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In Search of Chopin

(2014, 110 mins)
FEATURING Leif Ove Andsnes, Daniel Barenboim, Lars Vogt


Dec 27 12:00 pm

"Phil Grabsky’s In Search of… series certainly has a formula, but it’s a damn good one. His Mozart and Haydn searches uncovered more chronologically remote, if musically outgoing, figures and here it changes tack to explore an inward-looking artist who personally eschewed the limelight—Chopin only performed about 20 major concerts in his brief lifetime—but sought and found a timeless place in music. Told mostly through letters sent by the Polish wunderkind (many to or about the love of his life, britches-wearing novelist Georges Sand), the intensely piano-centred film features astute comments and even better illustrations from the likes of Daniel Barenboim, Lars Vogt, and Leif Ove Andsnes." Ken Eisner, Georgia Straight

Concerto - A Beethoven Journey

(2015, 92 mins)
FEATURING Leif Ove Andsnes, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic
Introduced by Phil Grabsky


Dec 26 12:00 pm

Filmed over the course of four years, Grabsky and his Seventh Art team followed leading concert pianist Leif Ove Andsnes’s attempt to understand and interpret one of the greatest sets of works for piano ever written: Beethoven’s five piano concertos.

However, Concerto is more than a portrait of a famous musician on tour; it is an exploration into Ludwig van Beethoven’s life as revealed by these five masterworks. The relationship between the composer and his world is mirrored by the relationship between the pianist and orchestra in these concertos. The film seeks to reveal Beethoven in a way rarely seen before and bears witness to what is increasingly being regarded as one of the greatest interpretations ever of these five great pieces of music.

It is often said that every concert is the creation of a new artwork, which Grabsky has immortalised by filming at Leif Ove’s concertos. He was also able to secure exclusive and intimate access throughout the journey, following Andsnes from his home in Bergen, Norway to concert halls all over the world.

The end result is a beautifully-crafted film with lavish cinematography, a signature of Grabsky and Seventh Art’s style. Andsnes’s exquisite and exclusive classical performances are given far more than brief moments; they are effectively given centre stage.

Considered one of the top pianists of the age, Leif Ove Andsnes offers rare insights into the mind of a world-class pianist and access to his personal and professional life. Against the wonderful background of Leif Ove playing these five pieces, we also peel back the many myths of Beethoven’s life from prodigious talent in Vienna, to greatest composer alive by the time he wrote the fifth concerto. Perhaps above all it is the fresh new biography of Beethoven that is most revealing.

The Royal Opera House presents... La Nozze di Figaro

(2015, 205 mins, DCP)
CAST Erwin Schrott, Anita Hartig, Stéphane Degout
Classification: 19+
All tickets $18


Dec 28 11:30 am

Figaro and Susanna are looking forward to their wedding day – but Figaro’s master Count Almaviva has designs on Susanna.

With the help of Almaviva’s wife the Countess and the page Cherubino, Susanna and Figaro finally outwit the Count. Humiliated and ashamed, the Count asks forgiveness from his wife – which she grants.

Le nozze di Figaro was the first fruit of Mozart’s partnership with librettist Lorenzo da Ponte; they would go on to create Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte. For Figaro, Da Ponte adapted (perhaps at Mozart’s suggestion) Pierre Beaumarchais’ controversial play Le Mariage de Figaro, which at the time was banned in Vienna due to its seditious content. The opera was well received in Vienna but had only nine performances; its revival soon after in Prague was a tremendous success, and led to the commission of Don Giovanni. Figaro quickly entered the international repertory and has rarely been out of it since, admired as one of Mozart’s finest works.

David McVicar’s acclaimed production sets the action in a French château in 1830 on the eve of revolution, amplifying the opera’s undercurrents of class tension. The entire household is drawn into the notoriously complex plot, which covers all shades of human emotion: from spirited playfulness (such as ‘Non più andrai’, when Figaro cheerfully sends Cherubino off to war), to deep despair (such as the Countess’s grief at her husband’s infidelity in ‘Dove sono i bei momenti’). But affection and fidelity prevail in this most warm-hearted of operas: the Count’s plea for forgiveness in the final act, ‘Contessa, perdono’, is an especially moving moment.

Running time: about 3 hours 25 minutes, including one interval. Acts One and Two will last for about 1 hour 40 minutes, followed by a 15 minute interval. Acts Three and Four will last for about 1 hour 30 minutes.

