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Rude Boy

(1980, 133 mins, DCP)
Directors:
CAST Ray Gange, The Clash, Johnny Green
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Jul 19 07:30 pm

On the surface, Rude Boy is about Ray, a hapless, young Londoner in the late 1970s with no prospects who leaves his seedy job in Soho to work as a roadie for The Clash. Not only does Rude Boy have the best filmed footage of The Clash, on stage, backstage, in hotel rooms and rehearsal rooms, but it also shows Punk, stirring up youth and making it prey to both the Trotskyite left and the Fascist National Front. All this is portrayed against the breakdown of social democracy in Britain with frightening street battles and demonstrations, resulting in the triumphant ascent of Mrs Thatcher to Downing Street.

Guest programmer:

Adrian Mack is the movies section editor at the Georgia Straight and writes on a number of topics including music, film, and fascist death cults. He’s frequently spotted around town and just to the rear of Rich Hope, manfully playing a 1962 Gretsch round badge three-piece drum kit with a champagne sparkle finish. Adrian is unapologetic about his interest in the paranormal, he likes to tease Skeptical Inquirer readers, and he’s a pioneer in the field of naming one of your kids after the drummer in the Clash. Adrian is currently researching a book project that explores the links between David Cronenberg’s 1981 film Scanners and human experiments at the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal.

Phantom Boy

(2015, 84 mins, DCP)
Director:
Classification: G

Showtimes

Jul 29 06:30 pm
Jul 30 05:45 pm
Jul 31 03:15 pm
Aug 03 06:30 pm

The highly anticipated new film from the Academy Award-nominated writers and directors of A Cat In Paris is a stylish noir caper, set in the shadowy streets and alleyways of New York.

11-year-old Leo has a secret. A mysterious illness has transformed him into a phantom boy, able to leave the confines of his body and explore the city as a ghostly apparition. While in the hospital, he befriends Alex, a New York City cop injured while attempting to capture a nefarious gangster who has taken control of the city’s power supply, throwing the metropolis into chaos. Now they must form an extraordinary duo, using Leo’s phantom powers and Alex’s detective work to foil the plot and save New York from destruction. Phantom Boy continues Gagnol and Felicioli’s fascination with animated film noir, in a heart-thumping adventure that pushes their trademark visual style to literal new heights, as Leo swoops and soars above the greatest skyline in the world.

“Do not miss!” Le Monde

“A new animated gem!” Telerama

Dark Horse

(2015, 85 mins, DCP)
Director:
Classification: G

Showtimes

Jul 15 06:30 pm
Jul 16 06:15 pm
Jul 17 03:00 pm
Jul 18 04:30 pm
Jul 19 05:20 pm
Jul 21 12:30 pm

This award-winner is an inspirational and life-affirming true story set in the village of Cefn Fforest, located in one of the poorest mining valleys in Wales. The action begins in early 2000, when Jan Vokes, the barmaid at the local working men’s club, hears a regular talking about the time he owned a share of a racehorse. Walking home that night, Jan has an idea. She’d bred pigeons and whippets before, she thought. How hard could it be? She decides she’s going to take on the “sport of kings” and breed herself a racehorse.

Jan recruits her husband, Brian, a former coal deliveryman and nightclub bouncer, and Howard, the man who was reminiscing about his racehorse in the bar. Together they buy a £300 thoroughbred mare and breed her with an ageing stallion (discount stud fee: £3,500 + VAT) and raise the foal on their slag-heap allotment. They name him Dream Alliance after the 23 friends from the village that Jan cajoles into forming a syndicate and who each pay in £10 a week. To the astonishment of the racing elite, Dream Alliance becomes an unlikely champion, leaving his blue-blooded rivals standing…

"Unforgettable… A shuddering, but delicately handled, exploration of that most basic human desire: to leave a mark and to forge a legacy." Rupert Hawksley, Telegraph

