Weekly Roundup: Parasite TV Show, Berlin and SXSW Announcements, and Jo’s Romp in Little Women

Your handy one-stop-shop for cinephile news, articles, and videos from the week that was.

News Roundup

Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue (Jia Zhangke)

• A surprise duo: Bong Joon-Ho and Adam McKay (Vice, The Big Short) are in talks with HBO to adapt the former’s Parasite into an English-language miniseries. Details remain scarce and there’s no word on when this will actually go into production.

• The Berlinale has unveiled more of their program, announcing world premieres of new work by Jia Zhangke (a documentary called Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue) and Agnieszka Holland, whose previous film Mr. Jones played at VIFF 2019. 

• SXSW released their lineup of feature films and episodic premieres for the March 2020 festival. Some of the highlights include new movies by Judd Apatow, Spike Jonze, and RZA, who came to VIFF in 2018 to perform a live score for The 36th Chamber of Shaolin.

• The Oscar nominations were announced on Monday, with Todd Phillips’ Joker leading the pack with a surprising 11 nominations. Six of the nominees for Best Picture screened at either the festival or as part of our year-round programming. Tickets are now on sale for our very own VIFF Oscar Party, which enhances the telecast with live hosts, unlimited popcorn, and our famous Oscar bingo.

• The Cannes Film Festival announced the head of the jury for the 2020 edition: Spike Lee. Lee’s last film BlackkKlansman played in Competition at Cannes 2019, where the director won the “Prix du Jury”. 

Reading Roundup

Little Women
Illustration by Alessandra Genualdo (courtesy of MUBI)

• “Jo’s movements are imbued with a thrall as she crosses boundaries between the girlish and the boyish, bad behavior and good, places of exposure and that of hiding.” For MUBI Notebook, Moeko Fujii examines the significance of dancing across the various cinematic adaptations of Little Women

• Over at the LA Review of Books, Noah Gittell discusses the correlation between the rise of unending film franchises and the emergence of what he calls Extreme Film Criticism, “which [lands] somewhere between product placement and a fraternity hazing ritual.” In it, “critics subject themselves to physical, film-related challenges that bear little resemblance to long-form criticism of decades past but would nonetheless intimidate most amateurs.”

Reverse Shot released their annual list of offences,  a trove of unlikely and often hilarious designations (e.g. Best Front: Tom Mercier in Synonyms; Best Back: Tom Mercier in Synonyms), with a special shout-out to BC’s own The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open for Best Long Takes. 

Viewing/Listening Roundup

• One of the highlights from last year’s VIFF, Angela Schanelec’s I Was at Home But… will be released later in the spring by Cinema Guild. The distributor recently posted a trailer for the film, which won the Silver Bear for Best Director at last year’s Berlinale. 

• “I think it’s important to remember that the majority of art house cinemas in this country are not in Los Angeles or New York, but are in cities and towns of all sizes where it is incredibly valuable for people to have the opportunity to come together and watch media.” On the most recent episode of The Cinephiliacs, Peter Labuza speaks to Alison Kozberg, the director of Art House Convergence, about the past, present, and future of art house film exhibition.


• Nobuhito Obayashi, best known for the now minted cult classic House, turned 82 the other day. To commemorate the occasion, the Japan Film Society has shared the poster for the director’s latest (and likely last film), Labyrinth of Cinema, which premiered at the end of last year at the Tokyo Film Festival. 

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