Weekly Roundup: Spike Lee’s latest joint, “post-disaster artist” Josh Trank, and VIFF’s new podcast

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

News Roundup

• After postponing their festival at the end of April, Hot Docs has now announced they will be moving their program online. 135 films from their original lineup will be available to stream via the festival’s website from May 28 to June 6. 

• Spike Lee’s latest joint, Da 5 Bloods, will go straight to Netflix on June 12. A jovial Lee took to Twitter to make the announcement:

Reading Roundup

josh trank directing tom hardy in capone with cinematographer peter deming behind him

• “On Aug. 7, 2015, hours before his $150 million comic book reboot Fantastic Four opened on 3,995 North American screens, director Josh Trank smashed the self-destruct button.” In this epic-length piece for Polygon, Matt Patches—who spent four years corresponding with the Chronicle director—describes the ups and downs faced by this “post-disaster artist.” Trank’s unlikely Fantastic Four follow-up Capone (“Different title. My cut.”) will be released digitally on May 12.

• In their last issue before an indefinite “hiatus,” Film Comment covers Roy Andersson’s About Endlessness, Tsai Ming-liang’s Days, and Amy Seimetz’s She Dies Tomorrow. (And for a little more background on the politicking behind the Film Comment closure, check out Nick Pinkerton’s Substack entry on the debacle.)

• In a letter to the Dutch film magazine Film Krant, Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul ponders how this indelible moment we’re living in might permanently change the ways we watch movies. “Perhaps this current situation will breed a group of people who have developed an ability to stay in the present moment longer than others. They can stare at certain things for a long time. They thrive in total awareness.”

• A blog dedicated to translating the writings of Serge Daney has published the great French film critic’s essay on Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. A taste: “What’s an ‘immobilised’ voyeur? A spectator of course. A man rivetted to his seat, condemned to a ‘blocked vision’ (as Pascal Bonitzer puts it nicely), a cinephile, us.”

• With drive-ins seeing a resurgence the world over, The Guardian has posted a photo gallery paying homage to some of the classic (and ad-hoc) ones currently being patronized in large numbers in Iran, Germany, South Korea, and the US. 

Viewing/Listening Roundup

• Dan Sallitt’s Fourteen, which was among the highlights of last year’s VIFF, will be released in the virtual screening rooms of art houses across North America on May 15. In advance of the release, Grasshopper has released the following trailer. (And in case you missed it: Dan recently wrote for the VIFF Blog about the films of MDFF on the occasion of a retrospective that was to take place at The Cinematheque.)

• Vancouver-born, Toronto-based filmmaker Kurt Walker has released his new film s01e03 online for free. Walker’s first feature Hit2Pass screened at DOXA back in 2015.

• Did you know VIFF now has a podcast? To subscribe and check out our latest episode with Dr. Jane Goudall, click here. (And on a related note: we have two upcoming virtual Creator Talks, one tonight at 5pm with veteran documentarian Alex Gibney and the other on May 13 with Ozark producer and writer Chris Mundy.)


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