Jenkins boards The Underground Railroad, Criterion sings Morricone’s praises, and Verhoeven unleashes the Benedetta trailer

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

In an interview with Sight & Sound’s Devika Girish, Barry Jenkins speaks to his approach to adapting The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer-winning novel, into a 10-episode series. As he explains, “Despite people saying, ‘Do we need another movie about slavery, do we need another movie about trauma?’ these images actually aren’t as prevalent as I feel they should be. Part of that is because we’re watching more than we’re reading, and though there are dense academic works about slavery, this subject isn’t given its due course in public schools – which is what I really care about. That is why we can have four years of the slogan ‘Make America Great Again’, because there’s a blind spot about what America actually was.”

(VIFF is excited to host Joi McMillon, the series’ editor, for a VIFF Creator Talk on May 27.)

Meanwhile, The New York Times‘ Nicole Sperling talks to David Oyelowo about the Selma star’s long and winding journey to the director’s chair. As he tells it, it was actually a conversation with his son that opened his eyes to the glass ceiling he was operating under. In speaking to his newfound commitment to ensuring that Black youth can aspire to more than support roles, he states, “I am not just going to aim for these things that show a level of representation of my world. Now I have to fight for them.”

Over at Criterion, Nate Chinen examines the remarkable range of the late Ennio Morricone. Examining seven examples of El Maestro’s work outside of Spaghetti Westerns, Chinen asserts, “What isn’t noted often enough is the way Morricone adapted many of the signature strategies from his westerns in a dazzling range of other film scores. The soundscapes vary greatly, but the sensibility is one and the same.”

The 20th edition of the DOXA Documentary Film Festival is now underway but audiences will have to wait until next weekend to check out what’s arguably its marquee attraction: a strictly non-fiction drive-in at the PNE Amphitheatre.

And then there were two. This week, it was confirmed that Paul Verhoeven’s Benedetta had joined Leos Carax’s Annette in the Cannes lineup. You’ll find the trailer below. As it’s Verhoeven, it kind of goes without saying that it’s NSFW.

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