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Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons

(2013, 110 mins, DCP)
In Cantonese
CAST Wen Zhang, Shu Qi, Huang Bo
90% Fresh, Rotten Tomatoes


"What’s the best method for vanquishing monsters: martial arts or loving kindness? It’s a question that goes to the heart of Journey to the West, director Stephen Chow’s dazzling comic fantasy about a gentle Buddhist demon hunter.

The latest in a long line of movies based on the 16th-century novel of the same name, this exuberant and delightfully cartoony CGI-fest topped China’s 2013 box office.

Beginning with the 10-minute opening sequence — a triumph of Rube Goldberg zaniness in a rustic fishing village — Chow’s version of the fable, subtitled Conquering the Demons, is propelled by jaw-dropping visual inventiveness.

It spins around two mismatched demon hunters. Nursery rhymes are the weapon of choice for raggedy-haired Xuan Zang (Wen Zhang, goofy-sweet), whose master teaches him that even demons are born good, providing back stories on how they are transformed by hatred after being wronged. Duan, played by Shu Qi with a kinetic mix of toughness and vulnerability, has no time for compassion; she’s a mercenary with a magician’s flair for killing and a nifty Infinite Flying Ring.

Their innocence-versus-experience rivalry morphs into Duan’s unrequited love after she decides, somewhat incredibly, that he’s the one. He resists such worldly matters as sex but starts to get the hang of her smackdown approach to evil spirits, and together they face the trickster Monkey King (the excellent Huang Bo).

The spectacular combination of slapstick, love story and superhero antics doesn’t entirely avoid awkwardness, but mostly it defies gravity, like many of the stunts. The film finds the sweet spot between spoofy and sincere, rollicking and dark." Sheri Linden, LA Times

"Truly magical…[Chow] is like the Quentin Tarantino of kung fu, going back through the history of the Hong Kong genre and tapping everyone from the Shaw Brothers to his contemporaries (Jackie Chan, Jet Li) for inspiration. The result is a wonderfully entertaining work which manages to be both easily approachable for the non-subtitle set as well as true to its roots in ancient Chinese customs and beliefs." Bill Gibron, Pop Matters

"Rarely is it that a CGI-heavy spectacle such as this could be called both entertaining and inspiring in the same breath, but such is the unexpectedly special magic of Journey to the West." Kenji Fujishima, Slant

Not Business As Usual (film and panel discussion)

(2013, 150 mins)
FEATURING Panel speakers: W Brett Wilson (Dragon’s Den), Joel Bakan (The Corporation), Mark Brand (Save on Meats), Sandra Odendahl (RBC).
Tickets $18 ($15 students).



Guest passes and volunteer passes not accepted.

Capitalism. For more than a century it has driven immense technological progress, development and prosperity. It was the promise of something better… a better life for your family, a better start for your business, a better legacy to leave the world. Founded on the virtues of hard work, equal opportunity and a free market economy.

But somewhere between the dreaming, and the making, and the buying, and the selling – we were duped. And we’re just now beginning to realize how badly.

Not Business As Usual is a provocative look at capitalism as envisioned by Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman, the most influential economist of the late 20th century. The film explores why he only measured success by one metric: Profit. And how that narrow view has resulted in environmental destruction, human rights abuses and ironically enough, unsustainable business practices.

This 60-minute documentary by Lawrence Le Lam, Rik Kingle-Watt and Institute B tracks the changing landscape of business with the rising tide of "conscious capitalism" and features the inspiring stories of several subversive entrepreneurs from Vancouver who are redefining what it means to be successful.

This screening will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Sharad Khare. Speakers include Joel Bakan (writer of The Corporation), Mark Brand (Save-On Meats), Sandra Odendahl (RBC Director of Sustainability).

$18 Ticket price includes a reception sponsored by RBC.

Doors: 5.30 Film: 6.30 Panel and Q&A: 7.40 Reception: 9.00

About Institute B

Institute B is an accelerator for businesses that put profit and societal value on equal footing. We are entrepreneurs developing entrepreneurs through education, consulting and funding. We accelerate results through personal development and by embedding audacity into strategic business planning. Together we build unreasonable corporate cultures founded in audacity.

About the Panelists

Joel Bakan is a professor of law at the University of British Columbia, and an internationally renowned legal scholar and commentator. A former Rhodes Scholar and law clerk to Chief Justice Brian Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada, Bakan has law degrees from Oxford, Dalhousie, and Harvard. His critically acclaimed international hit, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power (2004), electrified readers around the world (it has been published in over 20 languages), and became a bestseller in several countries. The book inspired a feature documentary film, The Corporation, written by Bakan and co-created with Mark Achbar, which won numerous awards and was a critical and box office success. Bakan’s award-winning book, Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children (2012), was named one of the top ten business books of 2012 by Booklist and has been translated into numerous languages. A frequent recipient of awards for both his writing and teaching, Bakan has worked on landmark legal cases and government policy, and serves regularly as a media commentator and speaker.

