlines of culture through activism, philanthropy and business prowess. As the fashion industry continues to redefine itself — and women’s roles within it — this is the ultimate story of power and how four women came together to claim it, paving the way for those to follow.


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A trailer for The Boy and the Heron, a new film by Hayao Miyazaki

7 September 2023

The Boy and the Heron, trailer, is the latest animated feature by Japanese filmmaker and manga artist, Hayao Miyazaki. Released in Japan under the name Kimitachi wa Do Ikiruka, Miyazaki’s latest film is said to be partly autobiographical:

Through encounters with his friends and uncle, The Boy and the Heron follows a teenage boy’s psychological development. He enters a magical world with a talking grey heron after finding an abandoned tower in his new town.

Miyazaki’s previous titles include Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and The Wind Rises. There’s no word yet of an Australian cinematic run, but The Boy and the Heron is scheduled for release in the United States this December, so perhaps it will come our way then.


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Shayda by Noora Niasari, Australia’s 2024 Oscar Best International Feature hopeful

6 September 2023

Shayda, trailer, the debut feature of Iranian born, Melbourne based, Australian writer and filmmaker Noora Niasari, has been selected by Screen Australia as Australia’s entry in the Best International Feature category of the 2024 Oscars.

Based in part on Niasari’s own experiences, Shayda recounts the story of an Iranian woman who is forced to seek refuge in a women’s shelter with her young daughter, for two weeks during Nowruz, the Iranian New Year.

Shayda has already won a number of awards, the World Cinema Audience Award among them, after its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. While the feature had its Australian premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival in August, Shayda commences a theatrical season in Australian cinemas on Thursday 5 October 2023.


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Matildas: The World at Our Feet, a documentary about the Australian women’s soccer team

18 August 2023

The Matildas, the Australian women’s soccer (football) team, had a stellar run during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, hosted by Australia and New Zealand. While they didn’t make it to the final, their passion to succeed won them legions of new fans in Australia, and I dare say, further afield.

The Tillies, as they’re known to some followers, play one last match against Sweden on Saturday 19 August 2023, to determine who wins the 2023 tournament’s bronze medal. Whatever the outcome — whether they are placed third or fourth — 2023 will be Matildas’ best ever result in a World Cup.

If you’d like to learn more about the Matildas, its members, and their 2023 campaign, then the Disney produced documentary, Matildas: The World at Our Feet, trailer, comes highly recommended. I have it on good authority that a New Zealand sports lover became a Matildas fan after seeing this show.

What more can I say?


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Influencer, a film by Kurtis David Harder with Cassandra Naud

27 May 2023

Still from Influencer, a film by Kurtis David Harder

Still from Influencer, a film by Kurtis David Harder.

Being a social media influencer isn’t all sunshine and double shot half decaf blonde espresso cappuccinos with caramel drizzle. There’s a dark, and dangerous, side to this occupation. That you should have learned after seeing Sissy, a horror/thriller made in early 2022 by Australian filmmakers Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes.

Influencer, trailer, by Canadian filmmaker Kurtis David Harder, also a horror/thriller, set in Thailand, sees a young, worldly, traveller CW (Cassandra Naud) prey on social media influencers who venture into the region. One of her targets is Madison (Emily Tennant), who spruiks skincare products. Although her socials suggest otherwise, Madison isn’t quite enjoying Thailand as much as she hoped.

Madison’s vulnerability makes her the perfect target for CW, and before long the new friends are taking a boat trip to the obligatory secluded island. One can only imagine what happens next. I can’t find any information about a cinematic release in Australia for Influencer, but you may be able to stream the film on Shudder.


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A big anniversary, twenty five years of The Big Lebowski

17 April 2023

The Big Lebowski, movie poster

It’s not being remade, but it is being re-released. Whether you’re ready or not. The Big Lebowski, trailer, the slapstick comedy crime caper by American filmmaking auteurs, Joel and Ethan Coen, is having a special theatrical re-run in some parts of the world this week. The move marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the film’s release in March 1998.

For those who (somehow) missed it earlier, The Big Lebowski follows a couple of chaotic days in the life of easy-going stoner Jeff “the dude” Lebowski (Jeff Bridges).

Debt collectors arrive at his house demanding payment of a loan. They quickly realise they’re at the wrong Jeff Lebowski’s place, and leave. But not before damaging some of the dude’s belongings. Upset, the dude tracks down the other Jeff Lebowski, being the “big” Lebowski (David Huddleston), the debt collectors’ actual target, and demands compensation.

When the big Lebowski refuses, the dude steals a rug from his house. Soon after, the big Lebowski receives a ransom note from someone claiming to have kidnapped his wife. He asks the dude to help him find her. Walter (John Goodman), a friend of the dude, who thinks the kidnapping is a sham, hatches a plan for them to keep the ransom money the big Lebowski gave the dude.

