Film Festival Series
Danny Boyle’s adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel about Edinburgh’s squalid heroin scene in the 1980s is an audacious black comedy, shot through with verve and vehemence. Ewan McGregor and Robert Carlyle head an exceptional cast in one of the defining movies of the 90s.
This satisfying, ingenious mystery thriller finds unexpected new notes in some old tunes. Aki (Ayako Fujitani) is a conflicted Japanese crime novelist who flees a press junket in Tokyo and hops a flight to San Francisco. She meets a handsome young man in the hotel bar, but his susden disappearance propels her into a noir-tinged murder mystery worthy of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.
During the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, Canadian-born cinematographer Alex Phillips (Ontario, 1900) and Spanish-born film director Luis Buñuel (Aragón, 1900), became symbols for Mexican cinema. They worked together twice: on Ascent to Heaven (1952, screens at 6.30pm) and Robinson Crusoe (1954, 8.15pm).
Tickets for this co-presentation are available exclusively through www.vlaff.org and on the door. Vancity Theatre memberships do apply.
When a drifter discovers a very special pair of sunglasses, it gives him a whole new perspective on life. See, these are a kind of x-ray specs. They reveal the true nature of the world we live in: the power elite is in fact an alien race, feeding off our apathy through the promotion of rampant consumerism. Far-fetched? Tell that to Donald Trump…
In what could be construed as a cry for help, John Travolta made it his mission to bring Scientology leader L Ron Hubbard’s sci-fi novel to the screen. He succeeded only too well. The movie was a big budget disaster. Travolta stars as a 9 foot tall alien (a Psychlos) lording it over the humans in a Rasta wig and KISS boots. Fortunately Vancouver’s own Barry Pepper is on hand to win the world back for mankind.
Copresented with Northwest Comedy, this screening will be shown in Hecklevision: allowing you, the audience, to text your running commentary, barbs, put downs and snark up there on the screen.
James D Cooper
In one of the year’s best, but underseen, music docs, James D Cooper tells the story of The Who through the eyes of the men who discovered, mentored and managed them: Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp.
"Illuminates the glory and tumult of the band’s rise with unexpected candor.. it’s the rare truthful and beautiful film about the rock ’n’ roll life." Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice
Jason Da Silva
An artist talk by filmmaker / media artist / activist Jason DaSilva. Mr. Da Silva is the director of t
“We’ve come this evening to bring you some joy, happiness, inspiration, and some pos-i-tive vi-brations,” Mavis Staples tells concertgoers at the opening of this irresistible portrait of the irrepressible gospel/soul legend – a vow the movie delivers aplenty. Guided by her father, Pops, The Staples Singers married gospel and delta blues in the 50s; sang Freedom songs for the civil rights movement in the 60s; and topped the Billboard charts with “Respect Yourself” and “I’ll Take You There” in the 1970s. Interviewees include Bob Dylan and Jeff Tweedy but it’s Mavis’s huge voice that does the real talking. You’ll have a blast.
Are 4 wheels better than 2? Director Fredrik Gertten (Big Boys Gone Bananas!*) investigates the daily drama of traffic worldwide and the bicycle as a tool for change. Travelling from São Paulo, Los Angeles and Toronto, where cyclists fight daily for their right to the road, to Copenhagen, where forty percent of the population commutes by bike, Gertten meets activists and thinkers who are working for revolutionary changes. Bikes vs Cars is an intimate and powerful look at how to move away from car-centric models and toward livable cities.
Steve Jobs went from computer nerd to entrepreneur, rock star, genius, and guru, and reshaped the world we live in while he was about it. But for all his accomplishments, does he really merit his near-universal acclaim and adulation? Alex Gibney (The Armstrong Lie; Going Clear) reveals the dark side of the Apple founder: his ego, ruthlessness (even when dealing with friends and loved ones), and dubious business ethics.
