A bridegroom is possessed by an unquiet spirit in the midst of his own wedding celebration, in this clever take on the Jewish legend of the dybbuk.
A Slovenian high school class take against their new (German) teacher. When one of them takes her own life, the kids are quick to blame him even though the evidence is only circumstantial. As tensions rise, so too do ambiguities in this impressive, probing drama, an audience favourite from VIFF 2014.
Co-presented with Vancouver Foreign Film Society
Catalonia’s Jose Luis Guerin is arguably the least well known of contemporary greats; his penchant for teasing poetry out of non-fiction approach has been emulated by many, but rarely matched. Here a professor of philology flirts with his female students and engages in amorous discourse with his wife. "Consistently amusing, frequently stimulating, and occasionally erotic work." The House Next Door
Guerin revisits Blow Up by way of silent cinema in this haunting investigation of an ambiguous fragment of home movie footage from 1930. Parisian lawyer and amateur filmmaker Gérard Fleury disappeared mysteriously while off looking for a special quality of light. The film visits the now empty, perhaps haunted Normandy chateau. Finally, the archive footage is returned to, though this time treated, reversed and repeated, and new stories begin to emerge. It’s a strange, mysterious, even at times erotic film.
Among the few truly great films of the 21st Century, this is a spellbinding contemplation of contemplation, the act – and the art – of seeing. Guerin’s masterpiece follows a young man as he haunts a café in Strasberg, in search of… Sylvia, we guess. He gazes avidly at women. And we gaze too, watching him watching, seeing what he sees. Reminiscent of a Chekhovian short story, of Vertigo, of silents and musicals and experimental art film, In the City of Sylvia is very simple and utterly transfixing, and it cuts to the heart of what the cinema is about.
Four young monks left alone in their remote monastery in Myanmar. Shot entirely in newly-opened Myanmar with non-actors, the film bridges spirit, cinema, and traditional Burmese storytelling to open a view onto an unseen world.
‘I was bleeding internally all over and I didn’t know it. My eyes were bleeding, my hands, everything except my brain and my liver… then I realised I was LaMotta, I’d make the movie about me.’ In the throes of a near-fatal drug problem Martin Scorsese made what he believed could be his last movie. Its subject: the Bronx Bull, Jake La Motta, a graceless but indomitable boxer who never quits beating himself up. Punishing, painful and pitiless, with the ultimate Method performance from Robert De Niro at its core, it’s in many ways the culmination of the American psycho-realist tradition, but this is realism pushing through towards spiritual redemption by way of Scorsese’s heightened subjective style.
Francis Coppola’s second take on an SE Hinton teen novel is in a very different register to The Outsiders: it’s an expressionistic urban art film dealing in icons, symbols and a syncopated percussive score by Stewart Copeland of The Police. Matt Dillon and Mickey Rourke star, along with a very young Diane Lane and Nicolas Cage (and "Domino", aka Sofia Coppola).
At the age of 57, after years of blue collar jobs and another 20 years of small clubs and no breaks, Sharon Jones seemed finally to have hit the big time with her band the Dap-Kings. Then she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. But that wasn’t going to stop her. Directed by legendary documentarian Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, USA), Miss Sharon Jones! is part music film, part cancer survival story, and 100% soul.
With the recent passing of director Michael Cimino and DP Vilmos Zsigmond it is high time to reevaluate this notorious box office flop, a western - or anti-western - that was too radical for US critics in 1980, both in its politics and its aesthetic daring. Restored to its full glory, this elegy for lost ideals could be the greatest movie you’ve never seen.
Jim Jarmusch gets the real dope on Iggy Pop and the Stooges.