On this episode, we discuss some of our favourite films from the 2022 fall festivals, first features, and the dominance of Netflix Movies.
This episode features Editor-in-Chief Alex Heeney and Executive Editor Orla Smith.
About the episode
On this members only episode, we discuss the highlights of the fall film festival circuit, the new and troubling dominance of Netflix (and other streamers’) films, and exciting (or not-so-exciting) first features. We discuss favourites like The Eternal Daughter, Saint Omer, Other People’s Children — many of which will get a full-length episode of their own in the coming months. We also discuss some of the biggest disappointments. Orla shares her experience at the London Film Festival. Alex shares her experience attending the Toronto International Film Festival.
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On this episode
- 00:00-5:24 – Intro to the episode and the festivals we’ve covered
- 5:24-18:55 Rebecca Zlotowski’s Other People’s Children and a new film grammar for women as multitaskers in Other People’s Children, Mia Hansen-Løve’s One Fine Morning, and Joanna Hogg’s The Eternal Daughter FREE EXCERPT ENDS HERE
- 18:55-20:55 How many films we saw, and some of the downsides
- 20:55-25:45 Orla’s favourites including Laura Poitras’s All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel’s De Humani Corporis Fabrica, Jamie Dack’s Palm Trees and Power Lines
- 25:45-31:14 Alex favourites including Alice Winocour’s Paris Memories and Darlene Naponse’s Stellar
- 31:14-50:34 The dominance of Netflix and streamers, Matthew Warchus’s Matilda, Causeway
- 50:34-56:50 The festival circuit: great festival films from earlier this year that disappeared (My Small Land, Lullaby, 32 Sounds), screened only at local festivals (Nelly and Nadine, Framing Agnes) and films that keep coming back. We also discuss the London Film Festival’s problematic approach to programming and why we love the Berlinale’s programming.
- 56:50-1:00:24 The lack of live cinema experiences at festivals (like 32 Sounds) in a year when we are being forced to return to cinemas for festivals.
- 1:00:24-1:05:50 Directors’ first features, Charlotte Wells’s Aftersun, the rise of Paul Mescal, Georgia Oakley’s Blue Jean
- 1:05:50-1:16:15 Depressing trends in British cinema and the British film industry and how that relates to the country’s funding practices. We also draw comparisons to the Canadian film industry. Why is it so hard to get a second feature made? And why do first features have to conform so much to industry standards? We discuss Francis Lee’s films, Hope Dickson Leach’s film, and several Canadian filmmakers.
- 1:16:15-1:25:29 Thinking about National Cinema at film festivals, especially Canadian cinema and British cinema
- 1:25:29-1:31:36 Plan 75, Palm Trees and Power Lines, and other great under-seen first features that keep screening everywhere
- 1:31:36 Sign offs and related episodes
- Women at Cannes Season: Listen to our five-episode 2022 season on the history of Women directors at the Cannes Film Festival. We highlight some of the best films by women and women filmmakers to screen at the festival. We also discuss the festival’s ongoing poor track record of programming films directed by women.
- Ep. 125: Berlinale 2022: On this omnibus episode, we discuss the highlights of the Berlin Film Festival screening in the festival’s under-discussed and under-appreciated (but excellently programmed) sidebars.
- Ep. 109: TIFF 2021 Part 1: In last year’s counterpart to this episode, we discussed the highlights of the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), including Terence Davies’s Benediction and Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World
- Ep. 111: TIFF 2021 Part 2: Continuing our discussion on the fall film festivals in 2021, with a focus on TIFF, we discussed Power of the Dog, Ali & Ava, and more highlights from TIFF.
- Ep. 49: Split screen storytelling in Lungs and Conversations with Other Women: Listen to our episode on Matilda director Matthew Warchus’s fantastic live-recorded theatre production of Lungs, (Members only)
- Ep 60: Old Vic In Camera Productions: Three Kings and Faith Healer: Listen to our podcast on Matthew Warchus’s two follow-up live-broadcasted productions of Three Kings and Faith Healer (Members only)
- Become a member for access to all of our upcoming episodes, as well as our entire archive of episodes.
