October's Trailer Recommendations
Mank (dir. David Fincher) – Netflix
David Fincher releases a new film and the world just stops. Gary Oldman plays screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, during his efforts to finish writing Citizen Kane, Orson Welles’ first feature film, and still one of the most influential films in history. The fact that the screenplay points the finger at several moguls of the era, including William Randolph Hearst (played by Charles Dance), causes a lot of problems to Mankiewicz at a time in his life when he already finds himself in trouble. The film will premiere on Netflix on December 4.
Emily in Paris – Netflix
The perfect American self-confidence goes head-to-head with the French ennui and arrogance in this series about Emily (Lily Collins), a witch of social media, who finds herself miraculously catapulted from her marketing company in Chicago to Paris. It’s a little strange to see a female character talking about emancipation, discrimination and … male gaze, when Collins is what Americans call a “zero size”, but the Netflix series compensates with poise, creativity and humor, and you can’t really escape its charms. Emily in Paris is now available on Netflix.
True Mothers (dir. Naomi Kawase)
This year’s edition of Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest pays tribute to Japanese director Naomi Kawase, who has three films in the festival selection, including her most recent one, True Mothers, selected before at Cannes and already screened at festivals such as Toronto and San Sebastian. The film’s premise is more than dramatic: the adoptive parents of a little boy receive a phone call from his biological mother and discover that she is ready to do anything to recover her son.
Beartown – HBO GO
Scheduled to premiere on HBO GO on December 18, Beartown is a new Scandi Noir that offers an interesting mix of conflicting forces, starting from the so-called winning mentality. The film revolves around Peter, the new coach of the junior hockey team in Beartown, and Kevin, the star of the team, the entire future of the town depending on his skill in the rink. In the middle of a championship that the team struggles to win, an act of Kevin overturns the already fragile balance of the small community.
Mia Misses Her Revenge (dir. Bogdan Theodor Olteanu)
A young actress (Ioana Bugarin, who also stars in Otto the Barbarian) gets in a big fight with her boyfriend, and he eventually slaps her. Now that is the premise of Bogdan Theodor Olteanu’s second film (following Several Conversations About a Very Tall Girl), which discusses what happens when the victim seeks inventive solutions to get revenge. The director surrounds his heroine with an entourage of supporting characters, each with their own opinion on the incident, in an attempt to explore the limits of empathy. The film has just been released in Competition 1-2 at the Warsaw Film Festival, and will be available at some point in cinemas or online.
The Haunting of Bly Manor – Netflix
A ghost story is all the more captivating when there are children among the heroes. At least that’s the opinion of one of the characters (Carla Gugino) of this new Netflix series, about the extraordinary experiences of Dani (Victoria Pedretti), the new governess of orphans Flora and Miles, the young heirs of the majestic Bly residence. Elements from the first episode are further replayed in flashbacks, and it soon becomes clear that a terrible threat is hiding in the family’s past and, even worse, in the dark hallways of the mansion … Available on Netflix.
Garage People (r. Natalija Yefimkina)
The October edition of the Astra Film Festival will take place exclusively online, after people in Sibiu had the opportunity to enjoy an outdoor edition in September. Astra now offers two competitions, and among the big names of the selection is also the interesting Garage People, an overview of the Russians’ obsession with their tin garages, and of their ingenuity in using this tiny space to spice up their lives. Available on www.astrafilm.ro between October 15-25.
The prolific Ryan Murphy turns to one of the most famous villains in cinema, nurse Mildred Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, to get back to some of his main interests, such as the myriad layers of abuse, homophobia and fascination for villains. Sarah Paulson is more than captivating in the leading role, and Murphy proves once again that he can make use of a generous budget just to create the right atmosphere. Available on Netflix.
Please hold the line (dir. Pavel Cuzuioc)
Documentary director Pavel Cuzuioc proposes a more than promising thesis – the irrelevance of communication in times when we have so many tools for communication, which he supports with footage of several cable technicians in Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine going through a lot of trouble to mediate, through various methods, their clients’ access to communication. Cuzuioc’s discreet camera allows the heroes to be themselves, and the result is more than relevant. Available on www.astrafilm.ro between October 15-25 .