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kottke.org posts about trailers

Snowden

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 27, 2016

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Edward Snowden in this film directed by Oliver Stone. I was not at all curious about seeing this, but after watching the trailer, I may give it a shot. See also Citizenfour (which was excellent).

We Work Remotely

The Founder

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 21, 2016

The Founder is about the early years of McDonald’s and how Ray Kroc (played by Michael Keaton) came to gain control of the company. The official McDonald’s corporate history glosses over the events of the film in a few sentences:

In 1954, he visited a restaurant in San Bernardino, California that had purchased several Multi-mixers. There he found a small but successful restaurant run by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald, and was stunned by the effectiveness of their operation. They produced a limited menu, concentrating on just a few items-burgers, fries and beverages-which allowed them to focus on quality and quick service.

Kroc pitched his vision of creating McDonald’s restaurants all over the U.S. to the brothers. In 1955, he founded McDonald’s System, Inc., a predecessor of the McDonald’s Corporation, and six years later bought the exclusive rights to the McDonald’s name. By 1958, McDonald’s had sold its 100 millionth hamburger.

Kroc’s Wikipedia entry provides more flavor:

The agreement was a handshake with split agreement between the parties because Kroc insisted that he could not show the royalty to the investors he had lined up to capitalize his purchase. At the closing table, Kroc became annoyed that the brothers would not transfer to him the real estate and rights to the original unit. The brothers had told Kroc that they were giving the operation, property and all, to the founding employees. Kroc closed the transaction, then refused to acknowledge the royalty portion of the agreement because it wasn’t in writing. The McDonald brothers consistently told Kroc that he could make changes to things like the original blueprint (building codes were different in Illinois than in California), but despite Ray’s pleas, the brothers never sent any formal letters which legally allowed the changes in the chain. Kroc also opened a new McDonald’s restaurant near the McDonald’s (now renamed “The Big M” as they had neglected to retain rights to the name) to force it out of business.

See also some early McDonald’s menus.

Pele: Birth of a Legend

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 20, 2016

Pele: Birth of a Legend is a biopic about the rise of Pele, the Brazilian footballer. It was written and directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, who also directed The Two Escobars, an excellent 30 for 30 film about Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and Colombian footballer Andres Escobar. (via @ivanski)

The Birth of a Nation

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 18, 2016

Written, produced, and directed by Nate Parker, The Birth of a Nation is a film about Nat Turner, the man who led a slave rebellion in Virginia in 1831. The movie won both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at Sundance this year and will be out in theaters in October.

P.S. If the name of the movie sounds familiar, it was deliberately given the same name as D.W. Griffith’s 1915 silent film, which dramatized the formation of the Ku Klux Klan. In an interview, Parker said:

When I endeavored to make this film, I did so with the specific intent of exploring America through the context of identity. So much of the racial injustices we endure today in America are symptomatic of a greater sickness - one we have been systematically conditioned to ignore. From sanitized truths about our forefathers to mis-education regarding this country’s dark days of slavery, we have refused to honestly confront the many afflictions of our past. This disease of denial has served as a massive stumbling block on our way to healing from those wounds. Addressing Griffith’s Birth of a Nation is one of the many steps necessary in treating this disease. Griffith’s film relied heavily on racist propaganda to evoke fear and desperation as a tool to solidify white supremacy as the lifeblood of American sustenance. Not only did this film motivate the massive resurgence of the terror group the Ku Klux Klan and the carnage exacted against people of African descent, it served as the foundation of the film industry we know today.

I’ve reclaimed this title and re-purposed it as a tool to challenge racism and white supremacy in America, to inspire a riotous disposition toward any and all injustice in this country (and abroad) and to promote the kind of honest confrontation that will galvanize our society toward healing and sustained systemic change.

(via trailer town)

For the Love of Spock

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 14, 2016

For the Love of Spock is a documentary about Leonard Nimoy and the beloved character he played on Star Trek. Nimoy’s son Adam is the director, the film was funded with the help of Kickstarter, and is playing at the Tribeca Film Festival this weekend (with special guest appearance by Zachary Quinto).

Koyaanisqatsi trailer recreated using stock footage

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 08, 2016

Koyannistocksi is a shot-by-shot remake of the trailer for Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi using only stock footage.

A testament to Reggio’s influence on contemporary motion photography, and the appropriation of his aesthetic by others for commercial means.

