AICN & Twitch Present International Eye Candy: LOGORAMA, A SERBIAN FILM, SES, GLITCH IN THE GRID, And More!!
Published at: March 14, 2010, 8:57 a.m. CST by merrick
International Eye Candy
March 14, 2010
The last time the International Eye Candy column made an appearance I spent the opening apologizing for the relatively slender nature of the thing. You see, the film world was just coming off of the European Film Market and everyone had spent the previous couple weeks trying to sell each other stuff rather than showing new bits and bobs to the general public so the pickings were slim. No such problem this time out. No, this might actually be the biggest edition of the IEC yet. I’d tell you for certain but actually counting these things is far more work than I’m prepared to put in. What’ve we got? Oscar winners, Takashi Miike, Brazilian animation, Canadian animation, Argentinian thrillers, Turkish horror and so on and so forth. Heck, we’ve even got luchadors. So strap in and get ready, here comes International Eye Candy.
Right. Who here wants to see Ronald McDonald going on a bloody rampage of gun violence through Los Angeles? Because here he is! French produced animated short LOGORAMA makes the most extensive use ever of the parody allowances to copyright law – i.e. people can’t stop you from making fun of them on copyright grounds, so you’re free to use their logos all you want in that context – by creating an alternate LA composed entirely of corporate brands and logos. Not only is there not a surface or object in LOGORAMA that isn’t corporately backed, there isn’t a single character that isn’t also a corporate logo. This thing just took the Oscar for best animated short and now it’s online for public appreciation. So go ahead and appreciate already. Bonus points for anyone who recognizes the voice of the Pringles man.
Find LOGORAMA here
From angry Ronald we go to Serbia and basically angry everyone. And naked everyone. The film is titled, simply enough, A SERBIAN FILM and it’s about to take a bow at SXSW where I fully believe it’s going to spark a firestorm of controversy. Why? Because it’s apolitical satire that uses snuff-porn as its central allegory and it doesn’t hold back at all. This is one of the most transgressive films I’ve ever seen and while the fresh theatrical trailer only barely scrapes the surface of what this thing contains it is still wildly inappropriate for any sort of work environment.
Find the A SERBIAN FILM trailer here
From Serbia now to Turkey, where the genre renaissance continues to roll ahead. The latest horror effort to hit Turkish screens is titled SES or VOICE and it follows a woman plagued by a mysterious voice in her head telling her things nobody could know. Something divine? Something nefarious? Or simple madness? It looks like slick, stylish stuff.
Find the SES trailer here
We stay in Turkey a moment longer to take a quick peek at DAHSIN. Yes, the nation responsible for TURKISH STAR WARS and TURKISH SUPERMAN is now giving us TURKISH DEXTER! I’m guessing this is some sort of parody video but nobody really seems to know yet what it’s all about. Pretty spot on, though.
Say hello to DAHSIN here
Fans of the great Jan Svankmajer would do well to take a look at GLITCH IN THE GRID, the latest effort from American experimental animator Eric Leiser. Clearly looking to the history of eastern European stop motion animation for inspiration, Leiser is one of the most unique voices working in the field today. And, in this case, when I mean in the field I mean a literal field as Leiser is prone to creating massive scale pieces of animation by manipulating plants and other objects out in the natural world.
Find the GLITCH IN THE GRID trailer here
Right. Everybody take a look at that poster and tell me who it reminds you of. Got it? If you said ZATOICHI go out and get yourself a cookie, not because you’re correct but because you think the same way I do.
The poster is actually from a Korean production apparently based on a local comic – though I’ll wager good money the creator of that comic had a major ZATOICHI fetish – coming from the director of massive critical and commercial hit THE KING AND THE CLOWN. The literal title of this one is LIKE THE MOON ESCAPING THE CLOUDS and it’s a period set action-drama featuring a blind swordsman drawn into conflict with the powers that be. Just a brief teaser for this one at this point but the production values look great.
Find the MOON ESCAPING teaser here
But speaking of ZATOICHI, here’s a bit of the real thing for you. The casting is way young and they’ve given him a wife in this one – which just seems odd – but the upcoming ZATOICHI: THE LAST purports to be the final authorized take on the classic character. SMAP’s Shingo Katori stars and while I find that choice very strange the trailer actually looks a bit alright. It’s going to fall short of the originals, and probably the Kitano revival as well, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be pretty good.
Find ZATOICHI here
J Blakeson’s tight UK thriller THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED made such an impression on me when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival that I got all silly and said Blakeson would be the next Danny Boyle. Except it can’t have been that silly a thing to say because now, five full months later, I still believe it’s true.
A nasty little kidnapping thriller that ramps the tension up high, ALICE CREED – with Bond girl Gemma Aterton in the title role - will be getting a theatrical release in North America a little later on this year but is about to hit UK screens and the first trailer has hit to promote the release there. Get a taste.
