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Neighbouring Sounds

Program Running Time 131 min.

Films in Program

(O soma o redor)
Directed By: Kieber Mendoca Filho
(Brazil, 2012, 131 mins, 35mm)

After a series of burglaries on a middle-class Recife avenue, a private security team is hired by the residents—with ominous results. A gripping and expectations-upending slow-burn thriller from Kleber Mendonça Filho, Neighbouring Sounds is one of the first films from Brazil to deal with the clash between the archaic, exploitive class-based society of plantation owners and workers, and the more modern and egalitarian bourgeois society that Brazil has become. It is also superbly constructed, wonderfully acted and luminously filmed.

"A revelatory debut feature. Mr. Mendonça, a former film critic whose command of the medium is both formidable and subtle. The scope of his movie is narrow, but its ambitions are enormous, and it accomplishes nothing less than the illumination of the peculiar state of Brazilian (and not only Brazilian) society." AO Scott, New York Times

"I’d put money on the likelihood that Brazil’s Kleber Mendonça Filho is on track to become a major filmmaker in the coming years." Gavin Smith, Film Comment

"A thoroughly modern, film-savvy opus (at times it suggests Cache as directed by Paul Thomas Anderson), steeped equally in dread and humor." Dennis Lim, Artforum

Herman's House

Program Running Time 80 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Angad Singh Bhalla
(Canada, 2012, 80 mins, Blu-ray Disc)

Herman Wallace has spent 40 years imprisoned in solitary confinement in a six-foot-by-nine-foot cell for a crime many believe he never committed. The injustice of solitary confinement and the transformative power of art are explored in Herman’s House, a feature documentary from first-time director Angad Singh Bhalla, that follows the unlikely friendship between Jackie Sumell a New York artist, and Herman Wallace, one of America’s most famous inmates, as they collaborate on an acclaimed art project.

"Conceptually inventive, poetic and original, Herman’s House achieves a great feat in constructing a compelling narrative about a man we never meet and goals that aren’t quite reached… In the end, none can contain this unique and moving story, and we are left with our own imaginations, completely activated by this magnificent film." Ezra Winton, Art Threat

"As powerful as it is heartrending." Serena Whitney, Exclaim

Like Someone In Love

(2012, 109 mins, DCP)
In Japanese with English subtitles
Director:
CAST Tadashi Okuno, Rin Takanashi, Ryo Kase

Showtimes

Akiko (Rin Takanashi) is a beautiful, reserved young student who works as a prostitute on the side. Takeshi (Denden) is her client, an elderly academic who could be her grandfather. Noriaki (superstar Ryo Kase) is Akiko’s verbose, insecure boyfriend, unaware of her double life.

At least that’s who they are as Abbas Kiarostami’s Tokyo-set film sets up its narrative. Yet as always with the Iranian master’s key works, identity is a slippery, mysterious thing. In Kiarostami’s universe—and in ours—relationships are infinitely elastic and subject to context that can twist unexpectedly, upending the meaning of who we are entirely. While the film progresses, its characters refuse to play out their roles in the usual manner. Even the director, you might argue, evades and resists his usual role.

The pleasures of Kiarostami’s latest film are not confined to intellectual quandary and the life of the mind, however. Filmed by cinematographer Katsumi Yanagijima, (who, as Takeshi Kitano’s longtime collaborator [Sonatine, Outrage], has plenty of experience in capturing the visual complexity of modern Tokyo), and made with a crew featuring key members of Kiarostami’s usual team, Like Someone In Love is a film full of beauty. One of Kiarostami’s references here is Ozu (in the same manner that his previous work, the Tuscany-set Certified Copy, referenced Bertolucci), but unlike Ozu’s deliberate, low-key works, Like Someone in Love is seeded with visual set-pieces that have been constructed with a stunning technical virtuosity.

