Trailers postsThursday June 04, 2015
Trailer: Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll
I saw this yesterday at the Seattle International Film Festival and recommend it highly:
It's recent Cambodian history—from independence in 1953, to constitutional monarchy under King Norodom Sihanouk, to the 1970 coup by Gen. Lon Nol, to the bloody takeover by the Khmer Rouge in 1975—as seen through popular music. The history is tragic, the music energetic. Interestingly, Cambodia was initially more influenced by European rock and roll stars such as Johnny Hallyday and Cliff Richard rather than the American progenitors: Elvis, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly. U.S. rock became more prevalent once U.S. armed forces arrived in South Vietnam and the radio began playing Wilson Pickett and James Brown.
A key line in the doc (and in the trailer: 2:05) is about life under the Khmer Rouge:
If you want to eliminate values from past societies, you have to elminate the artists.
It's a line that resonates beyond its tragic meaning in Cambodia. You wonder, in fact, if we've done something similar in the U.S. but via the free market. What's popular now isn't generally artistic and what's artistic isn't generally popular.
Wednesday's showing was its last at SIFF but look for it in the usual places. Saturday, for those interested, I'll be seeing a documentary on Cambodia's Dr. Haing S. Noir who won an Academy Award in “The Killing Fields” and who was murdered under mysterious circumstances in 1996.
I saw “Theeb” last night at the Harvard Exit and it's the best movie I've seen so far at SIFF 2015. Unfortunately, that was its last showing at the festival, but be on the lookout for it. Maybe it'll get a limited release in this country. Maybe. If we're smart. Otherwise, the usual suspects: Netflix, Fandor, et al.
Here's the trailer:
My review will be up soon.
It's a rare beast: an arthouse film that is also a great adventure story.
Trailer: Black Mass (2015)
Welcome back, Johnny Depp. Your third go-round as a gangster looks like a winner:
- Movie review: “Whitey: United States of America v. James G. Bulger”
- MSNBC article: Johnny Depp: American Original
- The Johny Depp posts
The Best Thing About the 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' Trailer
I was away on business last week and didn't see the “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” trailer until today:
Here's what I like about it: They're following the original line of thought David S. Goyer had when he came up with the concept for “Man of Steel”: If a super-powered alien actually came to Earth, people would freak.
Here are some of the things we hear from people in the beginning of the trailer. It's a lot of back-and-forth, in which, in the end, the detractors drown out more reasoned arguments:
- Charlie Rose: Is it really surprising that the most powerful man in the world should be a figure of controversy?
- We as a population on this planet have been looking for a savior.
- Neil DeGrasse Tyson: We're talking about a being whose very existence challenges our own sense of priorities in the universe. (Background: They're not telling us the truth.) (Chant: Our planet!)
- Lex Luthor: Human beings have a horrible track record of following people with great power.
- Power corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutely.
- Maybe he's just a guy trying to do the right thing. (Background: We know better now, don't we?)
- Lex Luthor: Devils don't come from hell ... They come from the sky.
- Chant: Go home! Go home! Go home!
All of which leads to a confrontation between Superman, floating, and Batman, armored up, with Batman saying, “Tell me: Do you bleed?” And then, “You will.”
That confrontation is very “The Dark Knight Returns,” but the reasoning behind it has been updated. Frank Miller portrayed Superman as a tool of Big Government while this movie, or at least this trailer, portrays Batman as a dupe of a Fox-News-like propaganda campaign against Superman. In a way, Superman is like Pres. Obama here. He's doing good and being called the anti-Christ for it. I wouldn't be surprised if someone asks for Supes' birth certificate.
The thing is still in the hands of Zack Snyder, though, so most likely it'll be dumbed down by the time it arrives in theaters. Which, oddly, is next March. March? Isn't that a month for lesser films? And why does Batman get top billing? I'm also amused by the use of “v” for “vs” or “versus.” It's as if they're suing each other in court.
Savior: In the real world, this can't end well.
Trailer: Night Will Fall (2014)
The story on it here. I apologize for The Guardian's video ads that start playing after 30 seconds or so. Recommendation: mute before reading.