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Întrebări fulger, trailere, recomandări și materiale speciale prezentate în weekend-uri de echipa noastră video

  • Back Stories: Ada Galeș

  • Back Stories: Judith State

  • Back Stories: Premiile Gopo 2022

  • Back Stories: Alec Secăreanu

  • Back Stories: Mădălina Craiu

  • (Română) Back Stories: Ioana Bugarin

  • Back Stories: Ilinca Hărnuț

  • Back stories: Bogdan Dumitrache

  • Calin & Flavia Back Stories

  • Back stories: Ionut Mares

  • Back Stories: Gopo Awards

  • Back Stories: Anamaria Antoci and Alex Trăilă

  • Back Stories: Aida Economu

  • Back Stories: Tudor Giurgiu

  • Back Stories: Ștefan Iancu

  • Back Stories: Diana Cavallioti

  • Back stories: Serban Pavlu

  • 3 movie recommendations: American Independent Film Festival

  • 3 movie recommendations: Ada Solomon

  • 3 movie recommendations: Bogdan Theodor Olteanu

  • 3 recomandări de filme: Tudor Mircea

  • FiF x Gopo: Interview with 5 Gopo Winners

  • 3 movie recommendations: Behind the scenes

  • 3 movie recommendations: Eugen Kelemen

  • 3 movie recommendations: Rodica Lazăr

  • 3 movie recommendations: Dorian Boguță

  • 3 movie recommendations: Aida Economu

  • 3 movie recommendations: Paul Negoescu

  • 3 movie recommendations: Olimpia Melinte

     

  • 3 movie recommendations: Anghel Damian

  • 3 movie recommendations: Victoria Răileanu

  • 3 movie recommendations: American Independent Film Festival

    (Română) Întrebări fulger, discuții, recomandări și materiale speciale prezentate bi-lunar de echipa noastră video în zilele de miercuri. Întrebări fulger, discuții, recomandări și materiale speciale prezentate bi-lunar de echipa noastră video în zilele de miercuri

  • 3 movie recommendations: Ada Solomon

    (Română) Întrebări fulger, discuții, recomandări și materiale speciale prezentate bi-lunar de echipa noastră video în zilele de miercuri. Întrebări fulger, discuții, recomandări și materiale speciale prezentate bi-lunar de echipa noastră video în zilele de miercuri

  • 3 movie recommendations: Bogdan Theodor Olteanu

    (Română) Întrebări fulger, discuții, recomandări și materiale speciale prezentate bi-lunar de echipa noastră video în zilele de miercuri. Întrebări fulger, discuții, recomandări și materiale speciale prezentate bi-lunar de echipa noastră video în zilele de miercuri

  • 3 recomandări de filme: Tudor Mircea

  • 3 movie recommendations: Eugen Kelemen

  • 3 movie recommendations: Rodica Lazăr

  • 3 movie recommendations: Dorian Boguță

  • 3 movie recommendations: Aida Economu

  • 3 movie recommendations: Paul Negoescu

  • 3 movie recommendations: Olimpia Melinte

     

  • 3 movie recommendations: Anghel Damian

  • 3 movie recommendations: Victoria Răileanu

  • June’s Trailer Recommendations

    “Purtata fetelor”, the Romanian traditional girls’ processional walking dance from Căpâlna village, playing on the soundtrack of a superhero blockbuster’s trailer? Now we’ve seen everything. Our list of recommendations for this month includes five titles showing at the Transilvania International Film Festival (June 17-26, Cluj-Napoca), but also the hottest upcoming Netflix series.

    From TIFF.21
    The Passengers of the Night (drama, dir. Mikhaël Hers)

    In 2018, Mikhaël Hers made a splash with Amanda, awarded in Venice and considered one of the most touching films of the year. In 2022, Hers attempts the same with The Passengers of the Night and now he has the expressive Charlotte Gainsbourg by his side, starring here as Elizabeth, a housewife left by her husband who tries to start over. A job on a night-time radio show and meeting a troubled teenager will teach the heroine that it only takes time and an open mind to learn that what seemed like losing her family could be an opportunity for self-discovery.

    Cool Fact: French star Emmanuelle Béart plays Elizabeth’s boss.

    Coming out in cinemas on September 16.

    The Good Boss (comedy, dir. Fernando León de Aranoa)

    We all know that “better is the enemy of good”, but there are few films that explore this old saying in a more comical way than The Good Boss, a comedy for which director and screenwriter Fernando León de Aranoa teams up again with Javier Bardem two decades after their first mega-hit, Mondays in the Sun. Bardem is Blanco, the owner of a successful family-run business, which makes him feel that he deserves the award for excellence granted to local businesses. And just when everything needs to be perfect, there is trouble at every turn, and Blanco will have to resort to more and more crazy and desperate solutions in order not to ruin his dream. And something tells us that he will learn a lesson as hard as it is necessary…

    Cool Fact: Highly praised by both audiences and critics, The Good Boss has won six Goya Awards this year, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor.

    Coming out in cinemas on November 4.

    Alcarràs (drama, dir. Carla Simón)

    In 2017, Catalan director Carla Simón was making her debut with Summer 1993 (also presented at TIFF), which ended up winning over 40 international awards, including Best Debut at Berlinale. In Alcarràs, Simón revisits the topic of loss, approached in her first film, but completely changes the context: instead of the little girl who loses her parents, we now have a family in danger of losing their livelihood. Peach farmers for generations, the members of the Solé family find out that the owner of the land where they have their orchard wants to install solar panels instead. The news is a major blow to the family and they all must face the threat that the future will be different from everything they knew before.

    Cool Fact: The main cast of this Berlinale Golden Bear-winner is made up of non-professional actors and it’s their first experience in front of the camera.

    Coming out in cinemas on July 15.

    Happening (drama, dir. Audrey Diwan)

    Audrey Diwan’s film won the Golden Lion and the FIPRESCI Award last year at the Venice Film Festival, but probably more interesting for Romanian moviegoers is the fact that the film stars Romanian actress Anamaria Vartolomei, who won the César Award for Most Promising Actress for her performance. Vartolomei plays Anne, a student who is keen on finishing her studies, aware that a college degree is crucial for having a better future. But Anne gets pregnant, and because the story takes place in 1960s France, abortion is illegal. The film explores not only the difficult choice Anne has to make but also its consequences.

    Cool Fact: Also showing at TIFF is Call Jane, a film that presents a similar reality happening in the same period, this time in the United States.

    Coming out in cinemas on June 24.

    Pam & Tommy (biographical drama miniseries, created by Robert Siegel)

    The miniseries is available in Romania on the recently launched streaming platform, Disney+, but audiences at TIFF can see the first two episodes in the increasingly popular section dedicated to TV series, Coming Up Next. In 1995, Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee got married just four days after they met and soon shocked the whole world after making a sex tape, which ended up in the wrong hands. Creator Robert Siegel takes the opportunity to discuss generous topics such as invasion of privacy, the trappings of fame, and last but not least, the rise of the Internet, with all its advantages and disadvantages.

    Cool Fact: Romanian-born actor Sebastian Stan plays Tommy Lee, in one of the most promising roles of his career.

    Super-fresh
    1899 (mystery-horror series, created by Baran bo Odar & Jantje Friese)

    If you haven’t seen Dark yet, the German superhit on Netflix, it’s time to do it, because this project by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese immediately became one of the most commented series of the last decade. The creators are back this fall with 1899, a new mystery series (don’t get frustrated if the teaser doesn’t say much), whose action takes place on a transatlantic ship in 1899. The ship full of emigrants from all walks of life whose dream is a better life in America will come across a boat drifting on the waters of the Pacific. We don’t know more details at this time, but rumor has it that the encounter between the two ships will lead to horror experiences for all involved.

    Cool Fact: 1899 stars German actor Andreas Pietschmann, who also appeared in Dark, and the lead female role is played by Emily Beecham, who moved effortlessly from the sci-fi martial arts series Into the Badlands to Little Joe, the film that got her the Best Actress award at Cannes in 2019.

    Set to premiere on Netflix in Autumn/Winter 2022.

    Guilty Pleasure & Super-fresh
    Black Adam (superhero film, dir. Jaume Collet-Serra)

    You might think that antiheroes should be more captivating than superheroes, for the simple reason that they can take greater liberties in choosing to go either good or dark side. Unfortunately, recent films (especially Venom 2 and Morbius) have failed to honor this freedom of choice, so now we’re hoping that Black Adam will restore the antihero’s potential on the big screen. Played by Dwayne Johnson, Black Adam got his extraordinary powers from the Egyptian gods 5,000 years ago but was soon imprisoned after that. Released in our time, the hero wants to clear his name, but his choices are often rather questionable and sometimes deadly to ordinary people …

    Cool Fact: The song on the soundtrack, Murder to Excellence by Kanye West and Jay Z, includes a sample from the Romanian folkloric dance “Purtata fetelor de la Căpâlna”.

    Coming out in cinemas on October 21.

    Nope (science fiction, horror, dir. Jordan Peele)

    Wait, are those really aliens? When American movies often have the complexity of a children’s stories, Jordan Peele never hesitates to knock out the audience’s expectations with his unclassifiable films. After Get Out and Us, the history seems to repeat itself with his latest effort, Nope, which follows two siblings (Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer) who are in for a shock when their father is killed by random objects falling from the sky. It isn’t long before an unidentified (and apparently lethal) flying object enters the scene, and the two siblings think that if they capture video evidence of the UFO and then sell it, they will become rich. But things are far from being that simple.

    Cool Fact: The script written by Peele promotes a unique concept, that of “bad miracle”. We only hope that the film meets the public’s expectations and reveals its great mystery, meaning the identity and intentions of the invaders.

    Coming out in cinemas on August 19.

    This month also sees the theatrical release of the long-awaited biographical film Elvis, included in the March edition of our column.

    “Purtata fetelor”, the Romanian traditional girls’ processional walking dance from Căpâlna village, playing on the soundtrack of a superhero blockbuster’s trailer? Now we’ve seen everything. Our list of recommendations for this month includes five titles showing at the Transilvania International Film Festival (June 17-26, Cluj-Napoca), but also the hottest upcoming Netflix series.

  • May’s Trailer Recommendations

    Cinema or streaming platforms? It’s a hard choice, especially now when the streaming world offers three titles that are impossible to say no to. We add to our list of recommendations a psychological thriller, a classic comedy (still relevant to the times we’re living) and two documentaries screening at One World Romania #15, which starts on Friday, May 13.

    The Time Traveler’s Wife (science-fiction romantic-drama series, created by Steven Moffat)

    Audrey Niffenegger’s novel of the same name was adapted into a feature film in 2009, but Steven Moffat’s new miniseries is more likely to do justice to this unexpected combination of science-fiction and romance. The premise is more than exciting: what if your husband suffered from a genetic disorder that caused him to randomly time travel? How does a relationship survive when one of the partners magically disappears and the other has no guarantee that they will return? It’s easy to get distracted by the science-fiction element, but The Time Traveler’s Wife is more about how to keep your love alive while facing life’s greatest challenges.