The charismatic Giuseppe Marinoni has been making some of the most desirable bicycle frames in Canada for decades. A competitive cyclist in Italy in his youth, he decides, at age 75, to attempt a World Record for distance cycled in one hour for his age group. Giuseppe’s determination and perseverance lead him back to his native Italy for his training and, ultimately, his attempt at the record. This is a film not only for the spandex-and-helmet crowd but for anyone who believes that a man’s reach should exceed his grasp.
It’s not a plant, not a fungi, and not an animal. It has no brain… yet it’s alive, it feeds, makes decisions, and it moves. Welcome to the world of slime mold, a single cell substance so strange scientists speculate it may be a visitor from outer space! "Imagine if Stanley Kubrick and Douglas Trumbull were tasked with making a 1970s educational science film about the pods from Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers and you’re some way to understanding The Creeping Garden." James Marsh, Twitch
"Like Breaking Bad in real life," (Newsweek), Cartel Land plunges us into the heart of darkness, the front lines of Mexico’s narco wars, where the Knights Templar wreak havoc on anyone who opposes them, and into Arizona’s "Cocaine Alley", where paramilitaries vainly attempt to bolster the border patrols.
Long in rights limbo (and never issued on bluray), GHOSTS… Of The Civil Dead is a near legendary Australian prison drama co-written and starring Nick Cave, and the feature debut of director John Hillcoat (The Road; The Proposition). Hard-hitting doesn’t begin to do it justice, this is an intense, scary, provocative film, but one that seems more relevant than ever judging by the mini-industry in prison-building that has taken over North America in the interim.
Winner of the awards for Best Canadian Film and Best BC film at VIFF 2014, and subsequently named the Best BC Film by the Vancouver Film Critics Circle and at the LEO awards, Violent is the debut feature from Andrew Huculiak, drummer for the Vancouver-based band We Are the City. In Bergen, Norway, Dagny (the incandescent Dagny Backer Johnsen), sets out on her life’s journey, and feelings of togetherness and isolation, love and solitude rise to the surface.
American filmmaker Jon Jost is an uncompromising artist whose work stands apart not only from the Hollywood mainstream, but also from the off-Hollywood pseudo-independent sector. Jost has been remarkably prolific since switching from 35mm film to digital video in the late 90s - his website lists 20 feature length works in as many years. Distribution of this late work has been piecemeal at best, but judging by the two films we are screening this evening it deserves to be widely seen, enjoyed, and discussed. Both are narrative features, and even if Jost employs very different storytelling strategies from those we are used to these remain direct, accessible portraits of the emotional landscape in the American heartlands, distilled and dissected with singular clarity and insight. We are delighted to welcome Jon Jost to VIFF Vancity Theatre for these shows and acknowledge the support of Cineworks.
A man (played by avant garde filmmaker James Benning), father of two sons by two wives, calls his fractured family to his disheveled home. He informs them of his state of health, and requests their help in committing suicide. The film reveals the impact on the family as they confront their father/husband. The means by which this evoked is visual and poetic, expressed tonally rather than as plot.
Marlon Brando’s definitive performance as Terry Malloy, a New York dockworker (and once a promising boxer) who loses faith in his union and his smarter but corrupt older brother Charlie (Rod Steiger) after a whistleblower is murdered. Directed on location with staggering fervor by Elia Kazan, On the Waterfront transcends its blunt ideological premise through the sensitivity of its playing… Without this movie we’d probably never have had Mean Streets or Raging Bull, The Godfather or The Wire.
When a homicide detective makes the fateful decision to cover up a hit-and-run accident which kills a man, he invites karmic retribution on a grand scale in this wickedly ingenious suspense thriller.
“A masterclass in throat-squeezing, stomach-knotting suspense loaded with smart plot twists, dark humor and high-gloss visuals." Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter
Estranged brothers Toph and Cooper take a road trip to their remote cabin to evict a squatter. Buried resentment and bruised egos derail the plan, and with their lives at stake, they must work together to survive.