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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Well…2.5 days after we went on sale, you have overwhelmed the American Market online and sold out Amazon & Barnes & Noble online in the US 😳 Local bookstores still have some & more are on their way! The gist of it: you guys are amazing 🥰 (Plenty of copies still avail internationally! Amazon UK/Waterstones ships to the US 😉) • For now, here is the ever talented @Reichbaum bringing us this beautiful photo and a little known story of the one & only Mr. Rogers, his love of Swimming, and what 143 means ❤️ – – – Pittsburgh Athletic Association 🏊‍♂️ Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 🇺🇸 c. 1911 • “A private social and athletic club, the Pittsburgh Athletic Association was modeled after a Venetian Renaissance palazzo. This impressive five-story structure officially opened in 1911, offering top-of-the-line facilities, including billiard and fencing rooms, rifle ranges, Turkish baths, a sleek bowling alley, and a magnificent 75-foot pool on the third floor.” • “The PAA quickly developed into a lively meeting place for some of the most iconic figures to call Pittsburgh home, with a membership log that included names such as Heinz, Mellon, and Mesta. Most notably, it was visited with near-daily regularity by America’s most special neighbor, Fred Rogers.” • “Rogers was also something of a numerologist, for whom the number 143 was exceedingly important. On his show, Rogers’s character points out that the number represents “I Love You”: one letter in “I,” four in “love,” and three in “you.” Love was his message, and invoking 143 was among the myriad of ways he broadcast it – astonishingly, he also kept himself at that exact weight for the majority of his adult life.” • “And how? By checking into the Pittsburgh Athletic Association every morning at 7:00 and walking up to the third floor. Over the course of twenty-five minutes, he would swim a mile in the club’s pool, at a leisurely yet intentional pace. Rogers would then head to the scale to ensure that it read precisely 143 pounds. He proudly maintained the practice, the weight, the determination, and the affinity for the number for decades.” • #AccidentallyWesAnderson #Archigram #AccidentalWesAnderson #WesAnderson #AWA

A post shared by AWA (@accidentallywesanderson) on

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