    Cool Fact: The novel offers a unique perspective on time travel, usually seen as a superpower or as a miracle of technology in science-fiction movies. Both the novel and the series treat this ability of the hero as a handicap that constantly threatens his life.

    The series premieres on May 16, on HBO Max.

    Borgen – Power & Glory (political drama series, created by Adam Price)

    Borgen (2010-2013) is one of the most popular Scandinavian series of all time, and now the itinerary of the idealistic (but sometimes relentless) politician Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen) resumes in a fourth season set to be released on Netflix as a separate series. The action takes place in present times with Birgitte now serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs, being elected after proposing a complex program aimed at combating climate change. But oil has been discovered in Greenland, and Birgitte will have to find smart ways to compromise between her green political ideals and the greed of several countries, including Russia, which is desperate to capitalize on those deposits.

    Cool Fact: Each episode begins with an epigraph that encapsulates Birgitte’s challenges. For example: “Let China sleep, for when she wakens, the world will tremble.” (Napoleon Bonaparte)

    The series premieres on June 2, on Netflix.

    Superfresh

    Avatar: The Way of Water (science-fiction, dir. James Cameron)

    Critics may have ridiculed Avatar for reproducing most of the moments and conflicts in Pocahontas, but James Cameron’s 2009 epic science fiction is still the highest-grossing movie of all time and dazzled audiences with its special effects and ground-breaking 3D. We don’t know much about the long-awaited sequel, The Way of Water, but the director, this time seconded by Disney studios, seems once again determined to impress with state-of-the-art special effects. “I know one thing: wherever we go, this family is our fortress,” says Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) in the trailer, and something tells me that this fortress will be subjected to a brutal siege.

    Cool Fact: To re-acquaint the public with the planet Pandora, Disney will re-release Avatar in September in a remastered version.

    Coming out in cinemas on December 16.

    Don’t Worry Darling (psychological thriller, dir. Olivia Wilde)

    Actress Olivia Wilde has made her directorial debut with Booksmart, a critically acclaimed coming-of-age comedy, and her second film, Don’t Worry Darling, looks far, far more ambitious. Starring Harry Styles (who seems determined to make it big in cinema too, not just in music) and Florence Pugh, the film explores an experimental community in the 1950s, where men spend their days working in the mysterious factory owned by the community leader (Chris Pine), while housewives fill their time as best they can. Everything seems perfect – especially in the perpetual sunset developed by Oscar-nominated cinematographer Matthew Libatique (A Star Is Born, Black Swan) – but we’ll soon see that this is just a facade.

    Cool Fact: Harry Styles was not the director’s first choice for the role he is playing, but Shia LaBeouf, only he was fired for his problematic behavior.

    Coming out in cinemas on September 23.

    Guilty Pleasure

    Obi-Wan Kenobi (science-fiction miniseries, dir. Deborah Chow)

    I know, some Films in Frame readers will find it more than bizarre that I included this trailer in the “Guilty Pleasures” section, but after watching The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, I have the (very unpopular!) opinion that the Star Wars series are somehow aimless and only have the modest ambition to fill the gaps in the biography of some of the popular characters of the franchise. Obi-Wan Kenobi has the advantage of reactivating the franchise’s biggest antagonist, Darth Vader, and an engaging premise: after his mentoring failed and losing Anakin Skywalker to the dark side of the Force, Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) has a chance to atone for his mistakes by training little Luke, Anakin’s son.

    Cool Fact: Hayden Christensen, who plays Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in Episodes II and III of the Star Wars franchise, gave up acting for a few years to break away from unwanted fame. In this series, Christensen returns to the most emblematic role of his career.

    Worldwide premiere on May 25. The streaming service Disney+ will be launched in Romania on June 14.

    Oldies, but Goldies

    The Great Dictator (comedy, dir. Charlie Chaplin)

    If you’re wondering what classic comedy to (re)watch, there probably isn’t a better option than this Charlie Chaplin superhit. The film came out in 1940, when Adolf Hitler had already unleashed the Nazi army on Europe, and Chaplin’s scathing satire made fun of this threat that killed millions of people. The Great Dictator can now be seen in the light of the United States’ involvement in the war in Ukraine, and with different eyes: from the comfortable distance of another continent it is easy to declare yourself against a dictator, because you have nothing to lose …

    Cool Fact: The desire of the European public to laugh at Adolf Hitler made the film have no less than nine million viewers in England alone.

    The Great Dictator is available on MUBI.

    Romanian film
    Immaculate (drama, dir. Monica Stan, George Chiper-Lillemark)

    A high school student is admitted by her parents to a rehab clinic after her boyfriend (the one who actually left her with the drug addiction) ends up in jail. There is probably no better context for exploring the concept of ​​fragility, and Monica Stan and George Chiper-Lillemark’s film doesn’t stop there at all. The protagonist, Daria (Aura Dumitraşcu), finds a motley group in rehab, who will soon catapult her out of her comfort zone, which has already been messed up by her boyfriend’s arrest and now her admittance. Given the other patients’ outlandish names such as Mad Radu (Bogdan Farcaş, who has just won the Gopo Award for Best Actor for his role in Unidentified), Spartac (Vasile Pavel Digudai), Cat (Florin Hriţcu), Chocolate (Ionuţ Nicolae) and Chanel (Ilona Brezoianu), you would expect innocent-looking Daria to be easy prey for these outcasts, but that might not be the case.

    Cool Fact: Immaculate won three awards at last year’s Venice Film Festival, including the Best First Film Award.

    From One World Romania (the screening schedule is available here)

    Taming the Garden (documentary, dir. Salomé Jashi)

    You have a mighty tree in front of the house and one day someone comes and takes it from you, with roots and everything, leaving a massive hole in its place. There is something abominable about this abuse of power, depicted in Salomé Jashi’s documentary about the actions of a former Georgian prime minister who wants to populate his private garden with the most imposing specimens in the plant kingdom. Beyond the interesting logistics of moving trees taller than a ten-story building, the documentary also discusses the drama of ordinary people who have lived all their lives under the shade of a tree and suddenly find that it has disappeared.

    Cool Fact: Following its Sundance world premiere in 2021, the documentary has been screened at dozens of festivals around the world.

    White on White (documentary, dir. Viera Čákanyová)

    Whatever ridiculous arguments deniers might give, global warming does exist. Just go ask any elderly relative and they’ll tell you that fifty years ago, snow fell over Romania at the latest in early December “and you didn’t see the ground until March or even April” (as my mother would say). A very different picture from today’s winters, isn’t it? Viera Čákanyová’s documentary is shot in Antarctica while the director was making her previous documentary, FREM, and offers a reflection on the meaning of life amplified by the white immensity, where nothing can distract you from the emptiness inside.

    Cool Fact: The documentary also includes conversations between the director and artificial intelligence (or “artificial neural network”), which puts the human discourse on the meaning of life into a new perspective.

    Cinema or streaming platforms? It’s a hard choice, especially now when the streaming world offers three titles that are impossible to say no to. We add to our list of recommendations a psychological thriller, a classic comedy (still relevant to the times we’re living) and two documentaries screening at One World Romania #15, which starts on Friday, May 13.

  • April’s Trailer Recommendations

    Are things really back to normal? According to the box office, it looks that way (the figures reported in March are better than those from March 2019!). One thing’s for sure, streaming platforms have not lost ground. In fact, HBO Max seems determined to dazzle us this spring. For this month’s trailer selection, we also picked two titles from the American Independent Film Festival program, which kicks off Friday, April 15.

    The Baby (horror-comedy series created by Siân Robins-Grace and Lucy Gaymer)

    We already know that HBO knows how to “sell” its productions, but … “this year’s most terrifying new comedy”? Consider us intrigued … And the trailer above does raise the expectations. Natasha (Michelle de Swarte) very much enjoys her life of doing what she wants, when she wants, but her whole world starts to crumble when she is unexpectedly landed with a baby in the most bizarre circumstances (dead cops, suddenly collapsing cliffs, etc.). Natasha doesn’t want the baby, but the universe seems to be conspiring for him to become a part of her life. And it all gets even more dreadful when it’s clear that the kid has superpowers …

    Cool Fact: The Baby is a horror-comedy series, but its narrative ultimately revolves around a woman who doesn’t want to be a mother.

    The series premieres on April 25, on HBO Max.

    #dogpoopgirl (satire, dir. Andrei Huţuleac)

    We may not agree with all the stylistic choices director Andrei Huţuleac made for his debut feature, but two things are certain: the topic the film tackles couldn’t be more relevant for the times we’re living in and Andreea Grămoşteanu’s performance is hard to top. The protagonist, Alina, decides to adopt a stray dog, only that the animal regurgitates food on the floor of a subway car and the other passengers’ violent reactions make her run away with the little one in her arms, without cleaning up its mess. The incident is caught on camera and the video goes online, and Alina wakes up in a twirl of events that threaten to destroy her life. The film is inspired by one of the first (and one of the most brutal) cases of online shaming, which took place in Seoul in 2005.

    Cool Fact: #dogpoopgirl won two important awards, Best Picture and Best Actress, at the Moscow Film Festival last year. It also won the Best Debut Award at the 2021 Transilvania International Film Festival.

    Coming out in cinemas on April 15.

    The Staircase (true-crime drama miniseries created by Antonio Campos)

    In 1995, Colin Firth’s wet shirt in BBC miniseries Pride and Prejudice instantly turned him into a worldwide star. Apart from Nostromo (1996), Firth has stayed away from TV series (although he has starred in several TV movies), that is, until this spring, when we’ll get to see him in The Staircase, an HBO miniseries based on a famous criminal trial in the US. It all starts in December 2001, when Kathleen Peterson’s (Toni Collette) life ends brutally after having fallen down the stairs of the sumptuous house she and her husband, crime novelist Michael Peterson (Firth), shared. The tragedy shakes up the entire family, and things become even more interesting (for us, at least) when the police begin to suspect that the accident is in fact a murder…

    Cool Fact: The Peterson case has been covered before in the popular Netflix documentary series also called The Staircase, which is available in Romania as well.

    The Staircase premieres on May 5, on HBO Max.

    The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes (documentary, dir. Emma Cooper)

    This year marks 60 years since the death of Marilyn Monroe, and perhaps the upcoming Netflix documentary will shed light on her demise, which has spawned many conspiracy theories. The documentary is mainly based on interviews with the star’s inner circle recorded in 1982, 20 years after the actress’ death, when US authorities were determined to close the investigation into her suspicious death. The interview tapes have never been heard before, and the context is more than promising: are Monroe’s close friends, unwilling to open up in the days after her death, more open to doing so two decades later?

    Cool Fact: This year also sees the theatrical release of Blonde, the biopic starring Cuban actress Ana de Armas as Monroe.

    The documentary premieres on April 27, on Netflix.

