Arguably the most popular building site in the world, the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona is a 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
Samsara is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives. Conceived as a guided meditation on the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, Samsara is audiovisual poetry. Filmed over a period of five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, and brilliantly shot on 70mm film, Samsara transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders. From the filmmakers of Baraka.
In the first of a new series of environmental films copresented with Sea Shepherd, Vancity Theatre is proud to bring back one of our biggest hits from last year, the powerful expose of how orcas fare in captivity in aquatic parks like SeaWorld. One of those movies credited with changing hearts and minds, Blackfish is an unforgettable film. This screening will be introduced by special guests.
A compelling, provocative portrait of the inspiring, controversial whale activist Paul Watson, and his relationship in two environmental movements West Coasters know very well: Greenpeace, which he left,and Sea Shepherd, which he founded.
Director Trish Dolman will introduce the film via skype. Filmmaker Kevin Eastwood will be in attendance for this special screening, along with Sea Shepherd cofounder Ron Precious and Paul Watson for a Q&A via skype.
"Compelling… haunting… captivating." Variety
"[A] thoroughly thought-provoking and emotionally poignant portrait of a Canadian outlaw." 4/5 Katherine Monk, Vancouver Sun
Set on the outskirts of Bradford in Northern England, the second feature from Clio Barnard (The Arbor) follows two young lads, Arbor (Conner Chapman) and Swifty (Shaun Thomas), and their dealings with a local scrap dealer. Boldly cinematic and featuring astonishing performances from the two leads, The Selfish Giant cements Barnard’s reputation as a visionary filmmaker.
"Devastating in its simplicity and honesty, The Selfish Giant is a colossus of feeling." Inkoo Kang, Village Voice
"Boldly, broodingly cinematic… jaggedly moving." Guy Lodge, Variety
"A film of such power and beauty that there will be no escaping it." David Thomson, New Republic
Set in Venice and Verona on the verge of Garibaldi’s expulsion of the Austrians in the 1860s, this has Valli as a countess seduced by feckless charmer Lt. Franz Mahler (Granger) into betraying everything she believes in. This classy, operatic melodrama enacts a ferociously unstable, masochistic relationship, a recurring pattern in Visconti’s work (see also The Damned and Death in Venice). Tennessee Williams and Paul Bowles are among six credited screenwriters.
Yes, your parents almost certainly did have a sex life. But don’t worry kids, more than likely you put a stop to it! This smart, sassy Canadian comedy scoots through half a dozen relationships buckling under the strain of reconciling child rearing and sexual satisfaction. Parents of all shapes and sizes will surely relate.
This curious hommage to German Expressionism is both a uniquely perverse enterprise and a real hoot. It’s a Kafkaesque comedy based on Allen’s earlier one-act play, unpromisingly titled "Death". Allen himself plays Kleinman, a clerk in an unnamed central European country who is reluctantly pulled into a vigilante hunt for a serial killer.
Grace (a breakthrough performance from former child star Brie Larson) is a twenty- something supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers. Passionate and tough, Grace is a formidable caretaker of the kids in her charge – and in love with her long-term boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (John Gallagher Jr.) One of the most acclaimed American films of the year, Short Term 12 may sound earnest in outline, but it looks and feels vividly true - not surprising, when you learn that writer-director Destin Cretton worked for two years in just such a care facility in San Diego.
100% Fresh, Top Critics, Rotten Tomatoes
"It’s one of the best movies of the year and one of the truest portrayals I’ve ever seen about troubled teens and the people who dedicate their lives to trying to help them." Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
"A compact masterpiece of storytelling that brims equally with ambition and humility. It is, by a wide margin, the best film I have seen so far this year." Christopher Orr, The Atlantic
VANCOUVER PREMIERE - The school of Japanese asceticism called Shugendo is a blend of Shinto, Daoism and Buddhism. Followers practice arduous rituals in wildernesses and are deeply committed to protecting the natural environment. The film is a poetic and intimate journey into a rarely seen world between the developed and the wild, between the present and the infinite.
“Beautifully filmed, aesthetically pleasing, and religiously challenging." Paul Swanson
It’s the camping trip from hell! Produced by Edgar Wright, the latest from Down Terrace and Kill List director Ben Wheatley is another pitch black comedy on English manners and psychopathology, the missing link between Mike Leigh and Hammer Horror. Chris and Tina depart on what is supposed to be a romantic caravan trip (or "erotic odyssey" as Tina prefers to think of it). Alas, litterbugs, obnoxious hikers and condescending tourists interrupt their idyll at every turn, reminding us of Sartre’s famous truism, "hell is other people".
