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WOODY ALLEN 4 SEASONS: Woody in Winter

This curious hommage to German Expressionism is both a uniquely perverse enterprise and a real hoot. It’s a Kafkaesque comedy based on Allen’s earlier one-act play, unpromisingly titled "Death". Allen himself plays Kleinman, a clerk in an unnamed central European country who is reluctantly pulled into a vigilante hunt for a serial killer.

The Best of Hot Docs

 

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Filmmaker-historian Nelson George conducts a passionate archeology of funk music—the crucial bridge between ’60s soul and ’80s hip hop—replete with loving testimonials about Dayton, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan, in their funk heydays, where in the basements of now-mythical music makers like Sly Stone and P-Funk, the funk explosion was catalyzed. With The Roots member Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson as our guide, and warm regaling from notable musicians such as Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, Sheila E. and Mike D of the Beastie Boys, we’re transported to the hippie-ish ’70s when a mad fever of savvy creativity saw the transmutation of jazz, soul and R&B into infectiously danceable funk.

"Not to spoil the ending, but director Nelson George absolutely does find the funk. 3 stars." Brad Wheeler, Globe & Mail

"A lesson every music fan should have." William Brownridge, Toronto Film Scene

Vancity Theatre Screening

Both a tribute to one of the twentieth century’s most extravagant and influential personalities, and simultaneously a chronicle of the impact of fashion in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, this portrait of the irrepressible editor of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar is an eye-opener, just like its subject.

Vancity Theatre Screening

Greta Gerwig is delightful - a kind of modern day Annie Hall - in this lovely, deft, funny/sad movie from Noah Baumbach. Frances Halladay is 27, living in New York, and not really pulling things together yet. She’s in the wrong job, and her most intimate friend is her flatmate, who’s moving out. Simultaneously optimistic and melancholy, romantic and unsentimental, it’s the finest comedy of the year.

"An irresistibly lovely, melancholic acknowledgment that love is impossible, and that the more candid a young woman is, the less eligible she becomes in the standard romantic sweepstakes… Frances Ha also marks the rare instance in which an actress has the perfect role at the perfect time. Ms. Gerwig’s work here is fragile, delicate, subject to bruising; something that could wither under too much attention. Perhaps Ms. Gerwig is the greatest actress alive. And maybe Frances Ha is just the ghost orchid of independent cinema." John Anderson, Wall Street Journal

"There’s an optimism and an empathy in “Frances Ha” that feels genuine and earned.The plot doesn’t build to a gigantic, sweeping climax, but the understated final moments made me happier than any other filmgoing experience I’ve had all year." Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

WOODY ALLEN 4 SEASONS: Woody in Winter

Edward Norton and Drew Barrymore stroll hand in hand around a fountain, then burst into a deliciously sloppy rendition of ’Just You, Just Me’, and immediately we’re right into it, and you can’t imagine why it’s taken Woody Allen so long to get round to reviving the musical. Romantic, nostalgic and decadent as Fred Astaire, this is also the closest Allen has come to a Jacques Demy movie.

"A delightful and witty compendium of the film maker’s favorite things." Janet Maslin, New York Times

"It would take a heart of stone to resist this movie." Roger Ebert

The Best of Hot Docs


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Director Cullen Hoback will host a Q+A following the screening.

How much of yourself have you already given away on the internet? Nobody really reads the terms and conditions routinely applied to almost every digital service agreement, but if we did, what would we find there? Cullen Hoback’s scary doc has answers to the questions you don’t even want to Google.

"This documentary should be mandatory viewing for everyone who uses the internet." John Ford, Slug Magazine

"If you believe the privacy promises of online giants like Google and Facebook, then Cullen Hoback’s doc will remove the scales from your eyes and your hand away from your mouse." Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

"Witty yet chilling." Brian D Johnston, Macleans

’Buried’ meets ’127 Hrs’ in this nail-biting suspense film with ’Lost’ star Neil Hopkins. In a bone fide California nightmare scenario, Jackson Alder comes to after his SUV has been swept off the road by a mudslide. The doors are jammed shut, and anyway who knows how deep he’s buried (or how much further he might slide), so Jackson reckons he can wait it out til help comes. If his oxygen lasts out…

Vancity Theatre Screening

Gregory Crewdson has created some of the most gorgeously haunting pictures in the history of photography, evoking Hitchcock, Lynch, Edward Hopper and Diane Arbus. Shot over a decade, this mesmerizing film lays bare his art.

"A must-see for art lovers." Variety

"As an artistic peripeteia, Brief Encounters is great entertainment." Ela Bittencourt, Slant

"A beautiful and contemplative look at Crewdson’s process." The Paris Review

Vancity Theatre Screening

Millions know their voices, but no one knows their names. Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century.

"Nails the sense of joie de vivre these extraordinary artists put into every note-a tribute to doing it for the love of the expression over stardom that provides incalculable amounts of inspiration." David Fear, Time Out New York

"You may never hear the Rolling Stones’s Gimme Shelter the same way again after hearing Jagger’s and Clayton’s separate accounts of the recording of the song." Liam Lacey, Globe & Mail

"I have rarely seen a movie that better expressed the revivifying nature of music." Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

WOODY ALLEN 4 SEASONS: Woody in Winter

In his sixth film as director, Allen poked fun at his intellectual heroes, the heavyweight Russian novelists Tolstoy and Dostoevsky in particular, but also Chekov, Ingmar Bergman and Nabakov. At the same time this tale of a cowardly Russian philosopher caught up in the fight against Napoleon bows in the direction of Bob Hope and the Marx Brothers. It is one of Allen’s funniest movies.

