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The Act of Killing (Director's Cut)

(2012, 159 mins, DCP)
In Indonesian, English with English subtitles
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Screening in the 159 minute Director’s Cut

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Probably the most radical and powerful film you will experience this year, The Act of Killing is a searing expose of political amnesia and impunity in Indonesia, where the gangsters and thugs behind the murders of millions are celebrated as champions of free enterprise. It is also a surreal, provocative exploration of the psyches of these men - killers who proudly re-enact their atrocities for the camera, willing collaborators in their own cinematic bonfire of the vanities.

When the Indonesian government was overthrown in 1965, small-time gangster Anwar Congo and his friends went from selling movie tickets on the black market to leading anti-Communist death squads.Half a century later, when Joshua Oppenheimer and his (incognito) partners approached the dapper septuagenarian about participating in a film, he leapt at it. But for Anwar and his friends, being in a movie is not to provide reflective testimony, but a chance to dance their way through musical numbers, twist arms in film noir gangster scenes, and gallop across the prairies as yodeling cowboys. A cinematic fever dream, The Act of Killing presents a gripping conflict between moral imagination and moral catastrophe.

Screening in the 159-minute Director’s Cut

Free the Mind

(2012, 80 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
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Can you rewire the brain, just by taking a breath? In 1992 Professor Richard Davidson, one of the world’s leading neuroscientists, met the Dalai Lama, who encouraged him to apply the same rigorous methods he used to study depression and anxiety to the study of compassion and kindness, those qualities cultivated by Tibetan meditation practice. The results of Davidson’s studies are portrayed in Free the Mind as they are applied to treating PTSD in returning Iraqi vets and children with ADHD. The film poses two fundamental questions: What really is consciousness, and how does it manifest in the brain and body? And is it possible to physically change the brain solely through mental practices?

"Grips your heart from the first moment." Film Comment

"By the end of this documentary, you’ll feel like a kid again, filled with wonder and questions about humanity and yourself." Marco Chown Oved, Toronto Star

"There is something healing about simply watching Free the Mind." Gary Goldstein, LA Times

Your Favourite Bond... ?

(120 mins)
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Vote for your favourite James Bond film and help choose the last night of our series. Explain why it’s your favourite and you could win free tickets to the film of your choice and the chance to introduce the movie to the audience. Vote in person at the Vancity Theatre ballot box or by email to Bond@viff.org.

The Man with the Golden Gun

(1974, 125 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
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CAST Roger Moore, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Maud Adams, Herve Villechaize, Clifton James, Richard Loo, Marc Lawrence
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"Made at the height of Bruce Lee mania, The Man With The Golden Gun, Moore’s second outing as Bond, transplants the atmosphere and kung fu licks of Enter The Dragon on the set in stone James Bond formula and delivers an entertaining 007 adventure, something that tonally, if not qualitatively, could happily sit within the Connery era.

Golden Gun ticks all the boxes, some more squarely than others. As always there is some terrific action — on top of the kung fu, there is a terrific car chase that sees Bond’s car cork screw in mid-air jumping across a river and ends when Scaramanga’s car turns into a plane — and Christopher Lee (actually Ian Fleming’s cousin) imbues Scaramanga with a cold weirdness — this is a Bond villiain with interesting quirks (three nipples, he caresses women with his gun and a cardboard cut out of 007 for starters), who could easily be the pervy flipside of Bond himself. Also, amidst the bad innuendos, there is some genuine wit: “Who’d pay a million dollars to kill me?” Bond asks M. “Jealous husbands, outraged chefs, humiliated tailors — the list is endless.”