"An inspiring tale heard, as it were, straight from the horse’s mouth." Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail

"With its sheer warmth and likability, this good-natured documentary won my heart." Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Pi

(1998, 84 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
Director:
CAST Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Jul 25 06:30 pm

Drawing on abstract mathematic, chaos theory, the Kabbalah and other thought patterns, the mind-bending first feature from Darren Aronofsky (who would go on to make Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, The Wrestler and Noah) Max is a renegade mathematician searching for numerical order in the New York Stock Exchange. He’s doing it to look for the perfection in the world, an order underneath all the chaos. He believes that if he puts a numerical analysis on the data he’ll be able to find this unifying order. Instead, his discoveries have the opposite effect…

Darren Aronofsky on shooting in black and white: "We shot a film stock that’s never been done for a feature film before, it’s called black and white reversal film. It’s actually more expensive to shoot than color, so it’s a purely creative choice. The reality of it is that you have to nail the exposure, if you miss the exposure by one or two stops, it either goes completely white or completely black. If you nail it, though, you get a movie that is black or white, as opposed to black and white with a lot of gray tones. It’s extremely stylized and different."

"Audacious and bursting with ideas." Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail

"One of the decade’s true originals." Trevor Johnston, Time Out

"It’s remarkable to what extent Aronofsky has rendered the cerebral kinetically intense." Dennis Harvey, Variety

Frances Ha

(2012, 86 mins, DCP)
Director:
CAST Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver, Michael Esper, Grace Gummer
Classification: 14A

Showtimes

Jul 18 08:35 pm

Frances Halladay (Greta Gerwig - who also cowrote the script), is a kind of new millennial Annie Hall in all her klutzy, kooky glory: a young woman about town, a dancer who is beginning to realise she may not have what it takes, a single gal in love with who she is when she’s with her flat-mate, Sophie (Mickey Sumner).

When Sophie announces she’s moving in with her fiancé Frances is devastated. But she lands on her feet, moving in with hipster guys Lev (Adam Driver) and Dan (Michael Esper), and making a solid attempt to recreate her Sophie-rapport with the latter. Alas, Frances cannot afford to keep up her share of the rent, a hoped for job does not materialize, and her already frail sense of self-esteem begins to fracture.

Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale; Greenberg) is just at the very top of his game here. This is what a real director can do: bring authentic characters and situations to vibrant comedic life with minimal set up or fuss. Shot in gorgoues black and white, Frances Ha is superbly well-observed. It never rings false, never mis-steps, and at the end of it you may not be quite certain what it is that you have seen, but you will know that is has struck something true in your heart, something about being young and vulnerable and not quite sure of yourself yet, and about how even when you think they’re breaking you, hard times have a way of making you who you are meant to become.

"An irresistibly lovely, melancholic acknowledgment that love is impossible, and that the more candid a young woman is, the less eligible she becomes in the standard romantic sweepstakes… Frances Ha also marks the rare instance in which an actress has the perfect role at the perfect time. Ms. Gerwig’s work here is fragile, delicate, subject to bruising; something that could wither under too much attention. Perhaps Ms. Gerwig is the greatest actress alive. And maybe Frances Ha is just the ghost orchid of independent cinema." John Anderson, Wall Street Journal

"There’s an optimism and an empathy in Frances Ha that feels genuine and earned. The plot doesn’t build to a gigantic, sweeping climax, but the understated final moments made me happier than any other filmgoing experience I’ve had all year." Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

Embrace of the Serpent

(El abrazo de la serpiente)
(2015, 124 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
In Spanish with English subtitles
Director:
CAST Nilbio Torres, Jan Bijvoet, Antonio Bolivar, Salvado Yangiama, Miguel Dionisio Ramos, Brionne Davis
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Jul 04 06:30 pm

This visually bewitching black-and-white Colombian odyssey charts two parallel incursions by Western explorers deep into the Amazon jungle. In the 1900s Theo and his guide Manduca beseech a native shaman named Karamakate to help them find the mythical yakuna plant that may cure the ailing anthropologist’s illness. Persuaded that Theo can reunite him with other survivors of his tribe, Karamakate reluctantly agrees, and comes to believe there is a higher purpose in this quest. Yet as they canoe down river, tensions are never far from the surface. Some four decades later Karamakate will retrace his steps with an American explorer, a ghost journey into a culture on the verge of extinction.

