Establishing Shots: Jan 8-14, 2021

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 yesterday’s extension of the provincial health order, our theatres will remain closed until further notice. But our programming proceeds undaunted, with the latest edition of the Vancouver Italian Film Festival launching today.

Daniele Luchetti’s The Ties opened last year’s Venice Film Festival, one of the only major festivals to unfold solely in-cinema during the pandemic. As part of a special initiative, Luchetti’s film was screened in 100 theatres across the country. It also earned the distinction of being the fest’s first homegrown opener since Giuseppe Tornatore’s Baarìa in 2009.

Meanwhile, Matteo Garrone’s Pinocchio played to packed houses at last year’s Berlinale, one of the last major 2020 festivals able to unfold as originally envisioned. This latest adaptation has been hailed as “rich and strange and generous” by The Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw, with the critic going on to surmise, “What I like about Garrone’s adaptation is that it doesn’t put a ‘dark’ spin on a supposedly Disney-cute story, nor does it want to reinvent or reboot an assumed family-brand wholesomeness. Pinocchio is a thoroughly bizarre story; Garrone makes of it a weirdly satisfying spectacle.”

Seven decades into his storied career, Andrei Konchalovsky is operating at a torrid pace. Having won the Special Jury Prize at the aforementioned Venice Film Festival, Dear Comrades has since gone on to become Russia’s submission to the Academy Awards for the Best International Film. We’re excited to share his 2019 effort, Sin, which delves into the life of Michelangelo. When you’re enjoying the film from the comforts of home, please respect the esteemed director’s wishes and refrain from snacking.

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