Find the ALICE CREED trailer here
How do you stop a band of heroic luchadors? By creating an army of evil clone luchadors, of course! Clothesline! Eye gouge! Testicle stomp! Life is better because this exists.
Find the 100% LUCHA trailer here
Just thinking about Dennis Law’s WOMB GHOSTS again gives me a bit of a queasy feeling in my stomach, never mind writing about the damn thing. Yes, it’s about what you think it is. Yes, it’s just as nasty as you fear it might be. Yes, Fruit Chan covered this ground already with DUMPLINGS but that doesn’t make Law’s effort any less unpleasant.
Click here to squirm with WOMB GHOSTS
Think that image from Brazilian animated short VOLTAGE looks awesome? Wait until you see the whole film. Because it’s even better. This is one of my favourite things in recent days, chock full of gorgeous character design, a really unique feel to the animation, and a kick ass soundtrack to boot. Yes, please.
Watch VOLTAGE here
Hands up everyone who loves Michael Biehn! Hands up everyone who knew he was directing his first feature!
A loose remake of a minor Hong Kong action picture, Biehn directs and stars in THE BLOOD BOND. A fists and bullets sort of action picture that oozes the 80’s video release aesthetic of the films where Biehn first made his name, this one’s very much a B-picture but it looks like a fun one. Hong Kong megastar Simon Yam also stars.
Find the BLOOD BOND promo reel here
What’s more surprising? That some guy in Germany who nobody has ever heard of claims to be making a sequel to SHOWGIRLS or that he claims to have a twenty five million dollar budget to do it and that the results look so incredibly trashy? The director is Marc Vorlander, the film is SHOWGIRLS: THE RETURN, it will apparently play entirely in German, it appears to actually be a legitimate production, and the trailer is one of the most baffling and unintentionally hilarious things I’ve seen in a good long time. It also rivals A SERBIAN FILM in the Most Naked People On Screen sweepstakes for this edition of the IEC, so be aware of that before clicking through.
Make some room TROLL 2, you’re about to get some company in Worst Film Ever Made Land.
Find the SHOWGIRLS 2 trailer here
There are certain things in this life that are just meant to go together and, in my mind, Luc Besson and Jean Reno hold a prime spot on that list. The pair have worked together surprisingly seldom since Reno starred for Besson in LEON (THE PROFESSIONAL) but they’re cooking something up now with L’IMMORTEL (22 BULLETS). Besson is producing this one, Reno starring as a gangster trying to get out of the biz, and it’s just gooooooood to see them back together.
Find the L’IMMORTEL trailer here
And now things get considerably goofier with KURT JOSEF WAGLE AND THE LEGEND OF THE FJORD WITCH. The latest from the director of DEAD SNOW, this one happened almost by accident when all involved had a bit of down time, a camera, and a whole lot of nervous energy. The lot of them packed up and headed to the woods for a while and when they came back they had made this, a gutter comedy taking the piss out of the whole first-person horror trend. Think Mel Brooks, but Norwegian. Obviously this would be funnier if it was subtitled but the visual gags are more than enough to get the point across.
Find the FJORD WITCH here
Right off the top: I don’t like Gerard Depardieu. I never have. And so if not for several friends whose opinion I trust telling me I needed to give it a look I probably would’ve completely overlooked MAMMUTH. And Depardieu or no Depardieu that would’ve been a big mistake because this thing looks drily hilarious.
The marketers are getting this one 100% wrong, putting out posters that make it look like a dorky, feel good, inspirational comedy when what it really is is a darkly absurd comic tale about a very odd man on a very strange post-retirement odyssey. Think Coen Brothers and you won’t be too far off.
No trailer for this one, yet, but there is a lengthy clip featuring Depardieu berating a grocery store deli worker for not showing the proper respect to his ham.
Find the MAMMUTH trailer here
One for the home team here, with a pair of animated shorts from Canada’s Leslie Supnet.
Supnet is one of the great, largely overlooked gems of my home and native land, working dominantly with a form of cut out puppet animation. It’s odd, delightful stuff and two newish pieces have crossed our desk in recent weeks that need to be shared. HANG IN THERE holds to Supnet’s typical style while SUN MOON RAIN STARS plays with some new techniques. Both are fantastic.
Find Supnet’s latest here
And now on to the Miike!
Takashi Miike’s ZEBRAMAN 2 reunites the director with writer Kankuro Kudo and star Sho Aikawa for another spin through Japanese masked-heroicism and we’ve got a pair of videos for this one this week. One is the second trailer for the film itself. The second is a trailer for low budget, straight to video spin off – helmed by Miike’s assistant on ZEBRAMAN – REVENGE OF THE ZEBRA MINISKIRT POLICE. And with a title like that, what more do you need to know?
