Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Visceral trailer for 'Detroit' previews the return of Kathryn Bigelow

Kathryn Bigelow hasn't made a movie in five years, but her track record since the late 2000s has been nearly spotless. While I'm not as big of a fan of The Hurt Locker as most, the film won Best Picture and Best Director at the Oscars, standing as a modern classic and one of the defining films about the Iraq War. Bigelow's follow-up, Zero Dark Thirty, also received a good deal of critical acclaim with five Oscar nominations to top it all off. With two films about the War on Terror, many speculated that Bigelow would tackle the topic once again with her next feature. However, that turned out not to be the case- Bigelow moved her attention to a film about the 1967 Detroit Riots, a topic that feels almost as relevant today as it did during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. With her awards track record, many assumed that the film would hit theaters in the fall of 2017. But Annapurna Pictures threw us a curveball today, announcing that Detroit (now the film's official title) will be released on August 4. Along with that release date confirmation (there was speculation for a while, but nothing solid, which is why Detroit wasn't featured on my Most Anticipated of Summer list), Annapurna released the first trailer and poster. Check it out below!

As someone who was born in Detroit, I would be interested in a film about this story no matter who was telling it. But the fact that it comes from Bigelow, with a cast that includes John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Jason Mitchell, Jack Reynor, John Krasinski, Will Poulter, and Jacob Latimore makes Detroit one of the must-see event films of 2017. Bigelow specializes in hard-nosed, visceral, gritty cinematic portrayals of important events, devoid of the jingoism that defines the work of a filmmaker like Peter Berg or Michael Bay. As controversial as Zero Dark Thirty's portrayal of torture was, the film was straight-forward and direct, told with as much objectivity as humanly possible. I have a feeling that Detroit will be told in a similar fashion, and I'm excited that Bigelow gets the chance to explore a scenario that features more human passion and intensity. Because while the filmmaker did some truly fascinating character work on her two most recent films, they were still rather clinical affairs. Detroit is a messy, bloody, gripping story, and Bigelow's touch will bring this to life in spectacular fashion. August has been looking like a cinematic black hole ever since Baby Driver fled to June, so I'm very excited that Detroit will be breathing some life into a ho-hum month. Who knows, it may even appear in the Cannes lineup come tomorrow morning.

Detroit hits theaters on August 4. Expect this to be one of the most talked-about films of the summer.

Image: Annapurna

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