Octavio Paz has said: 'an imprisoned man has only to close his eyes to be able to blow up the world.' I would add, in paraphrase: it would suffice for the white pupil of the cinema screen to reflect the light which is proper to it, to blow up the universe. the cinema is capable of putting him into a state of ecstasy more effectively than any other mode of human expression. but more effectively than any other, it is capable of brutalising him. --Luis Bunuel

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin (2014)

Sorry for the lack of quality in this review but I just had to quickly review this film and get it out to share! This is definitely a love it or hate it kind of film. Adapted from a novel of the same name by Michel Faber, Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin is one of the most provocative, experimental, and thought-provoking films to come out this year. There was a lot I left out in the verbal review like how much of this was very much guerrilla filmmaking  as they really approached men on the streets and had hidden camera throughout the streets of Scotland. While at times there was a disconnect for me, Under the Skin is thoroughly an examination of what it means to truly be human and the tragic reality of humanity. Beautiful, unnerving, and powerful. 

I have always adored Scarlett Johansson since her monotoned and angsty self in Ghost World. But she finally surpassed my expectations when I saw her as the ultimate guidette in Joseph Gordon Levitt's Don Jon. She is not only in the biggest blockbusters this year with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Lucy but in indie films like Jon Favreau's Chef and this film! She has had quite a year and now, she can rest with the news of her first baby on the way. Horray! But back to Under the Skin, this is one film you won't soon forget!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mike Cahill's 'I Origins' Poster & Trailer

The first trailer of Mike Cahill's I Origins starring Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Steven Yeun, and Astrid Berges-Frisbey has arrived! I haven't heard much about it since it premiered at Sundance earlier this year but like Another Earth, it took home the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, an award that focuses on science or technology as a theme or depicts a scientist, mathematican, or engineer as a major character. Cahill reunites with Marling once again after they collaborated on his directorial debut film Another Earth which I haven't watched yet but considering how it seems like Cahill likes focusing on the realistic yet fantasy aspects of the world, I am intrigued to see how I Origins will be. If it was any other filmmaker, I would scoff at this incredibly far-fetched premise but somehow, Cahill adds the human element to this story that kind of reminds me of Terrence Malick's To The Wonder with a mixture of science fiction, obviously. I Origins comes out on July 18!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Trailer Reactions: Godzilla (2014)

I absolutely cannot wait for this film to come out so when I heard that there was an extended trailer, I just knew I had to do a reaction and talk about it. Ever since Gareth Edwards' directorial debut, Monsters (2010), he has proven that while aesthetically pleasing visual effects are compelling, it is the story that always help make an exceptionally great film. This story definitely feels more character-driven with the stakes higher than ever and I LOVE IT! I'm going to WonderCon this weekend and they will be having some event for Godzilla so I can't wait what kind of new materials they will reveal considering the incessant amount of different trailers that are coming out just for this one film! The film has a stacked cast of Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, and Sally Hawkins!!! Godzilla comes out May 16! (SO CLOSE!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The 67th Cannes Film Festival Poster!

May I introduce the official poster to the 67th Cannes Film Festival?! I am beyond elated that they are paying tribute to the great Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni in Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 which is one of my all time favorite films. It's no surprise why they decided to have Mastroianni represent their festival this year as he is the ultimate symbol of unconventional cool, innovation, and poetic force in cinema. He's seriously one badass muthafucker! Look how he is just calmly gazing into our souls and enrapturing us in his presence. I can only dream of attending Cannes one day and I know when I do, it'll be exactly how I imagined it: a blissful haven of the utmost excellence in global and modern cinema. The Cannes Film Festival will take place from May 14-25th in Cannes, France. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Poster & Trailer

I AM LIT.ER.ALLY. GOING BONKERS RIGHT NOW!!! Gillian Flynn's best-selling novel, Gone Girl is one of my all-time favorite books and so when I heard that David Fincher was adapting it to screen, I almost collapsed from excitement! Here we are a few months and the first poster and trailer has arrived! The trailer only shows vague snapshots of the story which seems very similar to how the trailer for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was constructed and feels. It showcases classic moody Finchian filmic traits with its green tones, dark mystery themes, and of course, (unrealistically) beautiful people over Elvis Costello's "She" that is so fitting and yet so distracting. 

Gone Girl is a thriller tale of a woman (Rosamund Pike) who disappears on her fifth wedding anniversary, with all the evidence pointing to her husband, Nick (Ben Affleck). As much as I adore Fincher as much as the next film lover, after I saw what he did with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I wasn't so sure how his rendition of Gone Girl would be. But knowing that not only is Flynn writing the screenplay but willing to slaughter he beloved characters to make an entirely different ending, really cemented my undying love and determination to see this film. And from the looks of the trailer, is Amazing Amy  going to live or die at the end. We will only find out on Oct 3!

