As indie darlings and awards season contenders like Parasite, Jojo Rabbit, The Lighthouse, Waves and Dark Waters continue to impress, the Thanksgiving weekend has a handful of offerings at the Specialty box office.
This week will see the premiere of Michael Apted’s (Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas in the Mist) 63 Up, the latest installment of his acclaimed Up Series. The BritBox documentary is part feature, part anthropologic study as it asks “whether or not our adult lives are pre-determined by our earliest influences and the social class in which we are raised.”
“63 Up is a landmark film and BritBox is proud to be the theatrical distributor, supporting Michael Apted and his lifetime of documentary filmmaking,” said Soumya Sriraman, President and Founder, BritBox.
The journey started in 1970 with 7 Plus Seven which spotlighted a group of British-born children. This served as the foundation for the series as Apted would revisit the same group every seven years. There was 21 Up, 28 Up and yes, you guessed it 35 Up. After six decades, Apted has watched them become adults and seen everything life has thrown at them. With 63 Up, Apted sheds a light on his subjects as they have reached retirement age.
63 Up made its stateside debut at Telluride earlier this year. It is currently playing at the Film Forum in NYC and expands to the Landmark Nuart on December 6 before opening nationwide on December 16.
Inspired by true events, The Two Popes comes from Fernando Meirelles (City of God) and tells the story of one of the most dramatic transitions of papal power in the last 2,000 years. The film — which has been gaining buzz — follows the progressive Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) and Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins). The former is frustrated with the direction of the church and is hoping to retire with the permission of the very traditional Pope Benedict — who is questioning his own place in the church after his own scandal. The two meet and struggle to see eye to eye when it comes to tradition and progress. At the same time, they confront elements from their pasts in order to find common ground for a better future.
True to Netflix fashion no box office numbers will be reported. However, The Two Popes is on a limited theatrical run and will hit the streaming platform on December 20.
Also setting a limited theatrical run this week is The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open from Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Releasing banner.
Written and directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (who also stars alongside Violet Nelson) and Kathleen Hepburn, the drama explores two Indigenous women living very different lives who are briefly brought together by desperate circumstances. Spotlighting the complexities of motherhood, class, race and the ongoing legacy of colonialism, the film made its debut at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year and most recently, made its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.
Throughout Thanksgiving Day, the film began to trend nationally on Twitter as DuVernay and ARRAY made a call to action for people to discover what Native and indigenous tribes occupied the land where they lived through native-land.ca. This was a way to pay respects to elders past and present. This is a major themes of The Body Remembers, which sheds light on the effect of colonialism on native and indigenous communities around the world. The film is also set to have special screenings throughout Thanksgiving weekend at the newly built Amanda Theater on the ARRAY campus in Los Angeles with DuVernday, Tailfeathers and Nelson in attendance for Q&As.
The film adds to ARRAY’s robust slate of globally inclusive films including Samuel Bazawule’s, Hepi Mita’s Merata and most recently the Tribeca-winning drama Burning Cane from 19-year-old filmmaker Phillip Youmans.
The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open is currently having a theatrical run in Detroit, Los Angeles and New York before expanding to more theaters. It is also currently streaming on Netflix.