Hello, tomodachi. A belated welcome to two-thousand-and-seventeen. I’ve been devouring movies to escape reality, so my first Watched This Month of the year is probably going to look like a hot mess. Let’s worry about that later, though. For now, I want to share with you five upcoming films that I am eagerly awaiting. I’ve gone with some more obscure and less talked about features to hopefully add a little variety to the babble. Last time I wrote a post like this, only three of the five mentioned actually found a release date. Let’s hope I’m more accurate this time!
First and foremost, we have Bong Joon-ho’s Okja, which is due for release on Netflix in the Summer. It tells the story of a young girl named Mija, who risks all to prevent a powerful, multi-national corporation from kidnapping her best friend, who happens to be a giant animal.
From what I’ve read thus far, the film will provide a commentary on capitalism, which brings it in line with Mr. Bong’s 2013 feature Snowpiercer, which was somewhat of an action-packed political allegory.
Okja is said to be set 60% in South Korea and 40% in New York, with a Korean lead and an English-speaking supporting cast, which includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Lily Collins and Giancarlo Esposito — certainly a cast to get excited for.
Next up we have the French coming-of-age, cannibalistic drama Raw, which is currently making the rounds at Sundance. The film is directed by Julia Ducournau and stars Garance Marillier in the lead role. It follows a vegetarian veterinarian who is forced to undergo a carnivorous hazing ritual at school, after which she develops a lust for meat.
I’m not a fan of body horror, but I hear that Raw is more a ‘gross concept’ than an out-right gore fest. After hearing about it last year, it had my hesitant attention, but the trailer — which released last week — has me keenly interested. It’s due for release in the US in March and in the UK in April.
I’m cheating slightly with Over the Fence, which released in Japan last September, but there’s a good chance it will materialise outside its home nation at some point in the coming months. For now, we have to make do with the trailer.
The film is directed by Nobuhiro Yamashita, who had a massive hit in 2005 with the endearing high-school drama Linda Linda Linda. The much loved Joe Odagiri and Yu Aoi star as broken individuals who meet by chance and begin a seemingly tumultuous relationship.
This film has my attention mostly due to the talent involved, but Japanese movies often portray dejection and the more lonesome, subdued aspects of relationships and everyday life with keen precision. They let the camera do the talking, which is something I hope to see in Over the Fence.
Moving on to Breathe, which is Andy Serkis’ directorial debut. This is a film I expected to have a lot more buzz, but then again, not a lot of information has been revealed. It tells the true story of Robin Cavendish, a handsome, brilliant and adventurous man whose life takes a dramatic turn when polio leaves him paralyzed.
Man of the moment Andrew Garfield plays Robin, with Claire Foy playing his long-time wife Diana. The only ‘footage’ thus far is this sole set picture, which is unusual given the film is rumoured to appear in Switzerland next month. Hopefully a trailer will emerge soon.
Finally, we have The Discovery, which had its world premiere at Sundance two days ago and is due for release on March 31st via Netflix. It’s a love story set in a reality where the existence of the afterlife has been scientifically verified. Inevitably, people begin killing themselves to reach to supposed paradise.
It stars Rooney Mara and Jesse Plemons in the leading roles and is the second feature from American director Charlie McDowell. The plot sounds very enticing and the trailer is intriguingly haphazard and very fascinating in tone, though anything with Rooney Mara is generally worth watching. I also loved Jesse Plemons in Fargo, so I’m excited to view more of his work.
That’s but a snapshot of what looks to be an interesting year for film. Initially, I was also going to write about Colossal, which is a movie I heard about so long ago that I thought it had come and gone already, but the teaser made its way online two days ago and has generated a lot of attention.
Anyway, thank you for visiting. For a sort of too long, didn’t read rundown…
The Discovery is due on 31st March via Netflix, which will also release Okja in the Summer. Raw is due on 10th March in the USA and on 7th April in the UK, the latter of which is the same date as Colossal‘s US release. Over the Fence has already been released in Japan and will hopefully make its way overseas at some point this year and currently Breathe doesn’t have a solid release date, but I expect a trailer will appear in the coming months, which will likely bring it more widespread attention.