The Best of Hot Docs

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In 1991, Anita Hill’s powerful testimony at the confirmation hearings for then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas brought sexual harassment into America’s national spotlight. Twenty years later, Ms. Hill revisits those hearings and for the first time on film speaks about the gruelling nine-hour experience of confronting an all-white male jury who demonstrated little sensitivity towards sexual harassment. A sometimes painful and shocking look back, she reflects on how that testimony shaped her life and the gender politics of a generation.

"Enthralling and revealing… Intelligent and comprehensive." Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter

DOCside

In 1961, three young, visionary architects were commissioned by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara to create Cuba’s National Art Schools on the grounds of a former golf course in Havana, Cuba. Construction of their radical designs began immediately and the school’s first classes soon followed. Dancers, musicians and artists from all over the country reveled in the beauty of the schools, but as the dream of the Revolution quickly became a reality, construction was abruptly halted and the architects and their designs were deemed irrelevant in the prevailing political climate. Forty years later the schools are in use, but remain unfinished and decaying. Castro has invited the exiled architects back to finish their unrealized dream.

"A fascinating tale of visionary aesthetics and…. sublime structures." Steve Dollar, Wall Street Journal

Woody Allen: Spring Collection

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

Vancity Theatre Screening

A masterpiece of the Hollywood musical tradition, An American in Paris truly shines, remaining as fresh and exciting today as it was in 1951. Gene Kelly stars as Jerry Mulligan, an American expat trying to succeed as a painter in Paris. George and ira Gershwin provide the songs, and Minnelli pulls out all the stops for the climactic ballet against a series of Impressionist backdrops.

"Minnelli’s Technicolor musical, re-released in a gorgeous restoration, is fresher than ever." Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent

"Full of light and movement. Nothing of its kind from Hollywood had quite possessed its class, sense of style, and chic." Clive Herschhorn, The Hollywood Musical

Vancity Theatre Screening

How much of yourself have you already given away on the internet? Nobody really reads the terms and conditions routinely applied to almost every digital service agreement, but if we did, what would we find there? Cullen Hoback’s scary doc has answers to the questions you don’t even want to Google.

"This documentary should be mandatory viewing for everyone who uses the internet." John Ford, Slug Magazine

"If you believe the privacy promises of online giants like Google and Facebook, then Cullen Hoback’s doc will remove the scales from your eyes and your hand away from your mouse." Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

"Witty yet chilling." Brian D Johnston, Macleans

Woody Allen: Spring Collection

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.

Vancity Theatre Screening

Located on the banks of the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama is the unlikely breeding ground for some of the most creative and defiant music in American history. With nothing but grit and great ears, producer Rick Hall turned a tiny studio into the heart and soul of 60s R&B, recording such classic songs as "I’ll Take You There," "Brown Sugar," "When a Man Loves a Woman," "I Never Loved A Man the Way That I Loved You," "Mustang Sally,” "Tell Mama" and "Freebird".

"Propelled in equal measure by its gorgeous music and rich anecdotes, it’s joyous, uplifting – and as funky as the music at its heart." David Gritten, Daily Telegraph

"A terrific film… a must see for even the most casual of music fans.. a stunning, soulful achievement." Jason Gorber, Twitch

"Will appeal to just about everyone." Katherine Monk, Canada.com

IBFF 2013 Vancouver (International Buddhist Film Festival)

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.

After Effects: Guatemala and El Salvador

Imagine gold "as far as the eye can see". All you have to do is rip it out of the ground. But one man’s nirvana is another’s hell. Gold Fever witnesses the arrival of Goldcorp Inc to a remote Guatemalan village. 500 years after the conquistadors, and still reeling from decades of US-backed repression, Diodora, Crisanta and Gregoria are caught in the cross-hairs of another global frenzy for gold. Together with their community, they resist the threat to their ancestral lands in the face of grave consequences.

“Beautifully-made. Sobering and tragic, but ultimately empowering.”

The Yes Men

“Tests Guatemalan society’s willingness to confront what might be today’s biggest challenge: overcoming the social unrest caused by the massive extraction of natural resources.”

Uli Stelzner, Muestra de Cine Internacional Memoria Verdad Justicia

USA, Austria

Vancity Theatre Screening

When a Vienna museum guard befriends an enigmatic visitor, the grand Kunsthistorisches Art Museum becomes a mysterious crossroads which sparks explorations of their lives, the city, and the ways artworks reflect and shape the world.

"On the one hand a sad, poignant character study, "Museum Hours" is also a treatise on art history and a love letter to architectural wonder. A-" Eric Kohn, Indiewire

"Engaginly offbeat… Cerebral stuff, but delivered with warmth, wit and quiet confidence." Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter

"Delightfully accessible…filled with gently moving wit." Ken Eisner, Georgia Straight

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