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
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
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
Chogyam Trungpa, renowned Tibetan Buddhist leader, shattered notions about how an enlightened teacher should behave when he renounced his monk’s vows & eloped with a sixteen year-old aristocrat. Twenty years after his death, Trungpa’s name still evokes admiration and outrage. What made him tick? And just what is enlightenment, anyway?
When superstar Canadian director Robert Lepage is invited to stage Wagner’s the Ring Cycle at New York’s Metropolitan Opera it was never going to be a routine production. Susan Froemke follows the backstage progress of a controversial but visually astounding show that tested everyone involved to their limits.
"Simply the best documentary about the Met ever made." Film Journal
"Destined to be one of the classic documentaries about opera." Philadelphia Inquirer
"A rousing portrait of creative renewal and, specifically, the way in which – by attempting something daring and new in the face of an opera culture deeply invested in tradition – Lepage proves that classic art can survive and flourish in a marriage with modern technology and imagination." – The Village Voice
Writer-director Ti West (House of the Devil) assembles an indie-film all-star cast including fellow filmmakers Joe Swanberg, Kentucker Audley and Amy Seimetz for this chilling suspense story about cults and a crisis of conscience.
A newsteam trails a man as he travels to an undisclosed location to find his missing sister. Upon entering "Eden Parish" and meeting the community’s leader, it becomes apparent to the newcomers that this paradise may not be as it seems.
"Frightening in any genre language."—Guy Lodge, Variety
Guest passes and volunteer passes not accepted.
It takes more than good food to make a restaurant work. Spinning Plates is an insightful, compelling and moving documentary tracing the fates of three very different establishments: the high-end Alinea, where Grant Achatz practices his culinary perfection; the 150-year-old country steak house Breitbach’s, a community hub in rural Iowa, and La Cocina de Gabby, a new Mexican restaurant surviving on a wing and a prayer in Tuscon. This screening will be accompanied by a panel of distinguished Vancouver chef’s moderated by Vancouver Magazine editor John Burns. Check viff.org for updates.
“Splendid and engrossing … a love letter to that singular intersection of artistic innovation, cultural legacy, community pride, and family-sustaining (or -straining) commerce known as the restaurant.” Village Voice
A beautifully structured and photographed film, John Turturro’s rapturous Passione offers a vibrant exploration and celebration of Neapolitan music in all its grit and glory, presenting 23 musical numbers that encompass a millennium’s worth of influences.
In 1959 a great migration from Tibet was violently set in motion. The Dalai Lama was joined in exile by thousands of refugees, among them some of the most important Tibetan Buddhist teachers, opening a window on what had been a hidden realm. Through interviews rare archival footage, the film offers an insider’s view of Tibetan Buddhism as it is manifesting beyond its original home.
"The film is a vivid and engaging account of the movement of the Buddha Dharma - the teachings and practices of Buddhism - to the West…Viewers of the film will come away with the discovery that they have learned a great deal. But even more, their hearts will have been opened and perhaps melted by the uplifting gift of genuine spirituality as it flows from teacher to student in a pattern free of time, showing us the way to go beyond the suffering and upheavals of our days and years." Light of Consciousness magazine
Ingeniously devised to dovetail with events at the remote Norwegian Antarctic base, this underrated prequel to Carpenter’s modern classic is a tense chiller that pays respect to the past while showcasing cutting edge CGI fx by Vancouver’s Image Engine.
"It’s full of chills and thrills and isolated Antarctic atmosphere and terrific Hieronymus Bosch creature effects, and if it winks genially at the plot twists of Carpenter’s film, it never feels even a little like some kind of inside joke." Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com
Critics have been pulling out comparisons to the Coens for this lean, mean revenge thriller, a scintillating debut by writer-director Jeremy Saulnier (it’s currently 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes). Living a seemingly pointless existence, Dwight suddenly snaps into action when he learns of the imminent release of state prisoner, Will Cleland. With a score to settle he returns to his home town, swapping the big blue for bloodshed. Delighting lovers of genre film and American Indie, Blue Ruin’s filmmaking is clean and efficient but the killing isn’t. Thrilling, devastating and even humiliating at times, Dwight’s plight manages to hit the sweet spot between idiot and amateur, predator and prey.