"Every shot — everything you see, and everything you don’t — imparts a disturbing and thrilling sense of discovery." AO Scott, New York Times

"A sly, teasing riff on the heart’s irrational stirrings… You emerge elated and slightly dazed…. But the movie’s sense of immutable desire resonates well after the lights have come up." Scott Foundas, Village Voice

From the Archives... Tidewater Television: Phil Keatley & Early CBC Vancouver TV Drama

(120 mins, Digital Betacam)
Director:
CAST Mercedes McCambridge, Chief Dan George, Chuck Davis, David Hughes, John McDonald
Classification: PG

Showtimes

In the early 1950s CBC Television began to add its own stitches to the fabric of public broadcasting begun by the senior service, CBC Radio, in 1936. CBUT- CBC Vancouver’s designated ’pattern’ was to pruce original drama & documentary programmes. There were no Media Studies programmes then, no Broadcast Journalism degrees. Cameramen, editors, lighting & makeup people with little or no experience arrived to be hired. Some university education, even better, a degree, was desirable, but by no means necessary qualification for the young post-World War II generation of writers & producers who appeared to take up the programming challenge.

Among this cadre of young TV storytellers was North Vancouver-raised and UBC-educated Phil Keatley. For those who remember, Phil’s name is most often associated with his role as the first Executive Producer of ’The Beachcombers’. But long before Phil began that long-running ’wrestling match’ with contracts, logistics, budgets & network bureaucrats, he cut his Producer’s teeth on childrens’ and educational programming and studio dramas.

Keatley introduced the concept of on-location drama production to the CBC, moving the Paul St. Pierre-scripted ’Cariboo Country’ series, first produced in the CBUT studios in 1960, and re-shooting episodes on location near Lac la Hache several years later. Those 16 ’Cariboo Country’ episodes that aired on the network ’The Serial’ introduced Chief Dan George to a national audience as the character of Ol’ Antoine, trained a generation of film people in on-location production and set the stage for BC-produced location dramas that followed - ’The Beachcombers’ & ’Red Serge Wives’.

Phil Keatley was an infinitely curious man, was unfailingly generous with his experience & energy and mentored many writers, performers & producers who tried their hand in the Television Game. Three Black & White dramas chosen for this programme are an all-too-brief sampling of the work Phil created alongside an eclectic, inexperienced and highly talented crew of people.

• ’Some Days You Have To Hit Somebody’ (1958) with Hollywood actress Mercedes McCambridge

• ’Slow Jive For the Dragon’ (1967) Vancouver plays itself, the CBC Television studio is transformed into an AM rock station, Vancouver historian Chuck Davis takes on the role of DJ ’Milt Bradley’ and the ’Classics’ with Howie Vickers & Bill Henderson play in a school gym.

• ’Moccasin Telegraph’ (1966) Out of the studio and on location. Chief Dan George and a sly lesson in communication in the Cariboo

So adjust the rabbit-ears antenna of your 16” Black & White TV, turn the dial to Channel 2 and tune in for three 30-minute dramas produced in a converted Packard-dealership at 1200 West Georgia.

Q&A to follow, along with Special Guests.

Upstream Color

(2013, 96 mins, DCP)
Director:
CAST Shane Carruth, Amy Seimetz, Andrew Sensenig
Classification:

Showtimes

"Shane Carruth’s 2004 time travel drama "Primer" provoked endless scrutiny for its heavy reliance on tech speak that the director refused to dumb down. His long-awaited followup, "Upstream Color," also maintains a seriously cryptic progression […]

The one-man-band filmmaker-actor-producer-composer-cinematographer-visionary strings together a series of incidents that alternately hint at a science fiction thriller, an existential romance and finally a dreamlike spiritual awakening. Amy Seimetz stars in a moody performance as workaholic Kris, a single woman abruptly kidnapped in the opening act and forced to ingest some kind of mind-controlling maggots into her bloodstream. Under the hypnotic influence of an ominous man, she’s brought back to her apartment and ordered to engage in a series of peculiar tasks, from memorizing passages from Henry David Thoreau’s classic nature treatise "Walden" to folding paper into enigmatic origami.

