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Going Virtual in the Pandemic Age: CPH:DOX 2020, The Digital Edition

Mon Amour

Hard to believe just a few weeks back I was eagerly preparing for my annual pilgrimage to Copenhagen to begin the spring doc fest season. Well, we all know how that turned out. Or not. As a deadly virus forced festivals the world over to cancel, CPH:DOX, long a champion of outside-the-box filmmaking, counterintuitively decided the show must go on. Rather than cut losses and hunker down in social isolation, festival director Tine Fischer and her scrappy team did the exact opposite, reaching out online to actually expand the CPH:DOX audience on a global scale. Picking up and relocating to the virtual realm, they live streamed (as well as uploaded to YouTube) free daily talks, debates, and even the five-day…  Read more

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“It Had to Show How We Rip Each Other Apart”: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia on His Vertical Class-Warfare Netflix Dystopia The Platform

The Platform

Access to food serves as the most basic representation of wealth in Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia's The Platform, a dystopian allegory for economic inequality in which a vertical prison pushes people to the edge of their humanity. Inside the Vertical Self-Management Center (Centro Vertical de Autogestión)—as the facility is formally known in the fiction—two individuals are housed per level, and each is allowed to bring one personal item with them. They receive sustenance once a day on a floating platform. Those on the higher floors fill their bellies with disregard for the unfortunate ones below. But once a month each pair wakes up on a different level, a twist that evidences how quickly the oppressed become victimizers.  As explained to Goreng (Ivan Massagué), the protagonist of…  Read more

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“It’s a Pretty Unambiguous Condemnation of a New Age Answer to Life’s Problems”: Writer/Director Todd Haynes on Safe

Safe

With Todd Haynes's classic Safe now streaming on Criterion Channel (and seeming utterly prescient in its concerns), we're reposting our Summer, 1995 cover story: Larry Gross's interview with Haynes. -- Editor Todd Haynes, director of Sundance Grand Prize Winner Poison and the underground classic Superstar, was inspired to make his latest feature, Safe, by his visceral response to New Age recovery therapists who tell the physically ill that they have made themselves sick, that they are responsible for their own suffering. Carol White, played superbly by Julianne Moore, is an archetypally banal homemaker in the San Fernando Valley who one day gets sick and never gets well. Her doom is first her own unique physical condition. But her "action" is to be…  Read more

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DAFilms, DocAlliance’s Streaming Service for Seven European Nonfiction Festivals, Launches in the US

A Campaign of Their Own

DAFilms is a VOD platform run by the DocAlliance, which (per their press release) is "a creative partnership between seven of the major European documentary festivals." Those seven are CPH:DOX, Doclisboa, Millennium Docs Against Gravity FF, DOK Leipzig, FIDMarseille, Ji.hlava IDFF and Visions du Réel. As of March 30, America-based streamers can start streaming for the site for $6.99/month (or $4.99/month with an annual subscription, with individual rental fees for certain titles). While the exact catalogue has yet to be determined, the plan is to showcase some of the best titles from these festivals, both old and new, with future collaborations with American festivals to be determined. Already available to browse: a good amount of Agnès Varda's filmography, a selection of…  Read more

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Quarantine Reading: I Am My Own Woman and Never, Ever Ever, Coming Down

Iván Monalisa Ojeda in The Voyage of Monalisa

As a publication about film, we find ourselves in the peculiar position of publishing during a moment when theatrical access to movies, and their ongoing future, is as much in question as everything else. During this suspension of normal filmwatching habits, we've reached out to contributors, filmmakers and friends, inviting them to find an alternate path to the movies by participating in a writing exercise engaging with any book about or lightly intersecting with film, in whatever way makes sense to them. Today: Jessica Dunn Rovinelli on two trans autobiographical books turned into doc films. — Vadim Rizov Every book-to-film adaptation requires new aesthetic frameworks to address questions of emphasis and the new relationship between the viewer and text/image. With documentary…  Read more

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