A mysterious and engaging journey through sound, song, story, ritual, performance, nature, tradition and Japanese Buddhism… A fearless merging of medieval and modern, beautifully filmed with a variety of cinematic techniques on location in Japan. “Kanzeon” is another way of saying Kannon (Chinese: Kuanyin), the embodiment of compassion, and can also be written in Japanese as “to see sounds.”
"Stunning to look at… mesmerising musical sequences”
Frances Morgan, Sight and Sound
"A stunning new British documentary.”
Jasper Sharp, Midnight Eye
With the permission of screenwriter, star and singer Nick Cave, we’re thrilled to offer this special advance screening of his latest work, a not entirely plausible record of a day in the life of the man himself.
“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
In 2008, 18 climbers from a party of 24 reached the summit of the world’s second highest mountain, the treacherous K2. 48 hours later, 11 were dead, or had simply vanished. What happened? Nick Ryan weaves together found footage, eerie reenactments and interviews with survivors to try and solve this tragic mystery.
"Riveting. Gripping. Thrilling." Indiewire
"A gripping cliffhanger. A heart-throbbing experience." Hollywood Reporter
Career criminal H.I. McDonnaugh (Nic Cage) marries police woman Ed (Holly Hunter), but sadly her womb is a barren place. Hi resolves to make off with one of the quintuplets born to local furniture tycoon Nathan Arizona - after all, how many babies does he need, really?
When Matt Berninger, the lead singer of The National, invited his under-achieving younger brother Tom along as a roadie on the band’s European tour, he thought he was doing him a favour. What he hadn’t banked on was Tom filming the whole thing - even as he screws up the most rudimentary tasks asked of him, like catching the tour bus, for example… A tour film like no other, this is oddly touching, very honest, and very funny.
"Poignant and hilarious." NME
"Brutal, hilarious, unexpectedly honest." The Hollywood Reporter
"The best documentary we have seen all year." The New York Observer
Produced over the first decade of the twenty first century, Micha Peled’s Globalization Trilogy puts a human face on complex issues resulting from global economic forces that are shaping life today worldwide. "Store wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town" (2001) focuses on consumerism in the U.S., observing the impact in a small town when Wal-Mart decides to build a new mega-store there. "China Blue" (2005) is a heartbreaking expose of the sweatshop labor conditions in China that allow us to buy cheap blue jeans in the West. The third film in the trilogy (showing separately) "Bitter Seeds" (2011) looks at the raw materials, and specifically Monsanto’s push to supply cotton seeds to farmers in India - with devastating results.
"Store Wars becomes a fascinating study in community action and a valuable reminder that people still can care enough about a place to fight for it." New York Times
"China Blue, a heartbreaking and meticulous documentary about life inside a blue-jeans factory in China, reveals more than we may care to know." The New York Times
Filmmaker Micha X Peled is our guest to introduce specific screenings and participate in a FREE panel discussion exploring these issues on Sunday May 19, 8.30pm. The panel will be moderated by Charlie Smith, Editor of the Georgia Straight.
Tzeporah Berman, Environmental activist and author of This Crazy Time, . Considered "Canada's Queen of Green."-Readers Digest, Tzeporah Berman has been successfully designing and managing green campaigns for nonprofits for the last two decades, leading Bill McKibben to call her "a modern environmental hero." She currently works as a strategic advisor for dozens of environmental organizations, First Nations and philanthropic advisors on clean energy, oilsands and pipelines. She is the former co-director of Greenpeace International's Global Climate and Energy Program, Executive Director and Co-founder of PowerUp Canadaand Co-founder and Campaign Director of ForestEthics.
Gerardo Otero is Professor of sociology and an associated professor of the School of International Studies at Simon Fraser University. His latest edited book is Food for the Few: Neoliberal Globalism and Biotechnology in Latin America (University of Texas Press, 2008, reissued in paperback in 2010), which is forthcoming in Spanish as La dieta neoliberal. His latest article, “The Neoliberal Food Regime in Latin America,” was published in the Canadian Journal of Development Studies in 2012. In co-authorship with Gabriela Pechlaner and Efe Can Gürcan, he has a forthcoming article September 2013 in Rural Sociology: “The political economy of ‘food security’ and trade: uneven and combined dependency.”
Micha X Peled has made documentaries for broadcasters in the USA, Britain, France and Germany, winning over 20 awards along the way. His films were released theatrically in the U.S., Europe and Japan, and on DVDs in eight languages (officially). Micha made his first film in 1992, when his mother sent him the manuscript of her life story, which became Will My Mother Go Back to Berlin? When celebrated Los Angeles Times critic Charles Champlin wrote “it’s a damn good movie,” Micha believed him, quit his job to become a fulltime filmmaker, and never looked back. Not that it was all smelling the roses – he got out of Iran shortly before being exposed for filming illegally, in China his crew was arrested and his footage confiscated, and his shoot in Bombay’s central train station was cancelled when a terrorist group started shooting first. In New York the audience shouted, “Traitor” at the premier of You, Me, Jerusalem, which he co-directed with a Palestinian filmmaker. His Globalization Trilogy began in the U.S. with Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town about a small town fighting to keep out the world’s largest retailer. It was followed by China Blue, the story of a teenage Chinese girl who leaves her village to get a job in a jeans factory and descends into sweatshop hell. After a fiction short, Delinquent, he completed the final film in the trilogy, Bitter Seeds. The film looks at the farmers' suicide crisis in India, through the story of one farmer who grows cotton exported to China's garment factories.
A short history of the video game, from Pong and Space Invaders through Super Mario Bros and Zelda to Call of Duty, Halo and GTA. Featuring a Who’s Who of video game pioneers, this nifty, celebratory doc traces the evolution of a whole new form of interactive entertainment, the consoles, the joysticks, the bits and the bytes. Along the way it slays more then a few lazy stereotypes about what games and gamers are really like.
