Establishing Shots: Oct 30-Nov 5, 2020

Every week, Establishing Shots offers some further enlightenment on the films that will be screening in-cinema at the VIFF Centre and online through VIFF Connect.

With the US election imminent and many nations now awash in the second wave of COVID cases, Totally Under Control – directed by Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan and Suzanne Hillinger – arrives on our VIFF Connect streaming platform and offers a “damning – and essential – report card on the White House’s mismanagement of the pandemic.”

Conversely, Saila Huusko and Jasper Rischen’s Moroni for President serves as a reminder that we needn’t always look askance at political newcomers intent on addressing the issues facing “real people”. In this interview with Queerty, Moroni Benally discusses his experience running for the presidency of the Navajo Nation as a Mormon LGBTQ candidate.

As British Columbia skiers and snowboarders prepare for a very different season, Spokane’s Chase Ogden highlights the BASE jumping exploits of Matthias Giraud in Super Frenchie. As Ogden tells The Inlander, the documentary represents the culmination of 10 years of work that amassed 350 hours of footage.

Over at, Matt Fagerholm writes that Epicentro finds director Hubert Sauper (Darwin’s Nightmare) “examining remote locations in the world that embody a perpetual crossroads of opposing cultures while simultaneously reflecting the past and forecasting a dire future.” The Museum of the Moving Image has also posted this extensive conversation between curator Eric Hynes and the preeminent documentarian.

The reappraisal of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me over the past decade has been fascinating to behold. It was widely met with derision at its Cannes premiere, with The New York Times surmising, “It’s not the worst movie ever made; it just seems to be.” By its 20th anniversary, there was an increasing number of defenders who would concede that it was a “fascinating disaster”. Another five years on – and in the wake of the astonishing Twin Peaks: The Return – it’s now routinely considered a “tour de force”.

Eraserhead – the debut feature from the master of American surrealism – has routinely been spoken of in hallowed terms since it strung together year-long runs in midnight slots at several hallowed art houses in the late 1970s. Released in 1997 (when Fire Walk With Me was still an object of ridicule), Chris Rodley’s Lynch on Lynch allows the auteur to reflect on the film’s gestation and delve into some of its indelible scenes.

With Parasite receiving the Criterion treatment this week, Bong Joon Ho is back in the spotlight. Indiewire has recapped 10 insights offered by the release’s commentary track, which finds the director joined by erstwhile VIFF Dragons & Tigers programmer, Tony Rayns. Inkoo Kang has also penned an extensive essay which highlights Bong’s ongoing collaboration with leading man Song Kang Ho. This partnership stretches back to Memories of Murder, which returns to the Vancity Theatre in the coming days.

It seems that the pandemic may’ve curtailed a promising festival run for Gloria Kim’s Queen of the Morning Calm, which premiered last December. Yet another decade-in-the-making project, the film draws from Kim’s personal trials and was hailed as a “must-see” by Exclaim in the spring. The film is available on VIFF Connect starting this Friday.

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