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International Eye Candy August 25, 2011 It’s an unusually star-studded edition of the International Eye Candy column this time out thanks to the latest star vehicle for THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO star Noomi Rapace, fresh work from Jet Li and the arrival of the first trailer for Roman Polanski’s CARNAGE but don’t you worry, kids, there’s still room for the weird stuff, too. This time out you get a South African crime noir, Filipino horror, and a German scifi love story set in Kazakhstan.

This could only happen in the world of International Eye Candy and here we go!


Let’s get things started with the German-Kazakh effort, shall we? The Kazakh tribes believe – at least according to this movie – that anything that falls from the sky is free for the taking by whoever happens to find it first, a fact that leads mostly to extensive scrap metal salvage operations for the community living outside the Russian-backed space launch site of BAIKONUR. Booster rockets fall, booster rockets get sold for scrap. It’s a good system. But then, one day, a beautiful young French astronaut falls from the sky only to be discovered by a young man who has been not-so- secretly pining for her while watching her mission on television. Beautiful woman with amnesia falls from the sky? Instant wife! Huzzah! Watch the BAIKONUR trailer here



Of all the things that we may associate with Danish cinema, high energy gunplay does not typically rank very high on the list. But if the trailer for his upcoming ID:A is to be believed director Christian E Christiansen is looking to change that. A beautiful amnesiac features in this one as well, this one having woken up bleeding from the head at the banks of a small river with a bag containing a massive quantity of cash and a handgun. If she can’t reconstruct her own identity and figure out how she got there she may not have enough time to spend the money. Slick, stylish and packed with lots of firepower this trailer is lots of fun. Find the ID:A trailer here



How do you feel about a little bit of Jet Li? In 3D? As directed by Tsui Hark, the man who vaulted Jet to super stardom with his ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA series? If that sounds good to you then what you’re looking for is FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE, Hark’s upcoming 3D effort with Li in the lead. An earlier, low quality teaser for this one turned up in a previous IEC column but there’s a new effort out now which is longer, loaded with a good bit of new footage and is significantly higher quality. Old school kung fu fans, commence lusting now. Find the FLYING SWORDS trailer here



If there’s any justice in this world we’ll be hearing a lot of talk about Peter Mullan’s performance in Paddy Considine’s TYRANNOSAUR come Oscar time. Probably Olivia Coleman’s, too. There isn’t, though, and it’ll never happen because TYRANNOSAUR is a small UK indie without US studio backing to ram it down the Academy’s throat but still ... the performances in this film are shockingly good. As is the direction from Considine, here helming his first feature. Those who know Paddy only from his part in Edgar Wright’s HOT FUZZ are in for quite a surprise as this is an entirely serious affair, a gripping portrait of two incredibly damaged people. It’s a total downer, yes, but it’s a brilliant one. I haven’t heard the US release date yet but the UK gets it in October, hence the arrival of the first trailer. Find the TYRANNOSAUR trailer here



That woman in the picture up above? You get a lot more of that in the trailer for Frederick Wiseman’s CRAZY HORSE. A portrait of a notorious French cabaret club and the women who work there, CRAZY HORSE gives a behind the scenes glimpse of an entirely hidden world. That the film is screening in Venice and Toronto should tip you off to the fact that it’s not just a t&a picture though it includes large amounts of both. Find the CRAZY HORSE trailer here



Landing the lead role in Ridley Scott’s PROMETHEUS has virtually guaranteed that Noomi Rapace will soon be a household name but before embarking on her Hollywood odyssey THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO star first shot one more film back in her native Scandinavia. Norwegian thriller BABYCALL casts Rapace in the lead as a battered women living in hiding from her abusive husband when the baby monitor she has bought to keep track of her son picks up the sounds of what seems to be a child being killed in a nearby apartment. It’s a powerful premise handed to a fearless actress and if the full trailer just released is any indicator Rapace takes it and runs with it. Find the BABYCALL trailer here



Horse racing is the sport of kings. Curling, however, is the sport of drunken, balding, overweight men sliding rocks across a sheet of ice. This, of course, makes it perfect subject matter for a sports comedy. Ole Endresen’s KING OF CURLING looks as though it plays all of its cards correctly. All the sport movie clichés are present in the trailer, all of them delivered with just the right degree of sly absurdity. Loaded with fantastic characters and fabulous production values this could be a cult hit in the making. Watch the KING OF CURLING trailer here



Large eared, shape shifting boy is supported on a pan-dimensional adventure by his close friends Dracula, The Wolfman and Frankenstein. Yup. That’s the basic pitch on Japanese big budget 3D spectacle KAIBUTSU-KUN. Making this even weirder is that it’s helmed by indie darling Yoshihiro Nakamura of FISH STORY and GOLDEN SLUMBER fame. Do I really need to say anything more than that? Watch the KAIBUTSU-KUN trailer here



