New this week on Popshifter: My review of the “gently sobering” film California Solo; an exclusive first look at the second semester of Toronto’s lecture series, The Black Museum, and a retro new video from Purling Hiss; Chelsea admires new releases from Helado Negro and Bajofondo; J thinks that Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ Push The Sky Away is a “beautiful record;” Emily recommends the new compilation of Otis Redding soul music, Lonely & Blue as “essential listening” for music fans; and Elizabeth gives five reasons why you really should ditch your cable TV subscription in the latest installment of “TV Is Dead, Long Live TV.”
After seeing Sinister, I’ve reassessed my opinion of Ethan Hawke’s acting skills. Thus, I’m curious about the upcoming sci-fi film Predestination, starring Hawke and Australian actress Sarah Snook. Filmmakers Peter and Michael Spierig, who also directed Hawke in the great Daybreakers, will be tackling a Robert A. Heinlein short story from 1958 called “—All You Zombies—” that deals with sex and time travel. You can actually read the story online; if the movie is like the story it will be a real mind-blower. (H/T to Twitch.)
Though I’d not previously heard of filmmaker Dominik Moll, his IMDB profile reveals some interesting-sounding projects on his resume. Coming next for Moll is The Monk, starring Vincent Cassel. Bloody Disgusting has a NSFW clip, but I chose to stick with the trailer so as to avoid too much that might spoil the movie for me. It’s gorgeous and creepy, reminding me a little bit of the aura of In The Name of the Rose. Check it out below:
The Monk opens in select theaters and VOD today.
Another intriguing film available on VOD this month is Electrick Children, which IndieWire profiled in an article called “Ten Indies to Watch on VOD This March.” Here’s the synopsis from the article and the trailer:
Writer-director Rebecca Thomas, a Mormon and native of Las Vegas, uses her fable “Electrick Children” to explore the story of a precocious yet sheltered girl living with her Mormon fundamentalist family, who experiences a spiritual awakening on her fifteenth birthday after discovering a rock ‘n roll cassette tape. Claiming pregnancy by way of immaculate conception three months later, the girl (played by buzzed-about newcomer Julia Garner) runs away to Las Vegas in search of the tape’s bewitching voice.
Electrick Children will be available on the following platforms March 15: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, Playstation, XBOX, Vudu, Time Warner, Dish Network, Blockbuster on Demand, Cablevision.
April 4 is the premiere of the new NBC series Hannibal, and we have a new trailer. Though it only features three actors from the show’s stellar cast, it’s quite good:
It reminds me a bit of Bond vs. Silva in Skyfall, which reminds me of Batman vs. The Joker in The Dark Knight.
Although SXSW has long been associated with music, over the last few years, the film component has been increasing and gaining more attention. This year, there are 133 different films screening, including full-length features and documentaries, plus shorts and music videos from around the world.
IndieWire has been posting interviews with the directors in the Competitions, Headliners, Spotlight, Visions and Midnighters sections, discussing “what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they’re doing next.” There are 50 profiles in total.
If you’d like to look at a full list of all the films, you can check out the SXSW website. My top ten picks are as follows, in alphabetical order:
Downloaded: A documentary about the rise and fall of Napster and the digital revolution directed by Alex Winter (yes, that Alex Winter).
Evil Dead: I’m pretty sure we all know about this one, but you can watch the trailers here.
The Fifth Season: “In a village, a mysterious calamity strikes: spring doesn’t come.” This makes me think of a something that could be a narrative precursor to The Road or Children of Men; it’s a co production between Belgium, The Netherlands, and France.
Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction: If you’ve seen Harry Dean Stanton in anything, you’ll either get why I want to see this or you won’t.
Haunter: From the director of Cube and Splice, Vincenzo Natali, comes this story: “Lisa Johnson is one day shy of her 16th birthday and will be forever. She and her family are doomed to repeat the fateful day before they were all killed in 1985.”
I Am Divine: “The story of Divine, a.k.a. Harris Glenn Milstead, and how he became John Waters’ cinematic muse and an international drag icon.”
Kiss of The Damned: Xan Cassavetes’s erotic vampire thriller (which I’ve previously covered).
Mr. Angel: “Chronicles the extraordinary life of trans male porn pioneer and educator, Buck Angel. It’s a moving & provocative story of a man’s search for acceptance from his family and the world.” The trailer is great.
Plus One: This sounds like a real genre-bender: “Three college friends go to the biggest party of the year, each looking for something different: love, sex and a simple human connection. When a supernatural phenomenon disrupts the party, it lights a fuse on what will become the strangest night anyone has ever seen. As the three friends struggle to find what they’re looking for, the party quickly descends into a chaos that challenges if they can stay friends or if they can even stay alive.”
The Wait: “An enigmatic phone call from a psychic, catapults a family into a state of suspended belief while waiting for their recently deceased mother to be resurrected.” With Chloë Sevigny and Jena Malone.
—Less Lee Moore, Managing Editor