Why does the law bestow on private corporations the rights of individuals citizen, but few of the responsibilities? Since its supremely successful release in 2002 this homegrown documentary has only (and sadly) grown more timely. Screening here in a newly revised 2 hour cut specifically aimed at educational distribution networks.
"A cogent, compelling, powerful argument, and a terrific movie."—Glenn Kenny, Premiere
One of Almodovar’s very best, this strange and lustrous love story involves two men and two comatose women (one of them a bullfighter). It sounds weird because it is weird - yet by the end it also feels very true, very natural, and totally heartfelt.
"Talk to Her is totally in love with passion, and with love."—The New York Times
"Talk to Her is very much a subversive film, one that takes its time creeping in under your skin. But once there, it’s determined to stay awhile, to entice the mind into playing seditious games."—Kenneth Turan, LA Times
"Pure cinematic intoxication, a wildly inventive mixture of comedy and melodrama, tastelessness and swooning elegance."—Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
Jesse Eisenberg take 2: here he’s timid office worker Simon James, a non-person to most, including the lovely Hannah (Mia Wasikowska), a co-worker who is also the apple of his eye. Enter charismatic young hotshot James Simon (Eisenberg again). No one seems to notice he’s the spitting image of Simon, and though at first he feigns a certain friendliness to his near-namesake, it’s not long before the new man has begun to take over his job, his apartment, his girl, his entire life... Richard Aoyade’s Dostoevsky adaptation riffs on Kafka, Welles and Gilliam to chillingly hilarious effect.
"As a pure head-trip visual and auditory experience it feels like one of the biggest discoveries, and biggest surprises, of 2014."—Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com
"Daring, hilarious and wickedly clever."—The Playist (Indiewire)
More than one critic compared Jacques Audiard’s forceful, rich prison drama to The Godfather. Audiard uses the prison as a microcosm in this allegory for how to get ahead in the twenty-first century.
"If Malik doesn’t remind you of Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone on his journey from innocence to corruption in The Godfather saga, well ... he should. A Prophet is similarly, startlingly momentous."—Steven Rea, Philadeliphia Inquirer
"It’s a highly original film made in a familiar context, and an exciting moviegoing experience you shouldn’t miss."—Andrew O’Hehir, Salon
"A Prophet is the kind of film that makes you remember why going to the movies can be a thrilling experience."—Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
Loosely based on a real incident involving a Cistercian order of monks kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists in Algeria, Beauvois’s film is an austere but gripping meditation on faith and fraternity.
"Of Gods and Men, a transcendent drama of uplift and inspiration, reveals the cavernous divide between heaven and Earth."—Peter Howell, Globe and Mail
"Beautiful, somber and rigorously intelligent."—AO Scott, New York Times
One of the most acclaimed — and revelatory — music documentaries in the last few years, this Academy Award-winning film investigates, the life, work and mysterious disappearance of the 70s singer-songwriter Rodriguez. Screening in tribute to director Malik Bendjelloul, who committed suicide earlier this year.
"A hugely appealing documentary about fans, faith and an enigmatic Age of Aquarius musician who burned bright and hopeful before disappearing."—Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"All you really have to know about this surprising and emotive music doc is that you should see it."—Trevor Johnston, Time Out
Over the past two decades, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Doug Block has supported his career with a side business of videotaping weddings. Long curious about how their marriages have turned out, he tracks down and interviews some of the more memorable of his 112 wedding couples - with funny, insightful and moving results.
"Quirky, entertaining, and heartwarming."—Toronto Film Scene
"Simple in execution, but unmistakably rich in dialogue of the complexities of married life, Doug Block has lensed a wonderfully playful, startlingly tragic film that will surely move anyone who’s ever been in love and question anyone considering marriage themselves."—Jordan M Smith, Ion cinema
"Block finds the extraordinary in the patient observation of everyday life."—Michel Gondry
In a future where a failed global-warming experiment kills off most life on the planet, a class system evolves aboard the Snowpiercer, a bullet train that travels around the globe via a perpetual-motion engine. From acclaimed director Bong Joon-ho (The Host; Mother; Memories of Murder) comes the coolest action pic of the summer, a class allegory delivered with slambang violence, visual panache, and delirious conviction - and starring Captain America himself!
