Today may be the spookiest day of the year, but some spooks are better left for later. Take the new British horror film Ghost Stories, which debuted to rave reviews at the London Film Festival. As you might’ve guessed from the generic title, this is a film about ghost stories…but it actually looks great.
Directed by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, who also plays a character named Professor Goodman, the film revolves around a skeptic investigating three cases of alleged hauntings who just wants to find out the truth. Naturally, this leads to a lot of weird, scary shit.
It also leads to Sherlock actor Martin Freeman, who stars alongside Black Mirror’s Alex Lawther, Jill Halfpenny and Paul Whitehouse. The spooky little film will release on Friday the 13th, in April 2018 – so, until then, sit back and enjoy these three teaser trailers.
You’d be forgiven for missing the news that Chance the Rapper is in a horror movie called Slice, because it’s news to us. Two years ago, the movie’s director Austin Vesley announced the project and cited The Joker as an inspiration for Chance’s character; then, a year ago, Chance posted a teaser for the film on his Twitter. Besides that, details have been scarce – until now.
Well, okay, so not really. The preview for the film features only literal slices (clever) from the film, but does introduce more cast members. Alongside Chance the Joker, we have Atlanta and Deadpool 2 actress Zazie Beetz and Joe Keery, who you just fawned over as Steve in the new season of Stranger Things.
So what exactly is Slice? According to Variety, it “takes place in a mysterious city, and centers around an enigmatic outlaw framed for a killing spree that targets unsuspecting pizza delivery boys.” Considering Keery’s biggest role outside of Stranger Things has been a Pizza Hut commercial, this seems like a perfect fit. Maybe now they can give us a full trailer.
It’s a big weekend in the (even) Big(ger) Apple, and there’s plenty of Halloween activities for every spook enthusiast. If you’re not looking to dance the night away in one of New York City’s many All Hallow’s Eve-themed parties, try one of the creepy screenings instead:
It looks like the Man of La Mancha will finally be getting the spotlight.
Disney is making a film adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’ 1607 classic, says The Hollywood Reporter. Billy Ray (The Hunger Games, Captain Phillips) is set to write the script.
Don Quixote follows the tale of an unimportant aristocrat, Alanso Quixano, who deludes himself into thinking he’s a chivalrous night, and embarks on a foolish quest with his squat neighbor, Sancho. The crew find themselves in some unexpectedly funny and dangerous situations.
The plan, then, is to make Don Quixote in a similar style to Pirates of the Caribbean, which, lest we forget, took a supernatural period piece and turned it into a billion dollar series of films and an entire franchise.
Filmmaker Terry Gilliam has unsuccessfully been attempting a Quixote film since the 1990s, first with Johnny Depp at the helm, then Ewan McGregor, and now, in his latest attempts, Adam Driver, though he’s yet to find financing, Vulturereports.
The Austin Film Festival, widely regarded as the “writer’s festival” for its emphasis on selections showcasing innovative and skillful story crafting, today released its second wave of titles to be shown in October. The choices include Loving, from Mud writer/director Jeff Nichols, and Lion, which stars Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel.
The festival runs from October 13-20. Tickets are available on their site. Highlights from their first wave announcement include Gimme Danger, following the story of the Stooges and their legendary lead singer, Iggy Pop, and Brave New Jersey, written and directed by Jody Lambert, which stars Tony Hale (Veep) and Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect).
Here’s the full list of titles included in the festival’s second wave:
Opening Night Film
Writer/Director: Jeff Nichols*
Cast: Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton, Michael Shannon, Nick Kroll
This movie tells the true story of interracial couple Richard and Mildred loving, who overturned Virginia’s laws against black and white people marrying after a decade-long legal battle.
The Big Spoon
Writers: Mallory Culbert, Carlyn Hudson
Director: Carlyn Hudson
Cast: Zach Knighton, Nick Stevenson
Relationships are tested when long-time couple Mallory and Ben plan a quite weekend for themselves and are joined by Mallory’s eccentric roommate and her lover.
The Harvest Run
Writers/Directors: Steven Balvanz*, Aaron McAdams*
This film tells the story of the Colbys, a longtime farming family who are preparing for the annual Harvest Run, a necessary evil in the wheat and corn industry that requires a seven-month journey to be made. This movie takes a look at the hardships faced by those working directly within the chain of the American economy.
Writers/Director: Jake Goldberger
Cast: Freddie Highmore, Odeya Rush, Haley Joel Osment, Christopher Meloni
Charlie Brenner is in his mid twenties and living at home with his mom and stepdad when he meets Amber, a local barista, and begins to wonder where their friendship might lead. Things grow even more complicated when Charlie’s estranged father returns home.
Writer: Luke Davies
Director: Garth Davis
Cast: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara
Adapted from A Long Way Home by
Adapted from the non-fiction book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, Lion follows the challenges a young Indian boy faces after getting on the wrong train, losing his family, and getting taken in by Australians. As an adult, he sets out with next to no leads to find his real birth family.