- Read all of our TIFF 2022 coverage
- Read all of our film festival coverage from this fall here
- Read Alex Heeney’s review of Matilda: The Musical on stage
- Read Alex Heeney’s review of Stellar
- Read Alex Heeney’s review of Eo
- Read our review of Matilda director Matthew Warchus’s Pride
- Read Alex Heeney’s review of Palm Trees and Power Lines
- Read Alex Heeney’s interview with Sam Green on his live documentary 32 Sounds
- Read Alex Heeney on Canadian immigration stories at TIFF 2022.
The transcript for the free excerpt of this episode is AI-generated by Otter.ai.
Orla Smith 0:17
You're listening to a short free clip from the full episode of this members only episode of the seven thread podcast. Most episodes of our podcasts are members only. We're providing you this as a preview of the full episodes so you can get a taste of what membership would give you. As well as getting access to our podcast archive, you'll also get all the content that we produce for our podcast feed, covering new releases and beyond. On this episode, myself, Phil Smith and my co host Alex Heeney sat down to discuss everything that we've been watching lately at film festivals, and what patterns we've been surveying in the film landscape. This episode will take a look at films from the Toronto International Film Festival or TIFF, and the London Film Festival, as well as other smaller festivals. What you're listening to now is a short free clip from the full episode to listen to the whole thing as well as all our other podcast content, become a member at seven dash rho.com/join and enjoy a whole host of other perks.
Alex Heeney 1:19
So on today's episode, we're going to be talking about the fall festival circuit fall films and how they relate to what screened earlier in the year. I am Alex Heeney, editor in chief of seven throw, and I'm joined by my co host or Liz Smith, executive editor of seven throw. So what festivals between us have we attended?
Orla Smith 1:48
That you more than me? I've just wrapped up the London Film Festival, which is one of those sort of tiff like amalgamations of the programming of other festivals throughout the year. And previews of things that will win Oscars,
Alex Heeney 2:04
TIFF doesn't really amalgamate anymore. They just play can titles.
Orla Smith 2:10
And you were you were to TIFF, but you've been to a few smaller Film Festival offerings as well.
Alex Heeney 2:17
Yeah, I did Tiff and then I also did like festival du nouveau cinema, which is kind of like the new festival of festivals of Canada, which has overlap, but also plays more like Berlin Film Festival stuff and avant garde stuff. I did the Vancouver International Film Festival. I'm in the middle of imaginenative right now, which is the indigenous Film Festival. And then, like earlier in the year, we both did Sundance and Berlin. And then you did a little Cannes. I did a bit more Cannes. And we did a little Hot Docs and a little Visions du Reel. And I guess I sort of did a little Venice. But a lot of the Venice stuff I saw was also a TIFF. I was chasing after the Horizonte section where they often have films that are good that no one else screens and disappear, like last year's full time and also like Mikhael Hers's Amanda. So I was looking for those equivalents. I didn't find any. Here mostly bad.
Orla Smith 3:28
So this episode would just be a kind of like brain dump of the things we've noticed, and the films and patterns that have caught our attention. As we've been wading through all these films, we won't be talking specifically about Women Talking because we have an episode coming up about that film. And we talked a bit about she said in that episode as well. So we're going to kind of you know, not spend a lot of time and those. We weren't fans. And
Alex Heeney 3:58
Orla Smith 4:02
The Eternal Daughter is a film we both really loved but we're not gonna harp on it too much, because we also have an episode coming out about that. And
Alex Heeney 4:11
yes, because we are the Joanna Hogg world experts having written the book on her so we wanted to do a proper episode, where we talk about it as the now third entry and what is now the Julie Hart trilogy that we thought was a duology with the souvenir one and two but no, it's trilogy. Now we
Orla Smith 4:29
return Julia return. And we also really liked a current competition title that has been doing the for festival circuit, EO. It's a Polish film about a donkey, living his life
Alex Heeney 4:48
trying to live his life amidst so much injustice.
