Here’s The Teaser For Nomadland!

Back in 2018, director Chloe Zhao was quite rightfully acclaimed for her quietly beautiful film, The Rider.

Full of haunting images of the western landscape, The Rider was a character study of a rodeo rider struggling to recover after a serious accident.  It was a poignant and affecting film, one that made you cry while steering clear of all of the usual cliches.  Though the film was ignored at the Oscars, it still picked up several awards from the critics groups.

When 2020 began, Chloe Zhao had two movie scheduled to be released.  One was Marvel’s Eternals, a big-budget MCU film that sounds like it’s basically the antithesis of The Rider.  The other is Nomadland, which stars Frances McDormand as a woman who, having lost her job and her home, travels the country in search of employment.  Based on a nonfiction book, Nomadland sounds like it will continue to explore the themes that Zhao first examined in The Rider.

As a result of COVID-19, both films were briefly in limbo.  Eternals was eventually rescheduled for February of next year.  Nomadland is set to premiere at both the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals this Friday.  It’s scheduled to get a theatrical release on December 4th and Searchlight Film is expected to push the film for Oscar consideration.

Here’s the teaser, which features Frances McDormand doing a lot of walking:

Here’s The Trailer For Ben Wheatley’s Rebecca!

Ben Wheatley is one of the most interesting directors working today.  As I’ve stated many times, I consider A Field In England to be one of the best films of the last ten years.

Wheatley’s next film is going to be an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s classic gothic tale, Rebecca!  Alfred Hitchcock adaptation of du Maurier’s novel was named the Best Picture of 1940.  Wheatley’s version has been described as a “modern” updating of the classic story.

Rebecca will be released on Netflix on October 21st and it will star Lily James, Armie Hammer, and Kristin Scott Thomas in the roles that were previously played by Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, and Judith Anderson.  Here’s the trailer:

Wedlock (1991, directed by Lewis Teague)

This HBO film opens with a shot of an urban skyline and a title card that reads “somewhere in the future.”  However, the city looks like a present-day city and the cars don’t fly and all of the clothing is 90s fashionable and the people in the movie use pay phones.  Since Wedlock was made in 1991, I guess the movie takes place in … 1992?  Maybe 1993.

Frank (Rutger Hauer), Noelle (John Chen), and Sam (James Remar) are professional thieves who have just managed to make a big score.  They’ve stolen several million dollars worth of diamonds.  Unfortunately, Sam tripped an alarm during the theft so Frank had to make off with the diamonds.  After he hides them, Frank goes to the rendezvous point to meet up with Sam and Noelle.  His partners betray him, shooting Frank and, after discovering that he doesn’t have the diamonds him, leaving him for dead.

However, Frank survives.  He ends up getting sent to Camp Holliday, a prison run by Warden Holliday (Stephen Tobolowsky, who you’ll recognize as Ned Ryerson from Groundhog Day). The Warden explains that his prison is more progressive than most.  Not only is the prison co-ed but prisoners are allowed more freedom to move around.  The only catch is that all the prisoners wear an explosive dog collar.  Each prisoner has a randomly selected mate, someone to whom they are wedlocked, if you will.  Move more than 100 yards away from your partner and boom!  Both collars go off and two prisoners end up losing their heads.

The Warden wants to know where the diamonds are hidden so he sets about torturing Frank (who has been given the prison name of Magneta) but he soon discovers that it won’t be easy to break Frank Warren.  Even after Frank gets locked in a sensory deprivation tank, he just laughs and says the diamonds are with Santa at the North Pole.  Another prisoner, Ivory (Mimi Rogers) approaches Frank and says that she’s figured out that she’s his partner.  She wants to escape and she needs Frank to come with her.  But can Frank trust her and, if she’s wrong, won’t both of their heads explode?  Then again, who in the near future of the 1990s would turn down a chance to run off with Mimi Rogers?  Meanwhile, Frank’s partners are waiting for him to escape from the prison so that they can follow him to wherever the diamonds are located.

Though the plot may be ludicrous, Wedlock works because it has a good cast (even Danny Trejo has a small role) and it was directed by Lewis Teague, who started his directorial career under Roger Corman and who has always understood how to put together a good B-movie.  The prison scenes are more interesting than the scenes that take place in the outside world but the exploding head effects are cool and Rutger Hauer, James Remar, and Mimi Rogers are always enjoyable to watch no matter what they’re doing.

Music Video of the Day: Wake Me Up by Avicii (2013, dir by Mark Seliger and C.B. Miller)

I’m sharing this video in memory of Avicii, who would have been 31 years old today and whose talent was taken from us far too early.

This video tells the story of two sisters, outsiders in their village who find a new and better home.  The older sister is played by Kristina Romanova while the younger sister is played by Laneya Grace.  It’s a song and a video that epitomizes everything that made Avicii such a special talent.  In the end, the sisters find a better life.  They wake up, as hopefully everyone will have a chance to do at some point in their existence.

Rest in peace, Tim Bergling.