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RADAR: Exchanges in Dance Film Frequencies

(2013, 120 mins)

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RADAR: Exchanges in Dance Film Frequencies is a program dedicated to the exploration and evolution of dance film through connecting artists scene by scene. Curated by filmmaker/curator Adam Sekuler and choreographer Shannon Stewart, RADAR features movement based films of many budgets, styles and perspectives, creating a platform of local/national and international exchange that allows artists to publicly screen their work, discuss, get feedback, and meet other artists working in the same form. In 2013, RADAR screenings took place place in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Portland, and Minneapolis.

Radar program Vancouver
cARTographies: Crystal Pite by Brian Johnson
Twixt by Anna Kraulis
Evelyn's Farm by Brain Johnson and Tomorrow Collective
Fragment by Sophia Wolfe, Alex Tam, Clare Twiddy
Butte by Byron Chief-Moon, Mouvement Perpétuel
Twilight Groove by Amy O'neal
Choros by Michael Langan,Terah Maher
1922 by Shannon Stewart, Adam Sekuler

WIP films
605 R&D by Josh Martin and Brian Johnson
Mima Mounds by Shannon Stewart, Adam Sekuler, Nandan Rao

Short Term 12

(2013, 96 mins)
Director:
CAST Brie Larson, Frantz Turner, John Gallagher Jr, Kaitlyn Dever
Classification: 14A

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Please note, this film has been classified 14A.
Youths under the 19 will be admitted into the theatre with an accompanying adult.

Grace (a breakthrough performance from former child star Brie Larson) is a twenty- something supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers. Passionate and tough, Grace is a formidable caretaker of the kids in her charge – and in love with her long-term boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (John Gallagher Jr.)

But Grace’s own difficult past – and the surprising future that suddenly presents itself – throw her into unforeseen confusion, made all the sharper with the arrival of a new intake at the facility – Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), a gifted but troubled teenage girl with whom Grace has a charged connection.

She and Mason also struggle to help Marcus (Keith Stanfield) – an intense, quiet kid who is about to turn 18 – manage through the difficulty of having to leave the facility.

Grace comes to find – in both her work and the new teenager in her care – surprising sources of redemption. And while the subject matter is complex and often dark, this lovingly realized film finds truth – and humor – in unexpected places.

One of the most acclaimed American films of the year (currently rated 100% fresh by Top Critics on the aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes), Short Term 12 may sound earnest in outline, but it looks and feels vividly true - not surprising, when you learn that writer-director Destin Cretton worked for two years in just such a care facility in San Diego. Cretton also had the good sense to cast the brilliant young actress Brie Larson (The Spectacular Now, The United States of Tara) in her first adult lead role.

100% Fresh, Top Critics, Rotten Tomatoes

"It’s one of the best movies of the year and one of the truest portrayals I’ve ever seen about troubled teens and the people who dedicate their lives to trying to help them." Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

"A compact masterpiece of storytelling that brims equally with ambition and humility. It is, by a wide margin, the best film I have seen so far this year." Christopher Orr, The Atlantic

Griot

(2011, 80 mins)
Director:
CAST Volker Goetze, Ablaye Cissoko
Followed by Volker Goetze and Ablaye Cissoko live in concert at the Vancity Theatre, Nov 9 & 10.

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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. "Africa is the spiritual centre of the Planet Earth," claims one of the many contributors to this enchanting film, and, given the evidence, it is a claim that becomes difficult to disprove.

Ostensibly, Goetze’s documentary sets out to explore the history and role of the "griots" whose spiritual and musical talents are passed "through the blood" from generation to generation. Their role is many-faceted: historian, storyteller, praise-singer, poet and musician. Ablaye Cissoko, thinker, leader and gifted musician, is an examplar.

The film has at least three elements that compel our attention and capture our minds and hearts: the outstanding music; the cinematography, which brings to life the vibrant colours of West Africa and the splendours of its natural life; and the almost hallucinatory animation which adds another texture to the music. In common with other exceptional documentaries, Griot amounts to more than the sum of its parts. It is a paean to the senses: at moments our eyes are dazzled by what we see, at others we can close them and just let the haunting music flow through us.

