Many expected Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Birdman" to compete at last month's Cannes Film Festival, where three of the Mexican director's previous four features have premiered -- but it wasn't to be. The initial assumption when it didn't show up was that the film wasn't ready, but Cannes director Thierry Fremaux said otherwise: apparently it was distributor Fox Searchlight that declined to submit the film to the festival. (Hey, their decision to hold "12 Years a Slave" until the fall festival circuit certainly paid off.)
Anyway, the film will surely debut at either Venice (where "21 Grams" was unveiled in 2003), Telluride or Toronto. And from the look of this teaser trailer, it promises to be quite an unveiling. The film stars Michael Keaton as an actor -- famed for playing a superhero -- in the throes of a personal and professional crisis, and has been described as Iñárritu's first comedy -- but I certainly didn't have anything this wild-looking in mind. A rumor is doing the rounds that the film may even be a kind one one-take trick -- but even if it isn't, the curiosity factor looks to be off the charts. Extraordinary imagery abound, and the soundtrack choice is top-notch, even if I couldn't possibly tell you what's going on. See for yourself, and tell us what you think.
"Birdman," which also stars Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts and Andrea Riseborough, opens Stateside on October 17.