    Flee (animated documentary, dir. Jonas Poher Rasmussen)

    Flee is the first film in history to earn nominations in three major categories – Best Documentary Feature, Best Animated Feature Film and Best International Feature Film – at the Oscars. Amin Nawabi lives in Denmark and is about to marry his partner, and this important life event pushes him to confront his past and share his extraordinary journey, which starts with his escape from Afghanistan when he was just a little boy … Flee has received widespread critical acclaim for the way it depicts the refugee experience, and perhaps there is no better time to see this film than the present moment when millions of Ukrainians are being driven out of their country by the Russian invasion.

    Cool Fact: Apart from scoring a hat trick at the Oscars, Flee won the Grand Jury Prize in the Documentary Competition at Sundance and the Best Film Award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival (the most popular festival of the kind) in 2021.

    Flee will be screening at the American Independent Film Festival (April 15-21).

    Guilty pleasure

    Honeymoon with My Mother / Amor de madre (comedy, dir. Paco Caballero)

    When you’ve been stood up at the altar, you spend your night getting drunk with your best men/bridesmaids, breaking things, or crying your eyes out. But not José Luis. José Luis goes on his honeymoon (which has already been paid for) with … his mother. So many selling points, you don’t even know where to begin. The concern for financial efficiency? The fact that the mother pretends to be her son’s wife in order to have access to the free activities offered by the luxury resort? Or the fact that the son, despite the unfortunate experience, has the chance to re-evaluate his relationship with his mother? We don’t know which should come first, but surely lead actors Quim Gutiérrez and Carmen Machi had a great time on the set.

    Cool Fact: Quim Gutiérrez, one of the most popular Spanish actors, has starred as a jilted groom before, in the 2011 super hit Primos, directed by Daniel Sánchez Arévalo.

    The film premieres on April 29, on Netflix.

    Oldies, but Goldies

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (science fiction, dir. Steven Spielberg)

    Obviously, this movie needs no introduction. Still, we wonder how many of the Romanian moviegoers had the chance to see it on the big screen. Which leads us to …

    Cool Fact: E.T. was the highest-grossing film of all time for 11 years, between 1982 and 1992 (for the film enthusiasts working in accounting, it should be pointed out that the figures are absolute and not adjusted for inflation), and was knocked off the top spot by another Steven Spielberg film, Jurassic Park (1993).

    The classic masterpiece can be seen on the big screen at the American Independent Film Festival (April 15-21).

    Are things really back to normal? According to the box office, it looks that way (the figures reported in March are better than those from March 2019!). One thing’s for sure, streaming platforms have not lost ground. In fact, HBO Max seems determined to dazzle us this spring. For this month’s trailer selection, we also picked two titles from the American Independent Film Festival program, which kicks off Friday, April 15.

  • March’s Trailer Recommendations

    A record-breaking film at the 2022 Oscars, probably the most anticipated biopic of the year, ultra-violent Vikings and three first ladies of the United States, here’s what caught our eye this month in terms of movie trailers. Oh, and Brad Pitt in an action comedy.

    Belfast (biography, dir. Kenneth Branagh)

    Described by Kenneth Branagh as his “most personal film” and partly inspired by his own biography, Belfast takes us back to 1969, when little Buddy (Jude Hill) lives a happy childhood with his parents (Caitriona Balfe, Jamie Dornan) and grandparents (Judi Dench, Ciarán Hinds) in the titular city. Only adults in the family will find it more and more difficult to protect Buddy from what the history books have called the “The Troubles”, the smoldering conflict between different ethnic and religious groups that has bloodied Northern Ireland for three decades.

    Cool Fact: Belfast made history at the Oscars this year, making Branagh the only filmmaker nominated for seven different categories throughout his career.

    Coming out in cinemas on March 18.

    Elvis (biography, music, dir. Baz Luhrmann)

    “When things are too dangerous to say, sing.” It is hard to find a better line that describes the musical exorcism of the hardships of the African-American community in 1940s Memphis. Spellbound by the spirit of gospel songs, a young Elvis Presley realizes that music will be his life in this Baz Luhrmann film that has been in development for more than eight years. Will some members of the audience grumble about casting Austin Butler as the king of rock’n’roll? Most likely, but they will definitely be captivated by Luhrmann’s flair and energy.

    Cool Fact: There are moments in this trailer where Austin Butler looks like David Bowie or Freddie Mercury, which leads us to believe that the film is more about exploring the essence of a megastar and not necessarily the detailed biography of Elvis Presley.

    Coming out in cinemas on June 24.

    The Northman (action epic, dir. Robert Eggers)

    What could make you kill your own brother? This is the starting point of this star-studded action-filled epic by Robert Eggers, a director catapulted into the world’s attention at just 30 years old with the horror movie The Witch. After two independent films, Eggers now takes over a big-budget production featuring Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Claes Bang, the Danish actor who became known worldwide after starring in The Square and the BBC production Dracula. The film revolves around Amleth (Alexander Skarsgård), a young Viking on his quest to kill his uncle, who has murdered his own brother to steal the throne.

    Cool Fact: Björk overcomes her reluctance to make a comeback on the big screen 22 years after the trauma she suffered at the hands of Lars von Trier on the set of Dancer in the Dark, and appears here playing the role of the Seeress.

    Coming out in cinemas on April 29.

    The First Lady (drama series, created by Aaron Cooley)

    Susanne Bier directs this Showtime anthology series starring Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Gillian Anderson as three of the first ladies of the United States – Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt, respectively. If Hollywood is usually obsessed with power, that is, it is tempted to make movies about American presidents and not about their consorts, The First Lady changes the perspective and re-evaluates the image of these women who supported (and advised) their husbands in all difficult decisions.

    Cool Fact: In a statement about the series, these first ladies are labeled “enigmatic heroines”, which makes us wonder if Aaron Cooley also means to reveal their lesser-known deeds.

    World premiere on April 17.

    Bullet Train (action, dir. David Leitch)

    Brad Pitt is pushing 60 and seems to adopt Bruce Willis’ style in terms of career choices: the actor will star in not one, but two action comedies (the other one is The Lost City). In Bullet Train, he plays Ladybug, a hitman who wants to give up this line of work, only to be tricked into accepting one last job. What he doesn’t know is that on the bullet train where he should collect an important briefcase are four other assassins (two of them named Lemon and Tangerine) with the same mission. Obviously, what follows is so violent that it would make even Quentin Tarantino jealous… Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Sandra Bullock, Masi Oka and Hiroyuki Sanada play supporting roles.

    Cool Fact: The film is based on the novel Maria Beetle by the popular Japanese author Kōtarō Isaka. It must be said that the original characters were Asian.

    Coming out in cinemas on July 15.

    Paris, 13th District (romance, dir. Jacques Audiard)

    Winner of the Palme d’Or in 2015 for Dheepan, Jacques Audiard returns with Paris, 13th District, a black-and-white film following the relationships between four characters, three women and a man, in today’s Paris. Audiard had the inspiration to turn to two female screenwriters, Céline Sciamma and Léa Mysius, for this adaptation of three short stories written by American author Adrian Tomine, which talk one by one about immaturity, screen addiction, egocentrism and vulnerability. In the spotlight, we have Émilie (Lucie Zhang), Camille (Makita Samba), Nora (Noémie Merlant) and Amber Sweet (Jehnny Beth), and their relationships allow Audiard to reinvent himself and approach a genre that was unfamiliar to him until now.

    Cool Fact: The film’s original soundtrack, signed by Rone, a French electronic music artist, was rewarded with the Cannes Soundtrack Award in 2021.

    Coming out in cinemas on March 11.

    Julia (biography, drama series, created by Daniel Goldfarb)

    You only have to watch the two seasons of the excellent British crime TV series Happy Valley to realize that Sarah Lancashire is one of the best English actresses there is. And something tells us that Lancashire will gain even more popularity with the new lead role in Julia, the upcoming HBO series in which she plays the legendary Julia Child. Of course, many have already seen the 2009 film Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep as the French gastronomy expert, but hopefully, the HBO series will not settle just for the anecdotal aspects of Child’s biography, rather it will go deeper and explore the combination of talent, candor and stubbornness that turned her into an American television star.

    Cool Fact: The episodes’ titles are inspired by popular French dishes, such as “Coq au Vin” and “Beef Bourguignon”.

    Premiering on HBO Max this spring.

    A record-breaking film at the 2022 Oscars, probably the most anticipated biopic of the year, ultra-violent Vikings and three first ladies of the United States, here’s what caught our eye this month in terms of movie trailers. Oh, and Brad Pitt in an action comedy.

  • February’s Trailer Recommendations

    We are back and more than ready to show you the newest and most intriguing movie and TV series trailers, this time accompanied by cool facts! It will take a while before the festival circuit comes out of hibernation, so this month’s recommendations cover only productions that will be released in cinemas or on streaming platforms in the next period.

    Running in cinemas

    Fishbone (drama, dir. Dragomir Sholev)

    Bulgarian cinema offers some pleasant surprises every year, and in 2022, the usual suspect is this new film by Dragomir Sholev, which addresses an issue very much present in Romania as well, that is, the chasm between the citizen and authorities, when normally the latter should step in to assist the former. It all starts when the bullet-riddled body of a dolphin is found on the Bulgarian shores of the Black Sea by Ivo, the manager of the local campsite. Since this is not the first time that has happened, the hero is determined to find out the culprit, but he will soon have to face the indifference of the authorities. Both locals and the tourists in the campsite will get involved in the increasingly absurd investigation.

    Cool Fact: Fishbone was co-produced by the Romanian production house Hi Film Productions.

    Coming out in cinemas on March 25.

    Death on the Nile (crime, mystery, dir. Kenneth Branagh)

    Five years after Murder on the Orient Express, Kenneth Branagh returns as Hercule Poirot in a new screen adaptation of a famous Agatha Christie crime novel, also serving as the director of the film. The premiere takes place more than a year after the initial date, after several delays caused by both the pandemic and allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct that destroyed Armie Hammer’s career, here in a consistent role. Interestingly, it’s almost impossible to spot Hammer in the trailer, in an effort to shield the film’s promotion from the scandal in which the actor is involved. As so many times in Christie’s novels, we are dealing with a murder and the certainty that the killer is part of a small group of people sharing a rather limited space.

    Cool Fact: Gal Gadot, Annette Bening and Rose Leslie are just three of the famous actresses making the film’s credits.

    Coming out in cinemas on February 11.

    Nightmare Alley (horror, fantasy, dir. Guillermo del Toro)

    Guillermo del Toro can’t stay away from bizarre stories, and his latest feature, based on the novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham, is clear proof of that. The action begins in 1939, when the young Stan Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) starts working for a traveling carnival, swearing to become one of its great attractions, only that his unlimited ambition and the interactions with a number of shady people will jeopardize his future.

    Unfortunately, the simultaneous release of Spider-Man: No Way Home and limited access to movie theaters due to the pandemic turned this critically acclaimed film into a resounding box office failure, grossing just $15 million on a $60 million budget. Martin Scorsese even published an article in the Los Angeles Times, urging the public to go see Nightmare Alley in cinemas, but to no avail.

    Cool Fact: Another adaptation of the novel had been filmed once before, in 1947, starring Tyrone Power, a very popular actor at the time for his roles in adventure films.

