Film Festival Series


Path Alias: 

Man from Reno

(2014, 111 mins, DCP)
In English, Japanese with English subtitles
CAST Pepe Serna, Ayako Fujitani, Kazuki Kitamura, Hiroshi Watanabe
Classification: 19+


Sep 18 06:15 pm
Sep 19 04:15 pm
Sep 19 08:40 pm
Sep 20 07:10 pm

This tantalizing, ingenious mystery thriller finds unexpected new notes in some familiar noir motifs. Aki (Ayako Fujitani) is a conflicted Japanese crime novelist who flees a press junket in Tokyo and hops a flight to San Francisco. She meets a handsome young man in the hotel bar, but his sudden disappearance propels her into a noir-tinged murder mystery worthy of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. Meanwhile a little ways south of the city, an elderly sheriff (veteran character actor Pepe Serna in a rare leading role) comes at the case from an entirely different angle…

If you enjoyed Kumiko the Treasure Hunter earlier this year, Man from Reno takes a similarly detached view of the Japanese American experience. This isn’t an adrenaline-pumping thriller, but a cerebral brain teaser that presents its clues in subtle fashion and asks us to puzzle out the truth. It’s a film about the collateral damage in criminal pursuits, positing that identity is only as permanent as your scars…

"Man From Reno fascinates. It invites you to go back, decipher its clues and discern a grand design." Stephen Holden, New York Times

"A rare delight that’s laced with melancholy and a suffocating sense of menace from its first scene straight through its shocking finale." David Ehrlich, Time Out New York

94% Fresh, Rotten Tomatoes

On the Waterfront

(1954, 108 mins, DCP)
CAST Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint, Rod Steiger, Karl Malden, Lee J Cobb
Classification: PG


Sep 20 03:00 pm

Remembering his first encounter with this seminal 50s masterwork, director Martin Scorsese recalled "the faces, the bodies, the way they moved . . . the voices, the way they sounded. They were like the people I saw every day. It was as if the world that I came from, that I knew, mattered.”

Marlon Brando’s definitive performance as Terry Malloy, a New York dockworker (and once a promising boxer) who loses faith in his union and his smarter but corrupt older brother Charlie (Rod Steiger) after a whistleblower is murdered. Directed on location with staggering fervor by Elia Kazan, On the Waterfront transcends its blunt ideological premise through the sensitivity of its playing… Without this movie we’d probably never have had Mean Streets or Raging Bull, The Godfather or The Wire… It gives us De Niro, Pacino, and all their ilk… More than that, it gives us a portrait of ourselves, striving to take our place on the screen.

"The acting and the best dialogue passages have an impact that has not dimmed; it is still possible to feel the power of the film and of Brando and Kazan, who changed American movie acting forever." Roger Ebert

The Creeping Garden

(2014, 81 mins, DCP)


Oct 30 08:40 pm
Oct 31 06:00 pm
Nov 01 05:10 pm
Nov 05 06:30 pm

It’s not a plant, not a fungi, and not an animal. It has no brain… yet it’s alive, it feeds, makes decisions, and it moves. It dates back to primordial times, can survive for decades, and it is all around us: in forests and urban lawns, in tropical jungle canopies and under your feet. Welcome to the world of slime mold - an entity so strange scientists speculate it may be a visitor from outer space.

Artists find slime mold is an inspired collaborator, producing fabulous, intricate cellular patterns as it stretches out to ingest cannily placed oat flakes, while computer and robotics engineers are seeking to integrate it in organic intelligence systems. In some labs slime mold is even composing music…

Amazing how rich and fascinating a single cell organism can be! This infinitely curious and sometimes creepy documentary melds trippy, hallucinogenic imagery evocative of shlock movies like The Blob and Phase IV with an inventive electronic score by Jim O’Rourke, and an eccentric gallery of biologists, graphic artists and robotic engineers into a uniquely diverting whole.

