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Rushes. New Canadian Cinema, Best Docs of 2016, State of Action Filmmaking

This week’s essential news, articles, sounds, videos and more from the film world.
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NEWS
Wang Bing's Bitter Money
  • A touching bit of news from the Canadian independent film scene: When the Toronto Film Critics Association picked Hugh Gibson as the recipient for its $100,000 prize for his terrific documentary The Stairs, Gibson decided to split the award with the other nominees:Kazik Radwanski (How Heavy This Hammer), and Matt Johnson (Operation Avalanche). Solidarity in Canadian filmmaking!
  • Berlin Critics' Week has announced part of its lineup for its festival, which runs concurrently as the Berlin International Film Festival and is intended both as counter-programming and counter-experience. Films so far include I Am Not Madame Bovary, The Human Surge and Bertrand Bonello's Sarah Winchester.
  • Meanwhile, in New York the 17th Film Comment Selects series, which tends to be more unconventional than the Film Society of Lincoln Center's New York Film Festival, will include an "Ultra-widescreen" version of Terrence Malick's Voyage of Time, Chinese documentarian Wang Bing's Bitter Money, and Lav Diaz's Golden Lion winner The Woman Who Left.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING
  • Yes, the Notebook is on the Twin Peaks hype train. But who can blame us? Even as Showtime drip feeds fans with such teasers as the above, we admit we're ensorceled David Lynch's mysterious project.
  • Milestone has a beautiful new trailer for a restored version of Mikhail Kalatozov's groundbreaking 1964 film, I Am Cuba.
RECOMMENDED READING
Kirsten Johnson's Cameraperson
If the reality television boom arguably helped audiences accept the complex dialectic between truth and fabrication at the heart of documentary, and if that acceptance helped fuel the rise of lines-blurring films like The Act of KillingThe Arbor and Nuts!, then might it be said that Trump is a work of hybrid nonfiction? If post-truth culture can be seen as the final revenge of postmodernism, might we practitioners and theoreticians of the glorious instabilities of documentary cinema – the ecstatic “thousand lies in the service of the truth” camp – be somehow responsible for the fractures Trump exploited?
Things changed. Fast editing and wobbly camerawork became standard, and show-stopping sequences of mayhem were replaced with disorienting blurs. For more than a decade now, the craft of depicting bodies in motion onscreen has been forced into hiding in direct-to-video movies like Blood and Bone (2009) and Ninja: Shadow of a Tear (2013).
It may seem odd for a country to declare its own best films in this institutionalized fashion, but Canadian cinema is largely drowned out by the dominant influx of American culture. It’s pretty rare for even one Canadian film to play the local multiplex at any given time, even in metropolitan hubs.

That’s why extra efforts have to be made to showcase films that would otherwise mostly go unnoticed and unseen.
EXTRAS
  • Georgeian auteur Sergei Parajanov photographed by Yuri Mechitov
  • Jordan Bolton's 6th poster depicting the rooms of films in miniature is dedicated to Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette.
The Little Hours poster
  • An absurdly intriguing poster for John C. Reilly's The Little Hours, directed by Jeff Baena and set to premiere at Sundance.

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