Cinephiles! This week’s episode of the BIG FRED TUESDAY, my weekly show on independent cinema, the film festival scene and all things coincides with the beginning of the first-ever online edition of one of the most eclectic and exciting international film festivals of the year — the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Usually, I would be there in person to speak with the filmmakers directly but not being able to physically attend doesn’t mean that I haven’t taken the time to reach out to some of them for an interview about the works they are presenting there.
So, this week, I bring you two more interviews from its program – one with Dutch filmmaker Tim Leyendekker, whose Feast is based on the troubling Groningen HIV case whereby men were purposely drugged and injected with contaminated blood at parties. The second with Itonje Soimer Guttormsen, whose feature Gritt, a character-driven drama about an artist with big ideas and the crisis that she experiences due to her inability to be heard. This latter film also tackles the issue of mental health within the art world and, I’m sure, will ring true to many artists out there.
The third interview is with Francesco Giai Via, director of the Annecy Italian Film Festival and head of studies of a new film education and training initiative between France and Italy, named Alpi Film Lab.
Aside from these conversations, I take the time to celebrate the legacy of Vera Chytilova, the sole female director of the Czech New Wave and one of the most influential filmmakers of her generation. She is particularly known for her surrealist style and for her satirical sense of humor, which I certainly appreciate. Her most famous film, Daisies, was banned for a year and her later film, Fruit of Paradise (which I erroneously refer to as Birds of Paradise in the broadcast…) caused even more ire from the Czech Socialist authorities and prevented her from directing any more films for another eight years.
There’s also some interesting news about the Cannes Film Festival and its decision to move its dates for this year’s edition, as well as the Golden Globes’ announcement that it will be bestowing its annual honorary Cecil B. DeMille award to the great Jane Fonda. And then, there’s this week’s Popcorn Classic, which also happens to be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year: Daughters of the Dust by Julie Dash from 1991 — the first film directed by a Black woman to be theatrically released in the United States.
Listen to the show via the player below!