There appears to be a bit of a Jeunet influence in the trailer for Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s CHICKEN WITH PLUMS, which is both a compliment and something of a surprise since Satrapi and Paronnaud’s only previous picture was the Oscar nominated animation PERSEPOLIS. Jeunet, you may note, has never made an animated film. And despite their previous success neither have Satrapi and Paronnaud this time. Once again based on one of Satrapi’s graphic novels CHICKEN WITH PLUMS looks to be a playful and enormously visually inventive outing from the duo. Venice and Toronto are both screening it, so clearly they did something right. Watch the CHICKEN WITH PLUMS trailer here



Writer-director Yam Laranas made quite a splash a few years back with his atmospheric ghost story SIGAW, a picture he later remade in English as THE ECHO. And while the Filipino helmer is choosing to keep quiet on specific plot details on his upcoming effort THE ROAD it’s clear he’s looking to go back into the spirit world with his latest picture. The teaser gives away very little but it’s a strong, atmospheric bit of work. Find THE ROAD teaser here


Remember ten years ago how everyone was marvelling at how prolific and shocking Takashi Miike was? Yeah, that director now is Sion Sono, the difference being that while Miike tended to turn out a dog or two every year to go along with the good stuff Sono is currently in the midst of a shockingly high quality run that has seen his films screening in Venice, Toronto, Berlin and Cannes. Premiering in Cannes this past May Sono’s true crime thriller GUILTY OF ROMANCE is a brutal tale of sex and violence that begins with the discovery of a dismembered corpse and rolls on from there. It’s punishing stuff due soon for a Japanese release, which has led to the arrival of the first full trailer. Find the GUILTY OF ROMANCE trailer here


You may not know it yet but African cinema is in the midst of a major surge that should soon bring a wave of new faces and stories to screens around the world. VIVA RIVA kicked things off last year and now one of the likely candidates to draw attention around the globe in 2011 and 2011 is South African effort HOW TO STEAL 2 MILLION. The directorial debut of South Africa’s Charlie Vundla, this is hard boiled crime noir and Vundla certainly seems to create a compelling environment. Leading man Menzi Ngubane looks absolutely bang on in the lead as well. Find the HOW TO STEAL 2 MILLION trailer here



Let me say this: It makes me very happy when Kate Winslet slips in to potty mouth mode. And she does it in some pretty illustrious company in the trailer for Roman Polanski’s CARNAGE. Adapted from a stage play CARNAGE is little more than four people in a couple rooms. But when those four people are Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C Reilly and Christoph Waltz ... well, things are bound to be a little bit more interesting than at the average cocktail party at my house. Watch the CARNAGE trailer here

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 29, 2011, 10:34 a.m. CST

    I loves me some indie weirdness...

    by Sumatran_Rat_Monkey

    Loved Fish Story. May have to track down KAIBUTSU-KUN. Kong Curling sounds right up my alley as well.

  • Aug. 29, 2011, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Curling is also the sport of Jill Officer

    by Fred

  • Aug. 29, 2011, 11:43 a.m. CST

    This gives me faith

    by Goodbye_America

    Film is far from dead. Although I wouldn't know it, if I only had access to mainstream movies in America.

  • Aug. 29, 2011, 12:14 p.m. CST

    LOL, Kaibutsu-kun

    by Losers_Game

    Gotta love kid shows with idol boys.

  • Aug. 29, 2011, 1 p.m. CST


    by Brandon Dillard

  • Aug. 29, 2011, 1:05 p.m. CST


    by Brandon Dillard

    So there is no actual T-Rex in this movie? False advertisment!! Oh, and I will never watch a move made by a Child Molester Rapist Scumbab like Polanski. The French should be nuked for harboring him. I suppose the French don't mind having their children raped and molested. Hell they let Kaiser and the nazis rape their country without protest. The French must like to be raped.

  • Aug. 29, 2011, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Cue Polanski arguments

    by Goodbye_America

    self-righteous people vs. normal people

  • Aug. 29, 2011, 8:10 p.m. CST

    I'm a short-tempered son of a bitch

    by Clio

    Only two films look like ones I would care to see: Babycall and Carnage. Babycall because of Noomi Rapace, who was perfect for The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo. Did anyone else think that scene in Carnage looked like an updated "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" It could easily have been Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton chewing scenery. I'll watch it because I like the actors, but I'll download it--I won't pay a penny to see any film directed by that rapist pedophile.