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Jacques Demy

DEMY MONDE: The Cinema of Jacques Demy
Director: Jacques Demy

The queen dies. Before her last breath, she makes her husband promise that he will only marry a woman more beautiful than herself. The king finds only one person that meets these conditions: the princess, his own daughter. Based on the fairy tale Peau d’Ane by Charles Perrault.

"Like Demy’s other movies it’s one of a kind, at once monstrously Oedipal and charmingly infantile; Deneuve manages to be both hilarious and touching in her donkey drag." J Hoberman

(Baie des anges)
DEMY MONDE: The Cinema of Jacques Demy
Director: Jacques Demy

Jean (Claude Mann) arrives in Nice (the "bay of angels") for a holiday. He discovers gambling and meets platinum-blonde Jackie (Jeanne Moreau), a high roller at the casino. Sparks fly between them and passion grows. But is it for one another, or for the game? Jean, still naive, begins his education.

"So existential, so romantic … The great beauty of [Bay] is the way the croupier’s spiraling wheel becomes a metaphor not for life’s randomness, but for its lack of permanence, its riskiness[:] [a] hardened demimondaine can bet on a number and suddenly abandon it to dash after her beloved — an ecstatic ending a few films later revealed as the cause of another heroine’s melancholy" (Fernando F. Croce).

Daniel Dencik

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Daniel Dencik

Taking his cues from Mozart and Metallica, Daniel Dencik gives us a berth on a three-masted schooner exploring Greenland’s icy northeast coast. On board, a motley crew of artists, photographers, geologists, archaeologists, biologists and mariners. The vistas are stunning, and inspire contemplation of the Big Questions - if they don’t get eaten by Polar bears first ...

“A sublimely idiosyncratic odyssey. While the scientists unearth fascinating details of a lost world, the artists in the group mull over the cosmic, and existential, implications, lending the voyage a Beckett-like sense of the absurd ... But even if the film were silent, its eerie landscapes are so breathtaking, and serenely composed, that we’d still be entranced.”—Brian D. Johnson, Maclean's

"With a mood and setting worthy of a murder story by Jack London, this audience-friendly, atmospheric work could be remade as a thriller, although that’s really what it is already."—John Anderson, Variety

Claire Denis

((Les salaux))
Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Claire Denis

From its opening images of a young woman in high heels and nothing else walking through the streets of Paris at night, this hypnotic revenge thriller from master filmmaker Claire Denis is equal parts stark and voluptuous, brutal and sensual, raw and sophisticated.

"It is the darkest movie - visually, psychologically and spiritually - that Denis has made. It’s also one of the rarest of cinematic objects - a completely contemporary, disturbingly relevant film noir." Amy Taubin, Sigh & Sound

"As black and sticky and inescapable as a tar pit - a movie whose darkness swallows its characters and the audience whole." **** Adam Nayman, Globe & Mail

Merlin Dervisevic

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Merlin Dervisevic

In this dark, twisted BC mystery thriller, a man finds himself condemned to a special place in hell, blamed for his wife’s murder – a fact he refuses to accept. His punishment is to eternally re-live that last dreadful day - unless he can prove his innocence…?

Lav Diaz

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Lav Diaz

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

William Dickerson

Director: William Dickerson

’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…

Xavier Dolan

(Tom à la ferme)
Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Xavier Dolan

Dolan’s fourth feature is his most accomplished yet, a slippery, probing thriller with a Hitchcockian score by Gabriel Yared and enough tortuous psychological coupling and decoupling to make Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s head spin. As the eponymous Tom, Dolan comes to bury his lover at the farm where the latter grew up, only to find that the bereaved mother (Roy) knows nothing of her son’s sexuality - a lie that his brother is determined to keep up.

"In Quebec, no one can hear you scream… A tense, potent pleasure: imagine a Claude Chabrol thriller half-drunk on its own feints and seductions… By far his best film." Robbie Colin, Daily Telegraph

"Taut, creepy, compelling and sexy." Ben Walters, Time Out London

Trish Dolman

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Trish Dolman

A compelling, provocative portrait of the inspiring, controversial whale activist Paul Watson, and his relationship in two environmental movements West Coasters know very well: Greenpeace, which he left,and Sea Shepherd, which he founded. 

