Over the past two decades, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Doug Block has supported his career with a side business of videotaping weddings. Long curious about how their marriages have turned out, he tracks down and interviews some of the more memorable of his 112 wedding couples - with funny, insightful and moving results.
"Quirky, entertaining, and heartwarming."—Toronto Film Scene
"Simple in execution, but unmistakably rich in dialogue of the complexities of married life, Doug Block has lensed a wonderfully playful, startlingly tragic film that will surely move anyone who’s ever been in love and question anyone considering marriage themselves."—Jordan M Smith, Ion cinema
"Block finds the extraordinary in the patient observation of everyday life."—Michel Gondry
Don José (Jonas Kaufmann) is a young soldier in the army in Seville. He intends to marry Micaëla, a girl from his home village, but when he meets the sensual and high-spirited Carmen (Anna Caterina Antonacci), his head is soon turned…Spanish heat and gypsy passion are brought to the stage in Francesca Zambello’s vivid production of Bizet’s famous opera.
Sung in French with English subtitles
Acts One and Two will last for about 1 hour 50 minutes, followed by a 15 minute interval. Act Three will last for about 1 hour 5 mins.
Imagine Luis Bunuel’s Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie crossed with Shane Carruth’s Primer and Lars von Trier’s Melancholia... Or just imagine a dinner party with friends, a dinner party that starts out quite normally, but which takes a dramatic turn towards the surreal when the power goes out – apparently connected to the proximity of a passing comet. Two guests venture out to the one house in the vicinity which mysteriously still has power. Before the night is done everyone present will have to rethink what they’re doing there, their longest and most intimate relationships, and indeed, who they really think they are…
"You walk away from it with your brain on fire."—Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine
"The result is an uncommonly clever genre movie, reliant not on special effects—of which there are basically none—but on heavy doses of paranoia."—AA Dowd, AV Club
"No budget filmmaking at its most delectably inventive."—Mike D’Angelo, The Dissolve
Why does the law bestow on private corporations the rights of individuals citizen, but few of the responsibilities? Since its supremely successful release in 2002 this homegrown documentary has only (and sadly) grown more timely. Screening here in a newly revised 2 hour cut specifically aimed at educational distribution networks.
"A cogent, compelling, powerful argument, and a terrific movie."—Glenn Kenny, Premiere
Kasper Holten, ROH Director of Opera, presents a mesmerizing new production of Mozart’s sublime tragicomedy. The impulsive and charismatic Don Giovanni travels through Europe seducing women, accompanied by his long-suffering servant Leporello. When he commits murder, he unleashes vengeance from beyond the grave.
This extraordinary documentary - one of the most popular films at VIFF last year - shuttles from New York to France to Chicago as it traces the life story of the late Vivian Maier, a career nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs has earned her a posthumous reputation as one of America’s most accomplished and insightful street photographers.
"Compelling... haunting... captivating." — Variety
"Poignant, informative, occasionally disturbing." — Globe and Mail
Polish-born, UK-based filmmaker Pawlikowski (My Summer of Love) returns to his native land for this evocative, resonant art film about a novice nun discovering a family secret in the 1960s. Beautifully shot in black and white, this award-winning drama has been compared to the work of Francois Truffaut and Robert Bresson.
"In a very short time, Pawlikowski’s film tells us a powerful, poignant story with fine, intelligent performances." — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
"This story of faith and despair is gracefully told, its simple, uncluttered spaces and luminous black-and-white photography harking back to Robert Bresson."— JR Jones, Chicago Reader
"It’s absolutely stunning, one of the year’s best films, and a fulfillment of the promise that the director has shown for so long." — Oli Lyttleton, Indiewire
A lost key and an accidental touch of cold hands in the dark – so begins one of the great romances of all opera. In his depiction of the tender and ultimately tragic love between Mimì and Rodolfo, Puccini achieved an immediacy, warmth and humanity that have rarely been equalled.
Two couples are devastated to learn that their children were swapped at birth six years ago. Are blood ties thicker than the bond of child rearing? This masterly, very moving drama won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and the Audience Award at last year’s VIFF.
"Sublimely moving."—Maggie Lee, Variety
’Powered by Kore-eda’s innate restraint and natural empathy, Like Father, Like Son takes these characters to places they never expected to be. It’s unnerving for them, of course, but watching so many hearts hanging in the balance is a rare privilege for us."—Kenneth Turan, LA Times
"Kore-eda has crafted a piercing, tender poem about the bittersweet ebb and flow of paternal love, and his status as Ozu’s heir becomes ever more assured."—Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.
"A thoroughly compelling political thriller, at once intellectually challenging and profoundly emotional."—Claudia Puig, USA Today
"The Lives of Others is a supremely intelligent, unfailingly honest look at a shadowy period in recent German history."—AO Scott, New York Times
Puccini’s first triumph returns to Covent Garden for the first time in 20 years in a new staging by Jonathan Kent. The exciting Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais sings the title role. A consummate Puccini soprano, Opolais caused a sensation as Madama Butterfly in 2011, and with Manon Lescaut, the bold but impressionable heroine, we will see a very different side of her. She is matched in star power by Jonas Kaufmann as her lover, Des Grieux, and Christopher Maltman as her cynical brother Lescaut. Kent’s vision of a young girl who faces temptation in the big city will surely resonate with today’s audience.
