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Royal Opera House presents TURANDOT

Program Running Time 205 min.

Films in Program

(GB, 2013, 205 mins, DCP)

Andrei Serban’s staging of Puccini’s final opera is a glorious pageant of rich colour, dance and drama. Turandot is a tale of disguised identities, riddles, ritual executions and powerful, triumphant love.

Way We Dance

Program Running Time 110 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Adam Wong
(Hong Kong, 2013, 110 mins, DCP)

Described as nothing less than "miraculous", this low budget HK dance film became a box office sensation last summer and newcomer Cherry Ngan became an overnight star.

"A cracking spectacle that showcases some of Hong Kong’s best street dancers" The Hollywood Reporter

"The choreography shows flashes of genuine inventiveness that will impress even those unfamiliar with the street dance scene." Twitch

"After all these years, we have finally found the new hope for Hong Kong cinema." Shu Kei


Program Running Time 120 min.

Films in Program

(Ji zhan)
Directed By: Dante Lam
(Hong Kong, 2013, 120 mins, DCP)

This mixed martial arts drama packs a real dramatic punch thanks to director Dante Lam’s sophisticated filmmaking and a powerhouse performance from star Nick Cheung.

"The storytelling artistry of Hong Kong helmer Dante Lam and Nick Cheung’s powerhouse performance make a raw and compelling experience out of this action-drama set in the world of mixed martial arts. While Lam never loses his grip on the action, he also beautifully modulates his characters’ turbulent ups and downs like musical movements, expressing the protagonist’s motto that fighting is all about setting your own rhythm." Maggie Lee, Variety

Cold War

Program Running Time 102 min.

Films in Program

(Hon zin)
(Hong Kong, 2012, 102 mins, DCP)

This breathless, twisty Hong Kong cop thriller triumphed at the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards, picking up nine statuettes including best film, best director, best screenplay and best actor (Tony Leung Ka Fai).

Finding Vivian Maier

(2013, 83 mins, DCP)
FEATURING John Maloof, Mary Ellen Mark, Joel Meyerowitz, Phil Donahue, Duffy Lavant


Apr 21 02:45 pm
Apr 21 04:30 pm
Apr 23 04:45 pm
Apr 24 04:45 pm

Classified: PG, Youth 18 and under may attend all screenings

When Vivian Maier passed away only four years ago almost nobody knew it, or cared. She had lived an anonymous life, never married, estranged from her family and virtually friendless, a professional nanny who had failed to forge lasting, long-term relationships. She was secretive, private and obsessed with her hobby, photography – though typically she kept her photos to herself.

It was only when amateur historian John Maloof happened to pick up a job-lot of her belongings in a thrift auction that anyone had the first inkling Vivian was an artist, a photographer whose astonishing images merit comparison with such giants as Diane Arbus, Weegee, Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

The right man in the right place, Maloof recognized the treasure trove he had chanced across, and movie camera in hand he set about uncovering Maier’s mysterious and (as it turns out) extraordinary life story. At the same time, he discovered her storage locker, gaining access to hundreds and thousands of prints and undeveloped rolls of film. Interviewing the families she lived with and some of today’s top photographers, Maloof constructs a compelling and eye-opening introduction to a major body of work.

"Compelling… haunting… captivating." Variety

"Poignant, informative, occasionally disturbing." Globe and Mail


(2012, 85 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
In English, Iranian with English subtitles
CAST Oula Hammadeh, Seira Emami, Kayan Bennett, Kiara Bennett, Mohammed Saad, Maryam Ghaeni, Milad Hamidi
Filmmaker Q&A Friday 28 March


Set in the heart of the Middle Eastern community in Vancouver, Canada, Kayan is an intricate story of betrayal, belonging and love in all their complicated and often paradoxical glory. Hanin, a strong-minded Lebanese woman, tries her best to keep Kayan, her struggling restaurant, afloat. With a failed marriage, two teenage daughters, a demanding relationship with a younger man and an array of people that rely on her, Hanin has no choice but to conjure up new ways to make money and persevere. Things take a twisted turn as the line between her personal and professional life blurs and some of her customers turn out to be more than they seem…

Director’s Statement

"I was born in Iran, a land of contradictions, and although I have lived in different parts of the world, I still find myself drawn to discords and ambiguities rather than clear-cut definitions. I strive to make films that catch a glimpse of real life and real people with all their complexities and imperfections. My writing is inspired by the places I have been to and the people I have met, and somehow, music, femininity and diversity of cultures, always find their way into my stories. Kayan, is an attempt to blend these elements together against the backdrop of the immigrant community of Canada. Centered around a single location and with a full cast of non-actors, Kayan (existence in Arabic) is a tapestry of colorful characters with all their idiosyncrasies and vulnerabilities, woven into an ever-shifting whole, much like life itself." -Maryam Najafi

Kayan offers a glancing impression of Middle Eastern diaspora life through a vivid rendering of a busy Lebanese restaurant in Vancouver. Iran-born helmer Maryam Najafi films an actual eatery, enlisting its staff and clientele to play themselves; their seamless perfs contribute to the pic’s docu-like veracity, led by thesp Oula Hamadeh’s magnetic presence in a complex leading role." Maggie Lee, Variety

Nymphomaniac Vol I

(2014, 110 mins, DCP)
CAST Stacy Martin, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Jamie Bell, Stellan Skarsgård, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe
If you are planning to come see Nymphomaniac II on another night, keep your keep your Nymphomaniac I tickets. Anyone with proof of purchase of Nymphomaniac I can buy a ticket for Nymphomaniac II for $7.


