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"What would the truth bring?" "Only more pain." Music Box Films has released a new official US trailer for the indie film Frantz, the latest film from prolific French director François Ozon. This played at the Venice and Telluride Film Festival last fall to very positive reviews, and it also played at the Sundance Film Festival this January. Frantz is set after WWI, but before WWII, in Germany with a story about two people who connect after the first Great War. French actor Pierre Niney, star of the biopic Yves Saint Laurent, plays the French man who comes to a small German town and places flowers on the grave of a deceased man named Frantz. There he meets Frantz's widow Anna, played by German actress Paula Beer. Also starring Ernst Stötzner, Marie Gruber, Johann von Bülow, Anton von Lucke & Cyrielle Clair. See below.
I love movie theaters. Every time I walk into one, I get the feeling I'm at home again. They are my places of worship, they are my cathedrals, they are my palaces. Every last city in the world has their own unique set of movie theaters, usually with an extensive and interesting history behind each one. Over the last 10 days of the 2017 Berlin Film Festival (aka "Berlinale") I was able to explore a number of different venues for screenings all over the city. I really love Berlin, and it's now my home where I live, but I'm still exploring and still going to places I've never been before. Looking back over this year's festival, I wanted to highlight a few of the gorgeous movie palaces I visited and share some photos of these places, since they're all so lovely.
"I would know if I was a replicant!" We're always on the lookout for good sci-fi short films. Tears In The Rain is an intriguing little short from South Africa that is clearly directly inspired by Blade Runner, set in the world of Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. This short was made on a budget of only $1500 which is crazy impressive, and it looks great. I wish there was more taking place outside on the streets, but it's still cool to see a well-made short film set in this world, and I can always appreciate some fascinating dialogue. This gets deep into the themes from the original novel about free will and whether or not our memories are real, and if we would know that we're a robot, or are just designed to think we're real.
"Why does the sword reveal itself now?" Warner Bros has unveiled another new trailer for Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, the new take on the legendary King Arthur story. As we know from the previous trailer, Ritchie's style stands out in particular, making this look a bit more unique than other versions of this story. Charlie Hunnam stars as the new King Arthur with a cast including Jude Law, Annabelle Wallis, Katie McGrath, Eric Bana, Djimon Hounsou, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Tom Wu, as well as Aidan Gillen. I really, really like this new trailer. The music is perfect, the way it's edited is exciting, I am totally sold. I don't know if it will be good, but this trailer definitely gets me hyped to see this.
With just one week to go until the Academy Awards, the Writers Guild of America has announced the winners of the 2017 WGA Awards. Last year, the big WGA winners were Spotlight (Original), written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy, as well as The Big Short (Adapted), written by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay; plus Alex Gibney's Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief winning the award for Best Documentary. What have fellow writers determined to be the best scripts of 2016? The big winners are Arrival (Adapted), written by Eric Heisserer adapted from Ted Chiang's short story, and Moonlight (Original), written by Barry Jenkins. I'm so happy for both of these outstanding films! Congrats to both.
"You'll meet artists, scientists, animators, coders, sculptors, all kinds of different people." This is totally wonderful. Khan Academy has partnered with Pixar to launch a new instructional series titled "Pixar in a Box". The idea is to launch an intensive course to teach people how to make computer animated movies like Pixar, teaching the entire process. To announce the series, Pixar made a video that explains step-by-step how they make a movie. It's one of the most exciting and impressive inside looks at the studio that I've ever seen, breaking down every last part of the process. This seriously makes me wish I worked for Pixar, what a dream. But that's the point! They want you to realize that dream can come true, you need to start learning. For now, watch this and discover what it takes to create a feature animated film. There's so much involved.
As another film festival comes to an end, it's time to celebrate and commemorate with the announcement of the awards. The 67th Berlin Film Festival just ended (my own recap is coming soon), and the winners were announced at the Closing Ceremony, including the winner of the coveted Golden Bear for Best Film. That top prize was given to a film called On Body and Soul, described as an "unusual love story set in the everyday world", directed by Hungarian filmmaker Ildikó Enyedi (seen above). Oddly, I missed most of the big winners this year, except for the Polish film Spoor, which was one of my favorites of the fest (read my review). I'm also happy with A Fantastic Woman getting some recognition. Read on for all the winners.
Let's make this clear right at the start - this is not another Marvel Studios movie. Logan is a stand-alone, outstanding, one-of-a-kind X-Men movie made for adults. It's violent as all hell, emotional and captivating, gritty and grounded, and exciting to experience. Director James Mangold really hit a home run with this one, bucking the trend and going with his gut to deliver a superb "Wolverine Western". I had to see Logan twice at the Berlin Film Festival before writing this review, to confirm how awesome it is. I haven't enjoyed watching an X-Men movie this much in such a long time, and I'd say this is easily one of the best X-Men movies. It's not really an X-Men movie, but it actually is - there's so much mutant mythology hidden within.
Nothing like watching artists work. Final Portrait is a film directed by Stanley Tucci (of Blind Date, The Impostors, Big Night previously) starring actor Geoffrey Rush playing the famed Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti. If you don't know who Giacometti is, it's better to get acquainted with him and his incredible sculpture work before getting into this film. Final Portrait tells the story of, literally, his final portrait as an artist - a painting he did of an American novelist who was visiting Paris, where his studio was, in the 1960s. The film has a small, intimate feel to it exploring the pained life and quirky antics of a great artist, which is becoming increasingly common these days (e.g. Inside Llewyn Davis, Maudie, Mr. Turner, Love & Mercy).
"Five little Rangers - how cute." Lionsgate has unveiled another brand new 60-second trailer for the Power Rangers movie, directed by Dean Israelite, in theaters in March - about a month from now. The full trailer hit just last month, but this new trailer has even more footage - including a few scenes with Rita Repulsa gearing up to take on the cute little Power Rangers. The cast is lead by: Naomi Scott as The Pink Ranger, Becky G. as The Yellow Ranger, Ludi Lin as The Black Ranger, RJ Cyler as The Blue Ranger, and Dacre Montgomery as The Red Ranger. Also starring Bryan Cranston as Zordon, Bill Hader as the voice of Alpha 5, Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa, as well as David Denman, Sarah Grey, Emily Maddison, and Caroline Cave. I'm not sure if this will be any good in the end, but it does look like it'll be fun to see.