"This sardonic depiction of Britain, as a land where a thin veneer of strained politesse and fussy specificity of tastes masks a throbbing heart of darkness, makes for Ben Wheatley’s best film yet." Jesse Cataldo, Slant
"A black comic state of the nation address." Kim Newman, Empire
"Dark, gruesome, blithely amoral and thoroughly entertaining." Sheila O’Malley, RogerEbert.com
007 turned 50 with rare panache: directed by Sam Mendes, this is a contender for one of the top Bonds ever. It’s not just the more probing, psychological script, but the nuanced, inspired performances by Judi Dench, Javier Bardem and Daniel Craig of course – and stunning cinematography by Roger Deakins. This is Bond resurrected, redeemed and reinvigorated, ready to face a new half century.
A homegrown Sugarman, little-known Canadian actor Rob Stewart had no idea that a dumb, short-lived cop show he made 20 years ago was a cultural phenomenon in Serbia. Throughout the war years, Tropical Heat was far and away the most popular series on Serbian TV screens, and Stewart’s character Nick Slaughter became an icon for dissidents protesting the Milosevic regime. Venturing to Eastern Europe for the first time, Stewart discovers the extent of a fame he never knew he had.
"A winner!" National Post
"Heart and heft." Globe & Mail
"A real find… truly bizarre." The Star
Hot from its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, a sneak peek at Foo Fighters’ leader Dave Grohl’s documentary about the legendary Los Angeles recording studio Sound City.
A Canadian-made “porno chic” movie? It never happened! So historians say. But tonight’s screening proves otherwise as the never-released and unknown sexually-explicit [or: ‘X-rated’] horror-spoof Sexcula—-made entirely in British Columbia back in ’73—-screens in a World-Premiere of its original, unplayed 16mm answer-print. Produced with the help of Canadian film tax credits (that’s right—-taxpayers backed a porn movie—only in Canada!), Sexcula is one of the oddest entries in the colourful catalog of “Canuxploitation.”. Special guests to be announced.
Guest passes and volunteer passes not accepted.
It takes more than good food to make a restaurant work. Spinning Plates is an insightful, compelling and moving documentary tracing the fates of three very different establishments: the high-end Alinea, where Grant Achatz practices his culinary perfection; the 150-year-old country steak house Breitbach’s, a community hub in rural Iowa, and La Cocina de Gabby, a new Mexican restaurant surviving on a wing and a prayer in Tuscon. This screening will be accompanied by a panel of distinguished Vancouver chef’s moderated by Vancouver Magazine editor John Burns. Check viff.org for updates.
“Splendid and engrossing … a love letter to that singular intersection of artistic innovation, cultural legacy, community pride, and family-sustaining (or -straining) commerce known as the restaurant.” Village Voice
Matinee show Aug 25 (only) All Ages Show, under-19s welcome.
Evening show Aug 29 introduced by film scholar Michael van den Bos.
Roger Moore’s pick of his own Bond movies is a slick, spectacular, always fun concoction. When villain Karl Stromberg (Curt Jurgens) hijacks British and Soviet submarines, Bond is paired with Russian agent Anya Amasova (Barbarach Bach) to get to the bottom of his evil plan.
"Exceptional… Moore gives his best performance in the series… Film is a real treat - a well-acted, smartly cast, sexy, visually impressive, lavishly produced, powerfully directed mix of a spy romance and a war-mission film." Danny Peary, Guide for the Film Fanatic.
Playwright and filmmaker David Auburn is the subject of the first Stage to Screen event, a rare opportunity for in-depth exploration of the writing process with a master of the craft. This event includes a presentation of Auburn’s directorial debut, The Girl in the Park (starring Sigourney Weaver and Kate Bosworth), a read-through of his play Proof, Q&A, masterclass and reception. (Tickets $47)
The inimitable Stevie Nicks has entranced millions of fans worldwide with her poetic lyrics, sultry singing and featherand-lace style. In 2010 Nicks embarked on the recording of a new solo album, In Your Dreams, produced by former Eurythmics mastermind Dave Stewart. With cameras in tow, documentarian Stewart and diva Nicks set up shop in her home studio and reveal their collaborative creative process.
November 7, 2008, the Danish (Bahamas-registered) cargo vessel CEC Future was boarded by Somali pirates. For 70 days the international crew was held captive at gunpoint while the pirates and the Danish owners negotiated.
This evening Vancity Theatre presents two films inspired by this story, one a documentary (Stolen Seas), the other a dramatic feature (A Hijacking) written and directed by Tobias Lindholm, whose last film was The Hunt.
Assembled from three years’ worth of visits to the dangerous "hot zone" off the coast of Somalia, Payne’s riveting film gives us both the wider context that explains the piracy from all sides, and takes right inside the actual hijacking, incorporating footage shot by the Somalis during the incident.
"Riveting…a dense, sometimes dangerous 90-minute immersion in a world where lawlessness applies to all sides." Peter Debruge, Variety
"A documentary of such ambitious scope you might need a remote control and a notebook to keep up with it." Omer M Mozaffar, Chicago Sun-Times