All tickets for the opera $18

"It’s a fine revival, beautiful and touching in equal measure, as Figaro always should be." The Guardian

"Thoughtful, distinctive, well-crafted and with the magnificent Erwin Schrott in the title role, this Figaro is a must-see." The Stage

The Royal Opera House presents... Guillaume Tell

(2015, 240 mins, DCP)
In French with English subtitles
CAST Gerald Finley, John Osborn, Malin Byström, Alexander Vinogradov
Classification: 19+


Dec 23 11:00 am

The Swiss hero William Tell longs to liberate his people from the cruel Austrian occupation. When he helps a Swiss prisoner escape Austrian justice he comes to the attention of the governor Gesler – who sadistically forces Tell to shoot an apple off his son’s head.

As Tell is arrested his fellow revolutionaries, led by the young patriot Arnold and his Austrian lover Mathilde, gather forces to fight for Swiss liberty. Tell escapes in time to lead the victorious uprising.

Guillaume Tell had its premiere in 1829, when Gioachino Rossini was 37. He wouldn’t write another opera in the remaining 39 years of his life. Rossini’s letters suggest he knew Guillaume Tell would be his farewell to opera – an idea that seems to be confirmed by the magnificent music he was inspired to produce. The score – harmonically daring and fiercely difficult for the singers – has an opulent architectural grandeur, heightened with vivid evocations of the soaring Swiss landscape and an incisive dramatic interpretation of Schiller’s heroic play.

Italian rising star Damiano Michieletto (La bohème and Falstaff at Salzburg Festival; Un ballo in maschera at La Scala, Milan) makes his Royal Opera debut with a contemporary production, the Company’s first since 1990. Rossini made full use of his considerable powers of invention to create some of his greatest music, with highlights such as Tell’s Act III aria ’Sois immobile’ and the astonishing Act II trio ’Quand l’Helvétie est un champ de supplices’ clearly paving the way for Berlioz, Verdi and Wagner.

The performance will last for about 4 hours. Act One will last for about 1 hour 10 minutes, followed by a 15 minute interval. Act Two will last for about 55 minutes, followed by a 10 minute interval. Act Three will last for about 45 minutes, followed by a 5 minute pause. Act Four will last for about 35 minutes.

All tickets for the opera $18

Antony and Cleopatra from Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

(2014, 165 mins, DCP)
CAST Eve Best, Clive Wood, Phil Daniels, Sirine Saba


Dec 29 12:00 pm

Antony & Cleopatra picks up Antony’s story many years after Julius Caesar. Virtue and vice, transcendent love and realpolitik combine in Shakespeare’s greatest exploration of the conflicting claims of sex and power, all expressed in a tragic poetry of breath-taking beauty and magnificence. The Globe’s 2014 envisioning of this iconic play encapsulates these themes whilst deftly threading a sense of comedy throughout, and Olivier Award-winner Eve Best’s Cleopatra ‘kisses the audience’ (Guardian) with her ‘magnetically humorous’ (Evening Standard) performance.

Bringing the pinnacle of English theatre to cinema audiences around the world, Globe on Screen presents brand new productions of Shakespeare’s plays presented in the famous Globe theatre in London, recreating the space and audience experience the Bard would have envisaged. Tickets $15 ($13 students/seniors)

"A fine production, which brings Shakespeare’s gorgeously written melodrama down to earth in the best sort of way." Time Out

Julius Caesar from Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

(2015, 152 mins, DCP)
CAST Tom McKay, Anthony Howell, George Irving, Catherine Bailey


Dec 22 12:00 pm

Opposing dictatorship and republicanism, private virtue and mob violence, Shakespeare’s tense drama of high politics reveals the emotional currents that flow between men in power with themes that still resonate even today. This sell-out production employed authentic Renaissance costumes and staging, and Dominic Dromgoole’s impassioned interpretation of one of Shakespeare’s classic plays.

Bringing the pinnacle of English theatre to cinema audiences around the world, Globe on Screen presents brand new productions of Shakespeare’s plays presented in the famous Globe theatre in London, recreating the space and audience experience the Bard would have envisaged.

