Search Vancity Theatre Films

The Royal Opera House presents...

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.

Cinema Salon

A couple meet on an ocean liner. Jean (Barbara Stanwyck) is a knock-out babe and a con artist. Charles (Henry Fonda) is a nerdy heir, interested in the study of snakes and about to get fleeced. Sturges’ unique gifts for directing comedy and writing witty dialogue makes this yet another of his great romantic comedies that deserves its reputation as a classic.

Cinema Salon

Larry (Randy Quaid), a young seaman, gets royally shafted after stealing $40 from the charity box of his officer’s wife. Eight years in prison is the ludicrous sentence and two navy “lifers”(Jack Nicholson and Otis Young) take Larry from Norfolk, VA to Portsmouth, NH with cultural stops in New York City and Boston. They can’t believe the severe sentence, however they can sure as hell help to bring some fun into Larry’s last week…

Vancity Theatre Screening

Morris Panych’s black comedy gets a slick and stylish cinematic treatment in this homegrown gem, one of the standout BC films from last year’s VIFF. Lawrence (Ben Cotten) would seem to have it all—he’s successful, charming, lucky, and relentlessly optimistic. Which only makes the much smarter, much less successful Holloman (David Arnold) hate him all the more!

“Dark, twisted, and really very funny ... a multi-dimensional screamer. One of the events top flicks.”—The Province

Vancity Theatre Screening

David Lean’s sweeping, four-hour desert epic demands to be seen on the big screen. The late, great Peter O’Toole landed the role of his lifetime as the British cartographer who united the Arab tribes to fight the Turks in WW1. Screening in a restored DCP version.

"A miracle… The first film I saw that made me want to be a moviemaker." Steven Spielberg

((Lecciones para una guerra))
After Effects: Guatemala and El Salvador

Between 1982 and 1996, the Ixil and Quiché people took refuge in the mountains as a last resort to save themselves from the massacres carried out by the Guatemalan Army, which took the lives of more than 200,000 indigenous people. After those fourteen years, the communities ended up settling in the northeastern part of the range, an area currently under siege due to the wealth of natural resources to be found there. Lessons for a War is a celebration of the resistance of people preparing to defend themselves against another coming war. A chant of hope of a community that will not give up.

Black History Month

The racial fault lines running deep through the American psyche are painfully exposed in Jason Osder’s riveting account of the stand off in 1985 between the Philadelphia Police Department and the black liberation group MOVE, which resulted in the death of 11 victims. "The force and intrigue of a courtroom thriller… it ripples with urgency and moral complexity."—Screen

"The force and intrigue of a courtroom thriller… it ripples with urgency and moral complexity."—Screen

"The brilliantly edited tapestry of actions and reactions exposes a pattern of prejudice and fear capable of infinitely repeating itself." Ronnie Scheib, Variety

"Quietly terrifying." Stuart Klawans, The Nation

007 Reloaded: Bond vs Bond

Timothy Dalton’s second (and last) Bond movie is one of the least typical but also one of the most satisfying on its own terms. It’s a revenge movie, for one thing, with Bond going AWOL to take on a ruthless Mexican drug baron (Robert Davi).

Mongrel Media 20th Anniversary

Two couples are devastated to learn that their children were swapped at birth six years ago. Are blood ties thicker than the bond of child rearing? This masterly, very moving drama won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and the Audience Award at last year’s VIFF.

"Sublimely moving." Maggie Lee, Variety

’Powered by Kore-eda’s innate restraint and natural empathy, Like Father, Like Son takes these characters to places they never expected to be. It’s unnerving for them, of course, but watching so many hearts hanging in the balance is a rare privilege for us." Kenneth Turan, LA Times

"Kore-eda has crafted a piercing, tender poem about the bittersweet ebb and flow of paternal love, and his status as Ozu’s heir becomes ever more assured." Robbie Collin, The Telegraph

Vancity Theatre Screening

The latest from master director Abbas Kiarostami (Certified Copy; Close Up; A Taste of Cherry) is a strange, seductive and beguiling love story set in modern Tokyo. Akiko is a beautiful student who moonlights as a prostitute, unbeknownst to her boyfriend. A liaison with an elderly academic brings all manner of complication to all their lives…

"Every shot — everything you see, and everything you don’t — imparts a disturbing and thrilling sense of discovery." AO Scott, New York Times

"A sly, teasing riff on the heart’s irrational stirrings… You emerge elated and slightly dazed…. But the movie’s sense of immutable desire resonates well after the lights have come up." Scott Foundas, Village Voice

Witches

Vancouver’s Funerary Call performs a new, specially commissioned live score for this mind-blowing 1922 cult classic. Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns and a satanic Sabbath are just a few of the ingredients that make up Benjamin Christensen’s witches’ brew of superstition, sorcery, surrealism and enlightenment.

