Weekly Roundup: Cannes’ Official Selection, Shane Carruth’s Sci-Fi Epic, and AMC’s “Substantial Doubt”

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

News Roundup

Nadia, Butterfly (Pascal Plante)

The Cannes Film Festival, which was cancelled last month, has announced their Official Selection for 2020. Some of the directors in the would-be lineup include Wes Anderson, Steve McQueen, and (perhaps most surprisingly) Pascal Plante, whose debut feature Fake Tattoos had its world premiere at VIFF in 2017. He previously scored the “Most Promising Director of a Canadian Short” award at VIFF 2015.

Shane Carruth, the filmmaker behind cult classics like Primer and Upstream Color, says he will make one final feature before retiring from directing indefinitely. This announcement comes after years of frustration for Carruth, who has continually struggled to secure funding for his projects. One of these abandoned films is A Topiary, which Carruth recently released a proof-of-concept sizzle reel for on his Vimeo page. 

AMC Theatres, the largest cinema chain in the United States, expects to report a net loss of between $2.1 billion and $2.4 billion for the first quarter of 2020. In a statement released on Wednesday, AMC says they have “substantial doubt” about their ability to continue operating if they “do not recommence [their] operations within [their] estimated timeline.”

Reading Roundup

Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee)

“People tell stories partially to redress historical silences, but if the stories and the resulting images are so ubiquitous, then what’s the point? And if the message and sentiments of such films simply reflect the tastes of their predominantly bourgeois, liberal arthouse target audiences, then what’s the point?” For Middle East Eye, film programmer Joseph Fahim discusses the growing market for Middle Eastern cinema, how the filmmakers of the region have been integrated into the funding structures of European festivals and granting organizations, and why these outsider agencies have contributed to a stale cinema that no longer reflects the concerns of the places these films come from.

“The fact that Krabi was chosen by the Ministry of Culture to host the first ever Biennale in Thailand was quite interesting to me, because it is pretty far away from Bangkok. I think they were playing with this idea of decentralizing the art scene by bringing the Biennale to a place where there’s actually very little infrastructure for contemporary art. They were trying to find the avenues in which they could promote Krabi as a site for discovery, as a place where the prehistoric meets the contemporary.” For MUBI Notebook, Jordan Cronk speaks to Ben Rivers and Anocha Suwichakornpong about their film Krabi, 2562 (VIFF 2019), which will be released into virtual cinemas in North America in the coming weeks.

Film Comment, which continues to be on an indefinite hiatus, has posted their 1989 interview with Spike Lee from the time of Do the Right Thing’s original theatrical release. Lee, as per usual, takes a stand: “Well, I don’t think it’s ambiguous. I think you really have to concentrate on what the final coda of the film is: the Malcolm X quote, not the Martin Luther King quote.”

Viewing/Listening Roundup

In the latest season of You Must Remember This, a podcast about the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood, Karina Longworth discusses the career of Polly Platt, a producer and production designer who worked on films like Broadcast News, Say Anything…, and The Last Picture Show.

Thomas Vinterberg’s new film Another Round, which was included in Cannes’ Official Selection lineup, now has a trailer. The film stars Mads Mikkelsen, who previously worked with Vinterberg on The Hunt.

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