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New Trailers on HeadStuff is the place to catch up on all the latest teasers released in the world of Film and TV. Stephen Porzio tells you what’s hot.
Most Anticipated – Catch-22, Hulu
Joseph Heller’s satirical masterpiece of a novel Catch-22 has been adapted by George Clooney into a six-part series. The ever reliable Christopher Abbott stars as John Yossarian, a US Army Air Forces bombardier in World War II. His army keeps increasing the number of missions their men must fly to complete their service. However, if Yossarian makes any attempt to avoid his military assignments, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22. This is a sinister bureaucratic rule, specifying that “concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers which are real is the process of a rational mind; a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but a request to be removed from duty is evidence of sanity and therefore makes him ineligible to be relieved from duty.”
Featuring a great cast – including Clooney himself, Hugh Laurie and Kyle Chandler – this adaptation seems to lean into the blackly comic elements of the story, the trailer displaying a Coen Brothers-esque level of whimsy.
2 Her Smell – Dir Alex Ross Perry
Having managed to catch this at DIFF 2019, this reviewer can confirm Her Smell should be on cinefiles most anticipated list. It’s an unflinching assault on the senses by Alex Ross Perry, someone rapidly becoming one of America’s most exciting filmmakers. Elizabeth Moss stars as Becky Something, a self-destructive punk legend in the midst of an identity crisis – damaging her relationships with her band, manager, ex-husband and child.
This trailer – while good – does not capture what the movie feels like. We meet Becky already in the throes of her breakdown. Through long-takes and immersive sound design, Perry puts you right into the headspace of Moss’ frenzied rocker – as well as the fed-up people who orbit her – for an agonising yet gripping two hour plus run time. Less of a music drama than a psychological horror, it is really something special.
3. The Highwaymen – Dir John Lee Hancock
Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson star as the Texan Rangers who took down Bonnie and Clyde. That’s enough to make anyone want to watch a film. But when you also throw in the trailer’s gorgeous period setting and the fact that on March 15 you will be able to stream it from the comfort of your own home via Netflix, it becomes required viewing.
4. Dark Lies the Island – Dir Ian Fitzgibbon
This Irish film sees author Kevin Barry taking characters from his various short stories, weaving them together for a tale about a family feud in a sleepy purgatorial Irish town. Having also premiered at DIFF, I can say film fans should make a point to see this when it goes on general release. What begins as your typical Irish dark comedy slowly morphs into an ambitious psychological, dream-like drama. It’s very impressive and if you don’t believe me, read James Holohan’s Headstuff review here.
5. When They See Us, Netflix
Following her documentary 13th, Ava DuVernay (Selma) re-teams with Netflix for this four-part true crime drama series about five harlem teens sent to jail for a crime they did not commit. If the writer-director’s name is not enough to make you seek this out, this teaser should be. Shot by cinematographer Bradford Young (Arrival) to resemble a one-take, it takes one of our protagonists from the freedom of his house, to his arrest, to the confines of his jail using tricks of the light. It’s extraordinary.
6. Dragged Across Concrete – Dir Craig S Zahler
From the man behind Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99 comes the tale of two cops (Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn) who turn crooked and enter into the criminal underworld to gain some money. There they get more than they bargained for.
On the festival circuit the film has received a mixed reception with some commentators balking at its 160 minute running time and criticising its racial politics. That said, Zahler’s last two films were similarly long and amazingly gritty and gripping – serving to revitalise the careers of its waning stars. Let’s hope the same is true of Dragged Across Concrete. This trailer, with its fun use of music and striking imagery, inspires optimism.
7. Never Grow Old – Dir Ivan Kavanagh
Shot in Ireland, this Western thriller from Ivan Kavanagh (whose previous film The Canal made it onto to Headstuff’s Irish horror retrospective) has an intriguing Faustian premise. When a gang of evil outlaws (led by John Cusack) take over a peaceful frontier town, the place’s undertaker (Emile Hirsch) profits from all the death. But at what consequence?
This looks beautifully gothic a la Black 47 and seems to feature Cusack back on good form following a string of years where he seemed to join Nicolas Cage in straight-to-DVD hell. The Canal proved Kavanagh has directing chops. Let’s hope this gets a cinematic release.