Weekly Roundup – Yuen and Youn get their due, ND/NF readies its 50th edition, and the Zola trailer drops as if it were hot

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

It’s April, which means the end of Oscar speculation is finally within sight. Amidst the inanity of ongoing reporting on who’s winning the game of Zoom chicken, there are a few worthwhile profiles that have risen to the fore. While Little White Lies’ Hannah Woodhead charts Steven Yuen’s path to stardom, the New York Times’ Carlos Aguilar talks to Minari costar Youn Yuh-Jung about how her five-decade career can be attributed to an act of chance. As she shares, “Most people fell in love with the movies or fell in love with theater. But in my case it was just an accident.”

As movie theatres start to reopen in New York City, the New Directors/New Films festival returns to its customary spring timeframe for its 50th edition. The hybrid event kicks off with Amalia Ulman’s El Planeta (which premiered at Sundance earlier this year) and will also feature a retrospective of past selections from the likes of Charles Burnett, Lee Chang-dong and Chantal Akerman. In announcing the lineup, festival co-chair La Frances Hui proclaimed, “From intimate, personal tales to political, metaphysical, and spiritual inquiries, the films in the 50th edition of New Directors/New Films embody an inexhaustible curiosity and a fearless desire for adventure.”

While ND/NF celebrates a half-century of showcasing progressive cinema, The Guardian’s Oliver Macnaughton marks the 30th anniversary of The Bonfire of the Vanities’ release by examining how what should’ve been a surefire hit instead went down as a flop for the ages. As Macnaughton writes, “in the opening minutes of the film adaptation of The Bonfire of the Vanities, Bruce Willis’s journalist Peter Fallow arrives in an inebriated state to the launch of his new book. Through a glorious, unbroken tracking shot, Fallow indulges in the excesses of celebrity while being fawned over by the New York socialite and intellectual scene. His writing is said to be as vital to literature as Anna Karenina. Once a washed-up has-been, Fallow is now admired by those who detested him. If only the same could be said for Brian De Palma’s film.”

In a bid to boost representation across the documentary industry, Hot Docs is offering free access to their industry conference. In a statement, Lisa Valencia-Svensson, industry programs director, wrote, “This is part of our commitment to welcome new voices into the fold and lower entry barriers, so that everyone is able to participate in these crucial conversations.” Attendees will also have the chance to check out a livestreamed performance by Fanny, who are featured in Fanny: The Right to Rock, the latest doc from VIFF alum Bobbi Jo Hart.

Anyone who’s looking to wait out the latest provincial health order by curling up with a new film periodical is encouraged to check out Caligari. The first issue features pieces by VIFF mainstays Olivier Assayas and Jia Zhangke.

Finally, 15 months after its premiere at Sundance 2020, Janicza Bravo’s Zola gets itself a trailer in anticipation of a summer release.

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