Back when the pandemic was just getting started in the US, I spent a couple nights watching a pair of Taika Waititi films I hadn’t seen: Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in the Shadows. They were the perfect kind of light, no-stress movies for the moment.
That’s really the kind of experience that Waititi excels at making. His movies are filled with silly, try-hard characters you can’t help but care for, but he never really puts them in harm’s way. They’re constantly blustering their way through a ludicrous scenario of their own making, and it’s usually quite clear how they can find their way out. That makes the stakes low but leaves plenty of room for the characters’ big personalities to shine through.
Check out nine trailers from this week (and last week because I was off!) below.
Almost a decade after her last film, Miranda July is back with a wild twist on a heist movie — a film about a bizarre family of con artists and the daughter (played by Evan Rachel Wood) who’s suddenly started to realize that she wants more from her parents. It comes out (in theaters, supposedly) on September 18th.
Judas and the Black Messiah
Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield star in this film about Fred Hampton, the leader of the Black Panther Party in Illinois who was killed by police in 1969. This trailer makes the film seem like it’ll have the energy of an action thriller. It comes out sometime next year.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Charlie Kaufman’s next movie is a time-twisting thriller about a woman who goes to visit her boyfriend’s parents during a snowstorm and seems to end up slipping through the past of those around her. The film is an adaptation of a novel by Iain Reid, but it clearly echoes the kind of confusing explorations of memory that Kaufman (who wrote Eternal Sunshine) is often interested in diving into. The film comes out on September 4th.
I love this simple and serious first look at Zola, the movie based on the viral Twitter thread (yes, it’s based on a Twitter thread!) about two strippers on a road trip that went wildly awry. My colleague Adi Roberston called the film “gorgeous and engaging” when it debuted at Sundance. There’s no specific date for when it’ll come out.
Raised by Wolves
Ridley Scott is working on a sci-fi series for HBO Max, and it looks like a strange mashup of far-out tech and fantasy ideas. The show is about androids assigned to raise human children on a new planet, where things inevitably go awry. The show debuts on September 3rd.
Steve McQueen, director of 12 Years a Slave, is working on an anthology miniseries about stories from London’s West Indian community between the 1960s and 1980s. This is a look at just one of the five films, focused on a group of Black activists arrested for protesting police harassment in 1970. The series is supposed to come to Amazon and BBC One this fall.
Netflix’s latest series from Ryan Murphy is a prequel of sorts to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, focused on Nurse Ratched. Sarah Paulson stars as a quiet, seemingly ready-to-snap Nurse Ratched working in a technicolor hospital. It comes out on September 18th.
HBO has a documentary series coming up about NXIVM, the supposed self-help group that’s been alleged to be an abusive cult and pyramid scheme. The series comes from the filmmakers behind The Square. It debuts on August 23rd
We Are Who We Are
Here’s the first real look at the new HBO series from Luca Guadagnino, the director of Call Me by Your Name. It’s about two American teenagers growing up in Italy, and it seems to involve plenty of sunny settings and sexual awkwardness, which is kind of all you’d want from a Guadagnino show. It debuts on September 14th.