The Vancouver Taiwanese Film Festival returns for its 8th year at the Vancity Theatre with 6 thought-provoking films which will provide a window into Taiwan for both Taiwanese and non-Taiwanese audiences alike.
Tickets: $8 (Afternoon) / $10 (Evening)
Tickets available online via the VIFC Ticketing System, and at the door 20 minutes prior to a screening.
For more info, please visit: www.twff.ca
Touch of the Light is a heart-warming tale of two young adult’s struggle to find a place in society. While from different upbringing, the two protagonists spot similarities in their troubles and found comfort in the company of another who understands. Like pillars of light, countless triumphs of camaraderie, hope and unyielding passion for their dreams pierce through the cruel choking atmosphere of modern elitist materialism throughout this 110 minute sensual masterpiece.
The second part in our year-long retrospective, Woody Allen: 4 Seasons brings us to the Spring Collection, and several examples of what Allen himself famously dubbed "the early, funny ones". Take the Money and Run qualifies on both counts: his very first feature as director, it’s an hilarious spoof true crime documentary. Woody plays Virgil Starkwell, public schmuck number one.
"Very special, and eccentric, and funny." The New York Times
"Roll in the aisles, hold-your-sides laughter." LA Times
One of Almodovar’s very best, this strange and lustrous love story involves two men and two comatose women (one of them a bullfighter). It sounds weird because it is weird - yet by the end it also feels very true, very natural, and totally heartfelt.
"Talk to Her is totally in love with passion, and with love." The New York Times
"Talk to Her is very much a subversive film, one that takes its time creeping in under your skin. But once there, it’s determined to stay awhile, to entice the mind into playing seditious games." Kenneth Turan, LA Times
"Pure cinematic intoxication, a wildly inventive mixture of comedy and melodrama, tastelessness and swooning elegance." Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
How much of yourself have you already given away on the internet? Nobody really reads the terms and conditions routinely applied to almost every digital service agreement, but if we did, what would we find there? Cullen Hoback’s scary doc has answers to the questions you don’t even want to Google.
"This documentary should be mandatory viewing for everyone who uses the internet." John Ford, Slug Magazine
"If you believe the privacy promises of online giants like Google and Facebook, then Cullen Hoback’s doc will remove the scales from your eyes and your hand away from your mouse." Peter Howell, The Toronto Star
"Witty yet chilling." Brian D Johnston, Macleans
When an elderly Sicilian fisherman rescues a boatload of African immigrants, he must decide whether to do what the law demands or what he knows to be right. A political powder keg sparks intense drama in Emanuele Crialese’s compelling and relevant piece of humanist filmmaking.
"Crialese is a sentimentalist at heart, but a fine one, and his compassion for the wretched of the earth is thrillingly amped by the movie’s ecstatic imagery. Like his neo-realist forebears before him, the director turns everyday activities and furtive acts — tending to a rotting boat, beating desperate refugees away from a tiny vessel, the tender ablutions of those same refugees on the shore — into a theater of danger, cruelty and sensual delight." Ella Taylor, NPR
"A stirring commentary on our better angels." Gary Goldstein, LA Times
Our celebration of the Brazilian World Cup Finals kicks off with this Gala Canadian premiere of the new documentary by Renato Terra (A Night in 67), a rousing chronicle of the passion and fanaticism driving Brazil’s national sport, soccer. Featuring interviews with legends like Zico and Romário, rabid fans and archival footage, the film focuses on the rivalry between two of the largest football clubs in Brazil: Flamengo (’Fla’) and Fluminense (’Flu’). The evening includes live music performance by the Celia Enestrom band and caipirinhas.
"Transports us into the football stadium and the emotions that come with it, causing goose bumps to any supporter’ Paulo Vinicius Coelho, Folha de São Paulo
He was the soccer player Pele idolized in the 1940s, Brazil’s best striker, a dashing, cavalier talent with movie star looks and a burning desire to win. But Heleno was also an erratic talent, plagued with psychological problems, and despised by some of his teammates. His career was brilliant, but cut brutally short as he mental problems mounted.