Orla Smith 4:52
Yes. So we will be talking about that on the podcast in our next episode. So we should say
Alex Heeney 4:59
we live love eternal Daughter and Eo. We really liked those films. So that's why there's going to be an episode. And we really had issues with women talking. Yeah. Which is why we cannot get into them in five minutes. It took us like an hour plus. So
Orla Smith 5:15
yes, we only do podcast episodes if we have very strong feelings either way. And we very much do with these films. Yeah.
Alex Heeney 5:25
Okay, so I think we wanted to start with like, some of our big favourites, then start with some positivity. Yeah. And also, because a lot of these don't have distribution, or won't be out for a while. So we'll probably do some, some of these will probably get their own episodes. But that may be a while because we don't want to do it. Like when none of you can see them. Because that seems mean.
Orla Smith 5:53
But there's one particular case that there's there's not as much overlap and what we've seen, so yeah, he is, but one firm that we both saw that was at Venice, and then TIFF. Yeah, that we, I mean, it, it might, it's definitely up there was it tough to know, no. It was a complete Frederick Wiseman ban at LFF. His new film he directed was not there. And the film he started was not there.
Alex Heeney 6:21
Yeah, I don't know what's going on with why his film didn't screen anywhere except New York.
Orla Smith 6:25
His films always screen at LFF.
Alex Heeney 6:28
And his films always screen at TIFF. I haven't seen Un Couple yet. So maybe it's bad or something. But that seems unlikely.
Orla Smith 6:36
There were plenty of people who didn't like it, but I also don't necessarily trust 100 reactions. But yeah, so he he is in a film as an actor.
Alex Heeney 6:46
And he he met because I interviewed Rebecca Zlotowski which will be out it at some point in the near future. And they met at Venice, when they were both screening films there. And they had a discussion about director shoes, because she said she liked his sneakers. And he was like their director shoes. And he said he likes her fancy shoes, because she was in heels or something. And she said, these are also directors shoes. And then they bonded. And they both have in Paris as well. Yeah. And he was in everyone else's movie. And she was like, Why aren't you in my movie? Fred? So
Orla Smith 7:26
and he plays Virginie Efira's gynecologist. The film is called Other People's Children.
Alex Heeney 7:32
Yeah, sorry. It's not. There's more to this film than Frederick Wiseman.
Orla Smith 7:36
He's only in two scenes only but two wonderful scenes.
Alex Heeney 7:39
it's it's one of those like best cameo for sure. performances.
Orla Smith 7:43
Yeah, he's a very warm and comforting presence as her gynecologist.
Alex Heeney 7:48
Yeah. But yeah, so it's about other people. It's called Other People's Children. It is about other people's children. It's kind of in that lineage of films about women with 1000 things going on in their lives in the midst of a bit of an existential crisis. Like, I think it's a really great double feature with Spinster. But it's also a piece with kind of like Mia Hansen-Love's films. And even Alice Winocour's films in a way, like Proxima, more so than Paris Memories, the new one.
Orla Smith 8:23
It's about a woman who, again, like you said, has 1000 things going on in her life. The dramatic crux of the film is set off by Frederick Wiseman, when he tells her that she has, you know, if she wants to have children, she should try for them now, because biologically, she may not be able to within the next year. So our main character play by Virginie Efira is also in a relationship with a man who has a child and she becomes a char step mother. And she's toying with this idea of motherhood and whether like biological motherhood is really important to her. And she's also a teacher. And so part of her life is nurturing children.
