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Nymphomaniac Vol. II

(2014, 130 mins, DCP)
CAST Charlotte Gainsbourgh, Stellan Skarsgaard, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater


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.

Les Vepres siciliennes, from The Royal Opera House

(2014, 250 mins, DCP)
In French with English subtitles
CAST Lianna Haroutounian, Bryan Hymel, Erwin Schrott, Michael Volle, Michelle Daly. Conductor Antonio Pappano
Running time includes two intermissions. Tickets $22. Popcorn is not permitted in the theatre for opera shows.


Apr 27 02:15 pm
May 14 06:30 pm

Antonio Pappano conducts a world-class cast including Erwin Schrott, Bryan Hymel and Lianna Haroutounian in The Royal Opera’s first ever staging of Verdi’s grand opera, directed by Stefan Herheim in his UK debut.

Paris in 1855, when the opera was first performed, provides the starting point for the interpretation by celebrated Norwegian born director Stefan Herheim. The opera ballet plays a significant role too, with Johann Kobborg choreographing for dancers from the Royal Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet. The story is set to impassioned and dramatic music, rich in showpiece arias and ensembles with striking choruses.

250 minute running time includes two intermissions

Neurons to Nirvana

Program Running Time 108 min.

Apr 20 07:00 pm
Apr 29 08:30 pm
May 01 08:30 pm

Films in Program

Directed By: Oliver Hockenhull
(Canada, 2013, 108 mins)

What if everything you thought you knew about drugs was wrong? What if society has misread - or been misled - about what science says about psychedelic substances? What if prohibition only exists to safeguard social inhibition (and big pharma profits)? Through interviews with the world’s foremost researchers, writers, psychologists and pioneers in psychedelic psychotherapy, Vancouver filmmaker Oliver Hockenhull explores the history of five powerful psychedelic substances (LSD, Psilocybin, MDMA, Ayahuasca and Cannabis) and their now established medicinal potential.

"Fuses science, art and spirituality into a seamless whole." Geoff Olson, Vancouver Courier

Blue Ruin

Program Running Time 90 min.

Apr 25 10:30 pm
Apr 26 01:00 pm
Apr 30 04:30 pm
May 02 10:30 pm

Films in Program

Directed By: Jeremy Saulnier
(USA, 2013, 90 mins, DCP)

Critics have been pulling out comparisons to the Coens 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.

"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,

Eat Drink Man Woman

Program Running Time 124 min.

May 02 07:30 pm

Films in Program

Directed By: Ang Lee
(USA, Taiwan, 1994, 124 mins, DVD)

A senior chef lives with his three grown daughters; the middle one finds her future plans affected by unexpected events and the life changes of the other household members. A foodie film classic selected by James Walt, executive chef at Whistler’s Araxi restaurant.

We Are Here

Program Running Time 80 min.

Apr 29 06:30 pm

Films in Program

Directed By: Francine Zuckerman
(Canada, 2013, 80 mins, DCP)

In 1945, 95% of the Jews in Poland were murdered during the Holocaust. In 2013, a Jewish museum is erected, a monument not just to the past, but to a New Poland. We Are Here is an important documentary looking at the complex and fragile Polish-Jewish relationship through the eyes of five Jews living in Poland today.

Lady Eve

Program Running Time 94 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Preston Sturges
(USA, 1941, 94 mins, DVD)

A couple meet on an ocean liner. Jean (Barbara Stanwyck) is a knock-out babe and a con artist. Charles (Henry Fonda) is a nerdy heir, interested in the study of snakes and about to get fleeced. Sturges’ unique gifts for directing comedy and writing witty dialogue makes this yet another of his great romantic comedies that deserves its reputation as a classic.

Not Business As Usual (film and panel discussion)

Program Running Time 150 min.

Films in Program

(Canada, 2013, 150 mins)

Join us for a special screening of a new Vancouver-made documentary highlighting a new breed of ethical entrepreneurs, capitalists with a conscience who are reframing the debate about profit and loss. The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Brett Wilson (Dragon’s Den), Joel Bakan (writer, The Corporation), Mark Brand (Save on Meat), RBC Director of Sustainability Sandra Odendahl and moderated by Sharad Khare. Tickets ($18) include post show reception.

The Last of the Unjust

Program Running Time 220 min.

Apr 25 06:30 pm
Apr 27 06:45 pm
Apr 30 06:30 pm
May 01 02:00 pm

Films in Program

(Le dernier des injustes)
Directed By: Claude Lanzmann
(France, 2013, 220 mins, DCP)

Claude Lanzmann, whose epic "Shoah" is certainly the definitive film about the Holocaust, returns to one of the subjects from that masterpiece to unravel the tale of the ‘model’ concentration camp, Theresienstadt, and the ambiguous leader of its Jewish Council, Benjamin Murmelstein.

"A discursive, essential Shoah postscript centered on as fascinating and inconvenient a figure as may have survived Hitler’s annihilation." Michelle Orange, Village Voice

"Those who think this is a black-and-white issue will be surprised, as Lanzmann himself appears to have been, by what is said here." Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

“Utterly fascinating. A reminder of another way documentaries can be made: simply, agonizingly, without comedy or narcissism, and with unforgettable, almost unbearable power."

Stephen Marche, Esquire

Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons

Program Running Time 110 min.

Films in Program

(China, 2013, 110 mins, DCP)

Kung Fu Hustle director Stephen Chow may be the CGI era’s closest ancestor to such subversive cartoon greats as Tex Avery and Chuck Jonze. Here the Hong Kong superstar remains behind the camera, but the mixture of gob-smacking slapstick and breathtaking fantasy is unmistakeably his own, turning the oft-told tale of ancient demon hunters into the kind of rollicking adventure Hollywood can only marvel at.

"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