The Criterion Collection’s announcements for January 2018 sees the return of G. W. Pabst to the Collection, the long-expected arrival of John Hughes with a less-expected title, a Ken Loach Palme d’Or winner, and the return of the Eclipse series! From a trailer perspective, it is the release of Janus Films’ Night of the Living Dead 4K restoration trailer that has likely made the greatest waves. George Romero’s classic 1968 film has probably never looked better, even when it was first released.
Likely nothing has recently warmed the hearts of more cinephiles than the arrival yesterday of the trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread (2017). The film looks like hard Oscar-bait with a lead performance by Daniel Day-Lewis, music by Jonny Greenwood, and a tale of love and disruption for a renowned British dressmaker in 1950s London. DD-L and lavish, period costumes? Start engraving those statuettes!
With Arrow having yet to make its announcements for January 2018, this affords MMC! the opportunity to shift its attention to another favourite boutique label, Oscilloscope Films. Arguably the upcoming title I’m most interested in is Brimstone & Glory (Viktor Jakovleski, 2017). A winner at the 2017 Fantastic Fest for both Best Documentary Picture and Best Documentary Director, I desperately want to see this film about Tultepec, Mexico’s National Pyrotechnic Festival on the big screen, although I expect I’ll be waiting for home-viewing. Alas.
MMC! readers will know my love for all things aquatic, so it should be no surprise that I’m in absolute awe of the trailer for Blue Planet II (2017). Narration by Sir David Attenborough, music by Hans Zimmer, and dancing yeti crabs! Ready your 4K scuba masks, kids!
After last year’s excellent Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival, I’ve been closely watching for news of this year’s line-up and I’m happy to report that the full slate of SFFF 2018 features were announced yesterday. In addition to past “Trailer Tuesday” titles like Blade of the Immortal and Lowlife is Beyond Skyline (2017), the sequel to a middling 2010 sci-fi feature that has received surprisingly positive reviews with the addition of South Asian stars like Iko Uwais and some great looking alien soldiers and giant kaiju. Director Liam O’Donnell will be in attendance at SFFF for Beyond Skyline‘s screening.
Another shout-out to Oscilloscope Films, this time for the SFFF title, November (Rainer Sarnet, 2017). Based on Andrus Kivirähk’s fantasy novel Rehepapp ehk November, this beautifully shot black and white fable set in 19th century Estonia is a tale of complicated love “where spirits, werewolves, plagues, and the devil himself converge, where thievery is rampant, and where souls are highly regarded, but come quite cheap.” November looks amazing, like some perfect lovechild between Béla Tarr and Dead Alive-era Peter Jackson.
SFFF has 17 feature films scheduled to screen over its four-day program running between November 15 and 18. I’m particularly excited to see Bill Watterson’s corrugated comedy Dave Made a Maze (2017). I anticipate calling this “Michel Gondry adapts Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves.” We’ll see if that holds up.