Director Trish Dolman will introduce the film via skype. Filmmaker Kevin Eastwood will be in attendance for this special screening, along with Sea Shepherd cofounder Ron Precious and Paul Watson for a Q&A via skype.

"Compelling… haunting… captivating." Variety

"[A] thoroughly thought-provoking and emotionally poignant portrait of a Canadian outlaw." 4/5 Katherine Monk, Vancouver Sun

Andrew Dominick

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Andrew Dominick

Inexplicably repudiated by most critics and audiences last year, Killing Them Softly is ripe for rediscovery, a highly stylized, caustic satire which uses a hired killer (Brad Pitt) as an emblem for the last word in private enterprise. Based on George V Higgins’ novel Cogan’s Trade, but updated to the economic meltdown (and Presidential election campaign) of 2008, and set in a mildewed, post Katrina New Orleans, the movie may be the last great film noir. Gandolfini is at his very best as another professional killer, a bloated, vicious, self-pitying wreck of a man, perhaps the ghost of Coogan’s Future.

"Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly is a slick ensemble-nightmare of middle-management mobster brutality and incompetence in the tradition of Goodfellas and Casino, Pulp Fiction and TV’s The Sopranos, with something of the opening voiceover monologue from the Coens’ Blood Simple: the one about being on your own. It is outstandingly watchable, superbly and casually pessimistic… a smart, nasty, gripping movie." Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Clive Donner

Woody Allen: Spring Collection
Director: Clive Donner

What’s old, pussycat? Allen’s first produced screenplay did not turn out the way he wanted, but this swung-out nineteen sexties farce is at the very least a fascinating time capsule, so chauvinist it would make Austin Powers blush. But get a load of that cast! Peters O’Toole and Sellers, Romy Schneider, Paula Prentiss, Ursula Andress and Woody too.

Dominic Dromgoole

Shakespeare’s Globe on Screen
Director: Dominic Dromgoole

Shakespeare’s masterpiece of the turbulence of war and the arts of peace tells the romantic story of Henry’s campaign to recapture the English possessions in France.

"Jamie Parker makes a fantastic Henry V."—The Independent

"Bold and enthralling."—The Times

Shakespeare’s Globe on Screen
Director: Dominic Dromgoole

Bringing the pinnacle of English theatre to cinema audiences around the world, Globe on Screen presents brand new productions of Shakespeare’s plays presented in the famous Globe theatre in London, recreating the space and audience experience the Bard would have envisaged.

Shakespeare’s teasing, glittering, hilarious and amazingly inventive play showcases some of his most dazzling dramatic poetry with its seriousness only fleetingly glimpsed beneath the dreamlike surface.

"The Globe at its crowdpleasing best ... Hilarious and hearty."Time Out London

Andrew Droz Palermo

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: 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

Tracy Droz Tragos

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Tracy Droz Tragos

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

Bruno Dumont

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Bruno Dumont

In one of her most profound performances Juliette Binoche plays sculptress Camille Claudel some years after she has been committed to an asylum by her family. Pinning her hopes on a longed-for visit from her brother, Camille enjoys a degree of trust and respect from the nuns, but her composure is fragile, and she remains bitter and paranoid when the subject of her old lover Auguste Rodin comes up. Most tragically of all, she refuses to return to her work. Dumont’s film is restrained, sometimes harrowing, but singularly authentic and deeply felt - an experience you will not soon forget.

“I wait for each new film by Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Abbas Kiarostami, Claire Denis and Bruno Dumont. I enjoy all sorts of films, but those are the people that really interest me. I admire the Dardenne brothers tremendously, but I feel closest, in my work, to Dumont. Dumont’s films are basically existential works, philosophical films, not political ones. I think of my own films that way.” Michael Haneke (Amour).

"A mesmerizingly intense yet controlled lead by Juliette Binoche." Jonathan Romney, Screen International

"Heartbreaking." Guy Lodge, Variety

Clarissa Duque

Richard Eyre

The Royal Opera House presents...
Director: Richard Eyre

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.

Tickets $22

Asghar Farhadi

Mongrel Media 20th Anniversary
Director: Asghar Farhadi

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

John Fawcett

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: John Fawcett

Introduced by UBC Film professor Ernest Mathijs, author of the first book length study of the movie, a rare chance to see arguably the best Canadian horror movie of the new millennium in 35mm. Emily Perkins and Katherine Isabelle star.

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