Yet the real surprise is Moore. For all Moore’s reputation for lightness of touch and suave urbanity, there are flashes of genuine brutality (not to mention mysogyny) here." Ian Freer, Empire

Licence to Kill

(1989, 133 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
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CAST Timothy Dalton, Carey Lowell, Robert Davi, Talisa Soto, Anthony Zerbe, Wayne Newton, Benicio del Toro
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For his second outing as James Bond, Timothy Dalton is working on his own rather than on behalf of the British Secret Service in this follow-up to The Living Daylights). When his American friend Felix Leiter (David Hedison), an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration, is seriously injured by drug dealer Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi), 007 is out for blood. There is precious little time for the usual Bondian quippery and campiness, resulting in a marked increase in bloodletting (including the "implosion" of secondary villain Anthony Zerbe). A climactic highway chase involving an oil tanker and a helicopter is the highlight, as well as Benicio Del Toro in an early role as the psychotic henchman Dario.

A View to a Kill

(1985, 131 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
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CAST Roger Moore, Christopher Walken, Tanya Roberts, Grace Jones, Patrick Macnee, Patrick Bachau, David Yip, Fiona Fullerton
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Roger Moore’s seventh and final Bond movie is absurd - but how to resist a film where the baddie is an industrialist intent on destroying Silcon Valley to create a monopoly on microchip technology (Bill Gates, meet Max Zorin)?

Zorin (Christopher Walken) is planning to trigger a major California earthquake in order to wipe out his competitors. Bond is dispatched to stop him in Europe, where he is partnered with Sir Godfrey Tibbet (Patrick MacNee). Sent in to slow down Bond and Company is Max Zorin’s sadistic and murderous sidekick May Day (Grace Jones), the first of two Bond girls in the film (the other being Tanya Roberts). The expected high-wire confrontations ensue, including a parachute jump off the Eiffel Tower, a drive through the streets of Paris with a car cut in half, and a life-or-death struggle with a blimp on top of the Golden Gate Bridge.

"A View to a Kill, is an especially satisfying encounter. Opening with a breathtaking ski chase in Siberia, A View to a Kill is the fastest Bond picture yet. Its pace has the precision of a Swiss watch and the momentum of a greyhound on the track. There is a spectacular chase up and down the Eiffel Tower and through Paris streets, which Bond finishes in a severed car on just two wheels. But none of the action prepares the viewer for the heart-stopping climax with Zorin’s dirigible tangled in the cables on top of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge." Lawrence O’Toole, Maclean’s

The World Is Not Enough

(1999, 128 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
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CAST Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards, Robbie Coltrane, Judi Dench, John Cleese
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Brosnan’s third film as Bond gets going with the longest and most elaborate pre-credit sequence of them all (15 minutes).

In the 19th Bond adventure, 007 (Pierce Brosnan) must resolve a potentially deadly power struggle between two unstable nations, with control of the world’s oil supply as the ultimate prize. Bond is assigned as bodyguard to Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), the daughter of a petroleum magnate who was brutally murdered, and is trying to foil the fiendish plot of Renard (Robert Carlyle), a villain who was shot in the head with an unusual result: he cannot feel physical pain, an apparent failing that proves to be a considerable asset. Denise Richards appears as Dr. Christmas Jones, an expert on nuclear weapons, alongside Desmond Llewelyn as Q, Judi Dench as M, Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny, and John Cleese as R. Alternative rock band Garbage performs the theme song.

Moonraker

(1979, 126 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
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CAST Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Richard Kiel, Michael Lonsdale, Corinne Clery
Classification:
Matinee show August 31 (only) All Ages Show, Under-19s welcome

Showtimes

Probably inspired by the success of Star Wars, James Bond went into outer space in Moonraker, one of the most extravagant and popular of the series. It’s got amazing aerial stunts, some of designer Adam’s most inspired sets and stunning locations (Brazil, Venice, space), a creepy villain in Michel Lonsdale’s Hugo Drax and Richard Kiel is back as the giant, metal-toothed henchman Jaws - plus a bevy of Bond girls. It’s quite a package.

"Irresistibly entertaining." Frank Rich, Time

"A minor masterpiece." James Monaco, The Connoisseur’s Guide to the Movies

"One of the most buoyant Bond films of all." Vincent Canby, New York Times

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