I’m not a huge fan of Wes Anderson’s earlier movies, but I’ve really enjoyed his last few — and Isle of Dogs was no exception. While I wouldn’t say it was among the deeper or more emotional movies I’ve seen this year, it was a pretty relentlessly fun and joyous experience.
But there is still plenty of room for criticism, as has been evident if you’ve read anything about the film. One thing I found odd was that nearly all the dogs were male, despite having a literal island full of them, and that human gender norms fully translated to its fantasy canine world.
Of course, the big question around the movie was how it used Japanese culture to tell a story primarily written by white Americans and starring English-speaking dogs. There have been a lot of great articles on the subject, and I’d recommend reading some after seeing the film: here’s Emily Yoshida’s piece in Vulture, interviewing Japanese speakers who saw it, and here’s Karen Han at The Daily Beast on how it fails to engage with Japanese culture.
Check out nine trailers from this week below.
Here’s the first full trailer for HBO’s adaptation of Fahrenheit 451, with Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon starring. There’s nothing here that doesn’t look fantastic: it’s beautiful, moody, and it takes a bold dystopian concept and makes it feel serious and scary, the way it’s supposed to. The film premieres May 19th.
The First Purge
I haven’t seen the other Purge films, but I’m surprised by how much this one seems to be infused with social commentary rather than just being about gruesome murders: from the trailer, it looks like the first Purge is revealed to be a government scheme to kill people of color. It comes out July 4th.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
I usually don’t include foreign trailers here, but this is one case where I’ll have to make an exception: this is the first footage from Terry Gilliam’s two-decades-in-the-works adaptation (of sorts) of Don Quixote. The film’s production has been famously cursed with failures. And while it’s not too late yet for something to stop it this time, it seems like the project has finally come to fruition. No word yet on a release date.
Ava is the first feature from Iranian / Canadian director Sadaf Foroughi, and it looks great. It’s about a high school-aged girl living in Tehran, dealing with the tension between her increasing interest in a boy and the social norms — and actions of her family— that prevent her from seeing him. It’s gotten good reviews so far, and now it’s coming out on April 27th.
The Gospel According To André
A new documentary traces the life and career of André Leon Talley, the former editor-at-large of Vogue and, more generally, a fashion icon. The trailer is bursting with personality and with personalities — including one moment where will.i.am calls Talley “the Nelson Mandela of couture” — and looks like it should be a fun and powerful watch. It comes out April 27th.
The latest film from horror studio Blumhouse looks like a wonderfully indulgent, B-movie style sci-fi revenge movie about a man whose body is taken over by AI. It looks entirely over the top, but in a way that makes it very clear that the movie’s writer and director — Leigh Whannell, who was behind the initial Saw films — knows exactly what he’s doing. It comes out June 1st.
Do You Trust This Computer?
And here is basically the documentary version of the movie above, asking how dangerous AI could be to humanity. I don’t get the impression from this trailer that the film goes all that deep into its subject matter, but it does have an appearance from Elon Musk, who’s always entertaining when it comes to AI. There’s no release date just yet.
How To Talk To Girls At Parties
I’m not gonna say this isn’t what it sounds like (a kinda twee movie with a manic pixie dream girl problem) based on the name alone, but it definitely isn’t exactly what it sounds like, because it’s also about aliens. And punk rock, I guess. So far reviews are fairly bad, but, uh, it’s based on a Neil Gaiman story, so there’s that. It comes out May 18th.
If you’re looking for a good hate watch, see above. It comes out July 20th.