"Imagine if Stanley Kubrick and Douglas Trumbull were tasked with making a 1970s educational science film about the pods from Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers and you’re some way to understanding The Creeping Garden." James Marsh, Twitch

"Improbably delightful." Dennis Harvey, Variety

"A trippy philosophical exploration of our place in the world and the really weird things just beneath us." Norman Wilner, Now Toronto

A Hard Day

(2014, 111 mins, DCP)
In Korean
CAST Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Jin-woong
Classification: 19+


Sep 18 08:30 pm
Sep 19 06:30 pm
Sep 20 09:20 pm
Sep 21 06:30 pm

"Right in the middle of his mother’s funeral, homicide detective Ko Gun-soo (Lee Sun-kyun) is called out by his team members to hurry back to the station, as the rat squad (internal affairs) is raiding their office. While speeding down the pitch-black highway, he swerves to avoid hitting a beagle and ends up running over a man. Braving the most conscience-pricking stare from his pooch witness, he hastily stashes the body in his trunk and keeps going. His attempt to make it through a roadblock guarded by officious traffic wardens is just the first of many nick-of-time scrapes that will hold audiences in suspense.

Things come to a head at the funeral parlor, when his chief (Shin Jung-keun), together with his teammates, try to make him take the heat for their collective racketeering (the rat squad busted open Ko’s drawer to find stashes of bribe money). In a morbid example of necessity being the mother of invention, Ko hits upon a novel way of disposing of the body (albeit one that puts his mom in a tight spot), in an extraordinary stunt sequence that melds Hitchcockian tension and Keatonesque slapstick.But the more Ko tries to cover his tracks, the deeper he’s digging his own grave…" Maggie Lee, Variety

“A masterclass in throat-squeezing, stomach-knotting suspense loaded with smart plot twists, dark humor and high-gloss visuals. . .A Hard Day is full of smart surprises and darkly funny lurches." Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter

"A total blast." Jessica Kiang, Playlist (Indiewire)


(2014, 100 mins, DCP)
CAST Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat, Hussein Salameh Al-Sweilhiyeen, Jack Fox, Hassan Mutlag Al-Maraiye
Classification: 14A


Nov 06 04:30 pm
Nov 07 06:10 pm
Nov 08 05:15 pm
Nov 10 06:30 pm
Nov 11 12:30 pm
Nov 12 02:00 pm

The Arabian Desert, 1916. Theeb (whose name translates as Wolf) lives with his Bedouin tribe in a remote corner of the Ottoman Empire. Like other young boys he’s prone to mischief, and when custom compels his older brother to escort a British Army officer (a comrade of TE Lawrence, no doubt), to the next water hole, Theeb tags along after them. By the time they realize he’s there it’s too late to send him back, but there is no guarantee he will be better off with them. Since the outbreak of the First World War this harsh desert terrain has become the hunting ground of Ottoman mercenaries, Arab revolutionaries and outcast Bedouin raiders. If Theeb is to survive he must quickly learn about adulthood, trust and betrayal. He must live up to the name his father gave him.


(2015, 104 mins, DCP)
CAST Michael Eklund, Sara Canning, Christopher Heyerdahl, Charlie Carrick


Oct 16 06:10 pm
Oct 17 06:10 pm
Oct 18 03:00 pm
Oct 18 07:50 pm
Oct 19 06:30 pm
Oct 20 08:30 pm

Decades before the cinema was invented, Eadweard Muybridge became obsessed with capturing motion on film. His studies of horses at gallop were a sensation in their day. He was a pioneer in the field of photography, an innovator, equal parts scientist and artist - but he was also a strange and obsessive personality, whose rocky personal life descended into equally sensational melodrama. The directorial debut of BC’s Kyle Rideout, Eadweard is a massively ambitious and highly compelling feature film.

