2014 was a great year for films and 2015 looks to be even more interesting, with lots of exciting movies coming out in the upcoming months. We selected five films each from the ones we can’t wait to watch next year. What are your suggestions for 2015? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add them to our personal “To Watch” list.
Matteo D. Films – Of prayers, silences, revolutions, desert storms and crossguards.
1. Words with Gods (Guillermo Arriaga)
Based on a concept by Guillermo Arriaga, “Words with Gods” is an anthology film featuring shorts that explores world religions and personal spirituality by an all-star ensemble of directors that features: Hector Babenco, Bahman Ghobadi, Amos Gitai, Emir Kusturica, Mira Nair, Hideo Nakata, Alex de la Iglesia and Warwick Thornton. Curated by acclaimed author Mario Vargas Llosa, “Words with Gods” is the first instalment in a series of four feature films produced under the label Heartbeat of the World project. Each one revolves around a common theme: religion, sexuality, politics and drug addiction.
The film was first screened at Venice 2014 and is likely to be released globally later this year. I have always been a fan of anthology films and this looks like a really promising one. Just the idea of seeing Thornton, Kusturica and Nakata in the same anthology is enough for me to hope it will find its way to Australia soon.
2. The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer)
A companion piece to Oppenheimer’s groundbreaking 2012 documentary The Act of Killing, The Look of Silence is set to be another disturbing and innovative film. Oppenheimer follows Adi Rukun, a 40-year-old Indonesian optometrist born during the years of General Suharto regime, as he confronts the perpetrators of the mass-murders that marked the regime of General Suharto since he came into power in 1966. As we had learned in The Act of Killing, after almost 50 years all the persons responsibles for those crimes have got away with it and Indonesia still hasn’t faced its past. But while, Oppenheimer’s previous film used re-enactments and artifice to tell that story for the first time, The Look of Silence seems to be taking a much more direct approach, like an optometrist trying to find the clearest possible lens to put his family and his country’s past in focus.
This is perhaps one of the most interesting documentaries of next year. It was first presented to critical acclaim at last year’s Venice and Toronto film festivals and should hit our screens later this year.
3. Septembers of Shiraz (Wayne Blair)
Wayne Blair (The Sapphires) new film is an historical drama based on Iranian author Dalia Sofer’s 2007 bestseller book of the same title. Starring Salma Hayek, Adrien Brody, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Anthony Azizi, Bashar Rahal, and Alon Aboutboul the film follows the story of an Iranian family during the Islamic revolution that swept the country in 1979. Not much else is currently out about the film, but it’s great to see Wayne Blair, one of Australia’s most famous Indigenous directors, working outside of Australia on such a big international project. No release date yet, but we can expect to see this film released later next year and the movie poster has just been released.
4. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller)
Growing up in Italy, Mad Max was the first Australian movie that I watched and it made such an impact that one of the first things I did after arriving in Melbourne was visiting ACMI to see the replica of the original Interceptor. With mastermind George Miller back at the wheel Fury Road promises to become another cult movie. From what we have seen so far, the film builds on the first two instalments of the series to deliver a film that should be just one long and exciting chase scene. Which is totally fine with me so long as it looks as red and gorgeous as in the trailer. The film is scheduled to be released on 15 May 2015.
5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (J.J. Abrams)
Now… Let’s try to be fair with this film and not be fooled by all the hype.
1) I don’t like any of J.J. Abrams previous films and as much as I try I can’t see why he was picked to direct the new Star Wars.
2) The fact that the franchise is now property of Disney and that Leia has then technically become a Disney Princess is giving me nightmares.
3) I hated all the prequels with a passion.
But… there’s a Sith with a crossguard lightsaber! The film critic/student in me loses yet again to my inner child and I will be seeing this in December next year. Perhaps not on the first night or the first week, but I know that I will eventually be sitting in a movie theatre making lightsaber sounds with my mouth and loving every second of it.
Enza’s Films – Of introspection, robotics, battles, ghotic and temptations.
6. The Sea of Trees (Gus Van Sant)
What always touched me of Van Sant’s movies is the soul of his characters, often fragile, innocent, lost.
I feel that the The Sea of Trees will bring the spectators in a lucid representation of human souls through the “Suicide Forest” (Aokigahara forest) with Arthur Brennan (Matthew McConaughey) and Takumi Nakamura (Ken Watanabe). The desire for suicide that brought them at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan becomes a journey of self-reflection and survival.
7. Chappie (Neill Blomkamp)
In the last decade I have found that some socio political sci-fi film have been able to represent brilliantly our distorted society. District 9 is one of them, incredibly contemporary and confronting.
The new Neill Blomkamp’s movie “Chappie” promises to be bracing.
Starring Sharlto Copley, Chappie is about a robot stolen by Hugh Jackman and raised in a dysfunctional family. The cast also includes Sigourney Weaver, an icon of Hollywood science fiction and Dev Patel.
Sembene! is a film-documentary on Africa’s most celebrated filmmaker Ousmane Sembene, from co-directors Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman. The doco will make its world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
In 1952, Ousmane Sembene, a Senegalese dockworker and fifth-grade dropout, began dreaming an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa. This true story celebrates how the “father of African cinema,” against enormous odds, fought a monumental, 50-year-long battle to give Africans a voice.
This is how the filmmakers describe the film. No other words needed to looking forward to watching this documetary and get into Sembene’s cinema.
9. Crimson Peak (Guillermo del Toro)
I have to say that I am not an horror fan, but the fascinating gothic horror stories directed by Giullermo del Toro, the master of dark fairy tales, are not to be missed. Crimson Peak portrays a young author who discovers that her husband is not who he appears to be.
Whatching the published film images, Crimson Peak seems to be a fascinating and disturbing story, with a brillant and sinister imagery loaded with creepy atmosphere.
10. Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick)
Announced as part of the Berlin Film Festival, according to the film’s logline Knight of Cups is a story of a man surrondend by “temptations, celebrity and excess”.
The film stars Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale. We don’t know much about the plot but the trailer gives what it would be expected: musing voiceovers, wide camera angles, people on the beach making Los Angeles look like a dantesque circle.