VIFF Dailies – Oct 2, 2020

Every day during this year’s festival, we’ll be offering you some supplemental reading (and the odd visual aid) in order to better inform your future viewing or appreciation of work you’ve already seen.

While Undine marks the seventh film by Christian Petzold that’s screened at VIFF, we’ve not yet had the pleasure of hosting the German auteur at our festival. Consequently, we thought that admirers of his work may want to hear from the director himself as he discusses his latest film (which scored Paula Beer the Silver Bear for Best Actress at Berlin) with the Film Comment Podcast.

And: Should you be looking to give your eyes a bit longer of a break before you dive back into the offerings on VIFF Connect, you can also listen to Around the Buoy talk to Zach Carver about editing down thousands of hours of footage into The Race to Alaska, an invigorating 97-minute profile of the boating race that takes participants from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska.

Delivering a mesmerising turn in Mogul Mowgli that demonstrates his considerable skills as a rapper, Riz Ahmed was also influential in the creation of Bassam Tariq’s drama, serving as both cowriter and producer. As he explains to the Hollywood Reporter, his production company is committed to supporting South Asian and Muslim filmmakers: “It’s up to us as storytellers to step into that space and tell stories that allow us to deconstruct the binary paradigm of us and them. That’s what stories do by their very nature, reinforcing our common humanity.”

Meanwhile, POV Magazine praises Aisling Chin-Yee and Chase Joynt’s No Ordinary Man, in which “thoughtful collaboration beautifully expresses the importance of considering the duties and responsibilities entailed within telling a story that is not one’s own.” In an extensive interview over at the Georgia Straight, Joynt says of his partnership with Chin-Yee, “We share power in interesting ways to navigate our own vulnerabilities, and to navigate how we want the project represented…”

Just in case it’s currently flying under your radar, the Canadian premiere of Alonso Llosa’s The Restoration isn’t to be missed. The dark comedy has certainly found its admirers at past festivals, with Film Threat likening it to Curb Your Enthusiasm and Screen Comment finding it “by turns heartwarming and heart-wrenching…”

Also enjoying its Canadian premiere at VIFF is On the Quiet. Director Zoltán Nagy talked to Cineuropa about his approach to depicting abuses of power and establishing a level of trust with his cast.

Happy Place is Helen Shaver’s first feature as a director intended for the big screen. Last November, she sat down for this extended conversation with CBC’s The Filmmakers to detail “her legendary career as an actress, her persistent imposter syndrome and how she has been able to thrive in an industry dominated by men.”

At VIFF 2017, zombie-comedy One Cut of the Dead proved to be an audience favourite. Now, Shin’ichirô Ueda is back with Special Actors, a film that’s every bit as delightfully bizarre but decidedly less blood-soaked. Elements of performance and ritual also factor into Mickey on the Road, Lu Mian Mian’s vibrant drama about two Taiwanese women embarking on a road trip.

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