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UK

Duration: 95 mins
Country of Origin: UK, 2014
Series:
Music Mondays

Showtimes

Dec 29 08:30 pm

If this isn’t quite all you wanted to know about Nick Cave but were afraid to ask, at least it’s all the great Australian singer-songwriter, novelist, screenwriter, actor is ready to share - which is more than enough to be getting on with. It’s part personal inventory, part artistic manifesto, part fantasy, part rock show, and pure Nick Cave.

“Probably best music doc I’ve ever seen… so much more than music. Beautifully made” Wendy Mitchell, Screen International

“Incredible. Puts most music films to shame. So inventive and inspiring.” Dave Calhoun, Time Out

“Probably best music doc I’ve ever seen… so much more than music. Beautifully made” Wendy Mitchell, Screen International

"Revelatory, and wonderful." Stephanie Zacherek, Village Voice

UK, USA

Duration: 119 mins
Country of Origin: UK,USA, 2014
Series:
Music Mondays

Legendary Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer and political dissident Fela Kuti is brought to life in Oscar-winner Alex Gibney’s (Taxi to the Dark Side) stirring evocation of the man and his music. Kuti’s raw charisma, many wives, mesmerizing musical performances and political aspirations and persecution have been covered before, but Gibney’s decision to fold in behind-the-scenes documentation of the 2009 Broadway musical Fela! makes this kaleidoscopic film as protean and rousing as Kuti himself was.

"There’s nothing like seeing Fela himself - blowing his sax, expressing his unbridled sexuality and living a life like no other." New York Daily News

USA

Duration: 130 mins
Country of Origin: USA, 1946
Series:
Vancity Theatre Screening

Showtimes

Dec 20 04:15 pm

Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings. You know you need to see this genuine Christmas classic as it was intended to be seen, on the big screen. Jimmy Stewart’s finest hour.

Duration: 87 mins
Country of Origin: USA, 2014
Series:
Vancity Theatre Screening

Showtimes

Dec 16 06:30 pm
Dec 16 08:30 pm

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

Duration: 120 mins
Country of Origin: USA, 2014
Series:
Best of 2014

Showtimes

Dec 29 06:00 pm

Arguably the most underrated US movie of the year, the latest from James Gray (Two Lovers) is a romantic epic set in New York in the 1920s. Marion Cotillard is superb as the Polish woman torn between Joaquin Phoenix’s dubious fixer, Bruno, and his cousin, an illusionist (Jeremy Renner).

"The film is earnestly and unabashedly melodramatic to an extent that may baffle audiences accustomed to clever, knowing historical fictions. But it also has a depth and purity of feeling that makes other movies feel timid and small by comparison." AO Scott, The New York Times

"You may often find yourself second-guessing the film, questioning how—and if—it will all come together. But by the time of the intense and impassioned climax, a storm of emotion is ensured: a great movie rising before you like a delusion, like a dream." Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York

Duration: 165 mins
Country of Origin: USA, 2014
Series:
Best of 2014

Showtimes

Jan 01 03:50 pm

A dozen years in the making, Richard Linklater’s masterpiece chronicles the evolution of a boy into a young man, from six to 18. It is the ultimate coming-of-age movie, and one of the most audacious cinematic feats of the decade.

Duration: 100 mins
Country of Origin: USA, 2014
Series:
Best of 2014

Showtimes

Dec 30 03:45 pm

The Overnighters evokes Steinbeck (and John Ford) in its compassionate portrait of economic migrants flooding into North Dakota fto grasp their slice of the oil boom. Shunned as interlopers by most, these newcomers are welcomed into the Concordia Lutheran Church by a remarkable Pastor - who Christian charity affronts his congregation and community.

"One could draw numerous lessons from this moving and almost operatic documentary… Jesse Moss spins a gripping saga that seems to capture the American zeitgeist in uncanny fashion, and it’s all true." Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com

At first galvanizing in its depiction of survival amid dire circumstances, The Overnighters transforms into a devastating portrait of communal unrest." Eric Kohn, Indiewire

"Starkly bleak and devastatingly humane… an indelible American documentary." Katie Walsh, The Playlist

Duration: 100 mins
Country of Origin: USA, 2014
Series:
Best of 2014

Showtimes

Dec 26 08:00 pm

A dazzling winter’s tale from an unusually energized Wes Anderson, this is an all-star mittel-European carousel of rampaging passions, class and transgression.

