Not sure what’s going on in the teaser trailer for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s new film Birdman? Don’t worry, I don’t think Michael Keaton does, either.
Iñárritu’s follow-up to 2010’s Biutiful (and his first English-language film since 2006’s Babel) sees a colorful cast of actors (including Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts—phew!) set against the backdrop of the lead-up to opening night of a Broadway play. Keaton’s character plays a former blockbuster actor famous for playing a superhero called Bat—er, Birdman. The trailer shows us a bit of his method acting—slash—mental breakdown soundtracked to an alternate take of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.”
The visuals look absolutely stunning, due in no small part to the film’s director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki. (Look no further than his curriculum vitae for proof of his talents behind the camera.) Lubezki, Alfonso Cuarón’s cinematographer since the director’s first short film in 1983 in addition to being a frequent collaborator of Terrence Malick, is known widely for his technical and artistic trademarks—in particular, breathtaking one-take/-ish shots that have become landmark achievements in filmmaking. According to an interview with Hit Fix, it’s suggested that Birdman may be filmed and edited to resemble one long take, which will obviously add to the sense of mania and disorientation of a mental collapse.
Birdman will be released in the United States October 17.