P.S. I never thought I would watch another Ben Affleck movie ever again. But I guess he is the right man for the job, likeable but also very smug. Rosamund Pike was puuuuurfectly cast for this role, I cannot wait!

Hirokazu Koreeda's I Wish (2011)

Hirokazu Koreeda has once again masterfully constructed another family drama but this time, centered around two brothers who are separated by their parents disintegrating marriage in I Wish. The film is about the powerful notion of family unity as well as the inevitable deterioration and the painful yet calming freedom that comes from it. The original title is Kiseki ("Miracle") and it is a miracle the two brothers, Koichi and Ryu, played by real-life brothers Koki and Ohshiro Maeda wishes for in order to reunite their family. The parents part ways leaving the mom, Nozomi (Nene Ohtsuka) to return to living with her parents with Koichi in her hometown of Kagoshima in which an silent volcano is at the possible cusps of eruption. Meanwhile the father, Kenji stays in Osaka with Ryu to pursue his laid-lack lifestyle of trying to maintain day jobs while attempting to be a guitarist in a band. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Zach Braff's 'Wish I Was Here' Poster & Trailer

Look what we have here! It's been already ten year since Zach Braff made his directorial debut with Garden State which is personally one of my all-time favorite films. EVER. Now, here we are a decade later and with the help of the internet ($$$), he was able to make his sophomore film, Wish I was Here

Side note: How insane that through Kickstarter, he was able to raise more than 2 MILLION dollars in just three days! Absolutely NUTS!

Wish I Was Here is a story of Aidan Bloom, a struggling actor, father, husband, who at 35 is still trying to find his identity and purpose to his life. It sounds just like the premise of Garden State but if we had seen Andrew Largeman move to the City of Angels and had a family. And voila, now we get to! And ding! ding! ding! is that The Shins I hear? For a second, I truly did think I was watching just a trailer of Garden State but with the vivacious energy of another independent film. All though, it is very reminiscent of his first film, it seems to have a lot more elements of adventure, heart, imagination and naturally, maturity.

I'm also so glad to see Kate Hudson back on the big screen as a mom and not as another single thirty-something year old looking for love! The film premiered at Sundance and I haven't heard much buzz but apparently it did sell big time to Focus Features for 2.75 million dollars (WUUUT?!). Hopefully, the film will be good and this is actually the last film James Avery (Uncle Phil of Fresh Prince) was in before he passed away. And despite all the rants from critics and audiences aside, I am most likely going to see this when it comes out on July 25.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)

It's HERE! It's finally HERE! After countless months of updating every nook and cranny of this film from teasers to still to trailers, and posters (see all here) I am so ecstatic to announce that I have seen the greatness that is Jim Jarmusch's long awaited film, Only Lovers Left Alive. Only Lovers Left Alive is seriously one of the most romantic films I have ever seen. Jim Jarmusch is one of the very few filmmakers that know how to make my heart swoon with his endless night roaming, nostalgia for the past, and the presentation of the eternal love between two people. I absolutely adored every aspect of this film especially it's soft yet dark cinematography, the passionate love between Adam and Eve, and simply their rants about the lost world. Only Lovers Left Alive comes out April 11. Wait for it!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Gia Coppola's 'Palo Alto' Poster & Trailer

If you don't know who Gia Coppola is already, you will very soon. Her last name sound a bit familiar? That's right, she is part of the legendary Coppola clan and is taking the same footsteps of her grandfather Francis Ford Coppola and aunt Sofia Coppola. She started out making short films for one of my favorite brands, Opening Ceremony which starred Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartzman (Of course, keep it in the family) and went on doing more with Zac Posen and Diane Von Furstenberg.

Palo Alto will be her directorial debut which is an adaptation of James Franco's short story collection of the same name. This high school drama has an interconnected narrative that surrounds the forbidden relationship between soccer player April (Emma Roberts) and her coach Mr B. (James Franco) who is a single father. Obviously, we all know where this will go. I was a bit apprehensive about hearing this because it seems like the ultimate collaboration of indie hipster celebrities and wasn't sure if the materials were going to be even worthy (maybe just my jealousy talkin'). But after watching the trailer, I am swooning with angst and teenage puppy mushy feelings that is very reminiscent of The Virgin Suicides. I am now incredibly intrigued by the film as it not only stars Franco and Roberts but also Val Kilmer (WUUUT?)

It's interesting to see the trailer now after hearing James Franco's slight scandal of trying to hook up with a 17-year old girl. But I can't help but wonder if this is all just a perfectly executed stunt to promote Palo Alto. Or if Franco really is just infatuated with young females as it is a story he wrote in his book. Either or, I could care less about Franco's personal life and I'm sure girls are smart enough to say no when it's necessary or I can hope (EKK!) Palo Alto will be released in limited theaters on May 9.