Needless to say, the idea turns out to be terrible. Soon rival gangs, the big Lebowski, and the police, are after the dude, his friends, and the million dollar ransom money.

The Coen Brothers said the idea for The Big Lebowski came partly from the work of American-British author Raymond Chandler. The character of the dude, meanwhile, was reputedly inspired by Jeff Dowd, an American film producer, and political activist. While the film did not fare all that well on release — it garnered mixed reviews, and had a relatively modest box office take — The Big Lebowski gained a cult following in later years.

While fans in America will have the chance to see screenings on Sunday 16 April, and Thursday 20 April 2023, in selected cinemas in the United States, Australian fans will need to be a little more patient. And they may have to be prepared to travel. So far, the only upcoming cinema screening I can find of The Big Lebowski in Australia, is at the Wallis Piccadilly, in the South Australian capital, Adelaide, on Friday 28 July 2023.


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Beau Is Afraid, a batshit crazy new film with Joaquin Phoenix

10 April 2023

Beau Is Afraid, trailer, is the latest feature by American screenwriter and filmmaker Ari Aster. If there were only one word to sum up Aster’s work, uncomfortable would surely be it. His 2018 debut, Heredity, a supernatural thriller, about a family whose members become possessed by demons, was described as “harrowing” and “disturbing”.

Midsommar, his second feature made in 2020, portrays a couple who find themselves in the grip of a pagan cult. While Midsommar also unsettled audiences, it didn’t enjoy quite the same critical reception as Heredity. The impact Beau Is Afraid has on audiences remains to be seen, but with a billing as “surrealist black comedy horror”, it seems likely to linger in the minds of viewers long after the screening ends.

Beau Is Afraid, a Kafkaesque nightmare comedy

Beau Wassermann (Joaquin Phoenix) is a jittery middle-aged man, who is burdened with self-doubt. He is the son of a domineering mother, and a father he never knew. When his mother dies suddenly, Beau sets off for his childhood home. But the journey he takes is no ordinary one. It is more of an odyssey, a surreal odyssey. He traverses nightmare like dreamscapes, as a boy and an old man, where he comes face to face with his (plentiful) fears and insecurities along the way.

Interestingly, Beau Is Afraid is based on a short film Aster made in 2011 called Beau. Aster’s short is about a middle-aged man who attempts to visit his mother, but is unable to leave home after his house keys mysteriously vanish. Their disappearance sets in motion a sequence of strange and terrifying events. While Beau featured Billy Mayo, Aster has turned to Joaquin Phoenix to portray the troubled lead in Beau Is Afraid.

Joaquin Phoenix, master of the dark streak

A filmmaker would be hard pressed to find a more talented actor to take on the role of the depraved — albeit outwardly mild-mannered — Beau, than Puerto Rican born American actor Phoenix. His work in Todd Phillips’ 2019 feature, Joker, an origin story about Batman’s long-time nemesis, speaks for itself. But Phoenix’s ability to layer darkness upon the characters he portrays came to the fore in 2005’s Walk the Line, James Mangold’s biopic of late American country singer Johnny Cash.

When it comes to drawing out the dark streak in a person, Phoenix might be in his element though when he is the subject. This was the case in the Casey Affleck made mockumentary I’m Still Here, from 2010. Here Phoenix — in collaboration with Affleck — succeeded in making audiences believe he was giving up his acting career to become a hip hop artist. The ruse had credibility after Phoenix had earlier told television host David Letterman this was his intention.

But it was the candid scenes of Phoenix’s private life, while at home, that possibly left a lasting impression on those who saw I’m Still Here. Without spoiling proceedings too much more for those yet to partake, there was plenty that could not be unseen, nor unheard. From the little we’ve seen of Phoenix’s portrayal of Beau so far, calling it a comedic exaggeration and extension of Phoenix’s portrayal of himself in I’m Still Here, may not be too far off the mark.

Beau Is Afraid by Ari Aster, film poster

Beau Is Afraid is not for the faint of heart

Unless, that is, a three hour foray — yes, that’s right, Beau Is Afraid has a run time of almost three hours — of Kafkaesque proportions, into the mind of a disturbed person, is your thing. Quite possibly though Aster’s third feature may have been longer. During a discussion in June 2020, with the Associated Students Program Board, Aster said he was working on a “nightmare comedy” of four hours duration, that, at the time, was named Disappointment Blvd.

Four hours of Kafkaesque nightmare comedy might have been a bit much though. Three hours seemed like a struggle as it was, especially for Phoenix, with reports that he fainted during filming of a particularly intense scene.

When do we get to see this?

Beau Is Afraid had its world premiere at a surprise screening in New York, on Saturday 1 April 2023, in what was something of an April fool’s joke. Attendees were under the impression they were going to see a director’s cut of Midsommar, until Emma Stone, the event’s MC, informed them otherwise.

Beau Is Afraid meanwhile opens in Australian cinemas on Thursday 20 April 2023.


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