Inspired by two historical anthropological accounts, but shot largely from the shaman’s point of view, Embrace of the Serpent is a potent, poetic, political film with some of the visionary force of Werner Herzog’s Amazonian adventures, Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo.

“Somewhere between a rebel yell and a lullaby, a primal scream and a Homeric lament… An absorbing, even thrilling head trip.” Jessica Kiang, Indiewire

"A visually mesmerizing exploration of man, nature and the destructive powers of colonialism." Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter

Tabu

(2012, 118 mins, DCP)
In Portugese with English subtitles
Director:
CAST Teresa Madruga, Laura Soveral, Ana Moeira, Carloto Cotta
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Jul 04 08:50 pm

An impressively dense yet fleeting concatenation of doomed love and colonial guilt, as well as a reflection on the changing aesthetics and characteristics of cinema, Tabu is a deeply emotional and heartbreaking film; like its female protagonist, Aurora, it’s bipolar, both depressive and ecstatic. Though it looks and feels like a different beast than Miguel Gomes’ first two features, Tabu shares with them a preoccupation with storytelling and the perceptual contrast between “reality” and “fiction.”

Like Our Beloved Month of August (VIFF 08), Tabu is divided in two parts—“Paradise Lost” (in high-contrast black-and-white 35mm) and “Paradise” (in the gauzier, fuzzier 16mm of reminiscence). In “Paradise Lost,” the benevolent, religious Pilar, the elderly, guilt-ridden Aurora, and the suffering, saintly servant Santa walk through the gloomy present as if lighting cigarettes with the weight of history on their shoulders. The 1960s set “Paradise,” propelled by a dense and literate voiceover, speeds by in Aurora and Ventura’s past, months leaping forward from cut to cut as Aurora’s belly grows and the two lovers approach, come together, fall apart, and reunite for one momentous night. It’s no coincidence that Gomes name-checks Murnau; their Tabus share a title, an aspect ratio, a format, a colonial setting, maybe a shot of a flower, and a pair of doomed lovers. Yet in Gomes’ astonishing masterpiece there is no innocence to begin with, no fall from grace, but rather a tale of history’s “winners” told by Gianluca Ventura, a romantic loser.

Blancanieves

(2012, 104 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
In Silent with English subtitles
Director:
CAST Maribel Verdu, Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Pere Ponce, Sofia Oria, Maracrena Garcia, Angela Molina
Classification: PG

Showtimes

Jul 18 06:30 pm

A wildly imaginative re-invention of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Snow White, brought to life silent-movie style in gorgeous monochrome. Antonio, a famous matador, is gored by a bull; his wife dies during childbirth. Now crippled, Antonio marries his wicked nurse, who confines him to an upstairs room and treats his daughter, Blancanieves, like a lowly servant. Eventually Blancanieves escapes and joins up with a clan of dwarfs. When they discover her talent as a bullfighter she becomes a sensation, but her stepmother quickly starts plotting to bring her down.

Director Pablo Berger has created a visually dazzling, unique film experience, turbo-charging the language of silent film with thrilling music and dance sequences scored by Alfonso de Vilallonga, and effortlessly shifting in tone from comedic to tragic, knowingly campy to genuinely frightening. Macarena García won the Best Actress Award at San Sebastián for her bright and sexy portrayal of the adult Blancanieves; Maribel Verdú (Y tu mama tambien) is a villain for the ages as the wicked stepmother.