    Coming out in cinemas on February 25.

    Streaming online

    Against the Ice (adventure, drama, dir. Peter Flinth)

    At a time when the globe was full of uncharted territories, many explorers sacrificed themselves in their rush to the most inhospitable and mysterious reaches of the planet. Such a sacrifice is the focus of Against the Ice, a film produced by Baltasar Kormákur (who always seems to return to stories where the unforgiving cold is the biggest villain) and starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. The action takes place in 1909, when Denmark has to act immediately after learning that the United States considers part of Greenland to belong to them, and an expedition led by explorer Ejnar Mikkelsen (Coster-Waldau) will do everything possible to contradict the Americans’ claims to the unforgiving territory, where death can arise at every step.

    Cool Fact: Lead actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is also co-writer of the film.

    Netflix premiere on March 2.

    My Brilliant Friend: Season 3 (drama series, created by Saverio Costanzo)

    Not many TV series based on books can boast of becoming as popular as Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, especially when the identity of the mysterious author has piqued the curiosity of millions of fans around the world. Launched in 2018, the HBO series is set to adapt the entire literary work over four eight-episode seasons and has now reached its third part, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, in which the two heroines, Elena and Lila, have different experiences in terms of motherhood and career, in a period and a social context where the woman is seen as an accessory to the man.

    Cool Fact: The popularity of the books and the TV show made tourists from all over the world come visit the city of Naples especially to see live the picturesque places where the action takes place.

    Global premiere on February 28.

    Quick reminder that February brings the premiere of some of the titles announced in the column’s previous editions, such as Inventing Anna, Shonda Rhimes’ new show based on the true story of a con woman working in New York high society, and two well-received productions at last year’s Cannes Film Festival: A Hero, directed by Asghar Farhadi, and the very popular The Worst Person in the World, directed by Joachim Trier.

    We are back and more than ready to show you the newest and most intriguing movie and TV series trailers, this time accompanied by cool facts! It will take a while before the festival circuit comes out of hibernation, so this month’s recommendations cover only productions that will be released in cinemas or on streaming platforms in the next period.

  • December’s Trailer Recommendations

    Festivals are over, and in December and January, the streaming platforms seem determined to devour every free minute of our end-of-year holiday. Cinemas join the fight by relying on a long-awaited sequel, and art film distributors know that now is the best time to release their most tempting premieres. That being said, we got a little bit of something for everyone!

    And Just Like That… (comedy-drama miniseries created by Michael Patrick King)

    If the ’90s medical drama series (in particular ER and Chicago Hope) convinced the audience that once you get into a hospital, doctors and nurses are ready to sacrifice everything to heal your body (and sometimes even your soul), the global phenomenon Sex and the City pulled the rug from under us with the idea that it is enough to write a weekly editorial to afford to fill your closet with Manolo Blahniks. Even so, Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte had a lot to say two decades ago, but the two feature films made for the big screen (2008, 2010) have drastically diminished their relevance, and the trailer above doesn’t quite prove that they’ve regained it, especially after Kim Cattrall decided not to reprise her role as Samantha. But let’s not jump to any hasty conclusions.

    And Just Like That… premieres on HBO on December 9.

    Don’t Look Up (satire, dir. Adam McKay)

    Adam McKay built his career with a series of comedies starring Will Ferrell (in my opinion an acquired taste almost impossible to acquire), but in 2015, he hit the jackpot with The Big Short, and this year, he offers the most attractive premise for a film premiere: two astronomers (Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio) discover that a comet as big as Everest is heading towards Earth, and the collision will most certainly destroy the planet. To their surprise, humanity (authorities, press, public opinion) refuses to pay attention to them… Here is an incredible premise that is handled very credibly in the film (I saw it and it’s very good), the allusions to the pandemic and the absurd reactions around it being quite obvious.

    The Netflix premiere is scheduled for December 24, so we got one week to digest the ideas presented in Don’t Look Up and decide whether to start 2022 more awake or still indulging in Instagram, consumerism, and instant gratification.

    Stay Close (crime drama miniseries created by Harlan Coben)

    Yes, Harlan Coben is an overrated author and I won’t forgive him for The Woods, the Polish series that stole 306 minutes of my life. But from time to time, Coben delivers and may regain some ground with Stay Close, part of a huge contract signed by the author with Netflix, which will produce and release, over the span of five years, adaptations after 14 of his novels. The most interesting name in the miniseries cast is undoubtedly James Nesbitt, here as a detective obsessed with an old unsolved case. We also have a housewife (Cush Jumbo from the popular legal series The Good Fight) haunted by her past as a stripper who is prepared to do anything so that her husband and children will never find out about it.

    Netflix premiere on December 31.

    The Gilded Age (period drama series created by Julian Fellowes & Sonja Warfield)

    You say Julian Fellowes and you automatically think of Downton Abbey. Anything that this prominent figure in British television has made since then can’t be compared to the global success of the Crawley family’s adventures, but perhaps The Gilded Age, in which HBO has invested generous budgets, will at least come close to the global popularity of the superhit that kept the eyes of all England fixed upon the ITV channel with each new episode. The events in The Gilded Age take place in the 1880s New York City, and at the center of attention, we have Agnes van Rhijn (Christine Baranski), a socialite whose status and old values ​​will be put to test by the emerging modern world. Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City) plays the heroine’s less fortunate sister.

    HBO premiere on January 24.

    Inventing Anna (drama miniseries created by Shonda Rhimes)

    A disapproving growl escaped me when I saw the trailer for Bridgerton, but the show broke Netflix viewership records, further proof that Shonda Rhimes turns everything she makes into gold. Coming out in February, Inventing Anna is a series based on a true story that retraces the unexpected itinerary of a Russian woman, Anna Sorokin (Julia Garner, known for her role in Ozark), who cons her way into the New York social elite as Anna Delvey, a German wealthy heiress. It’s no spoiler that Sorokin later went to jail for the long string of scams that topped up her accounts with hundreds of thousands of dollars. Another interesting fact is that Lena Dunham (Girls) is working with HBO on another series inspired by her life.

    Netflix premiere on February 22.

    The Matrix Resurrections (science fiction action, dir. Lana Wachowski)

    The most anticipated sequel of the year? Of the decade? Of the last two decades? Matrix 4 has a great chance to overturn in a single week the top grossing movies of the year, as Star Wars did in previous years or, before them, The Hobbit. The above trailer has been released very recently and, unfortunately, it fails to erase the feeling of “same old, same old” given by the images. Let’s hope that the story doesn’t spoon-feed us convoluted philosophies like Matrix 2 and that it’s not total chaos like Matrix 3.

    Coming out in cinemas on December 24.

    Spencer (biopic, dir. Pablo Larraín)

    The news that Kristen Stewart will play Princess Diana in a new biopic by the Chilean director Pablo Larraín has caused a real (but not very flattering) roar on the Internet, but the actress and the director carried on with their work and when they released the first images with Stewart in the role, I thought to myself “come on, it’s not that bad”. The film has an attractive premise: we see Diana at a turning point, when the “queen of the heart” decides, over the course of a few days, to say goodbye to her marriage, although this decision will surely turn her into a pariah in the royal family. Choosing your own path instead of a bright but poisonous status is a real challenge…

    Coming out in cinemas on December 17.

    Tre Piani/Three Floors (drama, dir. Nanni Moretti)

    One of the most famous and awarded Italian directors, Nanni Moretti tries his hand at adaptations by making a film based on the 2017 novel Shalosh Qomot by Israeli writer Eshkol Nevo. Released at Cannes (where it received an eleven-minute ovation but no awards), the film takes us to a residential complex in Rome where we witness the changes in the lives of three families over a decade. Margherita Buy, Riccardo Scamarcio and Alba Rohrwacher play the lead roles, along with Moretti himself.

    Coming out in cinemas on January 7.

    Festivals are over, and in December and January, the streaming platforms seem determined to devour every free minute of our end-of-year holiday. Cinemas join the fight by relying on a long-awaited sequel, and art film distributors know that now is the best time to release their most tempting premieres. That being said, we got everything for everyone!

  • November’s Trailer Recommendations

    The festival season is almost over, so now, all that’s left for us to do is to either return to our good old streaming platforms or resume our trips to the cinema (thank God there are still some that keep their doors open!). Below is a batch of fresh new trailers or which announce movies that will soon be available in Romania.

    A Hero (drama, dir. Asghar Farhadi)

    With his newest film, A Hero, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi returns to his roots after “taking a break” from his homeland’s social context with Everybody Knows (2018). Farhadi gets back to exploring his favorite topics, that is, the conflict generated by class differences, religion and gender discrimination, and tells the story of Rahim (Amir Jadidi), a man who ends up in prison because of a debt he was unable to repay. When he gets a two-day leave, the man tries his best to get out of debt, but things don’t go as planned. A Hero won the Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

    The film comes out in Romanian theaters on February 25, 2022.

    The Book of Boba Fett (space opera, dir. Jon Favreau, Robert Rodriguez)

    The Star Wars franchise has a new upcoming series, this time centered on the popular character Boba Fett, played by New Zealand actor Temuera Morrison. The hero’s adventures take him to some well-known places in the Star Wars universe, more precisely to Planet Tatooine, where Fett and his aide, Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), do everything in their power to take over the crime syndicate once controlled by Jabba the Hutt. The new series’ directing ensemble includes Jon Favreau and Robert Rodriguez, and one episode is directed by actress and screenwriter Bryce Dallas Howard.

    World premiere on Disney+ on December 29.

    Elves / Nisser (fantasy series, dir. Roni Ezra)

    When we hear the word “elf”, many of us think of Santa’s helpers, but Scandinavian folklore offers a much less consumerist version of these mythological creatures. The six-episode series explores what happens when two Danes and their children arrive on a remote island where they hope to spend a fairy-tale Christmas, only to soon discover that the locals share the land with some monstrous elves, and the fragile balance between the two races is thrown off when the newcomers find and hide a baby elf.

    The series premieres on Netflix on November 28, when most probably our perception of elves will suffer a dramatic change.

    Landscapers (comedy, crime miniseries created by Ed Sinclair)

    Olivia Colman gives one of her best performances starring as local detective Ellie Miller in the excellent series Broadchurch, but the actress seems to end up on the wrong side of the law in the upcoming true-crime drama Landscapers. Inspired by real-life events, the miniseries revolves around a middle-aged couple (Colman and David Thewlis) who become the focus of a police investigation when two dead bodies are discovered in their back garden. Writing credits go to Ed Sinclair, whose approach seems to favor (a rather dark) humor, whereas the directing position is assumed by Will Sharpe, known for another great series, Giri / Haji.

    Premiering on HBO Go on December 6.

    Downton Abbey: A New Era (period drama, dir. Simon Curtis)

    After enjoying great prominence worldwide (it even got a mention in the superhero sensation The Avengers), the British series Downton Abbey was picked up for a film adaptation which had its big-screen release in 2019. And now, we have a new sequel. Things seem to be going well for the Crawley family, which has had its fair share of troubles over time, especially when the sarcastic Aunt Violet (Maggie Smith) announces that she has inherited a villa on the French Riviera. So the whole clan embarks on what promises to be a trip to remember. Among the new acquisitions of the sequel is actor Hugh Dancy (Hannibal).