"Fonseca’s handsome black-and-white, impressionistic bio-drama goes very Raging Bull-ish… (Santoro) is mighty matinee-idol charismatic himself in the title role, alternating between swaggering lady-killer and ravaged victim of self-destruction. B+" Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
"Powerfully acted and dazzlingly shot in heavenly black and white, Heleno is a feverish opera…. The road to ruin is blindingly beautiful." Jeanette Catsoulis, New York Times
Walter Salles (Motorcycle Diaries; On the Road; Central Station) collaborates with Daniela Thomas on this neo-realist drama about a mother and her four sons struggling to find their way in the favela of Sao Paulo. The son with the brightest prospects is a potential soccer star, but at 18, he’s all too aware that time is running out. As for his siblings, they have more than enough troubles of their own…
"A beguiling blend of urban poetry and extremely well-observed social realism."—Wally Hammond, Time Out
"The film’s title refers to the line of players down which the ball is passed when all are playing properly together. It could hardly be more appropriate for a film that confirms that the unflashy virtues of teamwork are as vital in cinema as they are in life."—Paul Julian Smith, Sight & Sound
The Sex Pistol of footballers," is how renowned director Emir Kusturica (Time of the Gypsies; Underground; Black Cat White Cat) describes Diego Maradona: sporting hero, people’s champion, fallen idol and inspiration to millions - as well as arch villain to England fans.
The Cuaron brothers’ follow up to international hit Y Tu Mama Tambien reunites stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna for a piquant pop satire on Mexico’s obsession with soccer and celebrity. Gael’ Garcia Bernal’s Tato – nicknamed Cursi (“Corny”) - is is a quickfire striker. Beto - known as Rudo ("Rough") - is a great keeper. But which of them will escape poverty to find fame and fortune?
"Mixes soap-opera sentimentality with playful, jumpy aggression and dresses a bittersweet, rags-to-riches fable in the bright clothes of pop satire." AO Scott, New York Times
"Rudo y Cursi is a grave and calculated affront to the men of Mexico, and that’s the source of its roistering charm." Ty Burr, Boston Globe
Author Robert K Elder asked 35 filmmakers to champion a movie that they love, but which had either been overlooked or reviled by critics and audiences. The result, ’The Best Film You’ve Never Seen’ is fascinating both for what it reveals about the directors he talked to and for their insights into some seriously neglected films. Case in point: Frank Perry’s The Swimmer, starring Burt Lancaster as a man who decides to swim his way home across Connecticut, one backyard swimming pool at a time. Selected by Alex Proyas (Dark CIty), this is seriously strange movie, but one that stands the test of time.
"As do few movies, The Swimmer stays in the memory like an echo that never quite disappears." Vincent Canby, New York TImes
"Enigmatic, poetic, disturbing." Kim Newman, Empire
"Burt Lancaster is superb in his finest performance." Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times
Based on a notorious historical incident in which the sixteenth century French town of Loudun was swept up in tide of witch-hunting mania, Ken Russell’s searing movie kept censors busy all over the world with its shocking imagery and no-holds-barred assault on ecclesiastical hypocrisy. Forty years on it retains its power, not least for the astounding, career-best performances from Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave, Derek Jarman’s bold production design, and the electrifying score by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
"The pinnacle of Russell’s astonishing career, blending the exuberant visuals and musical underpinning of his most most exotic fantasies wieh a serious undercurrent of outraged political intent… a fearsome, breathtaking masterwork." Mark Kermode, BBC
"A garish glossary of sado-masochism… a taste for visual sensation that makes scene after scene look like the masturbatory fantasies of a Roman Catholic boyhood." Alexander Walker, Evening Standard
Produced over the first decade of the twenty first century, Micha Peled’s Globalization Trilogy puts a human face on complex issues resulting from global economic forces that are shaping life today worldwide. "Store wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town" (2001) focuses on consumerism in the U.S., observing the impact in a small town when Wal-Mart decides to build a new mega-store there. "China Blue" (2005) is a heartbreaking expose of the sweatshop labor conditions in China that allow us to buy cheap blue jeans in the West. The third film in the trilogy (showing separately) "Bitter Seeds" (2011) looks at the raw materials, and specifically Monsanto’s push to supply cotton seeds to farmers in India - with devastating results.
