Establishing Shots: Jan 29-Feb 4, 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.

Several countries’ Oscar submissions for Best International Picture consideration will be hitting VIFF Connect over the next few weeks, including Two of Us (France) and Dear Comrades! (Russia). This week, we launch Lili Horvát’s Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time, a Hungarian drama that’s drawn enviable comparisons to the work of Krzysztof Kieślowski. The film has also garnered its fair share of critical praise. Reviewing the film for the Los Angeles Times, Justin Chang asserts that Horvát “slyly turns the conventions of the film noir inside out.” Comparing the film to Christian Petzold’s Undine, Slant Magazine’s Diego Semerene writes, “Throughout Preparations, Horvát makes room for the slow temporalities of subjective experience writ large, and feminine subjective experience in particular… It delights in wallowing in ambiguity, contradiction, and doubt…”

Also launching this week is Katrine Philp’s Beautiful Something Left Behind. In his thoughtful appraisal of this deeply moving study of grief, RogerEbert.com‘s Matt Zoeler Seitz declares, “I needed this. I think you might need it, too… There are no answers in this movie. It’s just showing us something real and saying, ‘Here, look. Think about this. Feel it.’ In looking and listening, in watching, really watching, this movie, you feel that tingle of energy, that cool electricity, Freud’s uncanny; the trigger in us all that that says, ‘Pay attention—there’s something else out there. There’s something else to all of this.'”

Recognizing that some readers may find themselves feeling a little cooped up at the moment, we’re also offering our VIFF+ members the opportunity to vicariously embark on three quests with The Great Darkened Days, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter and Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts. These are just three of the films that are free to our members.

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