A hitman for the Sicilian Mafia, Salvo is solitary, cold and ruthless. When he sneaks into a house on an assignment, he discovers Rita, an innocent young blind girl who must stand by powerlessly while her brother is assassinated. What follows is an intense exchange fueled by adrenaline and fear between the killer and his witness, one that changes their two lives in an instant. The darkness is lifted from Rita’s eyes just as Salvo decides, against his murderous instincts, to spare her life. From then on, both haunted by their brief encounter, these two damaged souls will attempt to navigate their dangerous next steps side by side.
“Moody… fully immersive… effortlessly intense.” Boyd van Hoeij, Variety
"A soulful romance, an existential action flick and something of a miracle movie - the appealing slow-burner "Salvo" hovers at the crossroads of genre." Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
"A sparse and languid Italian thriller that carries a debt to Melville." David Parkinson, Empire
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.
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 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
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.
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.
Discovered by a wood cutter inside a shining stalk of bamboo, a tiny girl lights up the life of this childless peasant and his wife - even though they’re perplexed by the lightning speed with which she grows into an exquisite young lady. Their "little princess" enthralls everyone she meets, and bestows such bounty on the family that they wood cutter moves them to a city mansion, where she is courted by the most eligible bachelors far and wide. A gem of a film from Studio Ghibli’s other master, Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies).
“Princess Kaguya has the feel of a true Takahata film, from its unshrinking emotional fidelity to its sudden, exhilarating leaps into fantasy […] There is a deep wisdom in this film, but a deep sadness too. If it is Takahata’s farewell, it’s one that will have a long echo, just like his 1,000-year-old source.” Mark Schilling, Japan Times
"A visionary tour de force." Maggie Lee, Variety
A pinnacle of animation in the new millennium." Matt Patches, IGN Movies
Powerful music, a gripping story and a tragic end: Puccini’s ever-popular Tosca performed with a fabulous cast. Among the star singers in this revival are Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel. Jonathan Kent’s detailed production draws to the full on the historical backdrop of Rome in 1800, an atmospheric backdrop to the love of the beautiful diva Tosca, the idealism of her lover Cavaradossi and the deadly, destructive obsession of the malevolent Chief of Police, Scarpia.
Just in time for Christmas … the noirest of the noir and the last extravaganza that Orson Welles directed for a Hollywood studio, Touch of Evil is considered to be one his greatest movies achievements. There is a lot of plot, but it’s more of a character story about the grunting, wheezing detective Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles), a man who is truly in hell. The concept of borders and "crossing the line" is essential to Touch of Evil as many taboo topics are addressed in this baroque nightmare of a south-of-the-border mystery.
Richard Eyre’s produciton of Verdi’s masterpiece has been one of the most successful opera stagings in the long and celebrated history of the Royal Opera House. We present the original, definitive incarnation of that production, starring the incomparable Renee Fleming as the ill-fated courtesan Violetta, oppose Joseph Calleja as Alfredo and Thomas Hapson as his unyielding father.
A wickedly original anthology horror film that cleverly entwines a ghost story, a revenge-from-the-grave tale, a vampire stalker/werewolf coming-of-age gore-fest, a serial killer, and a a pint-sized pumpkin-headed monster in a onesie, wrapping everything up in a final story that ties it all together with bloody glee. Made right here in Vancouver.
"Trick ’r Treat is a really good film. In fact, it’s so unusual in its practical F/X approach and retro direct to video charms that a second viewing is definitely needed before confirming its almost masterpiece status." Bill Gibron, Pop Matters
"I can’t imagine a single horror fan that won’t fall head over heels in love with it." Steve "Uncle Creepy" Barton, Dread Central
"The best Halloween movie ever." Devin Faraci, Badass Digest
Hilarious Canadian horror-comedy starring Vancouver’s Tyler Labine (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Alan Tudyk (Firefly / Serenity) as two bumbling backwoods rednecks who may or may not be killing off the group of obnoxious twentysomething campers.
"A droll sendup of the killer-in-the-swamp genre that gets funnier as it rolls along." Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times
"It’s fast, it’s funny, and it works." Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"Deft/daft mix of authentic feeling and sharp parody, belly laughs and visceral dread, makes Tucker & Dale vs. Evil a keeper." Kathleen Murphy, MSN Movies
Andrei Serban’s staging of Puccini’s final opera is a glorious pageant of rich colour, dance and drama. Turandot is a tale of disguised identities, riddles, ritual executions and powerful, triumphant love.
The Vancouver Serbian FilmFest is an annual celebration of the best in current film production of Serbia. Every year, a chosen selection of recently produced Serbian movies is shown over the course of four nights. With the attendance of guest actors and filmmakers who, after each movie, engage in Q&A session with the audience, this event has been growing steadily and attracting a loyal following. See www.vsfilmfest.com for program info.
"The films this year are the closest I could ever get to experiencing Vancouver in the 1930s to the 1960s without using a time machine," says historian Michael Kluckner, who has curated and will narrate an afternoon of vintage movies from the City of Vancouver Archives.
Pianist Wayne Stewart will provide accompaniment for the movies that were originally produced without sound
Paris in 1855, when the opera was first performed, provides the starting point for the interpretation by celebrated Norwegian born director Stefan Herheim. The opera ballet plays a significant role too, with Johann Kobborg choreographing for dancers from the Royal Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet. The story is set to impassioned and dramatic music, rich in showpiece arias and ensembles with striking choruses. Antonio Pappano conducts a world-class cast including Erwin Schrott, Bryan Hymel and Lianna Haroutounian in The Royal Opera’s first ever staging of Verdi’s grand opera.
A belated return after its sell-out show two years ago, another chance to enjoy this compilation of archival footage. Using 50 years of material, local historian Michael Kluckner guides us on a moving image journey into Vancouver’s past. With musical accompaniment by jazz pianist Wayne Stewart, highlights include home movies, park board films, experimental films, and on-the-fly documentaries.
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.
Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago follows various pilgrims, from ages 3 to 73, as they attempt to cross an entire country on foot – with only a backpack, a pair of boots and an open mind. Driven by an inexplicable calling and a grand sense of adventure, we witness the Camino’s magnetic and miraculous power to change lives. Each pilgrim throws themselves heart and soul into their incredibly challenging trek to Santiago de Compostela, and most importantly, their personal journey to themselves.
100% Fresh, Rotten Tomatoes
"Driving both the filmmaker and her subjects is wonder and wanderlust. Their enthusiasm for the Camino is contagious …" Diana Clarke, Village Voice