Establishing Shots – May 28-June 3, 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.

Dead Pigs

“The complex network narrative could run out of steam in lesser hands, but Yan keeps things sharp with a witty script, and a vibrant aesthetic language… Neat sound cues and spontaneous musical numbers are lively but never twee; bars soaked in magenta and a decrepit house painted turquoise feel like Yan’s own warpaint colours.” Ella Kemp, Empire

““Dead Pigs is delightfully uneven, eagerly see-sawing between screwy and serious, occasionally even daring to be ditzy… If anything, Yan’s film, with its dancing girls, pigeon-fancying beauticians, Westerners-on-the-make and spontaneous musical numbers, is an antidote to China’s weightier arthouse output, settling the stomach after too much stolid social realism, effervescent as an alka-seltzer.” Jessica Kiang, Variety

“My focus is on making sure that progress is sustainable. I want to really focus on not just getting women hired or people of color just hired, but more like, ‘What’s that next job? How do you protect yourself in this industry? Who are the people that are supporting that person to make sure that their voices are heard and that they have longevity in this industry?’ That is going to be the big test, not whether the door is open, but if the door stays open.” – Cathy Yan interviewed by IndieWire’s Kate Erbland

The Killing of Two Lovers

The Killing of Two Lovers is a transfixing drama without a wasted word or a single inessential scene. Driven by a viscerally raw performance from Clayne Crawford, best known for TV roles on Rectify and Lethal Weapon, this marks a knockout first solo narrative feature for writer-director Robert Machoian…” David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

The Killing of Two Lovers speaks to current circumstances with a voice predicated in style and brimming with substance. Its message is timeless. Its performances? Flawless… It can best be defined as a cautionary tale dedicated to the fragility of the family structure in the United States, a showcase of a radically talented filmmaker and a dedication to the painful reality of love.” Jonathan Christian, The Playlist 

High Ground

“Locations are arresting, and the sculpted landscapes of the wild country are captured with lots of sweeping drone shots, a nod to the hawk imagery which is a key element and refers to the translation of Gutjuk’s name. And in the magnetic Nayinggul, superb as the boy on the brink of manhood who must choose whether to reject anger or embrace it, the film showcases a notable new talent.” Wendy Ide, Screen Daily

“Eye-popping… A powerful indictment on a past Australia has yet to reconcile as a nation. No amount of denial can cover up the sins of the past.” Stephen A. Russell, TimeOut

“Look, it is ultimately a fiction, but it’s a fiction to tell a deeper truth. It was about drawing from our history and the characters of our history, and incidents of history, and really allowing that to inform and inspire us to come up with a ripping tale, something that was exciting to watch and engaging. And yeah, it was all about navigating the idea of an exciting story, something to kind of challenge people’s perceptions and to take people on a journey into a time and a place in a way that they haven’t perhaps been before. To give that perspective, I suppose.” Stephen Johnson interviewed by Cinema Australia

Moby Doc

Salon Talks‘ video interview with Moby

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