Time is one of the most intriguing things to think about. (Of course, it’s not a thing at all—we call it a dimension.) Director Philipp Hartmann puts his chronophobia to fascinating and occasionally funny use in this philosophical, psychological and very German investigation into the phenomenology of time.
How can a community end homelessness?
Zentai are full-body-suit fetishists, and Hashiguchi Ryusuke’s wonderful comedy introduces us to four of them, two men and two women. Warning: secret identities are involved.
Dag Johan Haugerud
A nurse’s forgiving nature proves her undoing. A translator’s reputation is left in tatters. A cash-strapped senior’s pride takes a beating. Dag Johan Haugerud’s three-part tragicomedy is alternately playful and pointed, displaying a remarkable understanding of our frailties and the daily dilemmas that trip us up. Winner, Best Film, Norwegian Critics Association 2012.
Backstage drama meets reality TV in this juicy mockumentary about a teen dance troupe. Think Canadian Idol or Step Up, but with a little more bite. Here we get to see the downside of things that movies usually glorify: beauty, ambition, competition, dedication. There are plenty of laughs, and some superb dance numbers to boot.
How to get your video-addict friends to go camping.
Stan is an unemployed writer whose wife treats him like dirt. In his stories, she runs after him, begging for attention. But when the lines between reality and delusion start to blur, it becomes unclear who the real monster is.
An ant-war anime from Hirabayashi Isamu.
Oliver Hockenhull’s eye-popping documentary is a lively, in-depth analysis of psychedelic drugs in light of current scientific and cultural knowledge. He examines the validity of psychedelics as adjuncts to therapy, as crucial but neglected taboo medicines and as paths to consciousness. Note: The Oct. 1 matinee will be the alternate Understanding Psychedelic Medicines "pop version." See viff.org for details.
Despite his best efforts, Beto can no longer mask the fact he’s dead and rapidly decomposing. Sebastián Hofmann’s melancholic, meditative film mines Beto’s final days amongst the living for dark humour, horror and, ultimately, transcendence. "A disturbingly stylish and surrealistic drama…"—Screen
A tour de force of directorial precision and control, Joanna Hogg’s unnerving drama dissects the marriage of two middle-aged artists (Viv Albertine, of 1970s punk legends The Slits, and Turner Prize-nominated artist Liam Gillick) as they prepare to vacate their gleaming modernist digs. "A brilliantly chilly portrait of a couple, a home, and an unspoken horror…"—Guardian
Here’s your only chance to see Agnieszka Holland’s epic three-part docudrama—made for HBO Europe—examining the emotional, political and societal fallout from Czech student Jan Palach’s 1969 self-immolation in Prague’s Wenceslas Square. A riveting thriller plot, complex characters and sumptuously re-created period detail make for "a master class in modern historical drama."—Indiewire.Special Event Price: $20.
Hong Sangsoo won Best Director in Locarno for this comedy of manners about a young woman and the three hopeless men orbiting her. Sunhi is set on studying abroad, but needs a character reference…
"Anime helmer Hosoda Mamoru tenderly imagines the complications that follow when an ordinary girl takes a lupine lover… Embracing the patient, poetic style of such Japanese masters as Ozu and Mizoguchi… this elegant project lovingly upholds Japan’s hand-drawn tradition."—Variety. Winner, Best Animated Feature, Sitges 2012. Note: Families welcome at the matinee screening!
Provoked into an act of violence, a taciturn widower (Thomas Haden Church, spectacular) pilots his snowplow into a Quebec forest and sets about living as an outlaw. In turns amusing, morbid, tragic and tense, Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais’ singular debut signals the arrival of a formidable new talent. Winner, Best New Narrative Director, Tribeca 2013.
When an unwelcome guest crashes a wedding, his presence casts a pall over the fairytale occasion. Capping the trilogy that includes VIFF favourites Kawasaki’s Rose and Innocence, Jan Hřebejk crafts a compelling reminder of Faulkner’s assertion, "The past is never dead. It’s not even past." Winner, Best Director, Karlovy Vary 2013.
This Chinese experimental-fiction-documentary—poetic, quasi-plotless, adorned with groovy pop hits—dazzlingly combines ghost stories and “ruin porn” to form a celluloid psycho-collage. Wandering souls seek connections with one another and a lost collective history among the remnants of an abandoned Chinese oil town.
The spirit of Eraserhead lives on in Ikeda Akira’s droll, deadpan story of a paperclip maker and his romantic longing for a butterfly woman. Featuring weird juice drinks, unknown languages and a human cocoon! Dragons & Tigers Award nominee.
After Sawako Decides and Mitsuko Delivers, Ishii Yuya gives us: the making of a dictionary! Matsuda Ryuhei (Gohatto) plays the geek who finds spiritual fulfilment—and a side-order of true love—in a huge editorial challenge. The humour and warmth you might expect; the Dickensian flavour is a wonderful surprise.
A disturbing anime from Iwasaki Hirotoshi.