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Rian Johnson: Master of Misdirection

Jan 27 – Feb 2

If he wasn’t one of the best writer-directors working in Hollywood, Rian Johnson would surely find an alternative vocation as a master illusionist. Like the best magicians, Johnson distracts us with his wit and charm, he casts a spell, hypnotizes us with our own preconceptions, and by the time he lays his cards on the table somehow it’s always a royal flush.

Johnson, who recently turned 49, has six features to his name and has yet to make a bad movie. He has a knack for finding new angles on old genres — even taking Star Wars for a spin in his playful, poignant Last Jedi.

Knives Out and Glass Onion take the classic Agatha Christie whodunnit — a form that’s a hundred years old — and give it a contemporary, pop savvy spritz. He plants the clues in plain sight but with such ingenuity and sleight of hand we’re always looking in the wrong place at the wrong time. In short, first glance doesn’t cut it with these films. We invite you to come give this master of misdirection a second look.

 

— Tom Charity, VIFF Year-Round Programmer

 

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Glass Onion

After resurrecting the classic whodunnit with Knives Out, writer-director Rian Johnson set himself the task of bringing the genre up to date with the lavish sequel, which is as much a satire as it is a murder mystery. Not that it is any less fiendish.

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3:00 pm
Wed Feb 01
VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre
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8:30 pm
Thu Feb 02
VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre
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The Brothers Bloom

Johnson's second movie is a flamboyant cult caper about a couple of scam artists (Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo) hooking up with dizzy millionaress Rachel Weisz.

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Knives Out

Daniel Craig is a hoot as debonair southern detective Benoit Blanc, called in to unravel the mysterious death of veteran crime writer Harlan Thrombey. As is so often the case, Harlan's inheritance furnishes his entire extended family with ample motive.

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5:50 pm
Thu Feb 02
VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre
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Looper

Johnson's third film - which draws on The Terminator and 12 Monkeys - keeps us happily confused. Joseph Gordon Levitt plays Joe, a "looper", or professional hit-man, who receives his victims from 30 years in the future, when time travel has been invented.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks new mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.

© & TM Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Used Under Authorization

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