Joaquin Phoenix is having a moment in the Beau is Afraid Trailer

I can’t even begin to explain what this is about from the Trailer. Leave it to A24 and Ari Aster (Hereditary, Midsommar) to come up something so weird. Beau is Afraid stars Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), Nathan Lane & Amy Ryan (both from Only Murders in the Building), Michael Gandolfini (The Many Saints of Newark), Stephen McKinley-Henderson (Dune)and Patti Lupone (Penny Dreadful).

Beau is Afraid is due out this April.

A24 releases the trailer for X’s Prequel, Pearl

Anyone who watched Ti West’s X since it’s release in March were given a glance at Pearl, it’s prequel. I saw the sneak peek teaser when X was featured in A24’s Screening Room, the company’s digital showcase. I thought it was just something tacked to the end of the film, like Albert Pyun’s announcement for Tales of the Ancient Empire at the end of The Sword and The Sorcerer. I thought they were kidding.

Sure enough, here we are.

Pearl takes place years before the events of X, where we get to find out how things progressed to where they ended up. Mia Goth (Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria) returns for this tale, and I’m a little curious to see what they come up with here.

Pearl is set to release this September.

The Marcel The Shell With Shoes On trailer takes us on an adventure.

I’ll admit, watching the trailer for A24’s Marcel The Shell With Shoes, I was a little amused. The story of a Shell looking to find their family is cute, but once Phil Collins’ “Take Me Home” kicked in, I was hooked. A24 is known for being weird, and this doesn’t look like it’ll disappoint.

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On stars Jenny Slate (Zootopia), Rosa Salazar (Alita: Battle Angel), and Isabella Rossellini (Death Becomes Her), and will be released this June.

Insomnia File #50: Zola (dir by Janicza Bravo)

What’s an Insomnia File? You know how some times you just can’t get any sleep and, at about three in the morning, you’ll find yourself watching whatever you can find on cable or Netflix? This feature is all about those insomnia-inspired discoveries!

If you were having trouble getting to sleep around two a.m. on Monday morning, you could have turned over to Showtime 2’s west coast feed and watched Zola.

Zola tells the story of Zola (Taylor Paige), a Detroit waitress and part-time stripper who is invited to go down to Florida by another stripper, Stefani (Riley Keough).  Stefani assures Zola that they’re just going to have a good time and make some money dancing in the clubs.  Instead, it turns out that they’re going to Florida with Stefani’s roommate, X (Colman Domingo, showing compelling flashes of charisma and danger), and her simple-minded but loyal boyfriend, Derrek (Nicholas Braun).  It also turns out that X is actually a Nigerian named Abegunde Olawale and that he is Stefani’s pimp.  It doesn’t take long for Zola to grow annoyed with everyone else on the road trip but, unfortunately, she’s already stuck in Tampa with them.  That’s the problem with going on a road trips with perfect strangers.  The trip grows stranger and more violent with each passing hour.  In fact, it gets so strange that, when Zola eventually tells her story on twitter, the thread goes viral.  And then this movie is made, with a disclaimer that states that most of the story is based on fact.

Zola made quite a splash when it premiered at Sundance in 2020.  Audiences either loved or hated its extreme stylization and rather crass cast of characters.  While the film was originally scheduled to be released in 2020, that release was delayed by the COVID pandemic.  At a time when people were scared to go outside and be near even their closest relatives or friends, I guess someone decided that it wasn’t the right time to release a movie about going on a cramped road trip with two morons and a psychotic pimp.  The film was finally released earlier this year.  It got good critical notices, though audiences seemed to be slightly less enamored with it.