Mark Brand is one of Vancouver’s most recognized entrepreneurs. After opening his first restaurant, Boneta, in 2007, he went on to open an independent clothing label and storefront called ‘Sharks + Hammers’, followed by The Diamond tapas restaurant and lounge, Seamonstr Sushi, Catalog Art Gallery, PortSide Pub and lastly, his largest undertaking to date, Save on Meats.

Founded in 1957 Save on Meats has been a Vancouver landmark since it opened serving the local community with a butcher shop and lunch counter. After closing down, Mark Brand resurrected the Save on Meats enterprise. Brand carried with him a vision to restore the building back to its prime for all Vancouver residents, and to be committed to it being a true social enterprise by working with partners to create a sustainable business model that serves the community. Mark Brand has since been invited to share his message of social enterprise at numerous conferences and universities in North America, as well as world-renowned events such as TED Talks.

As the Director of Corporate Sustainability at RBC, Sandra Odendahl leads a team responsible for global strategy and leadership in the areas of environmental and social credit risk management, environmental products and services, bank-wide environmental programs, and external relations related to corporate sustainability issues. In 2012, Sandra was also appointed to head RBC’s new social finance initiative, a $20 million program to catalyse the use of private money and financial markets to solve environmental and social issues.

David Berge is a Senior Advisor to RBC and the RBC Generator Fund. He is the CEO of Underdog Ventures, a company which creates and manages customized high impact venture capital funds. Underdog Ventures was recognized as one of ten U.S. financial institutions providing especially strong benefits to the environment and one of the top five funds supporting social mission. David also is the Chairman and founder of the Underdog Foundation, active in impact investing and philanthropy.

W. Brett Wilson is a Canadian entrepreneur, philanthropist & all-time leading deal maker on CBC’s hit TV show, Dragons’ Den. Hailing from North Battleford Saskatchewan, he has a regular column on entrepreneurship in the National Post, and is the author of the Canadian bestseller “Redefining Success: Still Making Mistakes”. He invests in the energy, agriculture, real estate, sports and entertainment industries through his primary holding company, Prairie Merchant Corporation. He has degrees in engineering and business and is a member of both the Order of Canada and the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. Often described as a "capitalist with a heart", Wilson sees corporate social responsibility not as an obligation but as an opportunity, and believes that strategic philanthropy can create major social and economic benefits.

Sharad Kharé (moderator) is the founder of “Imagination Dialogue” which facilitates dialogue with thought leaders in front of audiences and online. As a digital storyteller he interviews the most amazing people in the world from sports, entertainment, and business. Sharad has his Masters in Communications and works with organizations and individuals on how they tell their story to the masses using digital media. Sharad has interviewed people like rock legends Iron Maiden, spiritual leader Deepak Chopra, and author of Life of Pi, Yann Martel, his legacy work has allowed people to share stories and accomplishments with their families and the world. Sharad is the Principal at Kharé Communications., His digital work can be seen at and his digital bio at You can follow him on Twitter at @kharecom.

Midnight In Paris

(2011, 94 mins)
CAST Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Corey Stoll, Michael Sheen, Tom Hiddlestone
Classification: PG
Introduced by film scholar and educator Michael van den Bos


Gil (Owen Wilson) is a successful Hollywood screenwriter, but want he really craves is respect. He’d like to write something serious and substantial. And he hates it that his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) seems so besotted with Paul (Michael Sheen), a genuine intellectual (and pompous) high-flyer who they meet on holiday in Paris. In fact Gil only starts to enjoy his vacation when he leaves Inez for a midnight stroll and accepts an invitation from a passing car to come along for a drink with some fellow American ex-pats. At first he assumes he’s walked into 1920s theme party. But bewilderingly, F Scott and Zelda appear to be the real Fitzgeralds. Cole is Porter. And Hemingway is unmistakably Hemingway. The Hollywood hack has never been so happy, and if the night cannot last forever he is determined to get back to this place at the soonest opportunity.

One of Woody’s most popular recent films, this enchanting slice of whimsy brought back an audience that had lost interest in him. With its sophisticated allusions and wry, melancholic undertow this as a rare comedy for mature audiences, and it has a lightness that’s hard to resist. It’s also funny enough to transport you back to Allen’s own golden age.