All of this is a prelude to her captor forcing her to withdraw money from her bank account — which makes it seem as though "Upstream Color" were chiefly about mind-controlling thievery, but then things get really strange…

Carruth’s official description for the movie is that "identity becomes an illusion" [ …] which pretty much sums up the challenge of sorting out each isolated event. This might be a frustratingly muddled venture were it not so beautifully enacted. Carruth’s effervescent, Phillip Glass-like orchestral score and delicately constructed images create an immersive product that’s unquestionably genuine even as it eludes firm answers." Eric Kohn, Indiewire

"Having the movie wash over me was one of the transcendent experiences of my moviegoing life… It’s utterly perplexing, and heart-stoppingly beautiful, quite literally overwhelming." Sam Adams, The Onion AV Club

“Bold, impassioned, ecstatically beautiful…in a class by itself at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.” Scott Foundas, Village Voice

"Upstream Colors certainly is something to see if you’re into brilliant technique, expressive editing, oblique storytelling, obscuritanist speculative fiction or discovering a significant new actress." Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

Trashed

(2012, 97 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
Director:
CAST Jeremy Irons
Classification: G * to be confirmed

Showtimes

"The world is in a heap of trouble — make that heaps: giant, toxic mountains of garbage that endanger our oceans, marine life, the atmosphere and humanity in general — without an end in sight. That is, unless citizens, industry and governments get deadly serious about such solutions as mass recycling, composting, plastics reduction and more.

Such is the global crisis that’s vividly, relentlessly detailed in the vital documentary "Trashed," starring dulcet-voiced zero waste advocate, actor Jeremy Irons. Guided by writer-director Candida Brady, Irons travels the globe visiting some of the most egregious, noxious examples of trash disposal and waste mismanagement; vast, open-air garbage dumps in Lebanon and Indonesia that infect its waterways and coastlines are particularly horrendous.

It’s not a pretty picture, to say the least, with a stop in Vietnam to examine birth defects linked to wartime Agent Orange spraying proving a deeply grim offshoot of the film’s central thrust. Then there’s the garbage calamity’s most insidious culprit: non-recycled, non-biodegradable plastic." Gary Goldstein, LA Times

"Crucial viewing for realists and alarmists both." 5 stars! Joe Neumeier, NY Daily News

Clandestine Childhood

(Infancia Clandestina)
(2012, 110 mins)
In Spanish with English subtitles
Director:
CAST Teo Gutierrez Moreno, Natalia Oreiro, Ernesto Alterio
Classification:

Showtimes

Argentina, 1979. After years of exile, Juan (12) and his family come back to Argentina under fake identities. Juan’s parents and his uncle Beto are members of the Montoneros Organization, which is fighting against the Military Junta that rules the country. Because of their political activities they are being tracked down relentlessly, and the threat of capture and even death is constant. However, Juan’s daily life is also full of warmth and humor, and he quickly and easily integrates into his new environment. His friends at school and the girl he has a gigantic crush on, Maria, know him as Ernesto, a name he must not forget, since his family’s survival is at stake. Juan accepts this and follows all of his parents’ rules until one day he is told that they need to move again immediately, and leave his friends and Maria behind without an explanation. This is a story about militancy, undercover life, and love.

Director’s Note

Since the day I decided to become a director, I wanted to tell this story. My story. I did not plan to make a biopic, but I wanted to draw upon my childhood memories to make a film about first love taking place during the last military dictatorship of Argentina, between 1976 and 1983. I also wanted to talk about militancy at that time, an unknown universe for many, where fear ran alongside joy, love and passion." Benjamin Avila

