Weekly Roundup: Cineplex’s monopoly, Bong Joon Ho’s translator, and the Berlin Film Festival’s new vision

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

News Roundup

• The Rio Theatre launched a petition for Cineplex to “cease and desist their bullying tactics…blocking independent theatres from booking films with distributors” and for the “Canadian Competition Bureau… to enforce the Competition Act that prevents this kind of monopoly from continuing.” Meanwhile, Corrine Lea, the owner of the Rio, has become something of a spokesperson for the recently formed Network of Independent Canadian Exhibitors, which plans to file a complaint to the Competition Bureau. On the VIFF Blog tomorrow, Vancity Theatre’s Year-Round Programmer Tom Charity will respond to this ongoing discussion.

• Last fall, NYFF’s longtime director Kent Jones stepped down from his post to pursue his career as a filmmaker. On Wednesday, NYFF announced that Eugene Hernandez, co-founder of IndieWire and co-publisher of Film Comment, would become the new director of the festival while Dennis Lim would assume the role of head of programming. 

• With the Berlinale now underway, we can soon expect word on new films by Jia Zhangke, Christian Petzold, Tsai Ming-liang, and many more. Next week’s Roundup will endeavor to compile some of the best coverage from the festival (and in a few week’s time, our Associate Director of Programming Curtis Woloschuk will write a dispatch about his experience at this year’s Berlinale). Until then, check out Jordan Cronk’s preview of the festival, which includes an interview with the Berlinale’s new artistic director Carlo Chatrian and new head of programming Mark Peranson.

• The Canadian Screen Awards have announced their list of 2020 nominees. VIFF 2019 standouts The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, White Lie, Anne at 13,000 ft, and The Twentieth Century (which you can catch when it plays Vancity Theatre starting next Friday) are all up for the Best Motion Picture award.

Reading Roundup

• “In April of 2019, I received a last-minute email asking me to interpret a phone interview with Bong Joon Ho. I had already missed the interview, thanks to a night spent in crunch mode staring at the blinking cursor on a pilot script. It took every professional fiber in my being to erase all of the exclamation marks and reply with, “I am available for future calls so please let me know.’” For Variety, Sharon Choi reflects on her time being Bong Joon Ho’s English translator throughout this past award season, discussing everything from how she got the job to how it has impacted her own career as a burgeoning filmmaker.

• Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s long-gestating new feature Memoria will likely premiere at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival in May. Over at Film Comment, Giovanni Marchini Camia shares five diary entries he wrote while visiting the film’s set, giving us a glimpse into the film and its making. “Recurrences, both within and across films, have always been essential to Apichatpong’s cinema. Considering the parallels on set, I’m intrigued by the possibility that these echoes might also derive from the circumstances of production, just as the serenity of his work methods seeps into the atmospheres of the films themselves.”

• For Frieze, Rianna Jade Parker discusses Ja’Tovia Gary’s body of work on the occasion of Hammer Museum’s exhibition of the artist’s The Giverny Suite. You can catch the film version of this piece, The Giverny Document, when it plays in our Transmissions series next Wednesday.  

Viewing Roundup

Image result for tesla world light

• With Matthew Rankin’s subversive interpretation of Canadian history, The Twentieth Century, hitting Vancity’s screen next Friday, why not check out the director’s ravishing 2017 short film The Tesla World Light? And if you’re so inclined, read about how Rankin used 15,000 sparklers to achieve the film’s dazzling pyrotechnics.


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