Listen To Me Marlon

(2015, 102 mins, DCP)
FEATURING Marlon Brando


Sep 11 06:30 pm
Sep 12 04:20 pm
Sep 14 06:30 pm
Sep 15 08:45 pm
Sep 16 06:30 pm
Sep 17 08:45 pm
Sep 20 05:10 pm

Marlon Brando never wrote an autobiography, but this is the closest thing to it. The most electrifying and influential American actor of the Twentieth Century, Brando was the face of the Method, a process that emphasized psychological realism and that revolutionized the way movies were performed in the 1950s and beyond. His performances on stage and in the screen version of A Streetcar Named Desire, as well as as in On the Waterfront, The Wild One, and, later The Godfather, Last Tango in Paris and Apocalypse Now, are indelible.

Unbeknownst to the public, Brando - a great star who remained deliberately mysterious to the press and the world at large for his entire professional life - created a vast archive of personal audio and visual materials over the course of his lifetime, often deeply confessional and completely without vanity or evasion. Now - for the first time ever - those recordings come to life. Charting his exceptional career as an actor and his extraordinary life away from the stage and screen, the film reveals the complexities and contradictions that were Marlon Brando by telling the story in his own words - and only his own words, revealing a man more humane and compelling than anyone ever could have imagined.

"Something of a masterpiece … Electrifying." Calum Marsh, Village Voice

"Listen to Me Marlon is the greatest, most searching documentary of an actor ever put on film, and it’s no coincidence that it’s about film’s greatest and most searching actor." David Edelstein, New York Magazine

"An offer no film fan should refuse." Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

An Evening with Jon Jost: They Had It Coming

(2015, 84 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
CAST Frank Mosley, Arianne Margot, Roxanne Rogers, Tyler Messner, Blake Eckard
Filmmaker in attendance.
Screening supported by Cineworks


Sep 12 07:00 pm

American filmmaker Jon Jost is an uncompromising artist whose work stands apart not only from the Hollywood mainstream, but also from the off-Hollywood pseudo-independent sector. Born in 1943, Jost began making movies in the 60s. Although his best known feature film is probably All the Vermeers in New York (1990) Jost has been remarkably prolific since switching from 35mm film to digital video in the late 90s - his website lists 20 feature length works in as many years.

Distribution of this late work has been piecemeal at best, but judging by the two films we are screening this evening it deserves to be widely seen, enjoyed, and discussed. Both are narrative features, and even if Jost employs very different storytelling strategies from those we are used to these remain direct, accessible portraits of the emotional landscape in the American heartlands, distilled and dissected with singular clarity and insight.

Jost’s own account of the making of They Had It Coming is as follows:

"While in Stanberry [Missouri] shooting and acting in Blake’s film Ghosts of Empire Prairie, he told us a handful of local stories, embellished in his story-teller manner, and finding these just too juicy to pass up, I asked if maybe we could spin a film around them and him. Such was the genesis of They Had It Coming. I tossed in a few things that had been lingering in my files for 20 or 30 years, we each wrote a bit more, and bang, we had a film. Frank Mosley, Arianne Martin, Roxanne Rogers and Tyler Messner came in, and in pretty quick order (less than a week?) it was mostly shot, in Blake’s mother, Susan’s, kitchen! Yep, that was the studio space where nearly 2/3rds of it was shot with window light and a black cloth. While I was off on a trip to Europe Blake used my camera to snare shots (above) of locals when they came into Eckard’s Hardware to shop. Roxanne’s sister Sandy let me use one of her songs, I tossed in a few of my own, Stephen Taylor’s dad, Larry, lent his voice for a smooth TV announcer (he used to be anchor in Boise Idaho news program), and after a short bit of editing on CS6, out popped the film."

"Jost…absorbs [local] stories and spins them into fictional tales, purposefully accentuating the grandiose storytelling aspects of small town gossip. The resulting experimental visual poem captures small town middle America with more authenticity than any documentary possibly could.

