Path Alias: 

Cutie and the Boxer

Program Running Time 82 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Zachary Heinzerling
(USA, 2013, 82 mins, DCP)

Once a rising star in the ’70’s New York art scene, 80-year-old "boxing" painter Ushio Shinohara is prepping for his latest show, hoping to reinvigorate his career. His wife and de facto assistant, Noriko, seeks her own recognition through her "Cutie" illustrations, which depict their chaotic 40-year marriage. Cutie and the Boxer captures two lives united by a dedication to art-making for a touching meditation on the eternal themes of love and sacrifice.

"Cutie and the Boxer is more than a great documentary. It’s a great film." Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

"A movie that makes you feel less like a spectator than a guest, a friend welcomed into the home of an odd and fascinating couple." AO Scott, New York Times

Grave of the Fireflies

Program Running Time 89 min.

Films in Program

(Hotaru no haka)
Directed By: Isao Takahata
(Japan, 1988, 89 mins, DCP)

Classified for youth: PG (please note this film has somber and sometimes harrowing content.)

Set in Japan during WWII, the film focuses on Seita and his little sister Setsuko. After their mother is killed in an air raid, and with their father serving in the navy, they are forced to fight for survival in the devastated Japanese countryside. Probably the least seen Studio Ghibli masterpiece (at least in North America), this is also one of the most affecting animated films ever made. Roger Ebert described it "as an emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation," adding: "It belongs on any list of the greatest war films ever made."

“Grave of the Fireflies” is an emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation… It belongs on any list of the greatest war films ever made." Roger Ebert

Touch of Sin

Program Running Time 133 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Jia Zhangke
(China, 2013, 133 mins, DCP)

Master director Jia Zhangke’s most popular film yet, this Cannes prize-winning drama shows China’s gangsters, massage parlours, vicious bosses and desperate workers drawn into a whirlwind of violence, passion and vengeance. This brilliantly achieved film is a vital state-of-China bulletin, torn straight from today’s bloody headlines.

"A blistering fictionalized tale straight out of China, "A Touch of Sin" is at once monumental and human scale." Manohla Dargis, New York Times

"A bold, invigorating statement from a director who keeps reinventing himself." Scott Tobias, The Dissolve

"Intensely, consistently gripping." AA Dowd, AV Club


Program Running Time 80 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Volker Goetze
(2011, 80 mins)

Senegalese kora and western trumpet make fabulous music together! Volker Goetze’s enthralling documentary melds dazzling visuals and haunting songs to serve up a feast for the senses. Griot introduces us to Goetze’s own soulful trumpet stylings and the extraordinary voice and calabash harp artistry of Ablaye Cissoko.

"Stunning… beautiful." Globe & Mail

Live in Concert: Ablaye Cissoko & Volker Goetze

Program Running Time 120 min.

Films in Program

(120 mins)

The music that German-born and New York City-based trumpeter Volker Goetze and Senegalese vocalist and kora player Ablaye Cissoko create transcends both geographic and musical boundaries. When the duo first came together for their 2008 debut, Sira, their collaboration resulted in a unique musical synthesis that fused the timeless tradition of the storyteller/griot with a modern perspective. On their Motema Music label debut, Amanke Dionti, Goetze and Cissoko again set out on a spiritual sonic journey, one that ranges from the desert and coast of West Africa to the urban landscapes of New York and Paris and which addresses themes of our ancient spiritual roots, and our hurried, dehumanized modern strife. In the tradition of the griot, Cissoko attempts to mend our souls with music, and with Goetze as his partner and champion, he succeeds, as their music is truly soul soothing.

The Broken Circle Breakdown

(2013, 110 mins, DCP)
In Flemmish
CAST Veerle Baetens, Johan Heldenbergh, Nell Cattrysse, Geert Van Rampelberg, Nils de Caster


Country of Origin: Belgium, Netherlands

Bring along all the emotional support you can muster to get you through this topsy-turvy love story; a boisterous, heart-wrenching movie that will have you smiling through your tears.

Didier (Johan Heldenbergh)—a self-proclaimed Belgian cowboy—lives in a caravan and plays in a bluegrass band. This isn’t a gimmick; he loves the music and respects the sorrows that inspired the Appalachian dirt farmers to pick up guitar and fiddle in the first place. All this he communicates to Elise (Veerie Baetens) with an ardour she can’t resist. Covered in ink, this kindred bohemian spirit moves in with him and starts singing with the band. They have a daughter, Maybelle (after Maybelle Carter). But their happiness is shattered when the girl is diagnosed with leukemia.

Director Felix van Groeningen (The Misfortunates) cuts across the chronology of events, juxtaposing the first rush of passion with dire moments at the sick bed; joyful elation and rock bottom despair. And throughout, he weaves in the hopeful, faithful, plangent sounds of traditional American folk music, performed with irresistible enthusiasm by a misfit band of bewhiskered Belgian hillbillies, and serving as a kind of chorus to the turbulent trials that befall Didier and Elise’s union. In the words of the hymn that gives the film its title: “There are loved ones in the glory/Whose dear forms you often miss/When you close your earthly story/Will you join them in their bliss?/Will the circle be unbroken/By and by, by and by?”