Duration: 85 mins
Country of Origin: USA, 1992
Series:
Vancity Theatre Screening

Showtimes

Dec 21 03:00 pm

Sir Michael Caine delivered one of his very finest performances as Ebenezer Scrooge in this surprisingly faithful, and downright irresistible Muppet version on the Dickens yuletide favourite.

"A wonderful festive story, enchantingly told." Daily Telegraph

(VIFF Vancity Theatre Satellite Series at the Waterfront)
Duration: 84 mins
Country of Origin: USA, 2013
Series:
VIFF Satellite Series

Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago follows various pilgrims, from ages 3 to 73, as they attempt to cross an entire country on foot – with only a backpack, a pair of boots and an open mind. Driven by an inexplicable calling and a grand sense of adventure, we witness the Camino’s magnetic and miraculous power to change lives. Each pilgrim throws themselves heart and soul into their incredibly challenging trek to Santiago de Compostela, and most importantly, their personal journey to themselves.

100% Fresh, Rotten Tomatoes

"Driving both the filmmaker and her subjects is wonder and wanderlust. Their enthusiasm for the Camino is contagious …" Diana Clarke, Village Voice

Duration: 120 mins
Country of Origin: USA, 2014
Series:
Vancity Theatre Screening

Roger Ebert wasn’t just the most popular North American film critic of the late twentieth century, in part by seizing the opportunities afforded by TV, he was also one of the most insightful and articulate, a wonderful writer with an insatiable curiosity about the world, deep knowledge of cinema, and the passion to communicate it. This acclaimed film from Steve James (Hoop Dreams) captures yet another side of Roger: how he blossomed in the loving family he found late in life, despite the terrible struggle with cancer that ravaged his body and left him unable to speak.

"Life Itself is a work of deftness and delicacy, by turns a film about illness and death, about writing, about cinema and, finally, and very movingly a film about love." Geoffrey O’Brien, The New York Times

Duration: 99 mins
Country of Origin: USA, 2014
Series:
Crime Fest

A slippery Texan corkscrew thriller in the tradition of the Coens’ Blood Simple and No Country for Old Men, this has Michael C Hall shooting a burglar and then dealing with the fall out when the victim’s father (Sam Shepard) shows up in town. Don Johnson is also on hand with a scene stealing turn as private eye.

"One of those movies that arrives every now and then with no fanfare but a canny sense of how to grab our attention and hold it in a tightening grip." Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

"A character-driven thriller with more twists than an off-the-map dirt road, awards-quality performances from the three leads, a rare sensitivity to the after-effects of horror and a sure directorial hand." Kim Newman, Empire

"It is a brutal, beautifully shot movie that starts out to be about revenge but then becomes something more, something even more primal and disturbing." Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

Duration: 80 mins
Country of Origin: USA, 2013
Series:
Crime Fest

"The biggest crime story of the century!" That’s how Sam Fuller described WWII, a typically punchy declaration from a guy who knew what he was talking about: Fuller was a tabloid reporter and crime novelist before joining the infantry in time for D-Day. He returned to Hollywood and made noir thrillers (Pickup on South Street; Underworld USA), war pictures (Verboten!; Steel Helmet) and B westerns (40 Guns) with singular conviction. This is his story - as told by his daughter Samantha. Samantha Fuller will join us for a Q&A after this screening.

"If you don’t like Sam Fuller, you just don’t like cinema.” - Martin Scorsese

"Those intrigued by an indelibly influential persona that combined showman-like flamboyance, old-school masculinity and die-hard personal integrity to disarming and intoxicating degrees, will find much to chew on here." Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter

Duration: 92 mins
Country of Origin: USA, 2014
Series:
Crime Fest

Toothy Texan noir (with a tip of the hat to pulp master Jim Thompson), this tale of three teenagers who find themselves on the wrong side of big trouble when a foolish prank backfires announces an exciting new talent (or two) in the Hawkins brothers, who combine an evocative sense of place, a shrewd grasp of character and an unerring eye for suspense.

