Dear Laemmle Fans,
Almost exactly one year ago, I celebrated the historic moment when Parasite became the first foreign-language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. There was change in the air, and a shared understanding that the industry was headed in a positive direction. We were aware of the bad news coming out of Wuhan, but we had no reason to believe the virus would be any more impactful than previous scares (so much for wishful thinking).
Here we stand a year later, with the Academy once again preparing to hand out its hallowed awards. While the nomination of mostly non-theatrical films serves as a painful reminder of how long Laemmle Theatres has been closed, I’m nevertheless astonished by the quality of the selection. These Oscars are best understood not as a “substitute” for a missed year, but rather, as an affirmation of the film industry’s collective artistry, determination, and capability, even during a pandemic.
Speaking of artistry… we’ve got an excellent new round of virtual releases for you this week, beginning with the finely-crafted Danish comedy Food Club. The film concerns three retired women searching for the opportunity to redefine themselves, while on a culinary tour of Italy. Other foreign-language features include Leona, about a young Jewish woman who falls in love with a man in Mexico City, and the animated Croatian film The Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus.
Anglophone audiences should check out Lapsis, a thrilling sci-fi comedy set in an alternate present, or Young Hearts, a high-school coming-of-age drama made for these modern times. There’s also the Sia-directed Music, starring Kate Hudson as an adoptive mother to her autistic half-sister, alongside the experimental hip-hop-themed fantasy Crestone. Next up, we have two indie dramedies: the black-and-white Show Me What You Got, and Weekenders, from director Erik Bloomquist.
On the documentary side, we’re excited to be opening Everything – The Real Thing Story, about the 1970’s band dubbed the “Black Beatles” by British music reviewers. Other new documentaries include Ruth – Justice Ginsburg in Her Own Words, analyzing the judge’s historic career, and Our Right to Gaze, a collection of shorts from leading African American filmmakers.
All the best,