“This film is a wonderment! A striking…full-bodied, visually stunning film.” Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“A silent, black-and-white film so witty, riveting, and drop-dead gorgeous that moviegoers may forget to notice that they can’t hear the dialogue.” LA Weekly

"Inventive… Contemporary… Imaginative… Charming… and Clever!” David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

Mia Madre

(2015, 106 mins, DCP)
In Italian with English subtitles
Director:
CAST Margherita Buy, John Turturro, Nanni Moretti, Giulia Lazzarini
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Jul 01 06:30 pm
Jul 02 04:10 pm
Jul 03 02:50 pm
Jul 04 04:15 pm
Jul 05 06:30 pm
Jul 06 01:00 pm
Jul 07 06:30 pm
Jul 11 04:15 pm
Jul 12 06:30 pm
Jul 16 02:15 pm

In what has been acclaimed as his best film since the Palme d’Or winning The Son’s Room, Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti helms this quasi-autobiographical drama about a movie director (played by preeminent Italian actress Margherita Buy) trying to juggle her latest production with her own mother’s failing health. In this she is not helped by the presence of needy US film star "Barry Huggins" (John Turturro), a temperamental talent who seems incapable of following simple direction, nor by the demands of her adolescent daughter… Moretti takes the supporting role of director’s brother, in this ruefully funny, poignant film.

"Warm, witty and seductive - tremendously smart and enjoyable. Moretti’s best film in years, Mia Madre is about the paramount importance of enjoying life and cultivating love; cinema and socially engaged art are valuable insofar as they promote these imperatives." Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

"Inspired. A triumph of tonal complexity. Whenever it gets close to the serious, it gets funny. Even funny, it never quite relinquishes the poignant." Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

"A triumph! Moretti’s most satisfying film to date, a richly mature work… Intimate, empathetic and intensely humane." Mark Kermode, The Observer

I Am Cuba

(Soy Cuba)
(1964, 141 mins, 35mm)
Director:
CAST Sergio Corrieri, Salvador Wood, José Gallardo
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Jul 22 09:00 pm
Jul 24 03:30 pm

"They’re going to be carrying ravished film students out of the theaters on stretchers," wrote Terrence Rafferty in the New Yorker when this astonishing Soviet-made portrait of Castro’s Cuba was rediscovered in the mid 1990s. Featuring some of the jaw-dropping camerawork ever filmed (and decades before the invention of the Steadicam), the movie is a euphoric celebration of Cuba, the Revolution, and (most potently) revolutionary cinema.

In the early 60s Fidel Castro welcomed radical filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker and Cesare Zavattini to witness his new socialist Cuba, but it was the Russian Mikhail Kalatozov and his collaborators who produced what now looks like the revolution’s most extraordinary art work.

 

Infused with a palpable love for the country and a righteous anger at the injustices of the Batista era, I Am Cuba is a propaganda picture in four narrative sections. In the first, three ugly American businessmen carouse with prostitutes in a bar; in another, a tenant farmer torches the land that has been sold out from under him; a third features a radical student protestor; and the fourth shows a peasant farmer take up a rifle after his son is killed in a air strike on the rebels.

 

The stories are simple polemic, but they assume real power from the spare script by poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, and especially from the lyrical, sensuous traveling shots composed by cameraman Sergei Urusevsky, probably the real genius in the team. Using infrared stock, elaborate systems of cranes, cables and pulleys, a wide-angle lens and a blindfold (which he would remove shortly before filming to keep his eye fresh) Urusevsky conjured a fluid, floating dream of Cuba – and a unique aesthetic experience decades ahead of its time.

Screening on 35mm courtesy Milestone Films

"A classic… absolutely astonishing! I Am Cuba is that rarity of rarities, a genuine hidden treasure. It puts to shame anything we’re doing today." Martin Scorsese

"One of the most deliriously beautiful films ever made." Manohla Dargis, LA Weekly

"Some of the most exhilarating camera movements and most luscious black-and-white cinematography you’ll ever see." Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

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