Speaking for myself, I was both impressed and annoyed with Zola.  On the one hand, you have to respect a film that’s willing to run the risk of alienating the audience in order to tell its story.  Zola is violent, vulgar, and frequently funny.  It’s also frequently disturbing, with Zola continually finding herself in a bad situation from which she can’t escape.  Taylour Paige brings a lot of inner strength to the role of Zola.  When Zola gets annoyed, she doesn’t hide it.  When Zola says she’s not going to do something, she means it and she says it with such confidence that even X respects her.  She and Stefani also have an interesting relationship, one that will ring true to anyone who has ever had that one friend who simply cannot stop messing up her life.  The film embraces its characters and their activities, refusing to pass judgment or to sentimentalize.  You have to admire the film’s commitment.  At the same time, the film is occasionally a bit annoying.  It’s so extremely stylized and Stefani is so loud and crass that it can sometimes be tough to take.  This is a film that benefits from being watched at home as opposed to in theater, if just because you can hit pause whenever you feel a migraine starting to come on.  (Poor Zola, meanwhile, is stuck in the back of X’s car, listening to Stefani and Derreck and realizing that she’s pretty much stuck with all of them.)  Zola was produced and distributed by A24 and it is indeed very much an A24 film, loud, frustrating, paranoia-inducing, and occasionally compelling.

Zola is only 90 minutes long but it packs a lot into those minutes.  It’s not a boring film.  At the same time, it’s never quite as subversive as something like Spring Breakers.  Instead, it’s just an energetic recreation of the road trip from Hell.

Previous Insomnia Files:

  1. Story of Mankind
  2. Stag
  3. Love Is A Gun
  4. Nina Takes A Lover
  5. Black Ice
  6. Frogs For Snakes
  7. Fair Game
  8. From The Hip
  9. Born Killers
  10. Eye For An Eye
  11. Summer Catch
  12. Beyond the Law
  13. Spring Broke
  14. Promise
  15. George Wallace
  16. Kill The Messenger
  17. The Suburbans
  18. Only The Strong
  19. Great Expectations
  20. Casual Sex?
  21. Truth
  22. Insomina
  23. Death Do Us Part
  24. A Star is Born
  25. The Winning Season
  26. Rabbit Run
  27. Remember My Name
  28. The Arrangement
  29. Day of the Animals
  30. Still of The Night
  31. Arsenal
  32. Smooth Talk
  33. The Comedian
  34. The Minus Man
  35. Donnie Brasco
  36. Punchline
  37. Evita
  38. Six: The Mark Unleashed
  39. Disclosure
  40. The Spanish Prisoner
  41. Elektra
  42. Revenge
  43. Legend
  44. Cat Run
  45. The Pyramid
  46. Enter the Ninja
  47. Downhill
  48. Malice
  49. Mystery Date

Here’s The Trailer For Zola

Just a few days ago, I was wondering what happened to Zola.

Zola, as you may remember, made a big splash at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. It’s based on a twitter thread, made up of 148 tweets, about a trip that someone claimed to have taken to Florida with a stripper. The trip involved prostitution, murder, and attempted suicide and it was later determined that the majority of the thread was a lie or, at the very least, seriously embellished. Still, it got enough attention to lead to a movie, one that was originally going to be directed by James Franco before he left the project and was replaced by Janicza Bravo. A24 picked up Zola at Sundance and, at the time, I remember that there were a lot of people who were predicting that Zola would be the film of 2020. Then the Pandemic hit and Zola kinda disappeared.

Well, it looks like Zola is finally going to get released. The trailer dropped today and the film has a release date of June 30th. I have to admit that I as I watched the trailer, I was a little bit torn. On the one hand, it looked like a typical A24 film. (I remember when the film was purchased, there were more than a few critics who complained about the fact that every year, A24 releases another psychotic road trip film.) On the other hand, I know people just like the character played Riley Keough. Just from what we see in the trailer, it appears that she got this character down perfectly. As anyone who has seen American Honey can attest, Riley Keough is a talented performer who deserves to be better known.

Add to that, if they’re going to turn a twitter thread into a movie, I’d much prefer it be this one as opposed to that twitter thread about the writer who claimed that a bunch of gangsters were trying to kill him because he accidentally insulted his weed guy. What was that all about? Of course, there’s always a risk that, if Zola does too well, every twitter thread will suddenly become a potential film pitch and I think that’s probably going to lead to twitter getting even more performative than it is now. The best threads are the ones that feature animals looking shocked over mundane things. Someone needs to make a movie out of that.

