Vancouver film scholar Michael van den Bos follows up his 2015 Reel Jazz show with an all-new compilation of red-hot and blue jazz performances from the movies. This pulsating program features clips from live-action features and animated cartoons spanning the hot jazz of the early 1930s, through the swinging syncopation of the World War II big band era, to the post-war sounds of the soloists. Features Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, Glenn Miller, Lester Young.
Popular music doesn’t have too many candidates for "genius" status, but Prince surely qualified. As tribute to the passing of one of the most prodigiously talented performers of our times, we are pleased to bring back what is arguably the greatest concert movie ever made, on 35mm!
"To watch Sign o’ the Times now, in the wake of Prince’s shocking death at the age of 57, is to experience all of his gifts at once, with an intensity so fierce it tempts the boundary between pleasure and neural shutdown." Sam Adams, Slate
Documentary celebrating Izzat Majeed Sachal Studios, a recording space for traditional South Asian music. A smash jazz/South Asian album caught the imagination of Wynton Marsalis.
"Like Buena Vista Social Club set to the beat of traditional Pakistani music, Song of Lahore is a feel-good exploration of making music as an act of defiance and the unifying property of love of the arts. Pakistani-Canadian filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who won her second Oscar this year for the short doc A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, directs with Andy Schocken." Toronto Star
Considered a seminal Scottish novel, Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s 1932 classic, Sunset Song, sounds echoes of Thomas Hardy and DH Lawrence in its bracing tale of a farmer’s daughter enduring all that life can throw at her in the World War I era. Beautifully photographed, Terence Davies’ film is a heartbreaking melodrama about emancipation, poverty, and life during wartime.
Danny, a Taiwanese-American man, and his boyfriend Tate, long to have a baby, but the journey becomes more complicated by Danny’s well-intentioned but meddlesome mother who wants to control every aspect of the process from Taipei. Baby Steps is a Taiwan-US co-production, produced by Oscar-winning producer Li-Kong Hsu (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman) and Stephen Israel (Swimming With Sharks).
In 1991, a man makes a promise to create a detailed account of the Black Kites (a specie of eagle) of Taiwan. Produced by the Raptor Research Group of Taiwan, Fly, Kite Fly! follows Chen-Chung Shen, a.k.a Mr. Eagle, on a 20-year journey across Taiwan as he observes its 200 remaining Black Kites. The film chronicles a story of rapid urbanization, conservation, and the dangers of pesticide use, through the plight of the Black Kites, borrowing the voice of famous director and scriptwriter, Wu Nien Zhen. Carefully shot scenes of the Black Kites playfully gliding over Taiwan’s coast will inspire the same desire to protect these precious creatures as it did for Mr. Eagle almost 20 years ago.
Based on a true story, up and coming directors Yu-Chieh Cheng and Lekal Sumi weave a wonderfully shot story about aboriginal rights. When Panay, a college-educated single mother, returns to her home village to attend to her sick father, she discovers a plan to turn their lands into large resorts. Rekindling her love for her home, she works with the villagers to revive the village and save their lands.
In this kinetic horror/kung-fu mash-up, an innocuous-seeming dry cleaners fronts for a hitman-for-hire operation. When a nameless contract killer becomes haunted by his former targets, he enlists a psychic for help, but their quest to make peace with the past puts them at odds with his ruthless employer. Colorful and brimming with unforgettable characters, The Laundryman puts the stylish influences of Wong Kar-Wai on the spin cycle. (Chicago Film Festival)
A tale of home spanning decades in war and peace, filmed over five years, the documentary tells the story of “wansei”, or Japanese who were born in Taiwan during the colonial period. After WWII, they were forcibly deported back to Japan, despite having spent almost two decades of their life in Taiwan. Now, advanced in age and with children and grandchildren of their own, the wansei are returning to Taiwan once more. Intimate and moving, the documentary explores the power of memory, nostalgia, and the lasting place of home in our hearts.
An eccentric young girl has her dreams of traveling to America dashed after her grandmother takes a tumble down the stairs. Their desolate hot springs resort is left in her care, along with a debilitating debt. What’s more, a strange young foreigner stumbles upon the resort with limited funds and even more limited Chinese. Join these two in an unusual partnership as they try to keep the resort afloat, while discovering its hidden romantic secrets. Welcome to the Happy Days will invite you on the vacation of a lifetime with its comic book-style storytelling and vibrant colors of a pre-WWII resort.
Once upon a time Italian director Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah) decided to film a trio of medieval fairytales with the gusto and lustre of a modern day Fellini, and an international cast including Salma Hayek, John C Reilly, Vincent Cassel and Toby Jones. The results were ravishing, gleefully mischevious, and definitely not for kids…
It’s been too long since Tarantino made a twisty, chronology-challenging crime movie, so Dennis Hauck has made one for him: Too Late is a jazzy film noir-throwback set in contemporary LA, with the terrific John Hawkes as a private eye sucked into a very personal murder investigation… A cinemphiliac’s dream, shot in long, labyrinthine takes and released exclusively on 35mm, the artfully-structured Too Late plays knowing riffs on mystery movie tropes and finds room for genre favourites like Joanna Cassidy (Blade Runner), Natalie Zea (Justified), Robert Forster (Jackie Brown) and Sydney Tamiia Poitier (Deathproof).
Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye-opening journey into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes. A portion of proceeds will be donated to Battered Women’s Support Services and the screening will include a pop-up shop by My Sister’s Closet.
Two of the Spanish-speaking world’s finest actors, Ricardo Darin and Javier Camara, team up for this moving, wry film about friendship, family, and last wishes. Julian (Darin) is dying, but doing his best not to make a big deal of it. Unexpectedly, his old friend Tomas (Camara) shows up on his doorstep (all the way from Canada). He can only stay for a few days, but Tomas means to make them count, whether Julian likes it or not. All the latter seems to care about is what to do about Truman, his beloved dog…
The Girl’s House deals with issues facing Iranian women while telling the story of two female university students who try to solve the mystery surrounding the murder of one of their classmates.
Conservative media have slammed the film for being against “traditional and family values” and despite a number of revisions, it has not received a permit for public screening in Iran.
Winner of the Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor awards at the Fajr International Film Festival, Bodyguard has proven a big commercial hit in Iran, a breakthrough for the director of 2004’s Bitter Dream.
Bodyguard, which stars some of the biggest stars of Iranian cinema – including Parviz Parastuyi, Merila Zarei, Babak Hamidian, Mahmoud Azizi, Amir Aghayi and Sheila Khodadad – tells the story of Heidar, a bodyguard for the country’s high officials and a moral idealist, who is led to suspicion and doubt the more he faces the dark challenges of his position.
From Robert Mapplethorpe’s Catholic upbringing to his early years living in the Chelsea Hotel with Patti Smith, to his ‘40s—his last decade of life due to AIDS—Mapplethorpe offers equal weight to the controversial artist’s own audacity and ambition as it does his focus on BDSM, phalluses, and even flowers. Thanks to rare rediscovered interviews, we get to hear plenty from Mapplethorpe himself.
Written and directed by Irishmen in Havana, Cuba, this is an outsider’s outsiders’ story, the irresistible tale of an 18-year-old wannabe-drag artiste learning to put over a song and ultimately winning over his homophobic ex-con father. It’s a little bit Billy Elliot, and a little bit Pedro Almodovar, all shot in what one character calls, "the most beautiful slum in the world."