Two short films from the Vancouver based producer, writer, director Jonathan Kitzen, including last year’s Academy Award-winning non-fiction short subject The Lady in Number Six: Music Saved My Life (a portrait of 109 year old Holocaust survivor Alcie Herz Sommer), and his new film, Soldiers’ Stories, a war remembrance document that draws parallels between the Battle of the Somme in WWI and today’s conflicts. The latter is presented in 3D and introduced by Jonathan Kitzen.
Award winning Vancouver filmmaker Julia Kwan trains her eye on our own backyard, Chinatown, Pender, Hastings and Main St, and no matter how well you think you know this area, you’re bound to come away with new insights into the people and businesses that make up this once vibrant community. It’s a neighbourhood in transition, a culture in decline - or on the cusp of gentrification. This isn’t an advocacy doc, but a wise, ruminative portrait, an elegy perhaps, but also a celebration of entrepreneurial energy, resilience and creativity.
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!
Thanks to an astonishing performance by Pierre Niney that masterfully mimics the iconic designer’s impish bearing and aura of genius, Yves Saint Laurent is reborn in this suitably stylish, well-tailored biopic. Lespert doesn’t hesitate in giving this great life and grand love affair the operatic treatment it deserves.
Michael Ironside stars in this slightly bizarre and squirmy little thriller as a misogynistic psycho who fixates on a feminist activist (Lee Grant), ultimately setting off an obsessive and brutal stalking scenario that culminates inside a labyrinthine hospital where she’s recovering in following an attack.
Red herrings abound in Paul Lynch’s Canadian slasher, leading up to a killer cat-and-mouse chase through Hamilton High School, and a bloody finale that takes place on the dance floor, on prom night! Starring 80’s scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis. "If you’re not back by midnight, you won’t be coming home!"
"Prom Night II is a well-made rip-off of every largely successful horror film of the last 30 years. Elements of A Nightmare on Elm Street (dream-like murders, exaggerated deaths), The Exorcist (possession that brings out unkempt sexual urges, a priest trying to reconcile), and Carrie (Vicki’s vendetta at the prom, her overbearing religious mother) are all mixed into a familiar, yet devilishly entertaining brew."
The title is a prison term for the graduation from a youth offenders’ detention centre to an adult correctional facility, which happens to be the journey taken by 19 year old Eric (Jack O’Connell) in this explosive British drama. The prison also happens to be home to Eric’s estranged father (Ben Mendelsohn), though the reunion is not a happy one…
"An edgy, teeming thriller, brilliantly disorienting." New York Magazine
"Starred Up is an edgy, teeming thriller, brilliantly disorienting, making strange a world we thought we knew, at least from other movies." David Edelstein, New York Magazine
"O’Connell bristles with terrifying hair-trigger unpredictability. Watching him, you feel like you’re witnessing the arrival of a new movie star." Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
"Brutal and boisterous… Turns the complicated dynamic between a young prisoner and his problematic mentor into a ferocious psychodrama that locks you in and refuses to let you go." AO Scott, The New York Times
A slippery Texan corkscrew thriller in the tradition of the Coens’ Blood Simple and No Country for Old Men, this has Michael C Hall shooting a burglar and then dealing with the fall out when the victim’s father (Sam Shepard) shows up in town. Don Johnson is also on hand with a scene stealing turn as private eye.
"One of those movies that arrives every now and then with no fanfare but a canny sense of how to grab our attention and hold it in a tightening grip." Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"A character-driven thriller with more twists than an off-the-map dirt road, awards-quality performances from the three leads, a rare sensitivity to the after-effects of horror and a sure directorial hand." Kim Newman, Empire
"It is a brutal, beautifully shot movie that starts out to be about revenge but then becomes something more, something even more primal and disturbing." Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
Set in a small Canadian mining town, this killer-out-for-revenge scenario succeeded in capitalizing on the craze of creative-killer slasher films by making an almost by-the-numbers horror flick that nails every bloody, requisite mark – resulting in a solid cult following (including Quentin Tarantino) and making it one of the top-grossing slasher movies of all time. Screening in the uncut version.
"The best slasher movie of all time." Quentin Tarantino
Considered one of the best films of the silent era, Sunrise was the first American film by German Expressionist director F.W. Murnau. The story, about three people only identified as Man, Wife and Woman from the City (who bobs her hair, wears a black décolleté slip and smokes!), is about the man losing his mind to the vamp and then regaining it. Sunrise features the most innovative camerawork of the decade.
Introduced by Jim Sinclair, artistic director of The Cinematheque.
Tacoma garage rock band Girl Trouble has always traveled on their own unique and idiosyncratic musical path. For over 30 years, they have been standard- bearers for the collaborative spirit and do-it-yourself aesthetic that the Northwest’s indie rock scene was founded on. Director Isaac Olsen weaves together the band’s treasure trove of treasured memorabilia with present-day interviews with the band’s numerous collaborators, including Neko Case, Calvin Johnson, and Art Chantry. But ultimately, Olsen wisely lets the band members tell the story of their journey from self-proclaimed “weirdos” to Tacoma’s local champions and defenders of rock and roll.
