|BEST PERFORMANCEFILM FEST|
Back when he was best known as the nerdy eBay customer from The 40-Year-Old Virgin, no one could have guessed that Jonah Hill would turn into Academy Award-nominated actor Jonah Hill. He's been up for Best Supporting Actor twice, actually, one for Moneyball and another for The Wolf of Wall Street he should have won it for Superbad, but alas, though Hill doesn't consider either performance his personal best.
In a chat with GQ about the films to watch during a quarantine, Hill suggested Gus Van Sant's 1989 drama Drugstore Cowboy, starring Matt Dillon and Kelly Lynch.
“Gus Van Sant is one of my mentors, one of my favorite people on the planet, and pioneer of queer cinema,” he said. “He made a film with myself and Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara two years ago called He Won't Get Far on Foot and nobody saw it 'cause Amazon completely f*cked it up. But it's the best acting I have done and will ever do.”
The film was so little seen that Hill got the title wrong — it's actually Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot, distributed by Amazon Studios, and it made all of $4.2 million at the box office. But it's high praise to call it the best acting that he “will ever do.” Again, that distinction should belong to this scene from Superbad. Hill doesn't have a single upcoming project on his IMDb. Has he retired from the profession until we all see Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot? It is available to watch on... Amazon Prime.
Everything is delayed, canceled, or on hold at the moment due to the coronavirus COVID-19, which means that film festivals are having to make some tough choices. Cannes is postponed. SXSW was canceled, but they recently announced they would try to put together an online film festival with Amazon Prime Video. TIFF has yet to make a decision one way or another, but festival runners Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey mentioned last week that they were considering a potential digital festival. Digital film festivals are a distinct possibility in several locations, but there’s one fest that has flat-out refused to go digital: the Venice Film Festival.
With the coronavirus continuing to upend film festivals across the globe, some are wondering if virtual, online film festivals might be the solution for the time being. And while some fests – SXSW, TIFF – are open to this idea, the Venice Film Festival isn’t having it. Speaking with Variety, a Venice spokesperson said: “The Venice Film Festival cannot be replaced by an online event,” adding that “there is obviously the possibility that we use technology for some initiatives, [but] it’s too early for this to be decided.”
The Venice Film Festival is supposed to run in September, and as of now, everyone involved with the fest is still operating under the assumption that the festival is still on. Organizers have put out a call for “projects for its Final Cut in Venice co-production workshop dedicated to supporting works from the Middle East and Africa, currently scheduled to be held during the fest.”
Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera was quoted as saying he and his team “are working just the same as in past years” and that they “cannot provide specifics about the future.” The only thing they can confirm is that no matter what happens, the festival will not go digital. While some are more than happy to accept the idea of a digital festival – no travel fees! – not everyone is okay with the idea. For one thing, if a film without distribution were to debut digitally and then immediately be pirated, it would hurt its chances at eventual purchase. Plus, many filmmakers and producers long for that festival buzz that can only be achieved by screening titles for a live audience.
But we remain in uncharted territory for the moment, and it’s unclear just when the coronavirus situation will end. As of now, Italy remains in strict lockdown, and if that continues into the fall, there’s very little chance the Venice Film Festival will go off as planned....