Trailers of the Week: ‘David Byrne’s American Utopia,’ ‘Over the Moon,’ ‘White Riot,’ and MoreSeptember 26, 2020 12:30pm

David Byrne’s American Utopia

Broadway may still be dark, but that doesn’t mean we can’t witness David Byrne’s hit show. The filmed production, directed by Spike Lee, is coming to HBO. “What if we eliminate everything from the stage except the stuff we care about the most?” the Talking Heads frontman asks the audience. “Without cables or wires, what would be left? Well, it would be us, and you. And that’s what this show is.” Byrne is joined by 11 other musicians from around the world, who we get to see perform a clip of “Burning Down the House” before the teaser ends.  (October 17th)

The Croods: New Age

The Croods are the world’s first family. However, the cavemen crew quickly realizes that they are not the only family around. After roaming around searching for a home, they happen upon a lavish treehouse home inhabited by the Bettermans who, while living out their own modern life, are shocked to learn that cavepeople still exist. For all the differences between the two families, the kids start to find common ground. It’s not long before the two families must work together to survive a mysterious threat. (November 25th)

 

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Dani Clayton (Victoria Pedretti) is brought to the manor to teach two orphaned children, who, in addition to losing their parents, have just gone through the loss of their previous governess. “Your parents loved you so, so much,” she says to the children. “In a way, they’ll always be here.” As the scenes go on to show, something is definitely still there. However, glimpses of the horror-twinged senes show it’s hard to determine if that something is real or imagined. (October 9th)

 

Over the Moon

Fei Fei is enthralled with Chang’e, the Chinese Moon goddess, who was the subject of so many of her late mother’s stories. When the rest of her family insists that  Chang’e is just a myth, Fei Fei revolves to prove them wrong. She even builds her own rocketship – that takes her safely to the moon. As it turns out, the moon isn’t as desolate as it looks. Upon arrival, she befriends a glowing dog named Gobi, and finally meets the moon goddess. The goddess performs for packed arenas in her kingdom, but the one thing she’s looking for is her lost true love and she will grant a wish for whoever helps her find him. In need of a wish, Fei Fei has a new mission. (October 23rd)

Save Yourselves!

John Reynolds and Sunita Mani play a millennial couple unplugging in the countryside in the new Bleecker Street film. However, their time of relaxation is sorely interrupted by an alien invasion. The invasion itself is hard to detect, given that the aliens are fuzzy, cuddly ‘pouffes’ which Mani compares to an ottoman. Black-and-white clips cut in between the color scenes of the couple with over-the-top warnings: “Just when you thought the world couldn’t get weirder, experience the incredible tale of how humans lost Planet Earth!” (October 6th)

Small Axe Anthology

Amazon Prime Video has revealed the first look into its new five-part anthology series directed and co-written by Steve McQueen. Each of the five films tell the story of London’s West Indian community during the 1960s and into the 1980s as they face fierce discrimination. In the trailer, we see a vibrant community alongside great violence and intimidation. The series takes inspiration from an old African proverb: ‘If you are the big tree, we are the small axe.”(November 20th)

Sound of Metal

Before the thrashing sound of punk-metal drums comes a low, piercing sound that we understand is only heard by drummer Ruben (Riz Ahmed). This is the sound of his hearing disappearing from him. When it becomes clear that his condition will only worsen, his bandmate and girlfriend checks him into a  sober house for the deaf. At first, Ruben can only think that this diagnosis is the end of his career and even the end of his life. However, in this new community, it appears that Ruben gets a lesson in inner balance.  (November 20)

Supernova

Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci star as a married couple entering a new, difficult phase of their twenty-year relationship. The teaser gives a look inside the couple’s holiday through the England countryside, visiting old friends and family. When Tucci’s character attempts to give a speech to their loved ones and hands the responsibility off to Firth, it’s clear that he’s been diagnosed with dementia and the downward slope is just before him. He tells Firth, “I want to be remembered for who I was, and not for who I’m about to become.” (October 11th)

The Trial of the Chicago 7

A new Netflix film offers a re-telling of the events surrounding the 1968 Democratic National Convention, where a peaceful protest ended up resulting in a violent clash between the protesters, the police, and the National Guard. When the politicians need targets to punish, they set their sights in the protest organizers, among them: Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden, and Bobby Seale. What follows is one of the most notorious courtroom battles in history. Outside on the court steps, hundreds gather to chant, “The whole world is watching.”  (October 16th)

The Queen’s Gambit

The new Netflix series is based on the 1983 novel by Walter Tevis about an orphan girl turned chess prodigy in the 1950s. Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Beth Harmon, who learns to navigate in a world full of men. “Chess isn’t always competitive,” she says. “Chess can also be beautiful.”  Despite the beauty, Beth has her share of demons rising up from her past – and from her developing narcotics problem – that threaten to get in the way of defeating her fiercest competitor yet: “The Russian.” (October 23rd)

White Riot

The punk scene in Great Britain came dangerously close to aligning itself with the far right in the mid-seventies. That is, until musicians came together to change the course that the scene looked like it was on through a new type of gig. “We said, what we need to do is do a gig, a thing called Rock Against Racism,” one of the organization’s founders, Roger Huddle, says. Elsewhere, another co-founder, Red Saunders, says, “We want rebel music, street music, music that breaks down people’s fear of one another, music that knows who the real enemy is.” (October 16th)

A World of Calm

Feeling stressed, drained, or overwhelmed? HBO Max’s new series made in collaboration with Calm just might be your answer. The thirty-minute episodes are designed to transform your feelings and take you to other worlds through stunning video footage and soothing narrations. The new-look inside the show promises tranquil seas, calming forests, and the vast Arctic. Plus, you may recognize some of the show’s narrators: Mahershala Ali, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Idris Elba, Oscar Isaac, Nicole Kidman, Zoë Kravitz, Lucy Liu, Cillian Murphy, Keanu Reeves and Kate Winslet. (October 1)

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