Trailer Drop: Current Obsession “The Neon Demon”

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Unsurprisingly among the recently announced Cannes Film Festival competition lineup (they love their returning auteurs), is Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon. Originally conceived for his Drive damsel Carey Mulligan, the film stars Elle Fanning as a young girl breaking into the modeling industry. The whole thing looks very Suspiria meets perfume ad – and I mean that as a compliment.

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Trailer Drop!: “Swiss Army Man”

Sundance’s most divisive and notorious competition entry from this year’s festival, Swiss Army Man, is coming this summer and just got its first trailer. The film features Daniel Radcliffe as a farting corpse that becomes the companion to a stranded and perhaps delusional Paul Dano. You can see how the concept had some Sundancers scratching their heads and others making an early exit.

The trailer suggests a sweeter and more ambitious film than the early dismissive festival response promised. Music video partners The Daniels took the competition Best Director prize and are at the very least giving us something we haven’t quite experienced. After the career-high benchmark of Love and Mercy (a filmmixtape Best Actor runner-up performance), I’m particularly excited to see if Dano will continue to challenge himself.

If anyone can handle this kind of difficult material and keep the conversation alive, it’s maverick distributor A24. They’ve previously had small scale success with tough sells like Spring Breakers and Under the Skin, though this one will need the passionate reviews of those films to curb the bad buzz.

Trailer Drop: “The Light Between Oceans”

Rumored to potentially hit in 2015, Derek Cianfrance’s literary adaptation of The Light Between Oceans has finally released a trailer. It stars this year’s Oscar nominees (and ubiquitous 2015 staples) Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander as a lighthouse keeper and his wife that take in an orphan newborn into their isolated island life. Things become heartbreakingly complicated when their life returns to the mainland.

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The source novel is an absorbing weepy that surprises as its themes take hold. The complexities and intimacies of a marriage and also the lingering effects of legacy have been explored soulfully by Cianfrance in previous films Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines. Here he looks to be just as introspective across a large canvas. With a prime festival season release date, expect this one to pop up somewhere on the fall festival bookings.

The Light Between Oceans opens on September 2!

Trailer Drop: “Pete’s Dragon”

Get ready for another Disney redo – this time with a less popular property unburdened by astronomical audience expectations. After a quiet production, Disney is finally giving us a look at Pete’s Dragon. The original is one I remember on decent rotation in my childhood, but I can recall little more than some type of beer barrel saloon dance, a lighthouse, and “Candle on the Water”.

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While there are slight vibes of How to Train Your Dragon, the tone here feels more drawn from the family-friendly days of Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment. The film has perhaps smartly kept under a tight seal until now by Disney with the directorial talents of Aint Them Bodies Saints‘s David Lowery promising a unique soulful eye for this kind of crowdpleaser. The response so far seems to be muted (it is a pretty brief glimpse), but I wonder if this might be a late summer surprise. The cast includes Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Karl Urban, and Wes Bentley.

Pete’s Dragon opens August 12!

Trailer Drop: “Midnight Special”

After the one-two punch of Take Shelter and Mud, Jeff Nichols is among the top emerging directors that we’re excited for here at filmmixtape. He’s venturing into genre elements – skills he hinted at with Shelter – with possibility his most mainstream film yet: Midnight Special. The teaser suggests we’ll get to see a softer side of virtuoso Michael Shannon and a chance for St. Vincent‘s charmer Jaeden Lieberher to shine. After being pushed back from this fall to avoid the holiday multiplex logjam, Special opens March 18 and is one of filmmixtape’s most anticipated of 2016.