(via @waxpancake)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 07, 2016

The trailer for the first “Star Wars Story” has dropped.1 Rogue One is about how the Rebellion stole the plans for the Death Star before the events of A New Hope. Don’t read the comments on YouTube…there’s whining about how the protagonist is a woman and the cast is diverse. :(

  1. “A Star Wars Story”…that’s a bit of a hamfisted name. Regardless, there are two other “Story” films planned so far that focus on Han Solo (pre-Hope) and Boba Fett (pre-Empire).

Trailer for The Lego Batman Movie

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 24, 2016

People seem to like this, but I don’t know…I’ve got a bad feeling about it. Batman in The Lego Movie was cool and all, but is it enough to hang an entire film around? Not that this question isn’t totally moot…in 10 years, every movie will feature Lego superheroes.

Update: And now there’s a second trailer? Already?

At this rate, we’ll be able to cut the whole movie together by the time it comes out next year, just from the trailers.

Update: The first full trailer is out and, sure, I’ll go see this with the kids when it opens.

(via Trailer Town which also has a few other Lego Batman trailers, so why don’t you go watch them there because Trailer Town is soooo coooool. Oh, oh, you’re leaving? You know what? Fine, go. That’s right go. If you like F’ING TRAILER TOWN SO MUCH, JUST FUC — [sorry, Jason has been invited into the cooldown room for awhile])

Game of Thrones season 6 trailer

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 08, 2016

I said at the end of last season that I wasn’t going to watch this show anymore but as I am a waffling coward, I of course am going to watch it. Not that I probably won’t regret it! Anyway, looks good I guess? Better than reading any of the books at any rate.

Trailer for the new Ghostbusters movie

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 03, 2016

Paul Feig is your director; Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones are your Ghostbusters; and NYC is the backdrop. I hope the movie is better than the trailer.

Update: A second trailer is out:

I love the concept, the cast, and the director. I want this to be good. But I’m just not feeling it from these trailers.

First trailer for Finding Dory

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 02, 2016

Hmm. I… Hmm. Up until Wall-E, Finding Nemo was my favorite Pixar film. And…I’m not sure about this. (via trailer town)

Loving Vincent

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 01, 2016

Loving Vincent is an upcoming feature-length film about Vincent van Gogh that is animated in an unusual way: using 12 oil paintings per second. They’ve trained dozens of painters — and are looking for more if you’re interested — in the style of van Gogh to illustrate every instant of the film. Here are some of the painters working on the movie:

Loving Vincent

Update: A full trailer is out:

(via colossal)

Star Wars episode VIII is now filming

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 15, 2016

Huh. Hollywood has invented a new type of movie trailer: the “we just started filming and here’s 5 seconds of the film that’s basically the last 5 seconds of the previous film” trailer. And whaddya know, idiot bloggers will post it because Star Wars Rey Luke squeeeeeee!!

Lo and Behold, a film about “the connected world” by Werner Herzog

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 20, 2016

Well, holy shit…Werner Herzog has made a film called Lo and Behold about the online world and artificial intelligence.

Lo and Behold traces what Herzog describes as “one of the biggest revolutions we as humans are experiencing,” from its most elevating accomplishments to its darkest corners. Featuring original interviews with cyberspace pioneers and prophets such as Elon Musk, Bob Kahn, and world-famous hacker Kevin Mitnick, the film travels through a series of interconnected episodes that reveal the ways in which the online world has transformed how virtually everything in the real world works, from business to education, space travel to healthcare, and the very heart of how we conduct our personal relationships.

From the trailer, it looks amazing. Gotta see this asap.

Update: Here’s the official trailer for the film:

Have the monks stopped meditating? They all seem to be tweeting.

It’s coming out in theaters and iTunes/Amazon on August 19th. Can’t wait!

Making a Murderer

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 11, 2015

Steven Avery spent 12 years in prison for rape before being exonerated by DNA evidence. After his release, he was charged with murder. Making a Murderer, a new 10-show Netflix series premiering on December 18, will examine Avery’s crimes, a la Serial and The Jinx.

The Nice Guys

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 10, 2015

Am I crazy or does this 70s crime comedy starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling actually look good? I mean, it likely won’t be that good, but entertaining this pleasant fiction will make us happy until next May, when we’ll know for sure. FYI: this is a “red band” trailer, so NSFW and all that.

Trailer for The BFG

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 09, 2015

Here’s the teaser trailer for the Spielberg-directed adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG. Hmm. (via the slick new trailer town)

Update: The full trailer has dropped.