Daniele Abbado explores themes of identity, exile and religion in a powerful staging of Verdi’s epic opera. War has broken out between the Babylonians and Israelites. The Israelites have captured Fenena, younger daughter of the Babylonian King, Nabucco. In revenge, Nabucco vows to destroy Jerusalem, aided by the vengeful Abigaille.
“Domingo’s career, 42 years at Covent Garden and counting, continues to be a wonder of the age.” The Guardian
Jonathan Demme returns to his favourite subject - Neil Young - for their third collaboration in six years. This is an intimate and intense account of Young returning to his homeland and performing a couple of blistering shows at Massey Hall in the spring of 2011.
"Shooting a couple of rapturously received gigs performed by a band-less Young at Toronto’s historic Massey Hall in May, 2011, Demme not only had his camera crew get up the singer’s nose (literally), he affixed small stationary cameras inside a piano, on the microphone stand and elsewhere to capture his subject’s every grimace, gliss of sweat and fleck of spittle ... At film’s end, one is left in awe at the richness of Young’s oeuvre (which admittedly sometimes makes Bob Dylan’s seem like tidings of great joy), his stamina and his questing spirit." — James Adams, Globe and Mail
"A feast for Neil Young lovers and initiates alike." — Peter Rainier, Christian Sience Monitor
Loosely based on a real incident involving a Cistercian order of monks kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists in Algeria, Beauvois’s film is an austere but gripping meditation on faith and fraternity.
"Of Gods and Men, a transcendent drama of uplift and inspiration, reveals the cavernous divide between heaven and Earth."—Peter Howell, Globe and Mail
"Beautiful, somber and rigorously intelligent."—AO Scott, New York Times
In the first of our series bringing you opera productions from London’s Royal Opera House, a chance to enjoy the company’s new staging of Richard Wagner’s epic, his final masterpiece. A young man ignorant of everything, including his own name, arrives at the Kingdom of the Holy Grail. Is he the ‘pure fool, enlightened by compassion’, who, it has been prophesied, will purify the kingdom?
Running time includes two intermissions.
An unforgettable experience!
More than one critic compared Jacques Audiard’s forceful, rich prison drama to The Godfather. Audiard uses the prison as a microcosm in this allegory for how to get ahead in the twenty-first century.
"If Malik doesn’t remind you of Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone on his journey from innocence to corruption in The Godfather saga, well ... he should. A Prophet is similarly, startlingly momentous."—Steven Rea, Philadeliphia Inquirer
"It’s a highly original film made in a familiar context, and an exciting moviegoing experience you shouldn’t miss."—Andrew O’Hehir, Salon
"A Prophet is the kind of film that makes you remember why going to the movies can be a thrilling experience."—Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
Arguably the most popular building site in the world, the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona is still a work in progress, 125 years after the first stones were laid. Designed by the controversial Catalan genius Antonio Gaudi, the Sagrada is a testament to Faith ... Faith in God, in the natural forms that so inspired the architect, and also in man, for Gaudi always knew this work would have to be completed long after his life-time.
"This film is more than a documentary, it tells the story using beautiful and quiet images of the transformation of ideas, talks of human endeavour for perfection and in so doing, illustrates that the essential meaning of this edifice lies in its creation process and not only in its completion.
This creative process is illustrated in varying perspectives from inside the incomplete church as well as the complex structure of the exterior parts of the church.
The film gives cause for self-reflection on how the past and present are related, portraying people and destinies involved in the construction of the church and ultimately proves that something incomplete also has its own significance."—Jury citation, Erasmus Euro Media Awards
"Both exhaustive and astounding in its detective-like exploration of the history of the impossibly ornate Catalonian house of worship."—Jackson Scarlett, 7x7SF
One of the most acclaimed — and revelatory — music documentaries in the last few years, this Academy Award-winning film investigates, the life, work and mysterious disappearance of the 70s singer-songwriter Rodriguez. Screening in tribute to director Malik Bendjelloul, who committed suicide earlier this year.
"A hugely appealing documentary about fans, faith and an enigmatic Age of Aquarius musician who burned bright and hopeful before disappearing."—Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"All you really have to know about this surprising and emotive music doc is that you should see it."—Trevor Johnston, Time Out
A multi-layered and poignant thriller interweaving the personal lives of a state prosecution investigator (Ricardo Darin) and a judge, with a manhunt spanning twenty-five years.
Winner: Academy Award, Best Foreign Language Film
"The wonder is that the film balances its many genres, from the thorns of murder to the bloom of romance to the thickets of politics, with such easy grace. 4/4"—Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"This beautiful film, directed with subtlety and grace by Juan José Campanella, really is about moving from fear to love."—Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"Secret is bound to linger in the memory for years."—Betsy Sharkey, LA Times
Even art-house aficionados were unprepared for the dramatic sophistication and depth on display in this blistering domestic drama from Iran’s Asghar Farhadi (About Elly; The Past). It was as if Ingmar Bergman had been reborn in Tehran, to dissect the dissolution of a middle class marriage. Dense, riveting and complex, this is masterly filmmaking that repays repeat viewing.
"A Separation serves as a quiet reminder of how good it’s possible for movies to be."—Dana Stevens, Slate
"A Separation is totally foreign and achingly familiar. It’s a thrilling domestic drama that offers acute insights into human motivations and behavior as well as a compelling look at what goes on behind a particular curtain that almost never gets raised."—Kenneth Turan, LA Times