Weekly Roundup: Remembering Sean Connery, Early Oscar Favourites, New Korean Cinema, and America’s Predicament

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

The passing of Sean Connery last weekend has been met with an appropriate outpouring of appreciation for the indelible mark he left on cinema as well as evaluations of the impact he made on popular culture. As Bilge Ibiri notes for Vulture, it’s thanks to Connery’s depiction of James Bond that action movies pepper their set pieces with wisecracks. Writing for RogerEbert.com, Matt Zoller Seitz suggests, “To deal with Connery is to deal with changing conceptions of manhood, at its best and worst. ” And, for Sight and Sound, David Thomson asserts, “Sean knew – and James took energy and daring from it – that he was an outrage to British high society.”

Later in this same thread, Edgar Wright catalogues some of Connery’s non-Bond roles that he fondly recalls, including turns in Alfred Hitchock’s Marnie and Sidney Lumet’s The Hill. Operating in a similar nostalgic vein, Wright has also contributed the first instalment to Sight and Sound’s “My Dream Palaces”, a series which celebrates the cinemas that have shaped our lives. As Wright professes, “I can chart my time on this Earth through the places I’ve frequented as a cinema junkie since the age of three…”

With Bong Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder having just enjoyed a successful return to the big screen at our Vancity Theatre, Ed Lin’s examination of New Korean Cinema for Criterion arrives at an extremely opportune time. The article cites how Memories’ leading man Song Kang-ho also featured in two pivotal films in this renaissance of South Korean filmmaking: Kim Jee-woon’s The Foul King and Park Chan-wook’s Joint Security Area.

We still have another six months to go before we’ll know if an international underdog can claim the title of “the next Parasite” by cleaning up at the Academy Awards. But should you be looking to get an early start on your Oscar Pool, Variety is already making predictions for all of the major categories.

As of this writing, it feels like we may also be waiting until April to learn the final outcome of the American election. While you’re waiting for the ballots to be tallied, you can catch up with with David Leitner’s reflection on “Three Insights into America’s Predicament at the Recent New York Film Festival” for Filmmaker Magazine. He shares, “I find myself still thinking about three exceptional films at NYFF 58, two documentaries and one drama, that throw certain features of our national political crisis into sharp relief, intentionally or not, as only great films can do.”

Point of View Magazine has alerted us to the fact that Theodore Ushev’s sublime The Physics of Sorrow is now available for free courtesy of the National Film Board. POV has also collected this exceptional quote for the animator: “I see my films as propaganda posters on the wall. This is the propaganda of the human spirit.”

Meanwhile, The Shed has made November, an “urgent film about white male privilege set against scenes of Black joy” by Phillip Youmans (Burning Cane, VIFF ’19), available on their site until November 7.

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