And so there's this question of like, I'm already nurturing children. And do I need to have a child quote unquote, of my own. And I think the film just deals with that conflict and that inner dialogue in a way and it's not something that's necessarily like necessarily depicted on screen a ton and it deals with it so sensitively and in such a nuanced way that I just adored. And I love this like conversation she has in the film at one point, I can't remember the exact dialogue. It's been a few weeks since I saw the film where she's talking about like how she has this desire to be a mother, but she also feel some pride of like being part of the club of women who don't have children. And it really understands every side of that, that come conversation that a person has with themselves,
Alex Heeney 10:03
including the fact that she had a couple of abortions and doesn't regret those, even though now she seems to think she really wants a biological child and can't have one. So it's really nuanced about that.
Orla Smith 10:18
Yeah. And the film is not at all prescriptive about like, whether there's one way for this character to be happy. I think if there was like an easy way for her to have, like a biological child in that moment, and it made sense she would, but also it, it asks, can she still be happy and fulfilled without that, even if it's something that she might want?
Alex Heeney 10:41
Yeah, I mean, it sets up all these different threads of potential opportunities for carrying in her life. Like, as you said, She's a teacher, and she has this little subplot where she's really making a difference. And one of her students lives, partway through the film, her sister gets pregnant. So there's going to be an opportunity for her to be an aunt. But like the main action kind of centers around her begins with, she starts this relationship with a man who has a young daughter, and they rush into it, and she makes a lot of rash and ill advised decisions, which I think are probably partly because she does, she likes the child even more than she likes the guy.
And she really wants to be a mother. And that seems to be what she thinks is her path. And like to the point that even they have unprotected sex, and she's kind of like, that was kind of dumb, but also I kind of want a sperm donor maybe so and then it takes her a while though, I think the the the film so shows that she has all these plates in the air, before she comes to that realization that there are there are many ways to have a caring role to other people's children. That doesn't necessarily mean being their step parent.
And that even being this their step parent for the guy she's dating, the mother is still alive, installs a relationship with the kid and they have joint custody. She's always going to be on the outside because there are already the kids parents to be joint parenting. And it's so new in the relation. I mean, whatever. There's a lot of complicated things about whether or not she deserves to be brought in at this stage as more of a parenting role, but she certainly isn't. And it's unclear whether that would change in future had other things happened. But there is something about how it's, it's not that you can't that you have to be a biological mom, but when you're a stepmom, like it's just not the same as being the primary caregiver.
Orla Smith 12:45
And there's a strange dynamic of like, if you break up with this person, then is the child just out of your life, even if you feel like a motherly sense towards them, which is also a dynamic that like, I still haven't thought to think about a ton. But yeah, it's not nearly talked about.
Alex Heeney 13:04
It's a lovely film, The costumes are amazing. I can't say everything Virginie
Orla Smith 13:10
wears. And it just like you said, it does such an amazing job of just like creating a character who has like 20 things in her life. And you know, the film doesn't feel overwhelming them. It just feels like she's a real person. And I feel like spinster is another film that is amazing at that, which you mentioned, there's like a good film and conversation with this. And I think it is such a difficult thing to do. And so few films do it as well as this one. Yeah, like she really just feels like a whole person in a way that like movie characters rarely do but real people in your life often do.
Alex Heeney 13:47
Yeah, I think yeah. And love has always been very good at this like in things to come and Bergman Island, which we have an earlier episode on. And even in her new film One Fine morning, which I have issues with. But I've been thinking about this a lot. I think one of the reasons that films do this, and films about women do this is if you don't show women have 10 things going on, then you assume they have nothing going on. Whereas men you meet their wives once and you're like, oh, they have a family. You know, and then also men usually don't have caring roles where they're caring for their aging parent and for their kids. They're just sort of like, Oh, my kids are around and then I leave and then someone else cares for them.