"In Woody Allen’s beguiling and then bedazzling new comedy, nostalgia isn’t at all what it used to be — it’s smarter, sweeter, fizzier and ever so much funnier." Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

"Midnight in Paris finds Allen in a larky, slightly tart and altogether bountiful mood, giving filmgoers a movie that, while unabashedly funny and playful, provides a profiterole or two for thought." Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

Bullets Over Broadway

(1994, 98 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
CAST John Cusack, Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Tilly, Chazz Palminteri, Mary Louise Parker, Jack Warden, Jim Broadbent, Rob Reiner
Classification: 14A
Introduced by film scholar and educator Michael van den Bos


Recently transformed into a Broadway musical, this is one of the breeziest movies from Allen’s mid-period. Set in the Runyonesque New York of the Jazz Age, when artists rubbed shoulders with gangsters at speakeasies, it’s the story of idealistic young playwright David Shayne (Cusack). With backing from mob boss Nick Valenti, Shayne can direct his new work on Broadway, and even attract stars of the magnitude of Helen Sinclair (Wiest) and Warner Purcell (Broadbent). There’s just one catch: Valenti insists that his flapper girlfriend Olive (Tilly) play a leading role. Not only is she terrible, she comes with a shadow, Nick’s bodyguard Cheech (Palminteri), who oversees the rehearsals with barely concealed impatience.

"A merciless satire on the pretensions, hypocrisies and indulgences of theatre folk, this is Allen’s fizziest piece in years. It’s propped up by two fiercely competitive caricatures from Tilly and Wiest, who completely and appropriately overshadow Cusack’s approximation of the inexperienced author. Just when you wonder how much life is left in these stereotypes, Allen pulls off a doozy of a dramatic switch which takes the farce to unexpected, dizzy heights. No! Don’t speak! See it!" Time Out Film Guide

"One of Allen’s best and most revealing comedies, as much a moral meditation as it is dazzling fun." Rolling Stone

Annie Hall

(1977, 93 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
CAST Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Shelley Duvall, Christopher Walken, Janet Margolin, Paul Simon
Classification: PG
Introduced by film scholar and educator Michael van den Bos


The movie where it all came together for Woody Allen, Annie Hall marks both the culmination of his ’early, funny’ period, and the first of his mature, more serious second phase as writer-director.

Coming from stand up, Woody had always used himself as his primary comic instrument, but "Alvy Singer" is a more naked autobiographical character than he had allowed himself to play before, a comedian himself (a fore-runner of Seinfeld, come to think of it), and a neurotic New York intellectual who meets his match in Diane Keaton’s ditzy Annie.

Originally and unpromisingly titled "Anhedonia" (meaning, the inability to enjoy life), the movie was radically restructured in the editing room, with Keaton’s character becoming the focal point and a suspense plot dropped entirely - though Allen would return to it decades later in Manhattan Murder Mystery. Keaton (who was born Diane Hall) went on to win one of the film’s four Academy Awards, and became one of the iconic women of the era.

"One of Allen’s funniest, and most touching films." Saul Austerlitz, Another FIne Mess

"Woody Allen’s breakthrough movie." Time

"Arguably Allen’s most honest film." 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die


(1971, 81 mins, 35mm)
CAST Woody Allen, Louise Lasser, Carlos Montalban
Classification: PG
Introduced by film scholar and educator Michael van den Bos


After being jilted by a coed political activist (Louise Lasser), incompetent products-tester Fielding Mellish (Allen) travels to the Latin American country of San Marcos, and quickly finds himself the center of a people’s revolution. Used as a pawn first by the military dictator (Carlos Montalban), then by the Castro-like rebel leader (Jacobo Morales), Mellish employs his harebrained ingenuity to survive guerilla training and to become a figurehead of this new banana republic.

"Allen’s second film as director (after Take the Money and Run (1969), and not counting What’s Up, Tiger Lily? (1966), his comic reworking of a Japanese spy film) is surely more laugh-oriented than some of his later works. But beneath the physical zaniness of Allen’s antics - reminiscent of the great comics of the silent era — is an artist wrestling with larger issues of mortality, morality and, of course, sexual frustration. The beauty of Bananas is how effortlessly it veers from slapstick to Dostoyevskian gloom to Dadaist absurdity, without ever slowing its manic pace." Bret Wood, TCM

Take the Money and Run

(1969, 85 mins)
CAST Woody Allen, Louise Lasser, Janet Margolin
Classification: PG
Introduced by film scholar and educator Michael van den Bos


The second part in our year-long retrospective, Woody Allen: 4 Seasons brings us to the Spring Collection, and several examples of what Allen himself famously dubbed "the early, funny ones". Take the Money and Run qualifies on both counts: his very first feature as director, it’s an hilarious spoof true crime documentary. Woody plays Virgil Starkwell, public schmuck number one.

Virgil is a flagrant recidivist, despite years of failure in his criminal exploits (even as a child he gets his hand stuck in the gumball machine he’s trying to rob).

