I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: What’s ‘femme fatale’ in Japanese?

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

Sam: There were many atrocities committed in the course of the excruciating wars during the 1990s between Slovenes, Croats, Bosnians, Serbs and Kosovarians in former Yugoslavia, with each former republic seeking independence. But no event still proves to be such an open wound as the massacre of Srebrenica, deemed officially a genocide by the U.N. of (Bosnian) Serbs committed against eight thousand Bosniak Muslim boys and men in 1995 and under the helpless eyes of mainly Dutch U.N. peacekeepers. After countless documentaries have come out on this horrific moment in European history (the worst massacre since World War II), Bosnian director Jasmila Žbanić has taken it upon herself to put Srebrenica into a feature film, Quo Vadis, Aida?, shown from the point of view of a female translator having to witness tragedy and mass murder unfold. She states having made the film mainly to remember, but also as a way of not avoiding the warning signs before a crime of such magnitude strikes. The trailer looks unbearably riveting and soberingly realistic – certainly a tough but necessary watch.

Matt: I’m not entirely sold on this trailer, to be honest – there’s something about its performances and dialogue that makes me think they need a bit longer than two, three minutes for the audience to get into the right rhythm and mood for the film. That said, I’ve liked the actors (Katherine Waterston, Vanessa Kirby, Christopher Abbott and Casey Affleck) a lot in other things and the reviews I’ve read make The World to Come sound absolutely riveting. Even more importantly: the script is by Ron Hansen, who wrote the novel The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which in turn was adapted into what may be my favourite film, period. So yes, I will absolutely be there for The World to Come – whether it’ll be at the cinema or on some streaming service.

And for good measure, I’ve got another one this week…

As I have said before, both in blog posts and on the podcast, I am a (highly functioning, I hope) Criterion addict, and I love what I’ve heard about Criterion’s streaming offer, the Criterion Channel. Would I feel less compelled to buy half the new Criterion disks when they come out if there was a way to subscribe to the Criterion Channel over here in Switzerland? Probably not, but I would still dearly love to have Criterion on tap, so to speak. Though this teaser for the channel’s Japanese Noir season is a welcome reminder that I’ve got High and Low sitting on my shelf, as yet unopened and unwatched. It’s time that Toshiro Mifune graced our TV again, wouldn’t you say?

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