Director’s Statement

The film is neither a traditional western documentary, as it does not settle for a conceptual understanding of our subject; nor is it simply a performance piece, as it does not settle for collecting powerful songs. This piece celebrates the art of the Griot - the art of the praise-singer and musical healer - by expanding the narrative through an interaction of poetry, music, song, stunning visuals and earthy sounds. Our stylistic approach taps into the very essence of the healing work of Ablaye Cissoko as a musician and activist in his home country Senegal. The approach is consonant with the life and history of Ablaye Cissoko himself. He descends from Kimitang Cissoko, the inventor of the kora, the African lute-harp. A genie directed him to build the first kora and the beautiful music he created with it lifted his people from their despair. Ablaye Cissokos music similarly has the power to heal broken people. His songs touch hearts and already reach far beyond the borders of West Africa.

Country of Origin: USA, France, Germany, Senegal

"Stunning… beautiful." Globe & Mail

Grave of the Fireflies

(Hotaru no haka)
(1988, 89 mins, DCP)
In Japanese with English subtitles
Director:
CAST (Voices) Tatsumi Tsutomi, Shirashi Ayano, Shinohara Yoshiko, Yamaguchi Akemi
Classification: PG violence; frightening scenes

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

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."

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. Food and shelter are scarce, and even their own relatives are too concerned with their own survival. All they have is each other and their belief that life must carry on. A visually stunning and emotionally powerful meditation on the devastating consequences of war.

“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

Dia de los Muertos

(Day of the Dead Festival)
(150 mins, DVD)
Classification:

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This special event features film, music, painting, prayer and hot chocolate, all in honour of Mexico’s traditional holiday, "Dia de los Muertos."

Highlights:

From 6:15 p.m. Art exhibit and Altar with photos of deceased loved ones.

7:00 p.m. Film introduction and explanation of the day of the dead custom.

Followed by Film screening: Macario. This 1960 classic of Mexican cinema is based on a novel by B. Traven (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre), itself based on a folk tale. Ignacio Tarso plays a peasant who goes on hunger strike in the hope of a turkey dinner. He gets more than he bargained for when the Grim Reaper (Enrique Lucerio) strikes a deal with him. It’s a powerful supernatural fantasy that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

8:40 p.m. (approx.): Hot chocolate and prayer for the departed.

Followed by a short set of traditional songs performed by Mariachi Los Dorados

A People Uncounted

(2013, 99 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
In English, Gernan with English subtitles
Director:
Classification:

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A People Uncounted tells the story of the Roma, commonly referred to as Gypsies-a people who have been both romanticized and vilified in popular culture. The Roma have endured centuries of intolerance and persecution in Europe, most notably the Holocaust genocide where an estimated 500,000 were murdered. A People Uncounted documents their culturally rich yet often difficult lives, and demonstrates how their present state has been deeply shaped by the tragedies of the past.

Filmed in 11 countries and featuring dozens of Roma-including Holocaust survivors, historians, activists and musicians-A People Uncounted brings the Romani history to life through the rich interplay of their poetry, music, and compelling first-hand accounts. As ethnic intolerance flares up across Europe,

A People Uncounted sheds light on this unique culture while placing the Romani story within the larger context of the world’s legacy of racism and genocide.

“Profoundly moving…a powerful documentary on the plight of the Roma people through history…an expansive essay on prejudice and the resilience of the human spirit. 4 stars” Montreal Gazette

"The eye witness accounts in this film cry out to be heard." Chris Knight, National Post

Reflecting the City: Vintage Movies from the City of Vancouver Archives

(120 mins, Digital Betacam)
Classification:

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With commentary provided by historian Michael Kluckner, this screening includes home movies, City-commissioned films, television shows produced by local stations and the community, and local advertisements. Those movies originally produced without sound will be accompanied live by pianist Wayne Stewart.

Experience Vancouver’s outdoor pastimes in the 1940s. Flash back to the 1960s with a rain dance in Kitsilano. Ride through 1970s Vancouver from the perspective of a cyclist. Witness the city’s transition leading up to Expo ’86. Spend an afternoon with us and relive Vancouver’s past.

Wolf Children

((Okami kodomo no ame to yuki))
(2013, 117 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
In Japanese with English subtitles
Director:
Classification: PG
Classified PG, children welcome with accompanying adult.

