Vancity Theatre Screening
Films in this Series
Over the past two decades, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Doug Block has supported his career with a side business of videotaping weddings. Long curious about how their marriages have turned out, he tracks down and interviews some of the more memorable of his 112 wedding couples - with funny, insightful and moving results.
"Quirky, entertaining, and heartwarming."—Toronto Film Scene
"Simple in execution, but unmistakably rich in dialogue of the complexities of married life, Doug Block has lensed a wonderfully playful, startlingly tragic film that will surely move anyone who’s ever been in love and question anyone considering marriage themselves."—Jordan M Smith, Ion cinema
"Block finds the extraordinary in the patient observation of everyday life."—Michel Gondry
Imagine Luis Bunuel’s Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie crossed with Shane Carruth’s Primer and Lars von Trier’s Melancholia... Or just imagine a dinner party with friends, a dinner party that starts out quite normally, but which takes a dramatic turn towards the surreal when the power goes out – apparently connected to the proximity of a passing comet. Two guests venture out to the one house in the vicinity which mysteriously still has power. Before the night is done everyone present will have to rethink what they’re doing there, their longest and most intimate relationships, and indeed, who they really think they are…
"You walk away from it with your brain on fire."—Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine
"The result is an uncommonly clever genre movie, reliant not on special effects—of which there are basically none—but on heavy doses of paranoia."—AA Dowd, AV Club
"No budget filmmaking at its most delectably inventive."—Mike D’Angelo, The Dissolve
This extraordinary documentary - one of the most popular films at VIFF last year - shuttles from New York to France to Chicago as it traces the life story of the late Vivian Maier, a career nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs has earned her a posthumous reputation as one of America’s most accomplished and insightful street photographers.
"Compelling... haunting... captivating." — Variety
"Poignant, informative, occasionally disturbing." — Globe and Mail
For his first North American movie the acclaimed French filmmaker Laurent Cantet (The Class; Time Out) came to Canada to film Joyce Carol Oates’ novel about a girl gang in the 1950s. Inspired by their leader, "Legs", the gang fights back against disciplinarian school masters, abusive employers, predatory males and neglectful parents — eventually establishing their own quasi-"collective". "A frequently thrilling evocation of teen lives." Empire
"A frequently thrilling evocation of teen lives. Proof that The Class and Time Out were no pan flashes. 4/5"—Angie Errigo, Empire
"Impressively directed and superbly written, this is a riveting and emotionally engaging drama with some thought-provoking ideas and terrific performances from its young cast of unknowns. Highly recommended."—Matt Turner, View
"As beautiful as it is surprising, Cantet’s Foxfire girls appear like the ancestors of Pussy Riot."—Les Inrockuptibles
Polish-born, UK-based filmmaker Pawlikowski (My Summer of Love) returns to his native land for this evocative, resonant art film about a novice nun discovering a family secret in the 1960s. Beautifully shot in black and white, this award-winning drama has been compared to the work of Francois Truffaut and Robert Bresson.
"In a very short time, Pawlikowski’s film tells us a powerful, poignant story with fine, intelligent performances." — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
"This story of faith and despair is gracefully told, its simple, uncluttered spaces and luminous black-and-white photography harking back to Robert Bresson."— JR Jones, Chicago Reader
"It’s absolutely stunning, one of the year’s best films, and a fulfillment of the promise that the director has shown for so long." — Oli Lyttleton, Indiewire
Three activists (Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard) plan to blow up a hydro-electric dam in Oregon in this taut, gripping thriller from the director of Wendy and Lucy. Tapping into familiar environmental concerns and asking pressing questions about next steps, Reichardt has crafted a timely, provocative drama which stays with you long after the fade out.
"Night Moves is a film of deliberate, gnawing intensity and focus."—Scott Tobias, The Dissolve
"Sharp and haunting."—AO Scott, New York Times
In the northern Philippine province of Luzon, a law-school dropout commits a horrific double murder; a gentle family man takes the fall and receives a life sentence, leaving behind a wife and two kids. A careful rethinking of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment shot in blazing color, this tour de force offers a masterful recapitulation of Diaz’s longstanding obsessions: cultural memory, national guilt, and the origin of evil. "A masterpiece. An astonishing work of life, death and art."—Wesley Morris
"Its very existence is an exhilarating triumph over complacency... there is an almost inexhaustible humanism at the heart of this remarkable film."—A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“The lights came up, I stood with tears in my eyes, and clapped as loudly as I ever have for any movie in my life.”—Wesley Morris, Grantland
“A mesmerising experience that grows deeper and broader the longer it goes on”—Kieran Corless, Sight and Sound
Against the odds, the American Dream endures in small towns like Rich Hill, Missouri — but as this poetic, poignant doc makes clear, life is anything but easy for teenage boys growing up in a place where the tracks don’t seem to have a "right" side.
Winner: Grand Jury Prize for Documentary, Sundance Film Festival
"A truly moving and edifying film, Rich Hill is the type of media object that could and should be put in a time capsule for future generations."—Katie Walsh, The Playlist (Indiewire)
"Open-hearted ... deeply empathetic."—Peter Debruge, Variety
"Often heartbreaking."—Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter
Arguably the most popular building site in the world, the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona is 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
Jesse Eisenberg take 2: here he’s timid office worker Simon James, a non-person to most, including the lovely Hannah (Mia Wasikowska), a co-worker who is also the apple of his eye. Enter charismatic young hotshot James Simon (Eisenberg again). No one seems to notice he’s the spitting image of Simon, and though at first he feigns a certain friendliness to his near-namesake, it’s not long before the new man has begun to take over his job, his apartment, his girl, his entire life... Richard Aoyade’s Dostoevsky adaptation riffs on Kafka, Welles and Gilliam to chillingly hilarious effect.
"As a pure head-trip visual and auditory experience it feels like one of the biggest discoveries, and biggest surprises, of 2014."—Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com
"Daring, hilarious and wickedly clever."—The Playist (Indiewire)
Taking his cues from Mozart and Metallica, Daniel Dencik gives us a berth on a three-masted schooner exploring Greenland’s icy northeast coast. On board, a motley crew of artists, photographers, geologists, archaeologists, biologists and mariners. The vistas are stunning, and inspire contemplation of the Big Questions - if they don’t get eaten by Polar bears first ...
“A sublimely idiosyncratic odyssey. While the scientists unearth fascinating details of a lost world, the artists in the group mull over the cosmic, and existential, implications, lending the voyage a Beckett-like sense of the absurd ... But even if the film were silent, its eerie landscapes are so breathtaking, and serenely composed, that we’d still be entranced.”—Brian D. Johnson, Maclean's
"With a mood and setting worthy of a murder story by Jack London, this audience-friendly, atmospheric work could be remade as a thriller, although that’s really what it is already."—John Anderson, Variety
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.
"Driving both the filmmaker and her subjects is wonder and wanderlust. Their enthusiasm for the Camino is contagious ..."—Diana Clarke, Village Voice