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!
VIFF Vancity Theatre and the Cinematheque join together this weekend to celebrate the centenary of a cinema landmark. In the Land of the Head Hunters was the first feature film made in B.C. and is the oldest extant feature made in Canada. It’s also the first feature made with an entirely indigenous North American cast and arguably the first ever documentary feature. A portrait of the Kwakwaka’wakw (formerly Kwakiutl) people of northern Vancouver Island and the central coast, it was directed by Edward S. Curtis, the renowned American photographer of First Nations life.
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
The continuing misadventures of Ordell (now played by Samuel L Jackson), Louis (Robert De Niro), and Melanie (Bridget Fonda) - the characters from Life of Crime. This time they’re fixing to get hold of a half million dollars by way of air stewardess Jackie Brown (the incomparable Pam Grier). It’s Tarantino’s most mature and soulful movie.
"The movie that proves Tarantino is the real thing." Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Join us for a screening of this VIFF double prize-winning documentary followed by a panel discussion on food waste and other issues raised in the movie featuring producer Jen Rustemeyer and special guests.
A lost key and an accidental touch of cold hands in the dark – so begins one of the great romances of all opera. In his depiction of the tender and ultimately tragic love between Mimì and Rodolfo, Puccini achieved an immediacy, warmth and humanity that have rarely been equalled.
Roger Ebert wasn’t just the most popular North American film critic of the late twentieth century, in part by seizing the opportunities afforded by TV, he was also one of the most insightful and articulate, a wonderful writer with an insatiable curiosity about the world, deep knowledge of cinema, and the passion to communicate it. This acclaimed film from Steve James (Hoop Dreams) captures yet another side of Roger: how he blossomed in the loving family he found late in life, despite the terrible struggle with cancer that ravaged his body and left him unable to speak.
"Life Itself is a work of deftness and delicacy, by turns a film about illness and death, about writing, about cinema and, finally, and very movingly a film about love." Geoffrey O’Brien, The New York Times
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
Puccini’s first triumph returns to Covent Garden for the first time in 20 years in a new staging by Jonathan Kent. The exciting Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais sings the title role. A consummate Puccini soprano, Opolais caused a sensation as Madama Butterfly in 2011, and with Manon Lescaut, the bold but impressionable heroine, we will see a very different side of her. She is matched in star power by Jonas Kaufmann as her lover, Des Grieux, and Christopher Maltman as her cynical brother Lescaut. Kent’s vision of a young girl who faces temptation in the big city will surely resonate with today’s audience.
This riveting crime thriller follows Oscar, a recent emigrant to Manila who gets pulled into a harrowing world of corruption and violence when he takes a job as an armored car driver to support his family. "It begins as a swirling drama of survival in the Filipino capital - but then suddenly it slips off down an alleyway, only to emerge a scrupulously engineered, Christopher Nolan-ish crime thriller." Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph
Winner: Sundance Film Festival’s World Audience Award; Best British Independent film 2013.
"It begins as a swirling drama of survival in the Filipino capital - but then suddenly it slips off down an alleyway, only to emerge a scrupulously engineered, Christopher Nolan-ish crime thriller." Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph
"One of the most enrapturing experiences I’ve had at the movies in 2013: fiercely, grandly humanist, and almost unbearably tragic." MaryAnn Johanson
"The influence of Ken Loach makes way for the dynamics of a Quentin Tarantino-style heist. The result is an expertly crafted heartbreaker that cuts to the core of desperate lives." Allan Hunter, Daily Express
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
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
Daniele Abbado explores themes of identity, exile and religion in a powerful staging of Verdi’s epic opera. War has broken out between the Babylonians and Israelites. The Israelites have captured Fenena, younger daughter of the Babylonian King, Nabucco. In revenge, Nabucco vows to destroy Jerusalem, aided by the vengeful Abigaille.
“Domingo’s career, 42 years at Covent Garden and counting, continues to be a wonder of the age.” The Guardian
Shot in Alberta, this fantasy/horror epic concerns the monsters of Midian, and the hero (Craig Sheffer) and villain (David Cronenberg) who are searching for them before the creatures’ existence and abilities are exploited by humanity. Nightbreed now gets an extended cut that has creator Clive Barker’s enthusiastic support. It’s 20 minutes longer but features 40 mins of new or revised footage.
“A rip-roaring monster flick, all the stops out and pumping with imagination."
John Stanley, Creature Features
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!
Thirty years before he starred in Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries, director Victor Sjostrom plays an alcoholic fated to die at the stroke of midnight at New Year’s Eve – thus dooming him to a new role, taking the reins of Death’s chariot and collecting fresh souls for the next year. Aside from its profound influence on Bergman, The Phantom Carriage foreshadows Murnau, Cocteau, and Kubrick’s The Shining.
This silent classic is accompanied by a new specially commissioned score performed live by Funerary Call.
"The film of all films… It completely overwhelmed me. I was shaken to the core.” Ingmar Bergman
"Sjöström’s film is not just an early horror, but an argument for the moral validity of cinema itself." Anton Bitel, Eye for Film
"The Phantom Carriage is a metaphysical howl of a soul’s journey though the darkest of nights." The Brothers Quay
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."
Render’s focus is on innovative and cutting-edge music videos that push the creative boundaries of the art form. The music video is often seen as a supplement to the music in the video: Render turns this understanding upside-down, championing the videos, the work that goes into them and the people who make them. There are videos from bands including The Knife (director Bitte Andersson), They Might be Giants (director Alex Italics), Asbjorn (director Powerclap), Marcel Dettmann & Emika (director Parker Ellerman), and The Ramona Flowers (director Bouha Kazmi). We also have a few Vancouver favourites: Wintermitts (director Artino Ahmadi) and PrOphesy Sun (director Eliot Zee).
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