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Fans of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, it’s time to expand your horizons! This beautiful, sweet modern day fairy tale is the latest animated feature from Mamoru Hosoda (Summer Wars, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time). Wolf Children is exquisite, a fantasy about a single mom, Hana, who has the misfortune to fall in love with a wolf man. He’s kind and considerate, but given to roaming the streets at night on four legs—which is how he comes to a tragic end.

The progeny of this union are a girl and a boy, Yuki and Ame, who grow furry ears and long tails whenever they get excited. They may look adorably cute but Hana knows outsiders wouldn’t understand. She brings them up alone and tries to teach self-control, but soon relinquishes the city for an old farmhouse in the country, away from nosey neighbours. Here she learns to cultivate crops, and hopes that her wolf children will have time to figure out who and what they are.

With its gorgeous animation and sensitive, multifaceted direction, this is a funny, exhilarating and touching film about nature, nurture, and the call of the wild. It’s ideal family viewing—and equally suited to wolf packs.

"Mamoru Hosoda’s deeply moving and astoundingly contemplative work touches on the fleeting nature of life. Though devastating and gut-wrenching, the process of love, family and eventual moving on is considered a thing of beauty and something to be appreciated during the brief moments for which it lasts. 9/10" Robert Bell, Exclaim!

"An enchanting film, perfect for family viewing." Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film

Cutie and the Boxer

(2013, 82 mins, DCP)
In English & Japanese with English subtitles
Director:
FEATURING Ushio Shinohara, Noriko Shinohara, Ethan Cohen
Classification:

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"Art is a demon that drags you along," says 80-year-old visionary painter Ushio Shinohara in first-time director Zachary Heinzerling’s delicate portrait Cutie and the Boxer, but neither Shinohara nor his supportive wife and fellow artist Noriko are looking for a cure. Heinzerling’s beautifully shot, painfully intimate look at the aging couple’s struggle to survive amid personal and financial strain is both heartbreaking and intricately profound. This is a story about creative desire so strong it hurts.

Heinzerling has chosen the right subject to make that point. Shinohara, a resident of New York’s fine art scene since the late sixties, primarily indulges in a practice known as "box painting," an aggressive technique that finds him hurtling paint-covered gloves across a massive canvas, churning out loud, stream-of-conscious abstractions in under three minutes. Heinzerling first shows us this phenomenal practice in an early long take that establishes the movie’s engrossing style. The filmmaker brings this world to life with a mixture of realism and vivid imagery. Set to Yasuaki Shimizu’s smooth jazz compositions, animations based off Noriko’s drawings and subtle camerawork that explores the crevices of Shinohara and Noriko’s lives, Cutie and the Boxer uses each frame in expressive ways on par with its subjects’ work." Criticwire grade: A

Eric Kohn, indiewire

"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

A Touch of Sin

(2013, 133 mins, DCP)
In Cantonese with English subtitles
Director:
CAST Zhao Tao, Jiang Wu, Wang Baoqiang, Zhang Jiayi, Luo Lanshan, Li Meng
Classification:

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Chinese master Jia Zhangke makes a bold play for greater accessibility and up-to-the-minute social relevance with his brilliant new film, a Cannes Film Festival prizewinner (for best screenplay) this year.

The film is made up of four interconnected stories. Gruff, powerful Jiang Wu plays Dahai, a coalminer in Shanxi who discovers his corrupt village chief is in cahoots with a rich mining mogul to swindle the villagers’ money. A snarling tiger banner and an antique shotgun play important roles as Dahai’s simmering anger turns to bloody revenge. Chinese comedy star Wang Baoqiang (ruthlessly competent, rather than comical, here) visits his home village near Chongqing to care for his family. Jia’s regular muse (and wife) Zhao Tao plays a martial-arts heroine, a switchblade-wielding receptionist whom local goons unfortunately mistake for a prostitute. Finally, Luo Lanshan and Li Meng are a worker and prostitute in the industrialized south; seeking romance, Luo feels the despair of expendable unskilled workers.

Jia (The World; Still Life; Unknown Pleasures) has never made anything quite like this, with its references to classic and modern Hong Kong action cinema and its dark vision of a violent society pushed over the edge into frightening bloodshed. Jia sacrifices none of his formal control or his artfulness, though, in this thrillingly shot drama of China today, ripped fresh from the 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

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