    World premiere on March 18, 2022.

    200 Meters (drama, dir. Ameen Nayfeh)

    The Palestinian Film Festival is one of the last festivals of the year, so here are two of its highlights. One can hardly find a film with a more attractive premise than 200 Meters, which explores the complicated social context of Israel and Palestine through an absurd border which divides a Palestinian family. Mustafa and his wife, Salwa, live in two different houses that are only 200 meters apart, except that between them is the border separating the two territories and access is made only through the heavily guarded crossing points. One day, Mustafa learns that his son, who lives on the other side of the border, had an accident and is willing to do anything to get to him.

    The film is available on HBO Go and will also screen at the Palestinian Film Festival (November 25-28).

    The Stranger (drama, dir. Ameer Fakher Eldin)

    The second title we recommend from the Palestinian Film Festival program is The Stranger, the Palestinian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards, which had its world premiere a few months ago at the Venice Film Festival. The action takes place in the Golan Heights, a territory with a tormented history, located between Syria, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon. Here, the encounter between a doctor and a soldier wounded in the Syrian war will set in motion an unpredictable series of events.

    National premiere at the Palestinian Film Festival (November 25-28).

    Voir (docuseries, created by David Fincher and David Prior)

    The above trailer rather acts as a teaser, still leaving some mystery about David Fincher’s latest project, which is described as a collection of visual essays meant to celebrate cinema and to possibly unravel the mystery of its magic. Influential filmmakers and critics talk about the movies that marked their existence, including Jaws, The Matrix and Mad Max: Fury Road, to name a few, but the documentary also explores the details that turn a film into a masterpiece.

    Premiering on Netflix on December 6.

    The festival season is almost over, so now, all that’s left for us to do is to either return to our good old streaming platforms or resume our trips to the cinema (thank God there are still some that keep their doors open!). Below is a batch of fresh new trailers or which announce movies that will soon be available in Romania.

  • October’s Trailer Recommendations

    Since Les films de Cannes à Bucarest is one of the festivals that fully meet the tastes of our readers, below is a selection of the five most tempting titles screening at this year’s edition (October 22-31) which starts next Friday. The list of recommendations is completed by a couple of fresh out of the oven trailers, especially one with millions of views in just a few days.

    Dune (Sci-Fi, dir. Denis Villeneuve)

    “Dreams make good stories, but everything important happens when we’re awake”, here’s what Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa) tells his mentee in ways of combat, Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), in this new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s famous novel (still the best-selling SF of all time). But when they arrive on the desert planet Arrakis, Paul may interpret his mentor’s advice differently. Villeneuve’s film is the third adaptation of Dune, being the first that seems to satisfy.

    The film comes out in Romanian cinemas on October 22. Films in Frame will publish a review on its premiere day, so stick around.

    Cyrano (drama, musical, dir. Joe Wright)

    An expert in adaptations, British filmmaker Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, Anna Karenina) is now turning his attention to Edmond Rostand’s play, with the main part going to the extremely popular Peter Dinklage. We were wondering when he will have the opportunity to play a leading role after the phenomenal success of Game of Thrones when news came of this big-budget adaptation. And casting Dinklage is a far-reaching choice since Wright seems to start from the classic text to challenge us to assess our prejudices about body image, prejudices now cast in a new light by social media.

    With the European premiere in the selection of the Rome Film Fest (October 16), the film does not yet have a release date in Romania.

    House of the Dragon (fantasy series created by Ryan J. Condal, George R.R. Martin)

    Will this fantasy series inspired by George R.R. Martin’s intricate novels wash away the bitter taste left by the last season of Game of Thrones? We sincerely hope so, for the simple reason that the series’ battalion of screenwriters have certainly seen what can happen when you betray your source and at the same time try to fool your fans. The above teaser had millions of views in just a few days, which reconfirms the global enthusiasm for a new foray into the violent realm imagined by Martin. Matt Smith is a completely different prince (after successfully playing Prince Philip in The Crown) in this series in which history does not take into account blood ties and the family tree.

    House of the Dragon appears on HBO in 2022.

    Screening at Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest

    Titane (drama, dir. Julia Ducournau)

    Julia Ducournau is only 37 years old and she is the second woman in history to be awarded a Palme d’Or, the first who didn’t receive it ex-aequo (Jane Campion won for The Piano but shared the award with Chen Kaige, who is the first director in China or Hong Kong to win the Palme d’Or). “Demented”, “pure chaos”, “a punch in the face”, these are just some of the epithets and warnings that accompanied the film which proposes “the most bizarre pairing since The Shape of Water” (Cineuropa). Our recommendation is to get a ticket as soon as the LFC’s program is announced, otherwise you may have to wait months for the film to be released in cinemas.

    Memoria (drama, dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

    Winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes, Memoria is Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s first English-spoken film, which stars one of the most versatile actresses today, Tilda Swinton, who easily moves from Marvel superhero movies to super-niche projects. Here, Swinton plays Jessica, a Scotswoman visiting her sister in Bogotá. The mysterious sounds she starts hearing lead to a personal investigation and soon she comes to see her existence with different eyes. A foray of a Thai director into South America, that can only come as intriguing, no doubt.

    Zero Fucks Given (comedy, drama, dir. Emmanuel Marre, Julie Lecoustre)

    This hard-to-class Belgian film is such a small production that it doesn’t even have a proper trailer before its national and French premieres. We can only see an excerpt in which the protagonist, Cassandre (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a flight attendant for a low-cost airline, fails a test with her boss. The reviews present this film as one of the most pleasant surprises in this year’s Cannes’ Critics’ Week and as a unique, almost documentary-like foray (up to a point, at least) into a fast-paced community (“we see sun and snow on the same day”), governed by extremely specific rules (did you know, for example, that flight attendants need to be able to smile convincingly for 30 seconds straight?). All the praise goes to Exarchopoulos, who completely immerses herself in the role.

    The Worst Person in the World (drama, dir. Joachim Trier)

    It is understandable when critics are ecstatic about a film selected at Cannes; after all, the festival can afford to choose the best productions from around the world. But does the general public have the same reaction to such a film? All we can say is that in the case of The Worst Person in the World the answer is definitely “yes”, maybe because Joachim Trier’s film “ventures where few dare to these days – right into romantic-comedy territory” (Cineuropa). Renate Reinsve (Best Actress Award) is Julie, the girlfriend of a comic-book artist (Anders Danielsen Lie), who is tempted to leave everything behind when she meets a younger man.

    Drive My Car (drama, dir. Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)

    Japanese director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi has without a doubt an exceptional 2021: he won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the Berlinale for Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (screened in Romania at the Transilvania IFF) and the Best Screenplay Award at Cannes for Drive My Car. The film is based on a short story by Haruki Murakami and starts from a chance encounter: when he arrives in Hiroshima, where he has to stage a play, a theater director finds out that he has a chauffeur to drive him around town. The chauffeur turns out to be a woman, and her personality and the dozens of trips they make together pave the way for interesting conversations.

    Since Les films de Cannes à Bucarest is one of the festivals that fully meet the tastes of our readers, below is a selection of the five most tempting titles screening at this year’s edition (October 22-31) which starts next Friday. The list of recommendations is completed by a couple of fresh out of the oven trailers, especially one with millions of views in just a few days.

  • September’s Trailer Recommendations

    Deep breath in and let’s make the most of it while cinemas still have their doors open and are not forced to close once again. We picked up some of the most tempting Romanian films that are scheduled to appear this fall, plus titles that had their world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and a fantasy series all set to make waves in November.

    House of Dolls (dir. Tudor Platon, documentary)

    It’s hard, very hard to find a more charming Romanian documentary than House of Dolls, DoP Tudor Platon’s feature debut as a director. Time catches up with everyone, but we would all like to age as nicely, relaxed, and with a smile on our face as the titular “dolls”, senior women who have stuck to their healthy habit over time: every year, they get away from the daily cares and enjoy a 1-week vacation with their oldest friends. It’s time for sharing secrets, jokes, but also some samples of wisdom.

    Coming out in theaters on September 24.

    Don’t Look Up (dir. Adam McKay, SF dramedy)

    One of the funniest online remarks recently is that Netflix will double the price of its subscription after having to pay the battalion of stars (Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Ariana Grande, etc.) who appear in this satire about the extreme experiences of two low-level astronomers who are in for a fair share of surprises when they want to warn mankind of an impending cataclysm. The most interesting question in the movie? What do you do when everyone ignores you, but what you have to say could save or doom the entire human race?

    Coming out on Netflix on December 10.

    Blue Moon (dir. Alina Grigore, drama)

    The first feature film directed by Alina Grigore, known for co-writing the screenplay of Adrian Sitaru’s Illegitimate, competes in the Official Selection of the San Sebastian Festival. The premise is undoubtedly promising and the film could have a long run since it explores the lack of opportunities faced by young women in rural Romania. At the core of the story, we have Irina (Ioana Chiţu), a young woman who dreams of studying in Bucharest, but for that, she has to break free from the family where men have the last word.

    Premiering in cinemas on November 5.

    Madres paralelas/Parallel Mothers (dir. Pedro Almodóvar, drama)

    Almodóvar’s latest film had its world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival and received an acting award for Penélope Cruz’s performance. The story revolves around two women giving birth on the same day, each facing this huge personal challenge in different ways. Variety magazine trumpeted that Parallel Mothers be “Pedro Almodóvar’s best film since All about My Mother”, and we wonder if the public will have the same opinion. We mention that Almodóvar’s short film The Human Voice launches in Romania on September 17, on a double bill with Gaspar Noé’s medium-length film, Lux Æterna.

    Scheduled to be released in theaters on February 4, 2022.

    The Hand of God (dir. Paolo Sorrentino, drama, biography)

    “I don’t like reality anymore.” What better invitation to a world of fantasy and fascination with cinema? Paolo Sorrentino’s new film had its world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize, as well as the Marcello Mastroianni Award, which recognizes the best performances by young actors, now received by Filippo Scotti. He plays a fictional version of Sorrentino himself, who is forced by the harsh reality of 1980s Naples to find his purpose elsewhere.

    The Hand of God will be released on Netflix on December 15.

    The Wheel of Time (created by Rafe Judkins, fantasy series)

    This spring, Netflix’s fantasy series Shadow and Bone was unexpectedly well received by the public, and now, Amazon’s The Wheel of Time could have the same fate. The series is based on Robert Jordan’s novel series of the same name, with over 90 million copies sold since its release in 1990. The premise? A providential meeting of six characters will forever change the balance of forces in a realm where certain people have magical powers. The headliner is without a doubt Rosamund Pike, while the series invites audiences to discover a lot of fresh new names.

    Premiering on Amazon Prime on November 19.