Find the ZEBRAMAN 2 trailer here and the REVENGE OF THE ZEBRA MINISKIRT POLICE here
Off to Argentina now for CANO DORADO (THE GOLDEN GUN), a grimy action thriller revolving around a poor, young factory worker trying to make a few bucks by manufacturing and selling primitive home-made guns. This practice, naturally enough, does not go over well with the local gangsters.
Remember this, people, South America is about to explode. This region will be the next major force in world cinema and it’s films like this that are going to lead the charge.
Find the CANO DORADO trailer here
I’ve made one Coen Brothers comparison in the column already and I’m about to do it again with Portuguese effort EMBARGO. What have we got here? A lovely tale of a hotdog salesman who invents a machine with the potential to revolutionize the shoe industry but who can’t manage to get out of his car to actually sell the damn thing. It’s slick in all the right ways, really well shot, smartly written and – yes – the trailer on this one does feature English subtitles so you can keep track of everything that’s going on.
Find the EMBARGO trailer here
And now for something completely different.
Thai epic BANG RAJAN was one of the first to really catch international eyes when the current Thai export wave was just starting, a film that built a bit of a following but arguably would have been better served if it had released just after the original ONG BAK rather than just before.
A big historical battle film based on the real story of Thai villagers battling off foreign forces and taking enormous losses in the process, the film was a big hit within Thailand and now they’re back with a continuation of the story. If axe wielding villagers riding into battle on the backs of water buffalo are your thing, then this is the film for you.
Find the BANG RAJAN 2 trailer here
Another SXSW title here.
Gareth Edwards’ alien invasion comedy MONSTERS has been living in a Cone Of Silence for the most part and very little is known about it other than that it takes place six years after an alien invasion has left Mexico populated largely by actual aliens as opposed to the illegal immigrant kind. And while all anyone wants to say about the story is that it revolves around a journalist trying to help a tourist through the alien infestation zone back to the safety of the US border, they have finally released a first clip from the picture to give a little taste before the premiere. They’re still keeping the aliens resolutely off screen, but it’s a pretty tasty sample.
Find the MONSTERS clip here
Ronald Reagan has an important message for everyone in Alberto González Vázquez’s EL FIN DEL MUNDO. This is my personal favourite find of 2010 so far.
Discover EL FIN DEL MUNDO here
Right, one more trip to SXSW as the column winds to an end.
Expect a big local contingent to turn out for the North American premiere of RED, WHITE AND BLUE, the new thriller from Simon Rumley. Shot in Austin with Fantastic Fest’s Tim League as an executive producer the local involvement in this one was huge. And I think they’re going to be very pleased with the results.
This is raw, powerful stuff, a film that starts of as a fairly typical indie drama – albeit a very well made one – before taking a hard turn into some very dark, uncomfortable territory. A string of teasers have been releasing in the leadup to the festival premiere and now the full trailer is here.
Find the RED, WHITE AND BLUE trailer here
If the simple fact that this film is called MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD isn’t enough to convince you of its merits, how about the fact that directorial duties were shared by Japanese splatter masters Yoshihiro Nishimura (TOKYO GORE POLICE), Noboru Iguchi (MACHINE GIRL) and the star of VERSUS, Tak Sakaguchi? They know what their fans want. And they’re giving it to them. You’ll have to satisfy yourself with a thirty second teaser for now but I know people who have seen the completed film and they swear it’s full on madness from start to finish.
Find the MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD teaser here
We’ll follow up that bit of Japanese madness with a little slice of Hong Kong madness and a cyborg Andy Lau (INFERNAL AFFAIRS) battling a cyborg Fan Siu-Wong (THE STORY OF RICKY) in Wong Jing’s FUTURE X-COPS. Total trash, yes, but it looks like very fun trash.
Find the latest FUTURE X-COPS trailer here
And, finally, we close this edition of International Eye Candy with one last trip to Argentina.
Fans of Latin American film have long been familiar with the work of actor Ricardo Darin. He’s one of the region’s biggest stars, has been for quite a while, and I personally would rank him as one of the top five actors working in the world today. Not only is he enormously talented but he also has an impeccable eye for scripts and is currently riding an incredible hot streak. Even outside of Latin America people have just gotten a good blast of exposure to Darin thanks to the Best Foreign Film Oscar going to Argentina’s THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES, a film that boasts an impressive performance from Darin in the lead.
Up next for the man? The lead role in Pablo Trapero’s CARANCHO in which Darin plays a sleazy, ambulance chasing personal injury lawyer who gets caught up in an escalating cycle of violence. The first trailer for this one just arrived and it looks to be a note-perfect balance of style and grit that pushes Darin into grimier territory than he has occupied for a while now. My expectations could not possibly be higher.
Find the CARANCHO trailer here