"Easily the most suspenseful American film of the year, a thriller that feels like lightning across a quiet night sky; sudden, terrifying, and excitingly singular." Gabe Toro, The Playlist
"Intelligent and thrilling. Recalls the dark wit of the Coens." 4 stars Total Film
"A feral and staggeringly well-conceived revenge saga." David Ehrlich, Film.com
The power, intensity and drama of desert ultra-marathon racing fuels Jennifer Steinman’s emotionally charged documentary. Following a small group of very different runners competing the in the Four Desert series (the Atacama, the Gobi, the Sahara and Antarctica) the film draws us in to their lives, to understand what drives them to undertake such a grueling challenge.
Against all odds, E. Gene Smith, a Mormon, pacifist and Buddhist organized a mission to rescue the written legacy of the Tibetan culture even as it was threatened with destruction and loss. The film documents his amazing efforts which set in motion an ongoing project to preserve, digitize and translate 20,000 volumes of Tibetan literature, from medicine and history to poetry and Buddhist texts.
Filmed in BC, John Carpenter’s 1982 horror classic is a bone fide Antarctic chiller. American antarctic researchers come across a burned out Norwegian base - and the buried UFO which may be linked to the carnage.
"The Thing is one of [Carpenter’s] greatest moments, creating a terrifying atmosphere of claustrophobia, suspense and paranoia. And Kurt Russell is as good as he’s ever been, wearing one of the best beards in movie history." Total Film
"Though not nearly as famous as Monterey Pop (1968), Woodstock (1970), or Gimme Shelter (1970), Festival is an equally fascinating artifact of the turbulent ’60s music scene."—Stuart Galbraith IV, DVD Talk
"Marvellously entertaining."—Roger Ebert
Charismatic, ceaselessly evolving and crossing boundaries, reed man Charles Lloyd has been in the vanguard of jazz for over 50 years with his unique, flowing yet swinging sound. This intimate portrait, co-directed by his painter/filmmaker wife, conveys the astonishing range of Lloyd’s career, including his Memphis roots; his counterculture crossovers in the 1960s; seclusion in the 1970s; collaborations with Keith Jarrett, the Beach Boys, Burgess Meredith, Charles Bukowski, Michel Petrucciani etc; and the comeback that began in the late 1980s and is still going strong.
“One of the greatest saxophonists on the planet…never out of touch with his audience.”—BBC Radio 3
Expertly weaving between comedy and tragedy ("if it bends, it’s funny; if it breaks, it isn’t," as Alan Alda’s egomaniac sitcom writer is fond of saying), this is one of Allen’s finest movies, a dark, somber but also very witty tale of infidelity and murder that grapples with the philosophical implications of our own, seemingly in-built ethical limitations and stands as a cynical corrective to the warmth of Hannah and Her Sisters.
"His best and most courageous work to date." Stanley Kauffman, New Republic (1989)
The hilarious (and possibly exaggerated) origin story of the real life alien bluegrass band, Future Folk. When a comet threatens to destroy their planet, the citizens of Hondo enlist their most decorated soldier, General Trius (Nils d’Aulaire), to search for a new home planet- and wipe out the current inhabitants with a flesh-eating virus. After landing somewhere near Brooklyn, General Trius wanders into a megastore to unleash the terror… when he’s enchanted by a strange and mystical human invention known as "music."
"Close encounters of the charming kind." Robert Koehler, Variety
"Delightful." LA Weekly
"Hilarious." San Francisco Chronicle
40 years ago, William Friedkin’s The Exorcist redefined screen terror with its slow but atmospheric build up mounting to a sustained crescendo of graphic, visceral horror. Audiences had never seen special effects like these before, and reacted with panic and revulsion - as if Satan himself was at loose in this film.
"A credible portrait of the modern, urban world ripped apart by an obscene, ancient evil… the graphic desecration of everything considered wholesome and good about the fading American Dream - the home, the family, the church, and, most shockingly, the child." Mark Kermode
Woody goes to Wimbledon (well, nearly) in his first foray to the British Isles—a torrid suspense movie which adds a downpour or two to A Place in the Sun. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is the tennis pro torn between the socially superior Emily Mortimer and sexy (but penurous) Scarlett Johansson.
"Allen’s best since Crimes and Misdemeanors ..."—Roger Ebert