Tickets $15 ($13 students/seniors)

"Dromgoole’s taut, thriller-ish production" **** Time Out

"Fleet, urgent, exciting and dangerous." Financial Times

The Impressionists - and the Man Who Made Them

(2015, 90 mins, DCP)
Classification: 19+


Dec 30 12:00 pm

Monet, Cezanne, Degas, Renoir: some of the world’s most popular artists. Their works, and that of their contemporaries, fetch tens of millions of dollars around the globe. But who were they really? Why & how exactly did they paint? What lies behind their enduring appeal?

To help answer these questions, this unique film secured unparalleled access to a major new exhibition focussing on the man credited with inventing Impressionism as we know it: 19th century Parisian art collector Paul Durand-Ruel. This eagerly anticipated international exhibition is possibly the most comprehensive exploration of the Impressionists in history.

It was Durand-Ruel’s brave decision to exhibit the Impressionists in New York in 1886 that introduced enlightened wealthy Americans to this modern French painting. In doing so, he not only filled great American galleries with Impressionist masterworks, but kept Impressionism alive at a time when it faced complete failure. This energetic and revealing film will tell his remarkable story along with that of the Impressionists themselves. Featuring universally loved masterpieces by Monet, Degas, Cezanne, Renoir, Pissarro and many more.

"It’s refreshing to encounter a doc that commits 90 minutes to disseminating its info in considered, scholarly fashion. Fascinating theories and titbits abound, and the way these canvases reflect light renders them newly immersive on the big screen. An enriching experience." Mike McCahill, The Guardian

Vincent van Gogh: A New Way of Seeing

(2015, 93 mins)
Classification: 19+


Dec 21 12:30 pm

Enjoying complete and unprecedented access to the treasures of Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, this is a brilliant new film about one of the world’s most fascinating and beloved artists. Made in collaboration with the experts at the Van Gogh Museum, the film marks both a major re-showing of the gallery’s collection and a celebration of the 125th anniversary of Van Gogh’s death. Experience the wonder of seeing Van Gogh’s legendary masterpieces on the big screen, in high definition, while specially invited guests, including world-renowned curators and art historians, offer their interpretations and explanations of his work. With exclusive new research revealing incredible recent discoveries, the Van Gogh Museum has helped craft a cinema experience like no other.

"A revolutionary gallery experience." Canberra Times

That's Life! A Frank Sinatra Centennial Celebration presented by Michael van den Bos

(2015, 105 mins)
CAST Frank Sinatra
Classification: Some mature content


Dec 13 03:00 pm

To paraphrase The Voice’s 1966 hit song, That’s Life — “He’s been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king . . . and the greatest popular entertainer of the 20th century! To celebrate the centennial of superstar performer Frank Sinatra (born 12 December 1915), Vancouver film scholar Michael van den Bos has curated and will host a special presentation of clips featuring Ol’ Blue Eyes singing, dancing, and acting in his own inimitable style. Culled from a variety of Sinatra’s movies – both musical and dramatic – plus television specials, Michael will introduce each of the clips, highlighting the Chairman of the Board’s flair and artistry over a remarkable seven-decade career.

Northwest Comedy & VIFF present Bad Movies We Love: JINGLE ALL THE Hecklevision!

(1996, 89 mins, DVD)
CAST Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, Robert Conrad, Jake Lloyd
Classification: 19+


Dec 11 10:30 pm

All Arnold Schwarzenegger’s son wants for Xmas is a Turbo Man toy. But it’s the night before Christmas and Arnie has been too busy to shop…

Not exactly It’s A Wonderful Life, Jingle All the Way is a relentless demonstration of the crass commercialism that has choked the Christmas spirit, full of unfunny antic mugging and slapstick mayhem. On the other hand, it does feature a young Jake Lloyd (Annakin Skywalker) in his second movie role).

Copresented with Northwest Comedy, this screening will be shown in Hecklevision: allowing you, the audience, to text your running commentary, barbs, put downs and snark up there on the screen.

Vancity Theatre is licensed for the sale of alcohol.

How does it work?

Best if you download the free iOS MuVChat texting app from your iPhone’s App Store. If you don’t have an iPhone, you can simply send standard text messages.

When you arrive at Jingle All the Way, you’ll be given a screening-specific access code to enter into the app or text to MuVChat. Once you receive a confirmation, your heckles appear on the big-screen for the duration of the event.

"Ahnold terminates the holiday spirit." Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media