Ruba Nadda (Cairo Time) delivers layers of fear and distress with this taut psychological thriller. Helen (Patricia Clarkson) is a doctor mourning the recent death of her husband (Callum Keith Rennie) when Will (Scott Speedman) arrives at her cabin, badly injured by a gunshot. Clarkson’s performance is nuanced and compelling and you won’t soon forget Tim Roth as the relentless villain.
There are echoes of VIFF 12 standout Neighbouring Sounds in this anxiety-fuelled thriller. As increasingly odd events unfold in an affluent Buenos Aires suburb, anxiety escalates, setting the stage for an intoxicatingly tense climax. Benjamín Naishtat “invokes a sinister vibe [and] dramatizes the point at which desire for safety sublimates into paranoid acquiescence.”—Film Comment. Winner, Grand Prize, Jeonju 2014; New Directors Prize, San Francisco 2014.
The sun rises and sets, but we make lights of our own. Three sharp vignettes by a veteran avant-garde director… with a sci-fi punch line. Tony Rayns
A prison break, a traitor in the gang, a cynical act of betrayal. The quintessence of ninja action in a five-minute vignette! Tony Rayns
The first of four titles in this selection by women animators. A rhapsody of touching-feeling-dreaming, in red and black brush-strokes. Terayama Shuji Prize at Image Forum Festival 2014. Tony Rayns
Pan Nalin, whose Samsara and Ayurveda: Art of Being struck such chords with Vancouverites, turns his spiritually questing eye towards the Kumbh Mela, the sacred Hindu pilgrimage/festival that unfolds along the Ganges and attracts 100 million devotees. By alternating specific characters—a 10-year-old runaway, an aging holy man—with the sheer spectacle on display, Nalin’s gorgeous film is a celebration of diversity.
Legendary accordionist, composer and singer José Domingos de Morais—better known as Dominguinhos—died last year, but not before participating in Joaquim Castro, Eduardo Nazarian and Mariana Aydar’s celebration of his life and music. With his wide smile and prodigious talent, Dominguinhos and his unique mix of bossa nova, jazz and pop, all anchored by his baião rhythms, will leave you delighted.
We’re in 2030, when rising sea levels have flooded much of the Mekong delta. A husband and wife live in a hut on stilts above their former land, subsisting on fish and seafood. Nearby, a slightly sinister corporation experiments with salt-water hydroponics. The husband dies mysteriously… Vietnam’s first sci-fi eco-thriller is a real eye-opener. Tony Rayns
Acclaimed and controversial French author Michel Houellebecq is the centre of this hilarious and strange mélange of real life and fiction. When the notorious curmudgeon (playing himself) is kidnapped and anesthetized with alcohol, a caustic (and occasionally inebriated) game of cat and mouse commences and the barriers between captor and captive slowly dissolve… Winner, Best Screenplay, Tribeca 2014.
A collection of memories set in stone. A contemplation of life, death and our place in time.
Ryan J. Noth
Memorial Necropole Ecumenica, the world’s tallest cemetery, allows the dead to be laid to rest amongst the clouds.