"A crackling small town thriller that deserves to be sought out." — James Marsh, Twitch

"This juicy tale of a reckless robbery and its spiraling bloody aftermath is enjoyably overripe pulp, steeped in grubby textures and flavorful atmosphere." — David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

Duration: 104 mins
Country of Origin: USA, 2014
Series:
Crime Fest

Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men; The Road) may be the hardest boiled writer in contemporary American letters, and James Franco certainly wasn’t making things easy for himself in taking on his third novel, a bleak depiction of a violent social outcast who lurches from disaster to catastrophe.

Duration: 87 mins
Country of Origin: USA, 2014
Series:
Crime Fest

Bud Gordon (Corey Stoll - from House of Cards and Midnight in Paris) once had it all—a nice apartment, fame, public love and admiration—but a quick jab to the chin wiped that slate. Now living in a dingy studio with no business, no fans and no purpose except to help train an up-and-coming boxer. Noah Buschel writes and directs Glass Chin with a distinctive, vibrant style that channels pulp film noir into something both familiar and strange.

"Buschel may be mining classic B-movie territory, but between his script and Stoll’s performance, Glass Chin finds fresh humanity in a seemingly exhausted genre." Peter Debruge, Variety

"Buschel’s micro-noir has a rare and potent sense of menace […] viscerally direct and spontaneous, like that last, swift jab that puts an opponent on the mat." Chris Cabin, Slant

"In a starring turn of suppressed despondence and frustration, the charismatic Stoll makes a strong bid for earning his own shot at superstardom." Nick Schager, Village Voice

Duration: 99 mins
Country of Origin: USA, 2014
Series:
Crime Fest

In the first of our two-part tribute to the late great crime novelist Elmore Leonard, a kidnapping plot hits a snag when it turns out the corrupt developer played by Tim Robbins doesn’t particularly care to get his wife back - he was on the point of filing for divorce. An unofficial "pre-quel" to Jackie Brown, this witty comedy thriller introduces the characters played by Robert De Niro, Samuel L Jackson and Bridget Fonda in the Tarantino movie (and here, by John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey, and Isla Fisher). Jennifer Aniston and Will Forte also star.

"This is a droll and well-observed comedy thriller that recreates the 1970s in convincing fashion while retaining enough of a sense of menace to avoid ever drifting off into whimsy." Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent

GB, USA, Germany

Duration: 108 mins
Country of Origin: GB,USA,Germany, 2008
Series:
Music Mondays

Showtimes

Jan 05 08:20 pm

Escape the winter-time blues with this sunny, funny musical romp, a tongue in cheek tribute to the catchy disco pop of ABBA.

"I went to see Mamma Mia! in Stockholm expecting clichés and thin characters—and found them. What I wasn’t expecting was a dazzling piece of cinema." Mark Cousins, Prospect

"I went to see Mamma Mia! in Stockholm expecting clichés and thin characters—and found them. What I wasn’t expecting was a dazzling piece of cinema." Mark Cousins, Prospect

USA, Canada

Duration: 113 mins
Country of Origin: USA,Canada, 2010
Series:
Vancity Theatre Screening

Showtimes

Dec 31 07:00 pm

Chosen by VIFF Vancity Theatre members, this year’s free New Year’s Eve event movie is Edgar Wright’s anti-blockbuster, a hipster’s comic book adaptation chock full of great gags and inventive fun. When under-employed underground hero Scott Pilgrim (the cutely anxious Michael Cera) takes up with a cool American girl, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), he must fight it out with her seven exes in videogame-style battles.

It’s the perfect appetizer for a memorable New Year’s Eve. Pre-order your free tickets at viff.org Doors at 5.45, Film at 7.00

"Full of fresh, sharp touches and nonchalantly brash performances, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World consistently hits the sweet spot." Tom Charity, CNN.com

"Its speedy, funny, happy-sad spirit is so infectious that the movie makes you feel at home in its world." AO Scott, New York Times

"Like an animatronic kitten that won’t leave you alone, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World wins its audience over on adorable persistence." Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

GB, USA

Duration: 110 mins
Country of Origin: GB,USA, 1965
Series:
Vancity Theatre Screening

Former intelligence officer John Le Carre wrote his first espionage novel in 1962, just a year after the completion of the Berlin Wall, which loomed large in the book. That same wall - demolished 25 year ago, Nov 9, 1989 - also figures in the opening and closing scenes of Martin Ritt’s acclaimed film adaptation. It’s one of the key Cold War movies, the antithesis of James Bond escapism, and features arguably Richard Burton’s finest screen performance.

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