Nymphomaniac is the wild and poetic story of a woman’s journey from birth to the age of 50 as told by the main character, the self-diagnosed nymphomaniac, Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg). On a cold winter’s evening the old, charming bachelor, Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), finds Joe beaten up in an alley. He brings her home to his flat where he cares for her wounds while asking her about her life. He listens intently as Joe over the next 8 chapters recounts the lushy branched-out and multifaceted story of her life, rich in associations and interjecting incidents.

Lars von Trier tests the limits in this whip-smart, explicit, often brutally anti-erotic comedy about psychology and sexuality. Screening in two parts, each about two hours long, Nymphomaniac is bound to challenge taboos, confront and confound - we should expect nothing less from the director of Melancholia, Antichrist, Dogville and Breaking the Waves - but it’s also a sensationally entertaining slice of cinematic bravado, a must-see movie that dares you to look away.

"A ferociously entertaining experience in which one finds von Trier at the peak of his craft, linking together ideas about female sexuality, fly-fishing and artistic creation with equal amounts of playfulness and intellectual rigor." Scott Foundas, Variety

"Hang on to your seat back, your Bible, or the hand of a friend. Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac bludgeons the body and tenderises the soul. It is perplexing, preposterous and utterly fascinating." Xan Brooks, The Guardian

If you are planning to come see Nymphomaniac II on another night, keep your keep your Nymphomaniac I tickets. Anyone with proof of purchase of Nymphomaniac I  can buy a ticket for Nymphomaniac II for $7. 


Cold War

(Hon zin)
(2012, 102 mins, DCP)
In Cantonese with English subtitles
CAST Aaron Kwok, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Charlie Yeung
Sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office


Sean Lau (Kwok) and rough-around-the-edges M.B. Lee (Leung) are uncomfortably sharing the position of acting police commissioner while their veteran superior is overseas. Strained relations reach the breaking point when emergency-squad commander M.Y. Shun (Joyce Cheng) and four of her team members are kidnapped. With his son Joe (Eddie Peng) among the hostages, and talk of a rat in the house, Lee assumes control of what ends up being a failed rescue. Supported by fellow top-brass buddy Vincent (Chin Ka-lok) and convincing Lee loyalist Albert (Lam Ka-tung) to back his actions, Lau steps in to call the shots… But has the entire hostage drama been an elaborate set-up?

This breathless, twisty Hong Kong cop thriller triumphed at the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards, picking up nine statuettes including best film, best director, best screenplay and best actor (Tony Leung Ka Fai).

Drug War

(Du zhen)
(2013, 107 mins, DCP)
CAST Sun Honglei, Louis Koo, Huang Yi, Gao Yunxiang, Wallace Chung, Li Guangije, Hao Ping


Hong Kong auteur Johnnie To may be the best director of thrillers working anywhere in the world today. He’s an assured stylist, a formalist who knows the genre inside out and takes delight in experimenting with its codes and tropes. But with his new film, Drug War, he’s reined in much of the playful stuff you find in more recent movies like Sparrow or Exiled to pare down on a tough, intense mainland China police procedural.

Drug War has been hailed as a return to the form of PTU and Breaking News. Louis Koo (Election) is a gangster who helps cop Sun Honglei infiltrate the "gang of 7". As the uneasy allies are forced to compress months of police work into just 72 sleepless hours, the increasingly desperate police are quickly stretched past their limits. As things spin wildly out of control, the line between duty and recklessness is blurred, and it becomes unclear whether the cop or the criminal truly has the upper hand

Lawrence of Arabia

(1962, 216 mins, DCP)
CAST Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins. Anthony Quayle
Classification: PG, Youth under 18 may attend


Some films demand the big screen and this WWI epic from David Lean is certainly one of them. Screening as a special tribute to the late, great Peter O’Toole (born August 1932, in Connemara, County Galway; died December 2013, in London, England),

Buoyed by the success of Bridge Over the River Kwai, Lean persuaded producer Sam Spiegel to bankroll this four hour 70mm desert epic about the eccentric English cartographer who united the Arab tribes to fight the Turks during the First World War – and cast the virtually unknown O’Toole in the lead. The result is a triumph for actor and director, a film of tremendous sweep and stunning vistas that never loses sight of the complexities and contradictions that agitated Lawrence.

"A miracle… The first film I saw that made me want to be a moviemaker." Steven Spielberg