"Politically provocative and visually spectacular Snowpiercer — the best action film of 2014, and probably the best film, period." — Andrew O’Hehir, Salon
"Watching it, I was reminded of the first time I experienced The Matrix or District 9. Snowpiercer sucks you into its strange, brave new world so completely, it leaves you with the all too rare sensation that you’ve just witnessed something you’ve never seen before ... and need to see again and again. A" — Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
"Gets at a kind of daring, giddy excitement that plays like something our movies have lost." — Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
James Ward Byrkit
Imagine Luis Bunuel’s Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie crossed with Shane Carruth’s Primer and Lars von Trier’s Melancholia... Or just imagine a dinner party with friends, a dinner party that starts out quite normally, but which takes a dramatic turn towards the surreal when the power goes out – apparently connected to the proximity of a passing comet. Two guests venture out to the one house in the vicinity which mysteriously still has power. Before the night is done everyone present will have to rethink what they’re doing there, their longest and most intimate relationships, and indeed, who they really think they are…
"You walk away from it with your brain on fire."—Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine
"The result is an uncommonly clever genre movie, reliant not on special effects—of which there are basically none—but on heavy doses of paranoia."—AA Dowd, AV Club
"No budget filmmaking at its most delectably inventive."—Mike D’Angelo, The Dissolve
Juan José Campanella
A multi-layered and poignant thriller interweaving the personal lives of a state prosecution investigator (Ricardo Darin) and a judge, with a manhunt spanning twenty-five years.
Winner: Academy Award, Best Foreign Language Film
"The wonder is that the film balances its many genres, from the thorns of murder to the bloom of romance to the thickets of politics, with such easy grace. 4/4"—Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"This beautiful film, directed with subtlety and grace by Juan José Campanella, really is about moving from fear to love."—Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"Secret is bound to linger in the memory for years."—Betsy Sharkey, LA Times
For his first North American movie the acclaimed French filmmaker Laurent Cantet (The Class; Time Out) came to Canada to film Joyce Carol Oates’ novel about a girl gang in the 1950s. Inspired by their leader, "Legs", the gang fights back against disciplinarian school masters, abusive employers, predatory males and neglectful parents — eventually establishing their own quasi-"collective". "A frequently thrilling evocation of teen lives." Empire
"A frequently thrilling evocation of teen lives. Proof that The Class and Time Out were no pan flashes. 4/5"—Angie Errigo, Empire
"Impressively directed and superbly written, this is a riveting and emotionally engaging drama with some thought-provoking ideas and terrific performances from its young cast of unknowns. Highly recommended."—Matt Turner, View
"As beautiful as it is surprising, Cantet’s Foxfire girls appear like the ancestors of Pussy Riot."—Les Inrockuptibles
Jonathan Demme returns to his favourite subject - Neil Young - for their third collaboration in six years. This is an intimate and intense account of Young returning to his homeland and performing a couple of blistering shows at Massey Hall in the spring of 2011.
"Shooting a couple of rapturously received gigs performed by a band-less Young at Toronto’s historic Massey Hall in May, 2011, Demme not only had his camera crew get up the singer’s nose (literally), he affixed small stationary cameras inside a piano, on the microphone stand and elsewhere to capture his subject’s every grimace, gliss of sweat and fleck of spittle ... At film’s end, one is left in awe at the richness of Young’s oeuvre (which admittedly sometimes makes Bob Dylan’s seem like tidings of great joy), his stamina and his questing spirit." — James Adams, Globe and Mail
"A feast for Neil Young lovers and initiates alike." — Peter Rainier, Christian Sience Monitor
In the northern Philippine province of Luzon, a law-school dropout commits a horrific double murder; a gentle family man takes the fall and receives a life sentence, leaving behind a wife and two kids. A careful rethinking of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment shot in blazing color, this tour de force offers a masterful recapitulation of Diaz’s longstanding obsessions: cultural memory, national guilt, and the origin of evil. "A masterpiece. An astonishing work of life, death and art."—Wesley Morris
"Its very existence is an exhilarating triumph over complacency... there is an almost inexhaustible humanism at the heart of this remarkable film."—A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“The lights came up, I stood with tears in my eyes, and clapped as loudly as I ever have for any movie in my life.”—Wesley Morris, Grantland
“A mesmerising experience that grows deeper and broader the longer it goes on”—Kieran Corless, Sight and Sound
Andrew Droz Palermo
Against the odds, the American Dream endures in small towns like Rich Hill, Missouri — but as this poetic, poignant doc makes clear, life is anything but easy for teenage boys growing up in a place where the tracks don’t seem to have a "right" side.
