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.
“In this 2014 sequel to the award-winning You’ve Been Trumped, director
Anthony Baxter once again follows American billionaire Donald Trump and a cast of other greedy characters who want to turn some of the Earth’s most precious places into golf courses and playgrounds for the super rich.”
This event is $10 and includes a panel discussion/Q&A and a dinner buffet/beverages.
Populated by gorgeous misfits and propelled by effervescent pop songs, this jubilant indie musical from Belle & Sebastian lynchpin Stuart Murdoch depicts a critical juncture for three young Glaswegians when it seems they’ve no other option than starting a band. Affectionate nods to the French New Wave, A Hard Day’s Night and Bill Forsyth’s Scottish fables abound as Murdoch offers us a minor key fairy tale about how music may just salvage an otherwise dreary Glasgow summer.
"Murdoch spins poetic, kitchen-sink tales of bad sex and messy break-ups and hopeless romantics in search of true love. On God Help the Girl, his directing debut, he has fashioned his songs into a narrative daisy-chain and hung them around his heroine’s neck. That it’s pretty and fragile is surely half the point ... It’s warm and generous ... Even non-believers will acknowledge the film’s utter sincerity. It may be indulgent, but it means what it says." — Xan Brooks, Guardian
When tenor Paul Potts performed Puccini’s Nessun Dorma on the first episode of TV show Britain’s Got Talent in 2007 it caused a sensation. 115 million YouTube hits later, the South Wales phone salesman’s story has inspired this warm, funny, very British feel-good movie. "Irresistible" Hollywood Reporter
"Irresistible." David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter
"A sweet, funny, heartfelt film." Annlee Ellingson, LA Times
"Hits all the right notes." Anthony Kaufman, Screen International
Told in fourteen fixed-angle, single shot, individual tableaus that parallel Christ’s journey to his own crucifixion,Stations… is both an indictment of fundamentalist faith and the articulation of an impressionable teen’s struggle to find her own path in life. Though from the outside Maria lives in the modern world, her family and her heart are faithful to a Catholic radicalism that requires sacrifice and devotion at every turn.
"This brilliant and subtle comedy about teenage martyrdom argues that extremism has no place in the modern world." David Jenkins, Little White Lies
"Passionate, generous, witty; Dietrich Bruggemann’s study of a fanatical Catholic family renews one’s faith in the power of slow art movies to change the world." London Evening Standard
A girl’s best friend is her dog in this exuberantly odd political parable from Hungary. When a new law places onerous taxes on the owners of mutts, the streets of Budapest start to fill up with abandoned dogs - including Hagen, beloved pet of 13-year-old Lili. While the child defies her father and the odds to try to track down her dog, Hagen suffers a series of grueling adventures involving various ill-intentioned individuals. "Fierce and beautiful." — The New York Times
“A fierce and beautiful Hungarian parable about a girl, her dog, and the uprising that’s sparked after they are separated ... When the dogs break free and run through the streets in White God, demolishing barriers and biting the hands that have hit them, the movie takes a leap into bold political metaphor, offering up a memorable image of the great unwashed gone (literally) barking mad.” — Manhola Dargis, The New York Times
“White God confirms Mundruczó’s position as one of Europe’s most exciting, unpredictable and technically competent directors. In a world where so many filmmakers seem to rework the same material over and over, he is a true wild card — a filmmaker with ‘un certain regard’ if ever there was one.” — Nick Roddick, Sight & Sound
“Thrillingly strange ... tense, stunningly staged set-pieces recall the uncanny power of Hitchcock’s The Birds [...] A risky shift toward the poetically aberrant that would not work if Mundruczo’s storytelling weren’t so rousing and emotionally purposeful — not to mention morally challenging, as man and dog are accorded equally flawed, vengeful psychologies in the film’s universe.” — Guy Lodge, Variety
Margarita, With a Straw
Doors at 6pm, Film at 7pm
A young woman with cerebral palsy lives with her family in Delhi. Her efforts towards romance and self-expression are frustrated until she receives a scholarship to study creative writing and moves to Manhattan. There she falls in love with a fiery young activist and embarks on a journey of sexual and self discovery. When her new relationship upsets her parents, and dramatic events occur, she is challenged to meet new responsibilities while remaining true to herself.