    Otto the Barbarian (dir. Ruxandra Ghiţescu, drama)

    Otto the Barbarian is a difficult film to watch, surely, but also necessary. Marc Titieni plays a teenager thrown into a deep crisis after his girlfriend (Ioana Bugarin, who received a lot of praise for her role as a novice in Miracle, which just had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival) commits suicide. An investigation by social services and the sorrow caused by the loss will make the hero react in unpredictable ways. The premiere is supported by a campaign that raises awareness about mental issues among high school students.

    Coming out in cinemas on September 24.

    The Last Duel (dir. Ridley Scott, action, history)

    What strikes at this new historical film by Ridley Scott (apart from the bizarre faces of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Nicole Holofcener) is the timing of the #metoo movement: when the wife (Jodie Comer, fairly known from the successful Killing Eve, seems determined to conquer the big screen too) of a 14th-century French nobleman claims she has been raped by his best friend and squire (Adam Driver), a bloody sequence of events is set in motion. The reviews published after its premiere at the Venice Film Festival weren’t convincing altogether, but we shall see why next month.

    To be released in theaters on October 15.

    Deep breath in and let’s make the most of it while cinemas still have their doors open and are not forced to close once again. We picked up some of the most tempting Romanian films that are scheduled to appear this fall, plus titles that had their world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and a fantasy series all set to make waves in November.

  • July’s Trailer Recommendations

    The Cannes Film Festival dominates the film scene in July, and along with it, the biggest film event in Romania, Transilvania IFF. Let’s celebrate these two festivals with this month’s selection of trailers, where we also add a guilty pleasure from Netflix.

    The Father Who Moves Mountains (drama, dir. Daniel Sandu)

    After making his debut with the promising One Step Behind the Seraphim, director Daniel Sandu returns with a much more ambitious and expensive feature film, unique in Romanian cinema. Adrian Titieni stars as Mircea, a former Intelligence officer whose son is reported missing in the mountains. Arriving at the scene, Mircea notices that despite the rescue squad’s great efforts, his son is not to be found, and the chances of him still being alive are getting slimmer. And what can a parent do if not use even the last bit of power (physical or political) to save his child? The Father Who Moves Mountains is probably one of the very few Romanian titles that really deserve the label “action movie”.

    Coming out in cinemas on July 23.

    Întregalde (drama, dir. Radu Muntean)

    The new film written by Radu Muntean, Alexandru Baciu, and Răzvan Rădulescu is perhaps the most discreet blow you will receive at the cinema this year. What initially seems like a simple premise (three young people arriving in Întregalde, a village in Transylvania, to bring the inhabitants various goods for Christmas, offer an old man a lift in their car) suddenly turns into a thorough analysis of the consequences of our actions. And these actions, no matter how insignificant at first glance, do have consequences. A wider conversation on altruism, volunteer work, and good deeds gradually turns into an analysis of small gestures that can lead to one’s death (or saving their life).

    World premiere at Cannes, national premiere at Transilvania IFF, and theatrical release on August 6.

    Bye Bye Morons (tragicomedy, dir. Albert Dupontel)

    A dark dramedy that constantly reinvents itself and discusses with enthusiasm a series of extremely dramatic topics, this new film by Albert Dupontel is hell-bent on celebrating our vulnerabilities, with a surprising effect. You wouldn’t expect a movie about a 40-year-old hairdresser (Virginie Efira) who finds out she has only a few months to live and goes to great lengths to find the child she was forced to give to adoption as a teenager could lead to this comforting explosion of emotions. A movie that makes you laugh and cry (sometimes at the same time) and teaches you that there’s always a chance for the better, you just need to take a good bite of life.

    Coming out in cinemas on July 9.

    Blood Red Sky (horror, dir. Peter Thorwarth)

    Lately, we’ve been invaded by extremely niche genre combinations (for example Army of the Dead, a heist movie grafted on zombie flick), and here we can mention the German production Blood Red Sky, which combines terrorists and vampires. The premise is exciting, a vampire woman on a flight with her son is forced to act against the terrorist group (among them Dominic Purcell from Prison Break) that is about to hijack the plane. There’s probably far less blood in the movie than what is shown in the trailer.

    Blood Red Sky premieres on Netflix on July 23.

    #dogpoopgirl (drama, dir. Andrei Huţuleac)

    After winning the Best Film Award and the Best Actress Award at the Moscow International Film Festival, expectations for this independent film have skyrocketed, especially since it addresses a current topic: online shaming. The film is inspired by a 2005 incident in South Korea, one of the first cases of doxing (alteration of docs, the act of publicly revealing private personal information about an individual on the internet to help public opinion identify that individual) widely debated in the media. The director uses the same premise (a woman’s dog poops in a subway car, she refuses to clean the mess and the incident is caught on camera and posted online) to bring the story to Romanian lands.

    National premiere at Transilvania IFF, the theatrical release date soon to be announced.

    Apples (drama, dir. Christos Nikou)

    There are several films that explore the subject of the pandemic and that were shot before it took the world by surprise; one of them is The Pink Cloud by the Brazilian Iuli Gerbase (screening in the International Competition of Transilvania IFF), and another one, Apples by the Greek Christos Nikou. Only in this second example, the pandemic causes sudden amnesia. The protagonist, Aris, one of the victims, enters a revolutionary program that helps patients create new identities and thus continue their lives. The way the program works is a direct comment to human psychology and our online behavior.

    National premiere in the TIFF competition. Apples was purchased by a Romanian distributor and will most likely be released in cinemas next year.

    La civil (drama, dir. Teodora Ana Mihai)

    With a similar story to the one unfolding in The Father Who Moves Mountains and also inspired by real events, La Civil is made by the Romanian-Belgian director Teodora Ana Mihai and takes us to Northern Mexico, where the daughter of a middle-aged woman (Arcelia Ramírez) is kidnapped by local gangsters. The mother pays the ransom, but even then the daughter is not released, so she will have to improvise if she wants to save her. Apart from the fact that it discusses how a person’s life can be destroyed in a mere second, the film also comments on the failure and neglect of the authorities, the first to act and bring order in such a situation.

    La Civil has its world premiere in the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival, and since the film is co-produced by the Romanian company Mobra Films, it will certainly be distributed in Romania as well.

    The World to Come (dramă, dir. Mona Fastvold)

    Two farmer’s wives, Tally and Abigail (Katherine Waterston, Vanessa Kirby) fall in love with each other in this period drama. The action takes place around 1865, and the love story will soon be discovered and cause a stir in the farming community. Praised for its performances and the sensibility of the story, The World to Come was shot almost entirely in Romania. For example, all the exteriors of the two farms were made in the Carpathian Mountains, the picturesque (but also wild) places being mentioned in almost all the reviews published after the world premiere in the competition of the Venice Festival. The film received the Queer Lion, the trophy awarded to the best LGBT feature film in the festival selection.

    The World to Come will screen at Transilvania IFF. The film has a Romanian distributor, but we don’t know yet when it will be released on the big screens.

    The Cannes Film Festival dominates the film scene in July, and along with it, the biggest film event in Romania, Transilvania IFF. Let’s celebrate these two festivals with this month’s selection of trailers, where we also add a guilty pleasure from Netflix.

  • June’s Trailer Recommendations

    Cannes Film Festival has recently announced the Official Selection for 2021 (we can’t overlook Radu Muntean’s Intregalde in the Directors’ Fortnight / Quinzaine des Réalisateurs section), so it’s only fair that this month we get a glimpse into their program. At the same time, we can’t miss out on the latest titles showcased by streaming platforms and available in cinemas nationwide.

    Bergman Island (drama, dir. Mia Hansen-Løve)

    “You do realize we’re going to sleep in the bed where they shot Scenes from a Marriage, the film that made millions of people divorce?” This could be the opening line of a romantic thriller where the “victim” that is killed by being “stabbed” dozens of times is none other than the relationship of the protagonists played by Vicky Krieps and Tim Roth. They’re both film directors and come to the isolated island of Fårö to finish their new script. The spectrum of Ingmar Bergman and the proximity of the places where, among others, Persona and The Passion of Anna were shot will certainly become a challenge in this new feature by Mia Hansen-Løve.
    Bergman Island has its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where it competes for the Palme d’Or.

    Sweet Tooth (fantasy drama, series created by Jim Mickle)

    Sweet Tooth is perhaps the most watchable series released on Netflix in a long time. The SF outset (a deadly epidemic decimates the human race, while women give birth to hybrid babies, born part human, part animal) is just a pretext to address topics such as the fear of the unknown and the other, but also what makes us human (or the opposite). The hero of the series is Gus, a hybrid deer-boy brought by his father to a nature reserve where the kid grows up without any worries, but only until his father dies. Gus will have to venture into the wide world and, for someone his age (he’s only ten years old), he has a lot to say about what he sees around him. A great series for the whole family, especially since it does not avoid difficult topics, sometimes very difficult.
    Sweet Tooth was released on Netflix on June 4th.

    The Exit of the Trains (dir. Radu Jude, Adrian Cioflâncă)

    What we have above is not actually a trailer, because the format chosen by directors Radu Jude and Adrian Cioflâncă cannot accommodate a classic trailer. This documentary essay presented in the Forum section at the 2020 Berlinale deals with Romania’s denial regarding the Holocaust, reconstructing pieces of stories pertaining to the Jews that were brutally murdered during the Iasi Pogrom in June 1941. It’s hard to look at the succession of images of the victims and listen to the testimonies depicting their fate, but it’s even more difficult to realize that the documentary presents only a few hundred out of more than 13,000 victims of the mass murder.
    The film comes out in cinemas on June 18, almost at the same time as the 80th anniversary of this dark moment in the history of Romania.

    Katla (Sci-Fi drama, series created by Sigurjón Kjartansson, Baltasar Kormákur)

    A young woman disappears during the eruption of a volcano in Iceland. The family has been looking for her for a year and now the young woman appears as if by magic, disoriented and covered by a thick layer of ash, but otherwise alive and well. Could this Icelandic production be the new Dark? The trailer for this series developed by Sigurjón Kjartansson and the ever-present Baltasar Kormákur seems to suggest exactly that, looking very promising as far as dark revelations go, and of course, it all takes place in the breathtaking setting of Iceland.
    Katla premieres on Netflix on June 17.

    No Sudden Move (drama, dir. Steven Soderbergh)

    1955, Detroit. Several small-time criminals need to get over their personal issues and work together on what seems to be a simple job. But their plan goes horribly wrong and the heroes realize that in order to save themselves, they need to uncover the mysterious organization that hired them, throwing them into a lion’s den. No Sudden Move is directed by Steven Soderbergh but the film’s style is extremely different from his other movies with hustlers, from the Ocean’s series to Logan Lucky. Nevertheless, Soderbergh can’t help but populate his movie with a lot of stars: Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbor, Ray Liotta, Jon Hamm, and Brendan Fraser are on the poster.
    No Sudden Move premieres on HBO Max on June 18.