The Man Who Was Thursday
North American Premiere
Writer/Director: Balazs Juszt
Disgraced local minister Father Smith is sent to Rome to undergo “spiritual rehabilitation,” and sent on an underground mission by his mentor, Charles, in this metaphysical thriller.
Writers: J.D. Singer, Nicholas Zafonte
Director: Nicholas Zafonte
Fifteen years out of school, a pair of college pals bump into each other at a writers’ getaway. Old wounds, longings for creative fulfillment, and nostalgia for once was are all stirred up in this drama.
Writer: Ryan Colucci
Directors: Ryan Colucci, Dragan Roganovic
A long Island drug dealer gets in murky waters when one of his own crosses paths with Serbian gangsters in this gritty drama based on a true story.
For the full schedule, as well as panelists and events happening at the Austin Film Festival, visit their site.
“Priceless,” based on the harrowing true story of a man who inadvertently finds himself complicit in a human trafficking ring, is the debut feature of the Smallbone Brothers–director Ben Smallbone and executive producers David and Luke Smallbone. Based on the trailer, “Priceless,” is a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller shedding light on an all-too-real horror faced by scores of women and children around the world every day.
Priceless is in theaters October 18, distributed by Roadside Attractions.
A few months ago I sat in a Munich conference room with Werner Herzog listening to him talk about, among other things, his upcoming documentary, Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World. He shared anecdotes about interviewing Elon Musk (“It was hard to get any human emotion out of him”), and the semi-staging of the monk shot – a “happy accident” that was both unplanned and essential. That’s just the kind of mysterious magic his films are known for. I was at his Rogue Film School, famous for including lock-picking in the syllabus. But beyond the anarchy he encourages, in filmmaking and in life, the real pleasure of Herzog is in hearing him talk about things he’s enquiring into, because he embodies the zero-fucks-given mentality better than anyone.
In the trailer for Lo and Behold (below), it’s clear Magnolia Pictures is counting on audiences heading to theaters for the iconic filmmaker himself as much as for the à propos subject matter. “The internet is a manifestation of evil itself,” says one woman being interviewed, while another man postulates that future generations may evolve beyond needing any human interaction or companionship altogether. Nothing will depress me more today than that sentiment. But if I have to hear about the downfall of humanity via technology, it’s Herzog’s voice I want lulling me into the seemingly inevitable. Lo and Behold hits theaters August 19.
And for the record, Herzog thinks Musk’s Mars plan is idiotic.
Perhaps a testament to an era of singularly great filmmaking, three exalted veteran directors stole most of the conversation at this year’s Cannes Film Festival—with the announcement coming yesterday that Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake, had won the coveted Palme D’or.
Indeed, Woody Allen’s Café Society had opened the festivities on May 11, with French comedian and Master of Ceremonies Laurent Lafitte delivering the shockingly questionable, Roman Polanksi referencing joke, “It’s very nice that you’ve been shooting so many movies in Europe, even if you are not being convicted for rape in the U.S.” The director seemed to take it in stride, but it set off a media and celebrity firestorm.
Then Paul Verhoeven’s Elle, starring Isabelle Huppert as a rape victim that sets out for revenge, ignited the media’s most fervent socio-cultural conversation around Cannes. Of course, he had caused a similar stir in 1992 with the highly controversial Basic Instinct.
But Loach took the top prize this year for his heartbreaking new neorealist film. His second Palme D’or (including 2006’s The Wind That Shakes The Barley), it tells the story of ailing and unable to work carpenter Daniel Blake (played by Dave Johns), who faces the loss of all his benefits. He befriends single mother Kattie (Hayley Squires), and they together fight for dignity and survival.
Of course, in these times of worsening inequality, there’s a strong ideological undercurrent to the film—even if it’s not foot-on-the-barricades political.
And to be sure, during his acceptance speech, Loach cautioned, “The world we live in is at a dangerous point right now. We are in the grip of a dangerous project of austerity, driven by ideas that we call neo-liberalism, that have brought us to near catastrophe.”
Watch the I, Daniel Blake festival teaser trailer, here:
Basquiat’s work was iconic, imbued with a level of unabashed emotion and power that street art hadn’t seen when he first began wreaking havoc on New York in the ’80s. By addressing charged themes like racism, politics and hypocrisy, the young painter gave new depth to graffiti art and infiltrated the world of high-brow aficionados with a personal, outsider approach.
Designer eyewear brand Etnia Barcelona has tapped into this narrative, creating a capsule collection of sunglasses that incorporate Basquiat-inspired motifs through smart, subtle details. An homage to the late visionary, this exclusive release follows the brand’s mission to develop authentic accessories with an eye for key cultural movements in art and photography.
Four different sunglasses will be available worldwide with patterns based on three original works by Basquiat. Though each individual piece is unique, Etnia Barcelona’s designed the eyewear with three vertices to resemble those hand-drawn, three-point crowns that we’ve grown to associate with Basquiat’s legacy.
A true fusion of substance and style, Etnia Barcelona’s forthcoming capsule sees the release of a fashion film, as well, featuring rapper Oddisee and graphic artist Elle—two contemporary figures who’ve both kept Basquiat’s rebellious energy alive today. Watch, below: