Weekly Roundup – The cinema of empathy, springtime reading, and the Cinerama Dome’s history

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

As the Hot Docs world premiere of Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy draws ever nearer, director Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers talks to the NFB Blog about filming in her Kainai First Nation community, the Blackfoot people’s tradition of social solidarity and the devastating impact of colonialism on Indigenous populations. She shares, “This is a collective story and a collective experience. I wanted audiences to see the beauty and strength of my community through a multitude of voices and experiences. There have been countless stories in the media about Kainai that frame my community from a place of deficit, poverty, and trauma. When I look at my community, I see a people who continue to dig deep into our strength as a people to overcome incredible systemic inequity and settler-colonial violence.”

Having already announced Tailfeathers’ film as one of their special presentations, the DOXA Documentary Festival unveiled the rest of their lineup this week, including a 20th anniversary retrospective curated by three generations of their programmers. They’ll also be screening Questlove’s Summer of Soul!, which should offer a welcome endorphin boost.

For those looking to bide some time in public parks over the next few weeks, Criterion’s David Hudson has a roundup of recently published reading material. The piece includes several takes on Edward White’s The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchock: An Anatomy of the Master of Suspense.

While he waits to learn his fate at this year’s Oscars, Thomas Vinterberg has announced that he’s trying his hand at episodic storytelling as he’ll direct and co-write the six-part series Families Like Ours. Depicting how Danes might cope with a natural disaster, the speculative series has clear parallels to current circumstances. As producer Graum Jørgensen says, “Thomas had the idea for Families Like Ours long before the pandemic but it turns out that it really connects with our times or where we are now in the world today. We are all so concerned about what is happening around us, what will happen next, when will this end and, at the same time, we just need to continue enjoying our lives.”

News that Hollywood’s Cinerama Dome won’t be reopening has left many film-lovers reeling. While no photo could replicate the experience of watching a film in this hallowed room, Variety has paid tribute to the legendary cinema with a series of snapshots of some key moments in its history.

Screen Daily has brought together Ai Weiwei and Alexander Nanau, director of Collective for a sprawling conversation that delves into censorship, the sway of streaming services and the role film festivals. While both artists have experienced much corruption first hand and are rightfully wary of the quality of easily consumable “content” that is being generated at astonishing levels, Nanau finds reasons for optimism, sharing, “I have a feeling there is a young generation coming, and I see it from the emails I get from the young people that saw our film… For sure we have a great part of society that gets more and more towards simple content, but I’m also sure that a good part of the young generation around the world wants more. That they want to contribute in a positive way and to start to formulate what they want from their future. And our job will be to see how to connect with them.”

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