"Store Wars becomes a fascinating study in community action and a valuable reminder that people still can care enough about a place to fight for it." New York Times
"China Blue, a heartbreaking and meticulous documentary about life inside a blue-jeans factory in China, reveals more than we may care to know." The New York Times
Filmmaker Micha X Peled is our guest to introduce specific screenings and participate in a FREE panel discussion exploring these issues on Sunday May 19, 8.30pm. The panel will be moderated by Charlie Smith, Editor of the Georgia Straight.
Tzeporah Berman, Environmental activist and author of This Crazy Time, . Considered "Canada's Queen of Green."-Readers Digest, Tzeporah Berman has been successfully designing and managing green campaigns for nonprofits for the last two decades, leading Bill McKibben to call her "a modern environmental hero." She currently works as a strategic advisor for dozens of environmental organizations, First Nations and philanthropic advisors on clean energy, oilsands and pipelines. She is the former co-director of Greenpeace International's Global Climate and Energy Program, Executive Director and Co-founder of PowerUp Canadaand Co-founder and Campaign Director of ForestEthics.
Gerardo Otero is Professor of sociology and an associated professor of the School of International Studies at Simon Fraser University. His latest edited book is Food for the Few: Neoliberal Globalism and Biotechnology in Latin America (University of Texas Press, 2008, reissued in paperback in 2010), which is forthcoming in Spanish as La dieta neoliberal. His latest article, “The Neoliberal Food Regime in Latin America,” was published in the Canadian Journal of Development Studies in 2012. In co-authorship with Gabriela Pechlaner and Efe Can Gürcan, he has a forthcoming article September 2013 in Rural Sociology: “The political economy of ‘food security’ and trade: uneven and combined dependency.”
Micha X Peled has made documentaries for broadcasters in the USA, Britain, France and Germany, winning over 20 awards along the way. His films were released theatrically in the U.S., Europe and Japan, and on DVDs in eight languages (officially). Micha made his first film in 1992, when his mother sent him the manuscript of her life story, which became Will My Mother Go Back to Berlin? When celebrated Los Angeles Times critic Charles Champlin wrote “it’s a damn good movie,” Micha believed him, quit his job to become a fulltime filmmaker, and never looked back. Not that it was all smelling the roses – he got out of Iran shortly before being exposed for filming illegally, in China his crew was arrested and his footage confiscated, and his shoot in Bombay’s central train station was cancelled when a terrorist group started shooting first. In New York the audience shouted, “Traitor” at the premier of You, Me, Jerusalem, which he co-directed with a Palestinian filmmaker. His Globalization Trilogy began in the U.S. with Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town about a small town fighting to keep out the world’s largest retailer. It was followed by China Blue, the story of a teenage Chinese girl who leaves her village to get a job in a jeans factory and descends into sweatshop hell. After a fiction short, Delinquent, he completed the final film in the trilogy, Bitter Seeds. The film looks at the farmers' suicide crisis in India, through the story of one farmer who grows cotton exported to China's garment factories.
Equal parts drama, comedy and thriller, The Landlords is a riveting film from actor-turneddirector, Edoardo Gabbriellini with a sensational cast including legendary real-life singer Gianni Morandi making a return to the big screen after 40 years. Cosimo (Valerio Mastandrea) and Elia (Elio Germano) are two young brothers dreaming of success in the construction business. They travel from Rome to a remote Apennines mountain village where they have been contracted to rebuild a villa for the retired singer Fausto Mieli, a divisive local figure who is planning a comeback concert.