"A unique film for its boldness in dealing with its taboo subject, for its amazing visual inventiveness, and also for its complex structure." Fernando Martin Pena, Defining Moments in Movies

"A truly unique work that still holds the power to unnerve even in today’s jaded era." Jyotsna Kapur, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

"An amazing experience. The film is overflowing with dark fairytale imagery, incredible makeup effects (especially Christensen himself in the role of a leering Lucifer) and shocking portrayals of torture that still make viewers cringe over 90 years later." Gregory Burkart, Fearnet.com

Special Presentation

The music that German-born and New York City-based trumpeter Volker Goetze and Senegalese vocalist and kora player Ablaye Cissoko create transcends both geographic and musical boundaries. When the duo first came together for their 2008 debut, Sira, their collaboration resulted in a unique musical synthesis that fused the timeless tradition of the storyteller/griot with a modern perspective. On their Motema Music label debut, Amanke Dionti, Goetze and Cissoko again set out on a spiritual sonic journey, one that ranges from the desert and coast of West Africa to the urban landscapes of New York and Paris and which addresses themes of our ancient spiritual roots, and our hurried, dehumanized modern strife. In the tradition of the griot, Cissoko attempts to mend our souls with music, and with Goetze as his partner and champion, he succeeds, as their music is truly soul soothing.

Vancity Theatre Screening

Part Hitchcockian mystery thriller, part quirky new-wave comedy, this free-wheeling Quebecois audience-pleaser riffs on our brave new digitally interconnected world with nimble wit and an underlying seriousness. A coat-check girl follows a misplaced key into a turpid conspiracy and finds romance - and political engagmnent - en route.

"A genre mashup that keeps audiences amused from beginning to end." Boyd van Hoeij, Variety

(Das Leben der Anderen)
Mongrel Media 20th Anniversary

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

"The Lives of Others is a supremely intelligent, unfailingly honest look at a shadowy period in recent German history." AO Scott, New York Time

"A thoroughly compelling political thriller, at once intellectually challenging and profoundly emotional." Claudia Puig, USA Today

"The Lives of Others is a supremely intelligent, unfailingly honest look at a shadowy period in recent German history." AO Scott, New York Times

007 Reloaded: Bond vs Bond

Enter Timothy Dalton, a leaner, meaner 007. Bond is assigned to protect Georgi Koskov, an ex-KGB officer who is defecting to the British. Koskov is to escape during the intermission at the Bratislava concert hall, and must be protected from a KGB sniper. Bond sets up across the street, but decides against assassinating the sniper…

"Grips like wet rope" Brian Case, Time Out

Copacabana Social Club

The "Brazilian Beatles", Os Mutantes combined rock, psychedelia and South American sounds to spearhead the Tropicalia movement. A singer-songwriter who also played bass and the keyboards, Arnaldo Baptista gave the band its pulse - guitarist Sergio Dias was his brother, and lead singer Rita Lee became his wife. In 1973, though, everything fell apart, marriage, band, and eventually Baptista’s health (copious binges on LSD did not help). Yet against the odds Baptista has been able to recover his creativity and his career. This intimate documentary has a powerful, sometimes painful story to tell. Baptista is joined by collaborators and admirers Gilberto Gil, Sean Lennon, Devendra Banhart and Roberto Menescal.

"A magnificent documentary." Claudio Carvalho

DEMY MONDE: The Cinema of Jacques Demy

Lola, a cabaret dancer, is raising a boy whose father, Michel, left seven years ago. She is waiting for him. She sings, dances and occasionally dallies with passing sailors. Roland Cassard, a childhood friend whom she meets by chance, falls deeply in love with her. But she is waiting for Michel…

"Magical… Lola is imbued with a poignant awareness of the transcience of happiness and the difficulties and unlikelihood of love." Geoff Andrew, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

"Taps deep into a dreamy and wistful romantic spirit." Blake Lucas, Defining Moments in Movies

(Sheng gang qi bing)
Foreign Spoils - Gangsters Abroad

Curated by photographer Greg Girard, who will introduce the films: House of Bamboo & Long Arm of the Law The Walled City of Kowloon was an amazing and forbidding part of Hong Kong, and who better to introduce these films in which it features so centrally than photographer Greg Girard, whose book City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City is itself now legendary.

LONG ARM OF THE LAW Regarded as one of the top ten Chinese films ever made, this electrifying thriller was at the forefront of the "heroic bloodshed" films that dominated the Hong Kong industry in the 1980s. The story concerns a group of mainlanders, ex army men, looking to make a big score in Hong Kong.

Vancity Theatre Screening

Left to fend for themselves after their SS officer father and mother, staunch Nazi believers, are interred by the victorious Allies at the end of World War II, five German children undertake a harrowing journey that exposes them to the reality and consequences of their parents’ actions. Led by the eldest sibling, 14-year old Lore (striking newcomer Saskia Rosendahl), they set out on a journey across a devastated country to reach their grandmother in the north.

"A lyrical, deeply affecting study into a rarely seen legacy of the Holocaust." - Megan Lehmann, The Hollywood Reporter

"Intense and emotional. Saskia Rosendahl is mesmerizing." - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"Shortland’s brilliant new film is an unsettling coming-of-age story that renders its judgement on Germany’s crimes and strange aftermath of the war." - George Robinson, The Jewish Week

Vancity Theatre Screening

In honour of the late Lou Reed - another chance to see Julian Schnabel’s film of his transcendent Berlin cycle of songs, complete wth Sharon Jones and Antony Hegarty on backing vocals.

Pages