I was about to say something about how Spielberg rarely directs animated films but BFG isn’t actually animated. Or is it? CG has gotten so good and blockbusters so reliant on special effects that it’s hard to tell what’s real. I mean, superhero movies are so laden with special effects that they might as well be considered animated. They’re all basically Who Framed Roger Rabbit? but done so seamlessly that you can’t tell Toontown from the real world.

Don’t Let Kids Play Football

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 07, 2015

Today, the NY Times is running an editorial by Dr. Bennet Omalu called Don’t Let Kids Play Football. Omalu was the first to publish research on CTE in football players.

If a child who plays football is subjected to advanced radiological and neurocognitive studies during the season and several months after the season, there can be evidence of brain damage at the cellular level of brain functioning, even if there were no documented concussions or reported symptoms. If that child continues to play over many seasons, these cellular injuries accumulate to cause irreversible brain damage, which we know now by the name Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or C.T.E., a disease that I first diagnosed in 2002.

Depending on the severity of the condition, the child now has a risk of manifesting symptoms of C.T.E. like major depression, memory loss, suicidal thought and actions, loss of intelligence as well as dementia later in life. C.T.E. has also been linked to drug and alcohol abuse as the child enters his 20s, 30s and 40s.

The story of Omalu, his research, and its suppression by the NFL is the subject of Concussion, a movie starring Will Smith that comes out on Christmas Day, as well as a book version written by Jeanne Marie Laskas.

Update: Dr. James Hamblin shares the findings of a new paper on how repeated head trauma can affect the brains of kids as young as 8.

In the journal Radiology today, an imaging study shows that players ages 8 to 13 who have had no concussion symptoms still show changes associated with traumatic brain injury.

Christopher Whitlow, chief of neuroradiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, wanted to see how head impact affects developing brains. His team studied male football players between ages 8 and 13 over the course of a season, recording “head impact data” using a Head Impact Telemetry System to measure force, which was correlated with video of games and practices.

Trailer for season 2 of Transparent

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 23, 2015

Transparent was my favorite first season of television since Game of Thrones, or maybe even Mad Men. So I’m delighted to see the trailer for the show’s second season, which starts on Dec 11. If you haven’t seen the first season yet, I would highly recommend doing so…this show does so many things right.

Noma: My Perfect Storm

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 20, 2015

Noma: My Perfect Storm is a feature-length documentary about chef René Redzepi and his Copenhagen restaurant Noma, which is currently ranked #3 in the world.

How did Redzepi manage to revolutionize the entire world of gastronomy, inventing the alphabet and vocabulary that would infuse newfound pedigree to Nordic cuisine and establish a new edible world while radically changing the image of the modern chef? His story has the feel of a classic fairy tale: the ugly duckling transformed into a majestic swan, who now reigns over the realm of modern gourmet cuisine.

The film is out Dec 18 in theaters, on Amazon, iTunes, etc.

Zoolander 2 trailer

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 18, 2015

Stiller. Wilson. Cruz. Ferrell. Cumberbatch. Wiig. Bieber? If this is even half the goofy fun of the first one, I will be happy.

Teaser trailer for Finding Dory

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 10, 2015

The teaser trailer for Pixar’s sequel to Finding Nemo is out. I’m excited for this one. Nemo was my favorite Pixar movie for a long while, until Wall-E came out. (via devour)

Japanese trailer for The Force Awakens

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 06, 2015

This is a Japanese trailer for The Force Awakens. It’s similar to the most recent trailer released in the US, but it contains a bunch of new footage. Still no Luke. (via @gavinpurcell)

Chi-raq trailer

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 03, 2015

Have you noticed that non-mainstream films are increasingly being produced/financed/released through Amazon, HBO, and Netflix and not the big studios? The latest example is Spike Lee’s new joint, Chi-raq. Set among the gang violence in modern-day Chicago, the film is an adaptation of an ancient Greek play by Aristophanes called Lysistrata.

Originally performed in classical Athens in 411 BC, it is a comic account of one woman’s extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War. Lysistrata persuades the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace — a strategy, however, that inflames the battle between the sexes. The play is notable for being an early exposé of sexual relations in a male-dominated society.

Even with all the big names attached — Lee, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Samuel L. Jackson, Wesley Snipes, John Cusack — I wonder if a movie with a predominantly African-American cast, strong women characters, and based on an Aristophanes play would get greenlit at a major studio these days.