What’s the rumpus? The Coens’ riff on Dashiell Hammett is one of their most flavourful achievements, an intricate, complex and compelling study of integrity among thieves set in the ethically compromised world of civic politics in the Prohibition era.
"A superb, languid fantasia on the theme of the gangster film that repays endless viewing." David Thomson, Have You Seen…?
"Maybe the greatest motion picture of the last 20 years." Jim Emerson, Scanners (2007)
"Elegantly profound, it’s a meditation on what doing the right thing might mean, with a spookily good, career-best performance from Byrne." Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
Italian-born Massimo and Lella Vignelli are among the world’s most influential designers. Throughout their long career, their motto has been, ’If you can’t find it, design it.’ From graphics to interiors to products and corporate identities, the film brings us into the work and everyday moments of the Vignellis’ world, capturing their intelligence and creativity, as well as their humanity, warmth, and humor.
The inimitable Stevie Nicks has entranced millions of fans worldwide with her poetic lyrics, sultry singing and featherand-lace style. In 2010 Nicks embarked on the recording of a new solo album, In Your Dreams, produced by former Eurythmics mastermind Dave Stewart. With cameras in tow, documentarian Stewart and diva Nicks set up shop in her home studio and reveal their collaborative creative process.
Delving deeper into the art and mastery of Johannes Vermeer, this entertaining doc by the magician Teller casts a light on the researches of Tim Jenison, a video engineer obsessed with the idea that the painter used optical devices to craft his infinitely detailed canvases.
"Just about the most fun you can have while learning."—Variety
"Thrilling."—Wall Street Journal
“I gotta tell you, the life of the mind… There’s no roadmap for that territory… And exploring it can be painful.” John Turturro gives what may be the definitive portrait of a blocked - but still unbearably pompous - writer in this insider satire on Hollywood culture.
The second part in our year-long retrospective, Woody Allen: 4 Seasons brings us to the Spring Collection, and several examples of what Allen himself famously dubbed "the early, funny ones". Take the Money and Run qualifies on both counts: his very first feature as director, it’s an hilarious spoof true crime documentary. Woody plays Virgil Starkwell, public schmuck number one.
"Very special, and eccentric, and funny." The New York Times
"Roll in the aisles, hold-your-sides laughter." LA Times
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.
"Driving both the filmmaker and her subjects is wonder and wanderlust. Their enthusiasm for the Camino is contagious ..."—Diana Clarke, Village Voice
New Year’s Eve, 1958. What brings mailroom boy Norville Barnes to the very edge of suicide? An enormous stroke of luck seems to be the correct answer. When CEO and founder Warring Hudsucker (Charles Durning takes a dive from his office window), corporate honcho Sidney J Mussburger (Paul Newman) seizes the moment and sizes up Norville for an astronomical promotion.
"Criminally overlooked and sinfully wonderful Coen brothers comedy." Scott Weinberg, efilmcritic
Incompetent products-tester Fielding Mellish travels to the Latin American country of San Marcos, and quickly finds himself the center of a people’s revolution. Mellish employs his harebrained ingenuity to survive guerilla training and to become a figurehead of this new banana republic. Allen’s second is a zany slapstick smorgasbord of philosophy and absurdism.
In one of the more original and stimulating debut films of the year, Terence Nance has created a unique, witty love letter to his girlfriend, and to cinema itself. "A visually dazzling ode to romantic angst, Oversimplification blends animation, freeze-frame stop-and-go effects, mockumentary, and inspired manipulation of light and color into an ocular feast. It’s almost hypnotic in its style and genre promiscuity." Ernest Hardy, Village Voice
"This brisk and self-searching, sharply intelligent and deeply vulnerable romantic comedy is a masterwork of reflexive construction… Romantic obsession has rarely been filmed as sweetly, love’s labors rarely revealed so insightfully as their own reward." Richard Brody, New Yorker
Ricky likes lines, shapes, designs. So much so that he can’t quite decipher the more practical banalities we need to grasp to navigate safely from A to B. Autistic and alone on the New York subway, the 13 year old is trapped in a spiral of urban alienation and solipsism while his desperate mother forlornly searches the streets of Queens ahd Hurrican Sandy approaches…
"Wonderfully witty and understated ... A small miracle of a film."—Stephen Holden, New York Times
"Fascinating and beautiful ... an impressionistic record of the subway experience circa exactly right now."—Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice
"An exceptional film ... richly textured and fully engaging."—Amy Taubin, Art Forum
A portrait of the artist that appalled his fans at the time, Stardust Memories is autobiography out of Fellini, the movie where Woody first tried to emulate the greats he admired. The public didn’t love him for it, but it’s a key picture in his own evolution and surprisingly poignant.
Trust the French to come up with the best bebop movie. Sax legend Dexter Gordon is mesmerizing as American horn player, Dale Turner (a thinly veiled amalgam of Bud Powell and Lester Young) trying to shake his demons in 1959 Paris, with loving help from a local fan and his young daughter. Plagued by years of alcoholism and drug use, knowing the end is near; he plays every note of his memories and battles with dignity and wisdom, and then returns home to New York. The forlorn music includes early work of Monk and Bird, the standards of Gershwin and Porter. Gordon’s contribution aside, Herbie Hancock is on piano and others such as Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Ron Carter and Billy Higgins all figure, with Lonette McKee on vocals. Hancock, who a star attraction at this year’s TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, also composed the film’s beautiful score.
"This movie teaches you everything about jazz that you really need to know… It is about a few months in a man’s life, and about his music. It has more jazz in it than any other fiction film ever made, and it is probably better jazz; it makes its best points with music, not words.." Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times