Arild Østin Ommundsen
Keenly poised between compassion and violence, this gripping slice of Nordic noir is a suspense drama that doubles as a character study. It’s also a rare crime thriller with a sympathetic female protagonist at its heart. Released from prison 9 years after a fateful shooting, Jenny tries to put her life back on the straight and narrow - but past associates have other ideas. A tour de force from writer-director-editor-cinematographer Ommundsen, and from his wife, Salomonsen.
"Stylish… Impressive… Delicate and brutal." Hollywood Reporter
One of the most popular movies at this year’s VIFF, this is both an acute psychological study and a deadpan comedy of manners, a portrait of a family riven by the father’s instinctive act of cowardice in the face of an avalanche during a skiing holiday. For all his attempts to pretend that nothing has happened, everything has changed. But what to do about it?
"An ice cold knockout. Brilliantly perceptive and frostily funny." Aaron Hills, Village Voice
"Damning, frequently hilarious study of imploding male ego." AV Club
"Visually stunning. Emotionally perceptive." Variety
Mary Lou Maloney is burned to death, but she returns to the prom thirty years later to possess high school student Vicki Carpenter, who becomes plagued with crazy hallucinations and proceeds to go on a supernatural killing spree in this darkly funny follow-up to the 1980 slasher hit. Genre fave Micheal Ironside playing the principal is the icing on the Canadian horror movie cake.
"Prom Night II is a dark film that borrows more from Freud than from the slasher original. It is a dark and inventive exploration of the subconscious, and is in many ways a much better film than its 1980 predecessor. A devilishly entertaining brew." Rhett Miller, Canuxploitation!
Marking the 40th Anniversary of the release of this solid gold classic with a restored DCP screening, this is a rare chance to see one of the most acclaimed Hollywood movies of the last half century on the big screen. Jack Nicholson is LA private eye Jake Gittes, a two-bit snoop who stumbles on a crime (and a crook) so large it could be the last thing he ever learns.
"Flawless" Philip French, The Observer
"Unmissable." Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
"Unforgettable." Neil Smith, Total Film
Fifteen years and 9 Antarctic winters in the making, Powell’s film gives a glimpse into what it is like to spend a full year living and working in the harshest place on the planet, presenting a never-before-seen insider’s view of the frozen south. It’s a dazzling movie, but never more so than in long, endless nights of the Antarctic winter, when the sun never rises, time stands still, and the aurora australis puts on a private show of heavenly dimensions. "An extraordinary achievement that reinvigorates our sense of wonder about the natural world." NZ Herald
You’ll think twice before using that overworked word “awesome” again after seeing Anthony Powell’s film […] There are moments when what Powell’s cameras have captured will bring you to tears. Which is why you need to see it in the dark, on a big screen." Helene Wong, The NZ Listener
Former intelligence officer John Le Carre wrote his first espionage novel in 1962, just a year after the completion of the Berlin Wall, which loomed large in the book. That same wall - demolished 25 year ago, Nov 9, 1989 - also figures in the opening and closing scenes of Martin Ritt’s acclaimed film adaptation. It’s one of the key Cold War movies, the antithesis of James Bond escapism, and features arguably Richard Burton’s finest screen performance.
The Elizabeth Bagshaw Women’s Clinic’s fundraiser screens Obvious Child, a rom-com like no other, followed by a silent auction. Obvious Child follows a budding stand-up comedian and the challenges she encounters.
Tickets can be purchased at http://ebwc.brownpapertickets.com for $15 in advance and $20 at the door (cash only)
In the first of our two-part tribute to the late great crime novelist Elmore Leonard, a kidnapping plot hits a snag when it turns out the corrupt developer played by Tim Robbins doesn’t particularly care to get his wife back - he was on the point of filing for divorce. An unofficial "pre-quel" to Jackie Brown, this witty comedy thriller introduces the characters played by Robert De Niro, Samuel L Jackson and Bridget Fonda in the Tarantino movie (and here, by John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey, and Isla Fisher). Jennifer Aniston and Will Forte also star.
"This is a droll and well-observed comedy thriller that recreates the 1970s in convincing fashion while retaining enough of a sense of menace to avoid ever drifting off into whimsy." Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent
Someone is killing aboriginal girls on a remote stretch of road, but no one seems to care… That’s the set up for this evocative Australian thriller, a genre movie which doubles as a critique of post colonial racism and corruption and which should echo loud and strong in British Columbia.
"Imagine a racially charged Outback Chinatown and you have the measure of this terrific Aussie noir written, shot, directed, edited and scored by Ivan Sen. As Aaron Pederson’s aboriginal detective returns home to investigate a murder, he discovers a township driven by corruption, where the fug of meth and malaise has made life lose all value." Total Film
" Mystery Road has the evil, epic sweep of LA Confidential, but a grimmer grasp on reality, burning a long trail of TNT to a final, point-blank showdown." Nick Hasted, The Arts Desk