Kalki Koechlin delivers a powerful performance in this inspirational story of love, independence, and determination.
Preceded by the short film: Skin (US, 11 min)
Maryam is accepted into a university but can’t afford the fees. Her mother finds her a job as a maid in a five star hotel, where she herself works. Mother and daughter navigate the mundane politics and pettiness of their fellow workers until a big Bollywood star checks in. When his Rolex goes missing the hotel administration must interrogate the staff. As the most recent person hired, Maryam is a prime suspect. Funny and tragic in turn, the broad range of complex female characters working at the hotel result in a film that is filled with warmth, depth and desperation.
Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Film, this is a contemporary story imbued with the rich, tangy flavor of Celtic mysticism. Ben is a lousy big brother to six-year-old Saoirse – he’s resentful that she can’t (or won’t) speak, and can’t forgive that his mum died during childbirth. Their dad (voiced by Brendan Gleason) hasn’t gotten over it either, but still their life together on the lonely island where he’s a lighthouse keeper seems infinitely preferable to the conventional upbringing their gran has in mind for them, living with her in Dublin. What none of them understands is how fundamentally Saoirse is connected both to her mother, and to the sea… Dazzling kaleidoscopic imagery and a soulful approach make Song of the Sea a magical experience, recommended for all ages.
"A quite delightful piece of magical animation ... a bewitching, moving and often enchanting film." — Mark Adams, Hollywood Reporter
"Song of the Sea is a wonder to behold. This visually stunning animation masterwork, steeped in Irish myth, folklore and legend, so adroitly mixes the magical and the everyday that to watch it is to be wholly immersed in an enchanted world." — Kenneth Turan, LA Times
"If I had to recommend the best children’s film out there for all ages, this one, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya, would easily top the charts." — Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
An Israeli woman seeking to finalize a divorce (gett) from her estranged husband finds herself effectively put on trial by her country’s religious marriage laws, in this powerhouse courtroom drama from sibling directors Shlomi and Ronit Elkabetz. Winner of the Israeli Film Academy Ophir Award for Best Picture and propelled by the craft of Ronit Elkabetz (Late Marriage; The Band’s Visit), one of Israeli cinema’s most acclaimed actresses, Gett: The Trial of VIvian Amsalem is an uncompromising, heart-rending portrait of a woman’s struggle to overcome an unmoving patriarchy and live a life of her own design.
“Expertly written, brilliantly acted…The beautifully modulated script, ripe with moments of liberating humor, builds to a crescendo of indignation, allowing Elkabetz several cathartic outbursts, but they’re no more riveting than the actress’ silences.” Jay Weissberg, Variety
"The action quivers with tension, impatience, comic heat, and, beneath it all, an irrepressible rage." Anthony Lane, The New Yorker
"Hypnotic… Gripping cinema from start to finish." Manohla Dargis, New York Times
Italy, Canada, France
The charismatic Giuseppe Marinoni has been making some of the most desirable bicycle frames in Canada for decades. A competitive cyclist in Italy in his youth, he decides, at age 75, to attempt a World Record for distance cycled in one hour for his age group. Giuseppe’s determination and perseverance lead him back to his native Italy for his training and, ultimately, his attempt at the record. This is a film not only for the spandex-and-helmet crowd but for anyone who believes that a man’s reach should exceed his grasp.
Pasolini was a Marxist and an atheist, but above all he was a poet, and his film of the life of Christ gives us the feeling that we are there, with Jesus, cinema-vrite style. This is also the most contemplative film about Christ.