Anyway, here’s the trailer for Zola:

Here’s The Trailer for The Florida Project!

The Florida Project is the latest film from Sean Baker, who was responsible for last year’s acclaimed Tangerine.

The Florida Project, which was critically acclaimed at Cannes, has a much larger budget than Tangerine, a bigger star (in the form of Willem DaFoe), and some very real Oscar hopes.  Let’s just hope that A24 doesn’t get so busy promoting The Florida Project, Baker, and DaFoe that they end up forgetting about The Disaster Artist and James Franco.

Spread the wealth around!

Here’s the trailer for The Florida Project!


Belatedly, Here’s The First Teaser For The Disaster Artist!

Hi, everyone!

Well, look, I’m just going to admit it.  I failed you last month.  Usually, I try to keep this site up to date with all the best trailers.  However, last month, I got very busy with another one of my summer projects and, unfortunately, I ended up running behind on keeping up with all the latest trailers and teasers.

So, if you’ll indulge me a little, I’m going to try to get caught up.  Admittedly, some of the trailers that I’m going to share today are going to be old news.  But I still want to share them because they’re films that we’re excited about here at the Shattered Lens.

And who knows?  Maybe I’m not the only one who had a busy July.  Maybe you missed some of these trailers as well.

For instance, check out this teaser for James Franco’s latest film, The Disaster Artist.  Now, if you’re like me and you love getting together with friends and tossing around plastic spoons while watching Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, then you can’t wait for the chance to see The Disaster Artist.  Telling the true story of Greg Sestero’s friendship with Wiseau and his involvement in the production of The Room, The Disaster Artist was one of the best books of 2014.  Rumor has it that The Disaster Artist is also one of the best films of 2017.

If nothing else, James Franco is getting Oscar buzz.  If James Franco wins an Oscar for playing Tommy Wiseau, my life will be complete.  If it happens, I might even take a year off so that I can bask in the glories of fate.

The teaser below features the filming of one of The Room‘s best-known scenes:

The Austin Film Critics Association Honors Moonlight!


The Austin Film Critics Association have announced their picks for the best of 2016!

Best Film: Moonlight (dir: Barry Jenkins)

Best Director: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Best Actress: Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Fences

Best Original Screenplay: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Adapted Screenplay: Eric Heisserer, Arrival

Best Cinematography: Linus Sandgren, La La Land

Best Score: Justin Hurwitz, La La Land

Best Foreign-Language Film: The Handmaiden (dir: Park Chan-wook)

Best Documentary: Tower (dir: Keith Maitland)

Best Animated Film: Kubo and the Two Strings (dir: Travis Knight)

Best First Film: The Witch (dir: Robert Eggers)

The Robert R. “Bobby” McCurdy Memorial Breakthrough Artist Award: Keith Maitland, Tower

Austin Film Award: Tower (dir: Keith Maitland)

Special Honorary Award: To the ensemble cast of Moonlight and casting director Yesi Ramirez for excellence as an ensemble.

Special Honorary Award: To honor Anton Yelchin for his contribution to the cinema of 2016, including performances in Green Room and Star Trek Beyond. His was a brilliant career cut profoundly short.

Special Honorary Award: To A24 Films for excellence in production in distribution. Their work gave us Moonlight, Green Room, Swiss Army Man, The Lobster, The Witch, and 20th Century Women, among others.

Special Honorary Award: To filmmaker Keith Maitland and his film Tower for revisiting a tragic event in Austin, Texas history in a sensitive and unique manner.

AFCA 2016 Top Ten Films:

  1. Moonlight
  2. La La Land
  3. Arrival
  4. The Handmaiden
  5. Manchester by the Sea
  6. Elle
  7. Hell or High Water
  8. The Lobster
  9. Jackie
  10. Sing Street