    Wild Romania (documentary, dir. Dan Dinu, Cosmin Dumitrache)

    After a long period of traveling only in our minds, there can be no better invitation for those brimming with wanderlust than this documentary directed by Dan Dinu and Cosmin Dumitrache. With a production that lasted more than a decade, no doubt that the directors had plenty of images of some of the most beautiful regions of our country to choose from, as if inviting us to visit them all, no matter the season. And we’re pretty sure that this film didn’t slip any images of animals that do not even live in our country, as did another much-promoted documentary, Untamed Romania.
    Wild Romania has its world premiere at the Transilvania IFF in July, and its theatrical release is scheduled for September 17.

    Petrov’s Flu (drama, dir. Kirill Serebrennikov)

    Petrov’s Flu‘s itinerary is overshadowed by the fact that director Kirill Serebrennikov (Leto, The Student) is banned from leaving Russia until June 2023, so he cannot be present at Cannes, where his film has been selected in the main competition. Petrov’s Flu presents a day in the life of a comic book artist in post-Soviet Russia. Sick with the flu, he lets his imagination run wild to break free from his gray reality and escape into his own world. We can’t help but wonder if the images showing the protagonist’s wife killing a bunch of abusive men with a kitchen knife are in fact part of reality in this film that has little chance of pleasing the Kremlin regime. The subtitled trailer can be watched here.
    Petrov’s Flu will have its world premiere at Cannes and there’s every chance a Romanian distributor will buy it and release it in our country.

    The Cannes Film Festival has recently announced the Official Selection for 2021 (we can’t overlook Radu Muntean’s Intregalde in the Directors’ Fortnight / Quinzaine des Réalisateurs section), so it’s only fair that we get a glimpse into their program. At the same time, we can’t miss out on the latest titles showcased by streaming platforms.

  • May’s Trailer Recommendations

    Yasuke (anime series, created by LeSean Thomas)

    Race, skin color, and social status -related biases are scrutinized in this anime series loosely based on a historical figure: African warrior Yasuke is the first black person mentioned in historical documents in Japan, in the 16th century. The series embellishes the historical truth with fantasy elements, but also talks about the rise of the hero known as the “Black Samurai” in the service of the powerful daimyo Nobunaga, whose tormented history is also presented in Kagemusha by Akira Kurosawa. Yasuke was also praised for its soundtrack, composed by Flying Lotus.
    The series has been available on Netflix since April 29.

    Benedetta (biography, drama, dir. Paul Verhoeven)

    Religion, faith, and especially God’s plan for us are some of the most frustrating topics of discussion, for the simple reason that the same argument can serve both the believer and the atheist in a possible confrontation. Paul Verhoeven seems to have hit a nerve with his new film, Benedetta, about a nun (Virginie Efira) who converts from “God’s anointed” to “Satan’s tool” after being drawn into a lesbian relationship. The inability to find meaning in the mysterious ways of the Lord is perfectly described by the superior mother (Charlotte Rampling): “Perhaps God plunged Benedetta into a trance, or perhaps He only sent us a lunatic who sets His work in motion through the nonsense coming out of her mouth.”
    Benedetta will have its world premiere in the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival (July 6-17).

    Annette (musical, dir. Leos Carax)

    Leos Carax’s English language film debut, Annette, is based on an original story by the Sparks’ founders, Ron and Russell Mael, and portrays the love story between a stand-up comedian (Adam Driver) and an opera singer (Marion Cotillard). The fruit of their passion, little Annette, will be born with a unique gift. “Every Leos Carax movie is an event, and this one really lives up to expectations! Annette is exactly the gift that cinema, music and culture enthusiasts were hoping for, and the film I have been looking forward to all year”, here’s how the president of the Cannes Film Festival, Pierre Lescure, presented the musical.
    Annette has its world premiere on July 6, as the opening film of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.

    The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (horror, dir. Michael Chaves)

    If the number of Covid cases doesn’t get “cheeky” again, The Conjuring 3 could be one of the first new films available in cinemas across the country in early summer. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson reprise their roles as paranormal experts Lorraine and Ed Warren, who will investigate the sensational case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson. The film is based on real events: in 1981, Johnson killed his landlord, and in court the defense claimed that a demon possessed him, forcing him to commit the crime.
    The film premieres in Romanian cinemas on June 4.

    Oxygen (Sci-Fi, horror, dir. Alexandre Aja)

    After the success with the American production Crawl, the French horror expert Alexandre Aja returns to his native language with Oxygen, a Sci-Fi horror about a woman (Mélanie Laurent) who wakes up in a cryogenic chamber with no recollection of who she is or how she got there. Her only companion is MILO (voiced by Mathieu Amalric), an AI program that notifies her regularly that the oxygen level in the chamber is constantly decreasing. The reviews published so far make endless use of the word “intense” and suggest that Laurent gives the performance of her career in this claustrophobic horror.
    Oxygen premieres on Netflix on May 12.

    West Side Story (musical, dir. Steven Spielberg)

    Loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, the musical West Side Story was released on Broadway in 1957 and adapted for screen in 1961, and 60 years later a new adaptation comes from none other than Steven Spielberg. The story also takes place in the 1950s, which will allow Spielberg to comment on racial conflicts. It stars Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler, a young actress of Colombian-Polish descent, chosen from the 30,000 aspiring actresses who auditioned for the role. In the teaser above, we also hear Rita Moreno singing, the legendary Puerto Rican actress returning to the NYC Upper West Side after playing a leading role in the 1961 version.
    Scheduled to be released in theaters on December 10.

    The Underground Railroad (drama series, created by Barry Jenkins)

    The reviews of this new series created and directed by Barry Jenkins (the Oscar for Moonlight) say that Amazon Prime should have not released all ten episodes of the first season at the same time, because the extremely dense and brutal story is not at all suitable for binge-watching, each episode needs time to be digested properly by the viewers. The series is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Colson Whitehead, and follows two slaves from the mid-19th century fleeing the enslaved South with the help of a secret railroad. The novel and the series present an alternate history, but the Underground Railroad actually existed, helping through its network of tunnels, hidden routes and safe houses tens and tens of thousands of enslaved African-Americans to gain their freedom in the abolitionist North in the 19th century.
    The Underground Railroad will be available on Amazon Prime starting with May 15.

    Just a few more months until this year’s edition of Cannes Film Festival, and starting with June, going to the cinema may become a viable option all over the country. Until then, we continue our leisure time on streaming platforms.

  • April’s Trailer Recommendations

    The Woman in the Window (dir. Joe Wright)

    With three Oscar-winning actors in the cast, this film by Joe Wright (Atonement) will without a doubt make it to no.1 on the Netflix Top 10 after its release. The story sounds somewhat familiar – a woman witnesses a murder from her window; the screenplay written by actor and playwright Tracy Letts (the Pulitzer Prize for the play August: Osage County) raises the issue of the agoraphobic protagonist’s mental health and the suspicion with which society views those suffering of various mental illnesses.
    The Woman in the Window comes out on Netflix on May 14.

    Welcome to Utmark (created by Dakur Kári)

    Icelandic director Dagur Kári (Noi Albinoi, Virgin Mountain) tries his hand at television productions with Welcome to Utmark. This eight-episode drama takes place in the far north of Norway, where the surrounding wilderness is seen through the eyes of the new teacher working at the local school in this small border town whose name is featured in the title. The protagonist will soon discover that the only person in this town that might act as a grown-up is a 12-year-old girl, and the strange inhabitants will offer her more than bizarre experiences.
    Welcome to Utmark will be available on HBO GO starting with April 18.

    Four Good Days (dir. Rodrigo García)

    Selected last year at Sundance and with a long-delayed premiere due to the pandemic, Four Good Days shows Mila Kunis in an atypical role, that of a drug addict who wishes to enter a detox program, but for that she must show that she can stay clean for four days. And who should the young woman turn to for this challenge if not her estranged mother, Molly (Glenn Close, nominated for an Oscar this year for her role in Hillbilly Elegy)? Obviously, the premise invites the two protagonists to set free the grudges they have for each other.
    Four Good Days will have a limited theatrical release in the US at the end of April, and from May 21 it will be available on streaming platforms.

    Ammonite (dir. Francis Lee)

    After introducing Romanian actor Alec Secăreanu to the global audience in God’s Own Country, director Francis Lee returns to LGBTQ issues with Ammonite. The film depicts a love story taking place in 1840 between paleontologist Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) and geologist Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan), while talking about the injustices suffered by female scientists in the 19th century, when they were often overlooked by their male peers, no matter how prepared and educated they were. Secăreanu makes an appearance in the director’s second feature film as well, starring as a doctor.
    Ammonite is available on Amazon Prime.

    Those Who Wish Me Dead (dir. Taylor Sheridan)

    Angelina Jolie returns to the big screen with this action film about Hannah, a survivor of a devastating fire who keeps an eye on the forests of a gigantic nature reserve from her wooden watchtower. Her new challenge is not some puff of smoke, but the appearance of a terrified little boy (Finn Little), whose father was brutally executed by the two assassins sent to kill him. Hannah offers to help him, but the assassins (the ones and only Nicholas Hoult and Aidan Gillen) have no plans to leave survivors behind.
    Those Who Wish Me Dead will be distributed in Romanian cinemas by Vertical Entertainment from May 14.

    Handmaid’s Tale, season 4 (created by Bruce Miller)

    At the end of the previous season, June (Elisabeth Moss) managed the unimaginable: to save dozens of children from Gilead and send them by plane to Canada, to the new free world. What we understand from the trailer above is that this act leads to a real declaration of war from Gilead, but also that June cannot be satisfied with saving the children of others, when her own daughter, Hannah, is still a prisoner in the totalitarian country. And the heroine’s decision to return to the society that traumatized her in every way possible invites a lot of dangers.
    The 4th season of Handmaid’s Tale premieres on April 29 on HBO GO.

    Songs My Brothers Taught Me (dir. Chloé Zhao)

    Chloé Zhao’s rise in world cinema was thundering and even unique, as one might call it: she debuted in 2015 with Songs My Brothers Taught Me (selected at Sundance and Cannes), now it’s five years later and she wins the Golden Lion and becomes a favorite at the Oscars with Nomadland. Moreover, Zhao is the director behind the Marvel mega blockbuster – Eternals, with a budget of 200 million dollars. To celebrate Zhao, we return to Songs My Brothers Taught Me, which invites us to a Native American reservation in the United States to explore the difficult choice that awaits teenagers here: they can either resign themselves to the lack of opportunities in the reservation, or leave without looking back.
    Songs My Brothers Taught Me is available on Mubi.

    In Treatment, season 4 (created by Rodrigo García)

    This series inspired by an Israeli production (with a version that was also made in Romania) gets a reboot with the fourth season. This time, in the center of attention is psychotherapist Brooke Taylor (played by the incomparable Uzo Aduba, who also plays Suzanne Crazy Eyes in Orange Is the New Black). The 24-episode season will explore at length the multiple effects the pandemic has had on everyday people.
    The 4th season of In Treatment will be available on HBO GO starting with May 23.

    Is it really possible for cinemas to reopen anytime soon? This month’s trailer offer includes a movie that will be released in theaters on May 14 (fingers crossed!). Otherwise, the focus remains on streaming platforms.

