Weekly Roundup: Berlinale announces 2021 plans, Sundance unveils lineup, and Kaufman gets put under the microscope

Suspicions were confirmed this morning with the Berlinale’s announcement that their 2021 edition will be offered in two segments: their industry events will unfold online in March, with a public event to follow in June.

This news came on the heels of Sundance unveiling the lineup of 72 features and 50 shorts for their first hybrid edition. Indiewire’s Eric Kohn wasted little time in highlighting what he considered to be the festivals “Hidden Gems and Big Surprises”.

While you’re visiting Indiewire, be sure to also watch the extended conversation between Charlie Kaufman, Tamara Jenkins, Yorgos Lanthimos, Richard Linklater and Boots Riley about I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Kaufman’s long-awaited return to the director’s chair. Reflecting on the conversation, moderator David Ehrlich declared it “a rare, honest, and revealing dialogue that see-sawed between an interview and an intervention as the topic shifted from the nature of criticism, to the value of originality, the future of streaming, why Boots Riley sees Kaufman as the cinematic equivalent of Morrissey, and a wide variety of other subjects that all stemmed from a dizzying film with a lot on its mind.” In short: it’s not to be missed.

Kaufman’s leads – Jessie Buckley and Jesse Plemons – make the grade for Slant Magazine’s roundup of “The 20 Best Performances of 2020”, with Christopher Gray asserting that “I’m Thinking of Ending Things offers one of the most intriguing contrasts in acting styles in quite some time.” For good measure, Slant similarly recapped “The 20 Best Scenes of 2020”.

Over at Little White Lies, Brianna Zigler makes the case for Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut being “an anti-consumerist holiday classic”. As she writes, “The overloaded, obsessive influence of Christmas on everyday life should be viewed as suffocating more than whimsical. In December 2020, with much of the Western world adored in wreaths and twinkling lights as shoppers queue eagerly outside department stores despite the global pandemic, the pairing of a fetishistic cult with Christmas seems all the more satirically astute.”

Should Zigler’s treatise leave you motivated to seek out other unconventional holiday fare, then be sure to check out this episode of Film Club, hosted by A.A. Dowd and Katie Rife. You’re unlikely to ever hear a more persuasive endorsement for Dial Code Santa Claus.

See you in 2021!

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