They Had It Coming enables Jost to dissect a menagerie of classic documentary storytelling devices — such as reenactments, talking head interviews and intertitles — and measure their impact on the audience. All the while, They Had It Coming functions as a cultural time capsule that captures the subtle societal intricacies of small town Midwestern United States." Don Simpson, Smells Like Screen Spirit

The Forbidden Room

(2015, 120 mins, DCP)
CAST Louis Negin, Charlotte Rampling, Roy Dupuis, Melissa Trainor, Udo Kier, Geraldine Chaplin, Mathieu Amalric, Jean-Francois Stevenin, Maria de Medeiros, Elina Lowensohn
Classification: 19+


Oct 16 08:30 pm
Oct 17 08:30 pm
Oct 18 05:30 pm
Oct 19 08:45 pm
Oct 20 06:10 pm

A fever dream within a dream, the latest transmission from celluloid fetishist Guy Maddin is part campy, whacked out tribute to vintage Hollywood melodrama, part anguished crypto-confessional, and all brilliant: a passionate, virtuoso pastiche that is also perversely original and sui generis. It’s the perfect date movie for mad cinephiles and film lovers.

Beginning with a "how to" guide to taking a bath, then loosely shackling together such deliriously lunatic yarns as a submarine crew slowly suffocating (they chow down on flapjacks for the air pockets), and a woodsman’s quixotic rescue of an amnesiac from the clutches of a pack of wolfish bandits (which itself spirals into the captive maiden’s dream of a South Seas volcanic sacrifice), The Forbidden Room teeters provocatively between sensuality and surrealism, hysteria and Hermeticism, Kafka and King Kong. It is at once Maddin’s funniest and also his most labyrinthine movie, a hall of mirrors in which the likes of Charlotte Rampling, Roy Dupuis Geraldine Chaplin, Mathieu Amalric and Maria de Medeiros reappear in multiple roles, familiar and strange. Filmed entirely in the studio but evoking multiple lost worlds, The Forbidden Room is pure cinema.

Selected filmography: Tales from the Gimli Hospital (1988); Twilight of the Ice Nymphs (1997); The Saddest Music in the World (2003); Brand Upon the Brain! (2006); My Winnipeg (2007)

"Guy Maddin goes through the looking glass, down the rabbit hole, into the twilight zone, beyond the great divide or maybe just deep into the nooks and crannies of his own two-strip Technicolor imagination in The Forbidden Room….A demented montage of considerable brilliance." Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

"I’ve never taken LSD and wandered around a film archive, but I imagine the experience might be similar to The Forbidden Room." Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian


(2014, 116 mins, DCP)
In English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi with English subtitles
CAST Usha Bane, Vivek Gomber, Pradeep Joshi, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Shirish Pawar, Vira Sathidar
Classification: 19+


Sep 11 08:30 pm
Sep 12 02:00 pm
Sep 15 06:30 pm
Sep 16 08:30 pm

Winner of top prizes at the Venice and Mumbai film festivals, Chaitanya Tamhane’s Court is a quietly devastating, absurdist portrait of injustice, caste prejudice, and venal politics in contemporary India. An elderly folk singer and grassroots organizer, dubbed the "people’s poet," is arrested on a trumped-up charge of inciting a sewage worker to commit suicide. His trial is a ridiculous and harrowing display of institutional incompetence, with endless procedural delays, coached witnesses for the prosecution, and obsessive privileging of arcane colonial law over reason and mercy. What truly distinguishes Court, however, is Tamhane’s brilliant ensemble cast of professional and nonprofessional actors; his affecting mixture of comedy and tragedy; and his naturalist approach to his characters and to Indian society as a whole, rich with complexity and contradiction.

"One of the strongest debut features in years." Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

"There are courtroom dramas, and then there’s Court, Chaitanya Tamhane’s impressive debut, which flays alive India’s justice system while commenting on class, education and access to power." Jay Weissberg, Variety

"Mumbai’s Chaitanya Tamhane emerges as one of the world’s most accomplished and promising film-makers under 30 with his quietly steely legal drama Court, a bluntly-titled chronicle of politically-motivated injustice." Neil Young, Hollywood Reporter