"Most coming-of-age movies don’t open with the prepubescent protagonist’s mom and dad getting into a cartoon gunfight in the street—then again, there are lots of unusual touches in Argentine filmmaker Benjamin Ávila’s feature. Blessed with old-school pedigree (producer Luis Puenzo made the Oscar-winner The Official Story) This ’70s-set story of a boy (Teo Gutiérrez Romero) and his exiled revolutionary parents returning home on the sly follows a well-trod path of viewing history through a child’s eyes. But the way the director throws in offbeat elements—animation, a Moonrise Kingdom–ish interlude in the woods, surreal dream sequences—without diluting the Dirty War drama is impressive." David Fear, Time Out New York

"A charming, involving first feature, Clandestine Childhood muscles its familiar coming-of-age material into something more vibrant and urgent than the usual. Through sharp editing and director Benjamín Ávila’s moment-making brio, this ’70s period piece charts a young boy’s attempts to carve out something like a childhood despite being the son of wanted revolutionaries in the Argentina of General Jorge Rafael Videla, whose brutal government "disappeared" millions just like them." Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

Hitler's Children

(2011, 59 mins, Digital Betacam)
Director:
Classification:

Showtimes

Their family names alone evoke horror: Himmler, Frank, Goering, Hoess.

Hitler’s Children is a film about the descendants of the most powerful figures in the Nazi regime: men and women who were left a legacy that permanently associates them with one of the greatest crimes in history. What is it like for them to have grown up with a name that immediately raises images of murder and genocide?

"Quiet, simple and soaked in sorrow." Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

"Hitler’s Children was a film that had almost everything. It informed, it surprised, it made me think. Is killing just one or two people more acceptable than killing seven or eight? Where are the boundaries of love and forgiveness? Are there any, even?" John Crace, The Guardian

Neighbouring Sounds

(O soma o redor)
(2012, 131 mins, 35mm)
In Portugese with English subtitles
Director:
CAST Irma Brown, Sebastiao Formiga, Gustavo Jahn
Classification:

Showtimes

After a series of burglaries on a middle-class Recife avenue, a private security team is hired by the residents—with ominous results. A gripping and expectations-upending slow-burn thriller from Kleber Mendonça Filho, Neighbouring Sounds is one of the first films from Brazil to deal with the clash between the archaic, exploitive class-based society of plantation owners and workers, and the more modern and egalitarian bourgeois society that Brazil has become. It is also superbly constructed, wonderfully acted and luminously filmed.

"A revelatory debut feature. Mr. Mendonça, a former film critic whose command of the medium is both formidable and subtle. The scope of his movie is narrow, but its ambitions are enormous, and it accomplishes nothing less than the illumination of the peculiar state of Brazilian (and not only Brazilian) society." AO Scott, New York Times

"I’d put money on the likelihood that Brazil’s Kleber Mendonça Filho is on track to become a major filmmaker in the coming years." Gavin Smith, Film Comment

"A thoroughly modern, film-savvy opus (at times it suggests Cache as directed by Paul Thomas Anderson), steeped equally in dread and humor." Dennis Lim, Artforum

Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet

(87 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
Director:
CAST Ehren Becker, Jason Becker, Ehren Becker
Classification:

Showtimes

When doctors diagnosed 19-year-old rock star Jason Becker with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, they said he would never make music again and that he wouldn’t live to see his 25th birthday. 22 years later, without the ability to move or to speak, Jason is alive and making music with his eyes.

Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet is a feature-length documentary film that tells the incredible story of a guitar legend who refuses to give up on his dream of being a musician despite the most incredible odds. It is a story of dreams, love, and the strength of the human spirit.

The film has been made with the full co-operation of Jason and the Becker family, who have given their consent for this to be the first feature-length documentary film about his life. They have provided their entire family archive of never-before-seen photos and footage.

"This heartfelt documentary is also, more subtly, a tribute to the squadron of caregivers that has enabled Mr. Becker not only to survive for an extraordinarily long time but also to continue to compose music, using virtually the only part of him that still moves, his eyes." Neil Genzlinger, New York Times

"Inspiring heartbreaker of a documentary." Joshua Rothkopf, New York Times

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