Orla Smith 14:28
One thing I really liked about the eternal daughter is it does something that like I've rarely ever seen except for maybe in Joanna Hogg's film. Which is you have this main character who you're following, and then like, maybe two thirds of the way in it's mentioned that she has a husband. But like other than that he is like not at all particularly important but he's just like a part of her life that we understand is there and you know, it's a it's she's a full character. her life doesn't revolve around him in the way that often men's wives are depicted. And we kind of take that as a scene.
Alex Heeney 15:08
Yeah. It's an interesting new grammar, I think for stories about women is that you can't really tell their stories without showing the 10 things going on in their lives. Like run woman, Ron does that too. But you don't really have to do that for men, partly because things are assumed, and also partly because they probably don't have 10 things going on.
Orla Smith 15:27
Women are multitaskers. Yeah, well, and
Alex Heeney 15:31
they generally hold a lot of the caring roles. So that's already like half the plates.
Orla Smith 15:37
Yeah, I mean, women are enforced multitaskers.
Alex Heeney 15:39
Yes. enforced by patriarchy. Yeah, so I mean, I'm hoping we'll do an episode on that. In the meantime, I'm in the process of translating my interview with Virginie Efira, which we did in French, hopefully, like, I have a big interview with Rebecca Zlotowski, which we might expand a bit more before we publish it on on the film. So those will be out sooner, I think. And then hopefully, this film will get picked up because it doesn't have distribution anywhere outside of France, that I'm aware of. I mean, maybe in some other European countries, but not the UK or North America. And I don't know why it's it's like a crowd pleaser.
Orla Smith 16:20
Yeah, absolutely. And I would say, you know, it may be the best film I've seen to premiere this year. I really loved it. A few films to contend against, but like, I don't think I've loved anything more than I have this film. Yeah, it gets really wonderful. And I think Rebecca Zlotowski is such an underrated filmmaker often because like, she talks about things in her films in such nuanced ways that people often don't appreciate. Yeah, she's exploring her themes. And this film it because of its sort of warmth, and like moments of comedy has been received in a bit more of a warm way. Although still, I think it should have been hyped up as much as all the other films in Venice like the whale. Why do we talk about the whale, but we could be talking about other people's children?
Alex Heeney 17:13
And can we talk about something other than that? People think other people's children is worse person in the world part two, which it is.
Orla Smith 17:22
But yeah, I mean, we'd also recommend An Easy Girl, which we did a podcast episode on. It's on Netflix. And that is a film that I think went really misunderstood. Yeah, even by us. We watched it because I think her films really flourish on rewatch, because yeah, so rich and so dense and only really realized what she was doing with an easy girl the second time we watched it.
Alex Heeney 17:44
Yeah. She plays with I think expectations. It's like something we talked about with I think we're on our podcast on childhood sexual assault. I think that's what we talked about this with Lena about how we don't know how to talk, like how to read women's stories, because it's, it's such a new concept. Yes, yeah. And I think that's true. Because when you rewatch an easy girl, once you know where it goes, and when you re watch other people's children, once you know where it goes. In the first five minutes, she tells you what it's about. It's just that when you watch it the first time you don't know what you're you haven't figured out what that is yet. You're just kind of like, yeah, there's a lot of information and I I don't know what you know, in an easy girl, I don't know what choosing my career path has to do with this. Plastic Surgery. 20 something year old, bathing topless.
Orla Smith 18:36
And what a joy really, because I think a lot Yes, the most boring films at film festivals are ones that kind of state their purpose completely upfront. And then don't surprise you. Yeah, they're not the worst films, but they are the majority of what you see. And it's just so much less interesting than a film that reveals itself to you in the way that her films do. That was the end of this excerpt from our episode on the 2022 fall festivals. The full members only episode goes on for over 60 more minutes. In it we dig into more of the films we loved and hated how these festivals we've got to thinking about our respective national cinemas, and the pitfalls of praising first features in the festival circuit. To listen to the episode become a member at seven dash rho.com/join You get to listen to our entire podcast archive, gained a host for the perks and support our work while you do it.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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