Guest Michael Audain is chairman of Polygon Homes, Chair of the Audain Art Museum and the Audain Foundation. He is also the first Honorary Chairman of the Vancouver Art Gallery, a past Chair of the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Vancouver Art Gallery Foundation.
"Banned and heavily censored throughout the world, here is a film that surpasses its reputation as a shotgun blast to the senses. Cannibal Holocaust presents the ‘found footage’ of four documentary filmmakers who experience brutal death at the hands of a savage South American tribe of flesh-eaters. The footage is so intense so graphic and so unflinching in its realism that the director and producer of Cannibal Holocaust were arrested on its original release and the film was seized.
Predating The Blair Witch Project in its use of ‘found footage’, Cannibal Holocaust also served as a key inspiration for Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno. Be forewarned: This is the one that goes ALL THE WAY!"
- Grindhouse Releasing
"From legendary Italian horror master Lucio Fulci comes the ultimate classic of supernatural terror. A remote and cursed hotel, built over one of the seven gateways, becomes a yawning malevolent abyss that begins devouring both the bodies and the souls of all who enter in a graphic frenzy of gory crucifictions, chunkblowing chain-whippings, eyeball impalements, sulphuric acid meltdowns, flesh-eating tarantulas, throat-shredding demon dogs and ravenous bloodthirsty zombies. The Beyond is a towering achievement in hair-raising, mind-bending cinematic terror!"
When two young teenagers lose their mother to gang violence, they have to flee the only home they’ve ever known. A journalist reluctantly agrees to take them on the long drive to Mexico City, where they will catch a flight to Vancouver. On the road, sharing their remembered loss and encountering current fears, their wounds begin to heal and an unlikely new family emerges. Featuring the real siblings upon whom this moving story is based, the film accomplishes a rare and satisfying fusion between fiction and reality in a work that is surprisingly uplifting.
Documentary about the Portuguese singer Camané and the process of creating one of fado’s key works, revealing a rigorous search that allows him to achieve masterful interpretations. Featuring music by José Mário Branco, Raul Ferrão, Frutuoso França, Sérgio Godinho, Alfredo Marceneiro, Alain Oulman.
A charming comic drama inspired by the true story of a high school English teacher who drove across Spain in 1966 to meet his idol John Lennon in hopes of clarifying some lyrics he couldn’t quite understand. On the way, he picks up two runaway teenagers — a pregnant girl fleeing a convent, and a boy escaping his dictatorial father.
“This small gem offers a lovely evocation of Spain as well as a touching tribute to an unforgettable moment in time when the Beatles seemed to offer brand new possibilities, the idea that strawberry fields might indeed go on forever.”Stephen Farber, Hollywood Reporter
Imagine a punk Freddy Kruger let loose in Office Space… Or don’t, that’s the kind of lazy daydream which keeps cynical scam artist Marty (Jason Burge) busy during his temp job at a bank. That is, when he’s not figuring out dumb ways to embezzle from his employers. This dark and melancholy tragi-comedy signals the maturation of a singular new voice in American independent cinema.
"A vigorous and strangely compelling character study, a sustained burst of punk-rock ferocity, and one of the most original American films to emerge in some time." — Calum Marsh, Village Voice
"The movie, though it is aggressively satirical and sometimes shocking, is in the end hauntingly sad." — AO Scott, New York Times
Yogananda was the Hindu Swami who brought yoga and meditation to the West in the 1920s. Paramahansa Yogananda authored the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi, which has sold millions of copies worldwide and is a go-to book for seekers, philosophers and yoga enthusiasts today. This unconventional documentary has won critical plaudits everywhere it has screened.
"Fittingly enlightening, Awake: The Life of Yogananda is a vivid, elegantly assembled portrait of the savvy guru with the cherubic face and penetrating gaze who brought meditation to the West." — Michael Rechtschaffen, LA Times
"Gentle sitar music, languorous camerawork and soothing narration ... This could be a good movie to do yoga by." — The New York Times