Trailer for Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 03, 2015

Seven years after his directorial debut with the fantastic Synecdoche, New York comes Charlie Kaufman’s second movie as a director, a stop-motion animated film called Anomalisa. The film successfully raised funds on Kickstarter and will be out in select theaters in December.

The official Star Wars trailer (whatever that means)

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 19, 2015

Trailer: watched. Tickets: bought. Luke Skywalker: still missing.

Hail, Caesar!

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 09, 2015

Hail, Caesar! is the name of the Coen brothers’ new movie. It stars George Clooney as a movie star (what casting!) who is kidnapped during the shooting of a epic Roman gladiator picture called Hail, Caesar! This one looks fun. And with the exception of The Big Lebowski, the Coen’s fun movies are underrated,…I quite enjoyed both Intolerable Cruelty and Burn After Reading.

Hitchcock/Truffaut

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 30, 2015

Kent Jones has directed a documentary on the 1962 meeting where a young François Truffaut interviewed a seasoned Alfred Hitchcock about his films (the output of which was a beloved book). As the narration from the trailer says, “[Truffaut] wanted to free Hitchcock from his reputation as a light entertainer”, to which Peter Bogdanovich adds, “it conclusively changed people’s opinions about Hitchcock”.

In 1962 Hitchcock and Truffaut locked themselves away in Hollywood for a week to excavate the secrets behind the mise-en-scène in cinema. Based on the original recordings of this meeting — used to produce the mythical book Hitchcock/Truffaut — this film illustrates the greatest cinema lesson of all time and plummets us into the world of the creator of Psycho, The Birds, and Vertigo. Hitchcock’s incredibly modern art is elucidated and explained by today’s leading filmmakers: Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Arnaud Desplechin, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Wes Anderson, James Gray, Olivier Assayas, Richard Linklater, Peter Bogdanovich and Paul Schrader.

Truffaut’s recontextualization of Hitchcock and his work reminds me of the point Matt Daniels recently made about younger generations deciding how work from older artists is remembered in his post about timeless music:

Biggie has three of the Top 10 hip-hop songs between 1986 and 1999. This is a strong signal that future generations will remember Biggie as the referent artist of 80s and 90s hip-hop. And there’s No Diggity at the top — perhaps it’s that glorious Dr. Dre verse.

Hip hop heads will lament the omission of Rakim, Public Enemy, or Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt. It’s a depressing reality that exists for every genre and generation: not every artist will be remembered. The incoming generation will control what’s relevant from the 90s and carried into the future, independent of quality and commercial success. For rock, that might be Blink-182. For electronica, that might be Sandstorm.

Take Star Wars as another example. I’ve had conversations recently with other parents whose young kids are really into the series. The way they experience Star Wars is different than my generation. We saw Episodes IV-VI in the theater, on VHS, and on DVD and then saw Episodes I-III in the theater accompanied by various degrees of disappointment and disregard. Elementary school-aged kids today might have watched the prequels first. They read the comics, play the video games, and watch the Clone Wars animated series. To many of them, the hero of the series is Anakin, not Luke.1 And Generation X, as much as we may hate that, there’s not a damn thing we can do about it.2 Unless… there is… another… (via subtraction)

  1. Thanks to Anil or David for this insight…I can’t remember which one of you said it.

  2. You know, the Anakin-as-the-true-hero view has its merits, despite how it was presented in the prequels. Anakin was a good kid who fell because he couldn’t handle the power given him but, in the end, was redeemed by the actions of his children. That’s a solid heroic narrative arc. And, glad you noticed, it ties neatly into what I’m trying to say about younger generations rehabbing older ones.

Human, the film

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 24, 2015

Photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand is known for his aerial photography of the Earth’s landscapes, but in his film Human, he blends his trademark overview style with simply shot interviews with people from all over the world.

Humans made its debut earlier this month and is available in its entirety on YouTube in three 90-minute parts; start here with part one. (via in focus, which is featuring several photos from the film)

The Danish Girl

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 02, 2015

The Danish Girl is an upcoming film starring Eddie Redmayne as transgender pioneer Lili Elbe, who was one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment surgery. It’s based on a novel of the same name which presents a fictionalized account of Elbe’s life.

The film may well net Redmayne another Oscar nomination, but I don’t know how the transgender community will react. From a quick look on Twitter and the past reception of Oscar-hopeful films dealing with similar issues (see The Imitation Game’s portrayal of Alan Turing’s sexuality), I’m guessing it may not be so well-received.