Before we get to our regularly scheduled trailers, I wanted to include a brief eulogy for French experimental filmmaker Chris Marker, who passed away this week one day after celebrating his 91st birthday. Marker is best known for the meditative travelogue Sans Soleil and stunning sci-fi short La Jetée, bending the medium and the brain with its use of still photos (plus inspiring Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys). Both titles are available as a set from Criterion, but you can also watch the latter in full below.
David Mitchell’s 2004 novel Cloud Atlas is one of the most impressive pieces of fiction in recent years, weaving together dizzying narratives, time periods and literary techniques. It’s the kind of thing that could actually work really well as a monster-budget blockbuster with special effects and sets to match the scope of the book. The Wachowskis (creators of the The Matrix series) and Tom Tykwer (director of Run Lola Run) have taken on that daunting task, and they now have a five-minute trailer to show off their star-studded opus. Despite some goofy, meme-worthy costumes from Tom Hanks, it looks like they might have pulled it off.
In other eye-candy news, the brains behind Baraka (and the editor of Koyaanisqatsi) are back with another hugely ambitious effort. Shot entirely on 70mm film, this dialogue-free documentary aims to “explore the wonders of the world, from the mundane to the miraculous.” It’s exactly the kind of hippie-dippie spiritual stuff you’d expect from a film called Samsara, but it’s definitely going to be pretty.
Familiar TV faces Hugh “House” Laurie, Adam “Seth” Brody and Alia “Maeby Fünke” Shawkat bump up to the big screen in this off-kilter comedy. The primary issue spinning the film’s suburban families off their axis is the relationship between Laurie’s father character and the daughter of his next-door neighbours, played by Leighton Meester. It’s a reverse Graduate or American Beauty with more gags.
Speaking of American Beauty, that film’s director Sam Mendes is also at the helm of the upcoming 007 film, which now has a full theatrical trailer. Daniel Craig as back as the world’s buffest Bond, which makes Javier Bardem a fitting foil as the villain. Calling it intense is an understatement, and if this kind of thing is your bag, Skyfall will probably be a hit.
Tai Chi 0
While it’s been described as a “steampunk martial arts movie”, the first regrettable ’90s trend that came to my mind while watching this clip was nu-metal. Regardless, it’s a pretty funny twist on the genre, so I’ll let the action speak for itself.
Jack and Diane
It’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on in this film that’s been described as a “lesbian werewolf drama” (and hasn’t Ginger Snaps already staked out that territory?). Juno Temple and Riley Keough play the love/supernatural interests, while Kylie Minogue is also in the mix somehow. All I know for sure is that the animation looks cool.
This one seems tailor made for the ‘Fridays Without Borders’ TV schedule on Showcase, where it could rest in soft-core purgatory with Red Shoe Diaries and Gia. Ashley Hinshaw, James Franco, Heather Graham and Dev Patel make up the cast for a steamy look at the adult film industry in San Francisco. The trailer’s fairly tame, but it’s probably still NSFW.
Life of Pi
Lastly, if you missed the chance to see a 3D clip before Prometheus or other summer films from Fox, Life of Pi now has a full trailer as well. Ang Lee directed the long-awaited film adaptation of Yann Martel’s beloved novel, so you know it’s going to be epic. If you haven’t read the book, here’s a quick synopsis: A zookeeper’s son is set adrift on the Pacific with a mini-Noah’s Ark, and all kinds of magical mayhem ensues.