As Vincent Canby wrote in the New York Times in 1969, the film is "the cinematic equivalent to one of Allen’s best nightclub monologues, a kind of cowardly epic peopled with shy F.B.I. agents, cons who are wanted for dancing with mailmen, over-analyzing parents and one lady blackmailer who has the soul of a Jewish mother—she likes to feed her victim good, hot meals… a comedy of short takes, the chronicle of the relentless decline of the sort of bank robber who has to get his holdup note initialed by a vice president. It has the texture of a collage—blackout sketches, sight gags, fake cinéma vérité interviews, old newsreel footage, parodies of all sorts of other movies (including The Defiant Ones and Cool Hand Luke) and the kind of pacing—or maybe it’s just momentum—that carries the viewer over the bad gags to good ones."

"Very special, and eccentric, and funny." The New York Times

"Roll in the aisles, hold-your-sides laughter." LA Times

Sea Shepherd presents... Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson

(2011, 110 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
FEATURING Paul Watson, Patrick Moore, Rex Weyler
Classification: PG


Director Trish Dolman will introduce the film via skype. Filmmaker Kevin Eastwood will be in attendance for this special screening, along with Sea Shepherd cofounder Ron Precious and Paul Watson for a Q&A via skype.

Captain Paul Watson has been on a crusade to save the oceans for 40 years and he isn’t about to stop now. Through the life and convictions of this notorious activist, Trish Dolman crafts an epic tale of the birth of the modern environmental movement, and the founding of Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Part high-octane adventure, the film follows Watson and his crew as they hunt down a Japanese whaling fleet in the vast expanse and stunning beauty of Antarctica’s Southern Ocean, and seamlessly segues in and out of a wealth of archival footage from decades of confrontational activism around the world. In-depth interviews with Watson, Bob Hunter, Patrick Moore and Farley Mowat, among others, capture the heroics, the ego, the disputed tactics and the urgency of Watson’s mission. (HotDocs)

About Sea Shepherd

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.

"Compelling… haunting… captivating." Variety

"[A] thoroughly thought-provoking and emotionally poignant portrait of a Canadian outlaw." 4/5 Katherine Monk, Vancouver Sun

Sex After Kids

(2013, 105 mins, DCP)
CAST Paul Amos, Shannon Beckner, Katie Boland, Kristin Booth, Jay Brazeau, Amanda Brugel, Ennis Esmer, Kate Hewlett, Chrstine Horne, Mimi Kuzyk, Zoie Palmer, Gordon Pinsent


Opening Night supported by First Weekend Club. Director Jeremy Lalonde Q&A.

Yes, your parents almost certainly did have a sex life. But don’t worry kids, more than likely you put a stop to it! This smart, sassy Canadian comedy scoots through half a dozen relationships buckling under the strain of reconciling child rearing and sexual satisfaction:

Newlyweds with a newborn try to align their baby’s schedule and their libidos. An aloof single mom has a brother who insists that she should get back out in the world. A lesbian couple finds they don’t share the same child-rearing principles. A single dad grows tired of one-night stands. Recent empty nesters wonder if they can find the spark that brought them together. And the wife in the high-powered couple who never planned to have children is now looking to become a soccer mom. Their relationships and ideals will be put to the test with the question: is it possible to have children and a sex life—and is it even worth it? Parents of all shapes and sizes will surely relate. (Also: Best baby actor ever!!)

Blue Ruin

(2013, 90 mins, DCP)
CAST Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves, Kevin Kolack


Critics have been pulling out comparisons to the Coen brothers and Park Chan-wook for this lean, mean revenge thriller, a scintillating debut by writer-director Jeremy Saulnier (it’s currently 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes). Living a seemingly pointless existence, Dwight suddenly snaps into action when he learns of the imminent release of state prisoner, Will Cleland. With a score to settle he returns to his home town, swapping the big blue for bloodshed.

Delighting lovers of genre film and American Indie, Blue Ruin’s filmmaking is clean and efficient but the killing isn’t. Thrilling, devastating and even humiliating at times, Dwight’s plight manages to hit the sweet spot between idiot and amateur, predator and prey..

About the Director

Virginia native Jeremy Saulnier studied filmmaking at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He directed and photographed the award-winning short Crabwalk and the cult horror comedy Murder Party. His cinematography credits include Michael Tully’s Septien and Matthew Porterfield’s Hamilton, Putty Hill, and I Used to Be Darker, which screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Blue Ruin, Saulnier’s second feature film, premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize in the Directors’ Fortnight

"Easily the most suspenseful American film of the year, a thriller that feels like lightning across a quiet night sky; sudden, terrifying, and excitingly singular." Gabe Toro, The Playlist

"Intelligent and thrilling. Recalls the dark wit of the Coens." 4 stars Total Film

"A feral and staggeringly well-conceived revenge saga." David Ehrlich,