"Innately understands that sorrow truthfully communicated and shared can be cathartic, rather than depressing." Jessica Kiang, The Playlist

"A gloriously devastating bluegrass masterpiece… Something of a miracle…. Earnest, warm and utterly human." Kurt Halfyard, Twitch

"Intensely moving." David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

After Tiller

(2013, 88 mins)


After Tiller intimately explores the highly controversial subject of third-trimester abortions in the wake of the 2009 assassination of practitioner Dr. George Tiller. The procedure is now performed by only four doctors in the United States, all former colleagues of Dr. Tiller, who risk their lives every day in the name of their unwavering commitment toward their patients. Directors Martha Shane and Lana Wilson have created a moving and unique look at one of the most incendiary topics of our time, and they’ve done so in an informative, thought-provoking, and compassionate way.


((Les salaux))
(2013, 83 mins, DCP)
In French with English subtitles
CAST Vincent Lindon, Chiara Mastroianni, Julie Bataille, Michel Subor, Lola Creton, Alex Descas, Gregoire Colin


From its opening images of a young woman in high heels and nothing else walking through the rainy streets of Paris at night, the latest from master filmmaker Claire Denis is equal parts stark and voluptuous, brutal and sensual, raw and sophisticated.

On the face of it Bastards is a lean revenge thriller. Vincent Lindon plays a mariner called home after his traumatized niece is taken into care and his brother-in-law commits suicide, both alleged victims of the same rich and powerful industrialist (Michel Subor). Marco moves into the vacant apartment immediately above the industrialist’s wife (Chiara Mastroianni), also the mother of his only child, and sets about insinuating himself into their lives. But to what end?

From these bare bones - inspired in part by Kurosawa’s The Bad Sleep Well and Faulkner’s Sanctuary - Denis fashions a hypnotic and disturbing inquiry into sex, money and power, family bonds, and the lure of the dark side. Denis’ toughest movie since Trouble Every Day, Bastards presents a bleak vision of patriarchy, but it certainly doesn’t let women off the hook for their complicity in this state of affairs.

Claire Denis was born in Paris, raised primarily in West Africa, and graduated from France’s Institut des Hautes Études Cinématographiques (IDHEC). Many of her films have screened at the Festival, including her debut feature, Chocolat (88), the documentary Man No Run (89), No Fear, No Die (90), I Can’t Sleep (94), Nenette and Boni (96), Beau travail (99), Trouble Every Day (01), Friday Night (02), The Intruder (04), 35 Shots of Rum (08), and White Material (09). Les Salauds (13) is her latest film.

"It is the darkest movie - visually, psychologically and spiritually - that Denis has made. It’s also one of the rarest of cinematic objects - a completely contemporary, disturbingly relevant film noir." Amy Taubin, Sigh & Sound

"As black and sticky and inescapable as a tar pit - a movie whose darkness swallows its characters and the audience whole." **** Adam Nayman, Globe & Mail

Slaughter Nick for President

(2012, 72 mins)
Introduced by CTV film critic and "travel guy" Jim Gordon.


When a little-known Canadian actor accidentally discovers through Facebook that he’s been wildly famous in Serbia for almost two decades, he sets out to discover the reasons why.

Rob Stewart is a 47-year-old journeyman Canadian actor. The ups and downs of his career have been extreme. After 20 years in the biz, the one-time CBS TV star finds himself living with his parents after being forced to move from Los Angeles back to Brampton, Ontario.

It’s late 2008 and Stewart’s son introduces his father to Facebook where a quick vanity search yields an astonishing discovery: Rob Stewart is wildly famous… in Serbia. With little else on his agenda, Rob decides to travel to the Balkan state to find out more.

Wonder of wonders. Rob’s long-forgotten starring role as Nick Slaughter — a pony-tailed beach-bum detective on the 1990s American TV series Tropical Heat (aka Sweating Bullets) — is by far the most popular show in the history of Serbian television. But it gets even more bizarre — Stewart learns of the student protests against former Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic and how the character of Nick Slaughter became a symbol of freedom and democracy for the movement that eventually led to his downfall. A whole generation of Serbians grew up watching the show and a punk rock band called Atheist Rap had even written a song about Rob’s character: “Nick Slaughter, Serbia Hails You.”

Slaughter Nick for President chronicles Stewart’s journey to Serbia, dubbed “Slaughtermania” by the national press. With TV appearances, a punk rock concert, interviews with heroes of the resistance movement and even the making of a commercial, in the midst of a frenzied media circus, Rob uncovers the surprising meaning behind the show’s popularity and gains redemption in the process.

"A winner!" National Post

"Heart and heft." Globe & Mail

"A real find… truly bizarre." The Star

Men with Beards

(2013, 80 mins, Blu-ray Disc)


There are men, and then there are men with beards. This documentary explores what it means for a guy to stop shaving and show your true face to the world. It’s not as easy as it looks! In fact for many men growing a beard is a challenge and even a rite of passage, a time when they reclaim their masculinity despite suspicion and derision from colleagues, bosses, friends and loved ones. If the results can be hairy - especially when confronted with a bowl of soup - they can also prove revelatory, opening up new channels of self expression and even sensuality.