Three twenty-something brothers are sent on a wilderness adventure designed as the last will and testament of their late and eccentric parents. In order to gain their inheritance, the three must all complete the trek together. Along the way, Daniel (the eldest, a father and business man), Tyler (the middle son, aimless and sensitive), and Jordan (the youngest brother, sweet and naive) encounter their eccentric stoner guide, Carter Cooper Jr., who seems to heighten the tension on an already tenuous trip.
Rocked by a grim medical diagnosis, James (Patrick McFadden) flees the crushing tedium of city life, trading it all for untamed wilderness and solitude. He retreats further and further into the woods of British Columbia, only to gradually find himself the target of increasingly inexplicable and disturbing manifestations, which point to a frightening truth: he is not alone.
"They’re going to be carrying ravished film students out of the theaters on stretchers," wrote Terrence Rafferty in the New Yorker when this astonishing Soviet-made portrait of Castro’s Cuba was rediscovered in the mid 1990s. Featuring some of the jaw-dropping camerawork ever filmed (and decades before the invention of the Steadicam), the movie is a euphoric celebration of Cuba, the Revolution, and (most potently) revolutionary cinema.
35mm print courtesy Milestone Films
At the age of 57, after years of blue collar jobs and another 20 years of small clubs and no breaks, Sharon Jones seemed finally to have hit the big time with her band the Dap-Kings. Then she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. But that wasn’t going to stop her. Directed by legendary documentarian Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, USA), Miss Sharon Jones! is part music film, part cancer survival story, and 100% soul.
Remember Anthony Weiner, the rising Democrat congressman forced out of office after a humiliating sexting scandal? Two years later he was encouraged to run for mayor of New York City, and allowed a documentary team to follow his comeback. But things didn’t go according to plan…
Out of the shadowy world of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Ken Foster emerges as an enigmatic figure. A prolific artist, Foster is known as much for his beautifully distorted renditions of iconic cityscapes as he is for peddling them on the streets to support a serious crack habit and subdue a schizophrenic mind.
The true story of a Victorian circus freak, John Merrick (played by John Hurt) “saved” by a philanthropic doctor and adopted by polite society. Again filming in black and white (as he had for Eraserhead), Lynch turned Dickensian London into a feverish, infernal environment where the normal and the monstrous can switch places. His most conventional film, Elephant Man was widely praised and nominated for eight Academy Awards
Juan Manuel Sepúlveda
Juan Manuel Sepúlveda spent two years hanging out in Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park in the Downtown Eastside, getting to know its regulars and letting his camera roll. With his keen sense of framing, the action remains within the confines of the park and films the daily life of Harley, Bear, Janet and Dave.
In this frightening year of political tumult and violence in the US, few recent films get closer to revealing the roots of unrest than this unflinching slice of raw Americana, a graphic, ground-breaking portrait of Louisiana’s dirt poor and the Texan libertarian militia from Italian filmmaker Roberto Minervini.
Hans Petter Moland
This Fargo-esque Scandinavian black comic thriller pits mild-mannered snowplough operator Nils (the great Stellen Skarsgaard) in the midst of a bloody revenge saga between warring drug gangs. Before you can say "the man with no name", Nils is pitting one against the other and burying the bodies in the snow drifts…
Riotous and refreshingly honest, this empowering female buddy comedy takes place during a beachside bachelorette party, where six women from diverse backgrounds examine what it means to be a woman in contemporary India. Winner of Grolsch People’s Choice Award (1st Runner Up) at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival and The Audience Choice Award at Rome Film Festival 2015.
Jack Pettibone Riccobono
Two men struggle to define who they are and what path they will take in this artful, gritty and unforgettable portrait of life on the White Earth Indian Reservation in northwestern Minnesota. Terrence Malick, Chris Eyre and Natalie Portman present this sometimes troubling, sometimes transcendent vision of life on the edge.
An ex-prostitute starts a new life by marrying her loved one but leaving the shadow of her dark past is not as easy as it seemed before. Now she is the prisoner of her loved one and to earn her freedom she must fight with the masculine society…
Two films from the great Glauber Rocha, the most influential filmmaker in Brazilian history, a pioneer of militant political cinema who caught the new wave spirit of the 1960s.
Co-presented by VIFF Vancity Theatre and the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival. Tickets are available from vlaff.org and on the door.
The Ayatollah Khomeini meets punk rock in this spirited adaptation of Marjane Satrapi’s celebrated graphic novel. When Iran’s Islamic Revolution hits home, nine-year-old Marjane remains determined to discover all that life has to offer. Splendidly voiced by an all-star cast including Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Sean Penn and Iggy Pop.
‘I was bleeding internally all over and I didn’t know it. My eyes were bleeding, my hands, everything except my brain and my liver… then I realised I was LaMotta, I’d make the movie about me.’ In the throes of a near-fatal drug problem Martin Scorsese made what he believed could be his last movie. Its subject: the Bronx Bull, Jake La Motta, a graceless but indomitable boxer who never quits beating himself up. Punishing, painful and pitiless, with the ultimate Method performance from Robert De Niro at its core, it’s in many ways the culmination of the American psycho-realist tradition, but this is realism pushing through towards spiritual redemption by way of Scorsese’s heightened subjective style.
Black Mud is a coming-of-age road film about an impulsive 19 year old who decides to take his younger brother out of foster care and travels across country from Southern Ontario to the Alberta Tar Sands. Along with the help of a young woman they meet on the road, they journey west in hopes of starting a better life.
Pieter van Huystee
Famous for his still shocking paintings of hell, Dutch painter Hieronymous Bosch died 500 years ago. This late-medieval artist caused uproar with his fantastical and utterly uniquely diabolical work. In preparation for a special exhibition at the Noordbrabants Museum in the city of Den where Bosch lived, a team of Dutch art historians crisscross the globe to unravel the secrets of his art.
Autumn Fall is an adult drama/comedy set in beautiful Oslo. Ingvld works as a lightning technician at the National Theatre but dreams of writing for the stage. However she can’t stand actors. She still manages to entangle herself with two thespians, one a notorious hell raiser and she embarks on an exciting, scandalous, and utimately very dangerous journey that changes her life forever.