• I neglected to mention the Coen Brothers’ anthology film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival where it earned Best Screenplay honors. Netflix drops it upon us in November.
The Hollywood Reporter offers a synopsis:
The Joel and Ethan Coen film, which was directed, written and produced by the brothers, is a six-part western anthology film, with separate titles for each part. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs tells the story of a sharp-shooting singer (Tim Blake Nelson). Near Algodones follows a wannabe bank robber (James Franco) who pays his dues. The gothic tale Meal Ticket is about two worn-out traveling performers. All Gold Canyon follows a prospector (Tom Waits) mining for gold, while The Gal Who Got Rattled tells the story of a woman (Zoe Kazan) who finds love on a wagon train venturing across a prairie. The film concludes with The Mortal Remains, as a woman (Tyne Daly) is skeptical of a motley crew of strangers who go on a final carriage ride.
• My next fix of narco mayhem is also coming in November, again from Netflix. The first Narcos: Mexico trailer is up.
Narcos: Mexico will explore the origins of the modern drug war by going back to a time when the Mexican trafficking world was a loose and disorganized confederation of independent growers and dealers. The series will chart the rise of the Guadalajara Cartel in the 1980s as Félix Gallardo (Diego Luna) takes the helm, unifying traffickers in order to build an empire. When DEA agent Kiki Camarena (Michael Peña) moves his wife and young son from California to Guadalajara to take on a new post, he quickly learns that his assignment will be more challenging than he ever could have imagined. As Kiki garners intelligence on Felix and becomes more entangled in his mission, a tragic chain of events unfold, affecting the drug trade and the war against it for years to come.
If you know anything about Kiki Camarena, you know that this ain’t gonna be easy to watch.
This is the terrain that Don Winslow explored in The Power of the Dog, which is a powerhouse of a novel — but not for the squeamish. Not too many squeamish folk round here though.
• The outstanding Canadian First Nations actress Tantoo Cardinal has been announced as appearing as Adawehi in Outlander.
I’m not surprised but most pleased to see the authenticity with which the show is portraying its North Carolina backcountry setting.
Here’s a new trailer:
• Memo From Turner is all that — a violent contemporary frontier tale from the Northern Cape. Well worth ordering up from the UK, though I see it’ll get a U.S. release next spring.
• I enjoyed this homemade minidoco on the Ohio Valley frontiersman Lewis Wetzel.