  • March’s Trailer Recommendations

    Genera+ion (series, created by Zelda and Daniel Barnz)

    HBO has been keeping up with the issues of teenagehood for several decades now, with shows like Girls and Euphoria, and Genera+ion is taking a new step in this direction, looking fairly determined to defy new prejudices and taboos. Genera+ion focuses on a diverse group of high school students, and what’s new to this series produced by Lena Dunham (Girls) is that creator Zelda Barnz was actually the protagonists’ age (now she’s 19 years old) when she started writing the screenplay together with her father, Daniel. It looks like Genera+ion might be the series of a new generation, and that parents might need to take a look at it to discover the challenges their teenage children have to face nowadays.
    The show premieres on HBO Go on March 11.

    Sky Rojo (series, created by Álex Pina and Esther Martínez Lobato)

    The creating team behind the phenomen La casa de papel returns with a new project that has the same hyperkinetic approach, brimming in violence and plot twists. Its March premiere is also justified by the fact that the series celebrates emancipation no matter what, introducing three protagonists – Coral (Verónica Sánchez), Wendy (Lali Espósito) and Gina (Yany Prado) – who run away from their pimp and his aides. And the three of them will stop at nothing to reassure themselves that playing nice with men is something that they will never have to do again. The creators’ approach seems to pay homage to the last season of another Spanish hit, Vis a vis, also available on Netflix Romania.
    The show premieres on Netflix on March 19.

    Mare of Easttown (miniseries, created by Brad Ingelsby)

    One of the many productions put on hold due to the global health crisis, Mare of Easttown will undoubtedly gain popularity due to the fact that Kate Winslet plays the main role, a policewoman from a small town in Pennsylvania. The British actress rehearsed for months to master the very specific accent of Easttown (the series was shot in this very town). In Brad Ingelsby’s miniseries, it all starts with the discovery of a child’s body and continues with the police investigation, setting the whole town on fire and threatening the protagonist’s peace which is already hanging by a thread.
    Premiering on HBO Go on April 18.

    Shadow and Bone (fantasy series, created by Eric Heisserer)

    In 2019, The Witcher became the most popular Netflix title – to be dethroned only at the end of last year by Bridgerton, and Shadow and Bone seems determined to continue the long run of fantasy shows revolving around supernatural creatures. Inspired by Leigh Bardugo’s novels, the new Netflix series takes pride in having the first non-Caucasian protagonist: the British actress Jessica Mei Li plays Alina Starkov, a young woman who wakes up in the middle of a phenomenal battle between good and evil after realizing that she possesses a miraculous power that could prevent the terrible danger threatening the magical realm.
    Shadow and Bone premieres on Netflix on April 23.

    Without Remorse (action, thriller, dir. Stefano Sollima)

    Michael B. Jordan is one of the “It” actors who haven’t failed in choosing the right roles for them so far, from the intense Chronicle to Fruitvale Station and from Creed to Black Panther. Although there are few spy movies that succeed in avoiding the trap of the predictable and cliché locations, let’s offer Jordan a chance, as he takes over the character of John Clark (previously played by Willem Dafoe and Liev Schreiber) from Tom Clancy’s novels. After his family is killed in an attack by elite Russian soldiers, Clark will uncover a larger conspiracy that threatens the safety of his own country. And we know all too well that there is no protagonist more dangerous than the one who has nothing more to lose.
    Without Remorse premieres on Amazon Prime on April 30.

    Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (black comedy, dir. Radu Jude)

    Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn is without a doubt the film of the pandemic, and the Romanian audience is certainly looking forward to seeing it, aroused both by its recent success at the Berlinale (the winner of this year’s Golden Bear) and by the slight scandal associated with the porn clip included in the film.
    The decision by the Romanian authorities to close the cinemas overnight, due to a new increase in the Covid-19 cases, makes it impossible for the film’s distributors to schedule a theatrical release anytime soon: we will most likely have to wait for the warmer months to see the film in an open air location. Until then, you can read the Films in Frame review of the film.

    Voyagers (Sci-Fi, dir. Neil Burger)

    Although it explores the immensity of Space and the soul abyss, the new Sci-Fi by Neil Burger has more to do with Romania than it would seem so: it was shot at the Buftea studios in the summer of 2019, and several young Romanian actors such as Theodor Soptelea, Vlad Popescu, Irina Artenii, Ioana Brumar and Ioana Nimigean make an appearance in some of the scenes, starring alongside Colin Farrell. The film follows the crew of a ship that should colonize the Space, but it doesn’t take long and the young people on board begin to realize that the pressure of their mission and the claustrophobic Space become more unbearable than they initially thought.
    We don’t know yet when the film is going to be released in local cinemas (in the US, it premieres on April 9), but its link to Romania makes us believe that we will certainly have a national premiere sometime this year.

    Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell (documentary, dir. Emmett Malloy)

    Pushed to become a jazz singer, little Christopher Wallace quickly realizes that he wants to do something completely different music-wise. Thus begins the story of soon to become The Notorious B.I.G., whose iconic lyrics will sing of the hardships and lack of endemic opportunities in African-American ghettos. Emmett Malloy’s documentary brings together rare images from the rapper’s childhood and adolescence and the testimonies of his loved ones, showing not only how Biggie came to “tell the story” of his peers, but also how different he was from his public persona.
    The documentary has been available on Netflix starting with March 1.

    With cinemas being closed once again by the authorities and the summer days that carry the promise of outdoor screenings still far away from us, there’s nothing else to do but remain online, at least for some of these trailer recommendations. FYI, our offer also includes a Hollywood blockbuster with several young Romanian actors starring in supporting roles.

  • February’s Trailer Recommendations

    Usually, February feels like entering a wormhole when it comes to news on movie releases, since many of the upcoming productions are waiting either to get selected in festivals or for the official announcement of these selections before they can kick off their promo campaigns. So, we turned to guilty pleasures, superheroes, a bit of voyeurism and … the “CODA case”.

    Cosmic Sin (film SF, r. Edward Drake)

    OK, maybe Cosmic Sin (who would’ve thought that there would ever be such an assertive action Sci-Fi movie as to be called just that?) goes way beyond “guilty pleasures”, but Bruce Willis and his mischievous look – probably the most important feature in his acting set – might bring a lot of memories for some of us (think about the first film you saw with Bruce Willis, that might be a good reminder of how old you really are). The trailer might suggest that Edward Drake’s film wants to try a bit of everything. We only hope that in order to save the human race it doesn’t come to sacrificing a hero willing to drop a bomb in the middle of the invaders’ lair …

    The US premiere on March 12th.

    The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Marvel miniseries, created by Malcolm Spellman)

    15 hours and four million views on Marvel Entertainment’s youtube page alone for this trailer announcing the new series with The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan, “our” Romanian), which seems to please the Marvel fans after WandaVision threw them into confusion. We have the same witty camaraderie, and Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl, who seems to have traded his homeland career for Hollywood) is just as determined to fight the superheroes until the very end, in order to avenge his family he lost in Segovia …

    The miniseries premieres on March 19 on Disney+, when most of our homies will probably storm the torrent sites.

    Old (film horror, r. M. Night Shyamalan)

    The romance between the audiences and M. Night Shyamalan came to an end after Unbreakable, but the director went on about his work without any fuss and made some of the worst movies in the last two decades. Now the filmmaker comes to intrigue with Old, whose teaser trailer includes a combination of statements (“we were chosen for a reason”, “there is something wrong with this beach”) which have the potential to captivate the viewers. On the beach where the action takes place time moves differently, and Gael García Bernal’s character will learn about it the hard way. His family included …

    The movie will be released in July.

    The Nevers (HBO series, created by Joss Whedon)

    Clearly, Joss Whedon finds it very difficult to stay away from creatures with supernatural abilities. The “papa” of the Avengers departed from the project in November (citing exhaustion as decision factor), not without offering all his love to this HBO production that takes us to Victorian England to witness the challenges encountered by a gang of women who, following a mysterious phenomenon, find themselves with all kinds of superpowers. “Their mission might even change the world”, the HBO synopsis purrs with excitement …

    The Nevers premieres in April.

    Est (drama, r. Antonio Pisu)

    Three young Italian men traveling to communist Romania? How can it not arouse our curiosity? Antonio Pisu’s film was selected in the Venice Days section of the Venice Film Festival, and on Friday it was released on seven streaming platforms throughout Italy. “We are not afraid of Romania”, assert the three protagonists as they are getting closer to the border, but how long will their innocence last once they step inside the communist country? The threat becomes even more palpable on account of a secret mission: they submit to the desperate plea made by a Romanian dissident from Budapest of delivering a suitcase to his family in Romania. Since the action (inspired by real events) takes place between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of communism in Romania, Est captures our country at a time which couldn’t be more relevant for our history …

    We don’t know yet when we’ll get to watch it in our cinemas, but we’ll sure be surprised if it doesn’t make it into at least one of the local festivals.

    Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel (miniserie documentar, r. Joe Berlinger)

    Netflix is not a newbie when it comes to releasing incredible documentaries that have a flair for creating a stir, and Berlinger’s film has every chance to make it into this category. The four-episode documentary follows two main lines: first, giving a rough introduction to the violent history of the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, an establishment known as “Hotel Death” for the considerable string (on Wikipedia you can even find a list of the violent deaths and suicides carried out in who knows what room of the hotel) of lethal events that have taken place here over more than eight decades. Then, it presents the disappearance case of Canadian student Elisa Lam, last seen in a surveillance video taken inside one of the hotel’s elevators. The more than bizarre behavior of the student made the video go viral, leading to a massive stir among the public opinion and turning it into a high-profile case, the social phenomenon being also analyzed in the documentary. For a more chic visit to the Cecil Hotel: the music video for Where the Streets Have No Name by U2 was shot right in front of the hotel and also contains some opinions on the infamous reputation of this LA area.

    Scheduled to premiere on February 10th on Netflix.

    CODA (Family Movie, r. Sean Heder)

    You’ll have to forgive us, but we haven’t yet found a trailer for CODA, the big winner at Sundance (even though it’s the remake of a French film), so instead, we present you this short video of deaf actress Marlee Matlin discussing the importance of authentic representation of people with disabilities on screen. However, apart from a few more current jokes, CODA doesn’t seem to say more than the original 2014 French film, the heartfelt La famille Bélier, but rather translates its essence to a different type of audience. The big difference between the two is the fact that in the original film the deaf-mute characters were played by non-disabled actors, whereas in CODA the performers are deaf-mute actors. So we’re dealing with a pressing question: what should festivals reward in the end? Originality and innovation or the inclusive message, which might come as nothing but an echo of a past film?

    CODA was purchased by Apple for a record $ 25 million and will be distributed worldwide exclusively on Apple TV+.

    Usually, February feels like a black hole when it comes to news on movie releases, since many of the upcoming productions are waiting either to get selected in festivals or for the official announcement of these selections before they can kick off their promo campaigns. So, we turned to guilty pleasures, superheroes, a bit of voyeurism and… the “CODA case”.