Weekly Roundup: Oct 24, 2020

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

There was much talk in industry publications at the start of this week about China’s box office being poised to overtake North America’s. (And pieces were continuing to appear at week’s end.) At the same time, the fine folks at Lisa Pictures – familiar to VIFF viewers from films such as White Lie and MS Slavic 7took to Twitter to report another intriguing development. No less than four Canadian features have cracked the US box office’s top ten in 2020: The Disappearance at Clifton Hill, Possessor, The Broken Hearts Gallery and The Kid Detective.

Independent cinema is also capturing headlines in China as VIFF mainstay Jia Zhangke has abruptly departed the Pingyao Film Festival that he co-founded. Independently run since its inception, the operation of the festival has now been handed over to the local government. Many have been left reeling by Jia’s announcement and concerns are already being expressed about whether festival programmers will retain their autonomy.

Jia made his bombshell announcement at Pingyao’s closing press conference. That same evening, the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia wrapped on a decidedly different note as David Lynch took a break from reporting the weather and selecting a daily number to remotely accept the festival’s Grand Honorary Award for his laundry list of achievements. (The ceremony later saw Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor, which had its Canadian premiere at VIFF 2020, pick up Best Film and Best Director.)

In the wake of several festivals handing out similar awards to established masters, Filmmaker Magazine unveiled their 25 New Faces of Independent Film. In fairness: “American Independent Film” would be more accurate. Nevertheless, the profiles of these filmmakers prove heartening as they suggest a wider spectrum of backgrounds and experiences will shape cinema as it pulls itself from this train wreck of a year.

With Ben Wheatley’s Rebecca transitioning to its permanent home on Netlix, Eleanor Ring examines the transgressive femininity of Hitchcock’s original adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s novel. Over at Little White Lies, she writes, “Hitchcock was definitely not a feminist, but to write off his work as misogynistic would be an oversimplification; his female characters were just as complicated as his male ones. Their darker psyches were often evident despite their perfect facades.”

Meanwhile, Netflix has also released the official trailer for David Fincher’s much-anticipated Mank. The film hits the platform on December 4 but will be showcased at select cinemas in late November.

Finally: Some good news for anyone who’s ever stumbled across the Accidentally Wes Anderson Instagram account and thought, “Why couldn’t this be more conducive to displaying on a coffee table?” Wally Koval has now collected 200 of the striking locations into a hardcover edition.

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