Winner: Grand Jury Prize for Documentary, Sundance Film Festival
"A truly moving and edifying film, Rich Hill is the type of media object that could and should be put in a time capsule for future generations."—Katie Walsh, The Playlist (Indiewire)
"Open-hearted ... deeply empathetic."—Peter Debruge, Variety
"Often heartbreaking."—Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter
Richard Eyre’s produciton of Verdi’s masterpiece has been one of the most successful opera stagings in the long and celebrated history of the Royal Opera House. We present the original, definitive incarnation of that production, starring the incomparable Renee Fleming as the ill-fated courtesan Violetta, oppose Joseph Calleja as Alfredo and Thomas Hapson as his unyielding father.
Even art-house aficionados were unprepared for the dramatic sophistication and depth on display in this blistering domestic drama from Iran’s Asghar Farhadi (About Elly; The Past). It was as if Ingmar Bergman had been reborn in Tehran, to dissect the dissolution of a middle class marriage. Dense, riveting and complex, this is masterly filmmaking that repays repeat viewing.
"A Separation serves as a quiet reminder of how good it’s possible for movies to be."—Dana Stevens, Slate
"A Separation is totally foreign and achingly familiar. It’s a thrilling domestic drama that offers acute insights into human motivations and behavior as well as a compelling look at what goes on behind a particular curtain that almost never gets raised."—Kenneth Turan, LA Times
Arguably the most popular building site in the world, the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona is still a work in progress, 125 years after the first stones were laid. Designed by the controversial Catalan genius Antonio Gaudi, the Sagrada is a testament to Faith ... Faith in God, in the natural forms that so inspired the architect, and also in man, for Gaudi always knew this work would have to be completed long after his life-time.
"This film is more than a documentary, it tells the story using beautiful and quiet images of the transformation of ideas, talks of human endeavour for perfection and in so doing, illustrates that the essential meaning of this edifice lies in its creation process and not only in its completion.
This creative process is illustrated in varying perspectives from inside the incomplete church as well as the complex structure of the exterior parts of the church.
The film gives cause for self-reflection on how the past and present are related, portraying people and destinies involved in the construction of the church and ultimately proves that something incomplete also has its own significance."—Jury citation, Erasmus Euro Media Awards
"Both exhaustive and astounding in its detective-like exploration of the history of the impossibly ornate Catalonian house of worship."—Jackson Scarlett, 7x7SF
Two couples are devastated to learn that their children were swapped at birth six years ago. Are blood ties thicker than the bond of child rearing? This masterly, very moving drama won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and the Audience Award at last year’s VIFF.
"Sublimely moving."—Maggie Lee, Variety
’Powered by Kore-eda’s innate restraint and natural empathy, Like Father, Like Son takes these characters to places they never expected to be. It’s unnerving for them, of course, but watching so many hearts hanging in the balance is a rare privilege for us."—Kenneth Turan, LA Times
"Kore-eda has crafted a piercing, tender poem about the bittersweet ebb and flow of paternal love, and his status as Ozu’s heir becomes ever more assured."—Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
In the first of our series bringing you opera productions from London’s Royal Opera House, a chance to enjoy the company’s new staging of Richard Wagner’s epic, his final masterpiece. A young man ignorant of everything, including his own name, arrives at the Kingdom of the Holy Grail. Is he the ‘pure fool, enlightened by compassion’, who, it has been prophesied, will purify the kingdom?
Running time includes two intermissions.
An unforgettable experience!
This extraordinary documentary - one of the most popular films at VIFF last year - shuttles from New York to France to Chicago as it traces the life story of the late Vivian Maier, a career nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs has earned her a posthumous reputation as one of America’s most accomplished and insightful street photographers.
"Compelling... haunting... captivating." — Variety
"Poignant, informative, occasionally disturbing." — Globe and Mail