Weekly Roundup: Oct 31, 2020

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

‘Tis the spooky season and that can mean only one thing: film scribes are making lists (and presumably checking them twice). Slant Magazine has painstakingly determined “The 100 Best Horror Films of All Time” while making compelling arguments for each title’s inclusion. Meanwhile, perhaps recognizing that not everyone can stomach the grisly likes of Martyrs and Antichrist, The New Yorker has countered with “The Best Horror Films for Halloween – Without the Gore”.

In penning “Planet terror: the horror of 2020” for Sight and Sound, the esteemed Kim Newman examines how the pandemic has impacted the current crop of horror films and how it might shape the next form the genre assumes. For good measure, the publication has also unearthed a 1952 article from their archive that examines the evolution (to that point at least) of the supernatural horror film.

And we’ll close out our Halloween focus with this piece of trivia: The first Venice Film Festival in 1932 – which doubled as the first film festival period – opened with a screening of Rouben Mamoulian’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. (In this photo, we find Fredric March and Miriam Hopkins taking tea with their director.)

Of course, there’s already significant conjecture about the fate of the 2021 festival circuit. As Variety reports, Cannes has already earmarked alternate dates in July and August in the event they’re unable to stage their festival in the usual May window. The festival’s organizers did manage to get their three-night Cannes 2020 Special wrapped just before a second lockdown was imposed in France.

The 2021 Oscars have already been moved from February to April. This week saw the announcement that Deepha Mehta’s Funny Boy is Canada’s official submission for the Best International Film category. In discussing the challenges of completing her latest feature during the pandemic, Mehta said, “I feel we’ve been challenged, and we need it. It’s the indomitable spirit of what makes us live.” Funny Boy will premiere on CBC TV and CBC Gem on December 4.

Winner of Most Popular Canadian Documentary at VIFF 2020, Michelle Latimer’s Inconvenient Indian has now claimed the Allan King Award for Excellence in Documentary at the annual Directors Guild of Canada Awards. Tracey Deer, whose debut Beans scored Best Canadian Film and Most Popular Canadian Narrative at VIFF 2020, took home the DGC Discovery Award. In doing so, she edged out Latimer and fellow VIFF alums Aisling Chin-Yee and Chase Joynt (No Ordinary Man) and Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli (Violation).

By now, you’ve probably caught wind of the fact that Borat Subsequent Moviefilm was released last Friday. Indiewire has investigated the film’s 17 anxiety-inducing set pieces and talked to some of those who were duped by Sacha Baron Cohen’s gonzo tactics. Alas, it seems that Rudy Giuliani was unavailable for comment.

Finally: if you’re understandably looking for a little levity, we encourage you to tune into the just-completed third season of the This Sounds Serious podcast produced by Vancouver’s Kelly&Kelly. Over the course of eight episodes, this exactingly scripted, exceedingly funny true crime satire explores the mystery surrounding the greatest film never made: Grand Casino. A preview follows and the entire season can be found here.

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