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Under the Cherry Moon


Black History Month: Icons

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A rare opportunity to catch Prince’s directorial debut on the big screen, and in 35mm, where its luminous black and white photography (by Fassbinder/Scorsese collaborator Michael Ballhaus) belongs. This came out at the apex of Prince’s career, on the back of Purple Rain, and at the time he released his perfect single, Kiss. Fair to say it wasn’t what the market was looking for: a romantic comedy harking back to 1930s screwball comedies, with the pop star playing a con-man living off his charm and rich women on the Mediterranean riviera along with his cousin Tricky (Jerome Benton). His latest mark (Kristin Scott Thomas, in her debut) has a $50 million trust fund and daddy issues. But wouldn’t you know it, Prince falls in love with her for real.

Screenwriter Becky Johnston is still working. Her other credits include Seven Years in Tibet and House of Gucci.

Songs come from the album Parade: Girls & Boys; Mountains; New Position; Sometimes It Snows in April; Kiss; and more…

One of the strangest and craziest movies of its time… an off-beat gem [and] an unabashed vanity project that both revels in and transcends its solipsistic underpinnings in ways that are alternately perplexing and endearing, an endeavor further bolstered by a stunning visual style and a central performance that, for better or worse, you cannot take your eyes off of for a second, not that you ever have a chance to do so. [You] come out of it amused, dazzled, and with an immediate desire to purchase the soundtrack.
Peter Sobczynski,

This film’s like getting a glimpse at Prince’s brain, scattered but at least to a breathtaking degree. His interests seem to be in his poised allure, his love of old fashion, and his unflappable hard-on for true love. As far as debuts go, not many directors would dare to let it all out like this.
Blake Goble, Consequence

The initially much-maligned movie is ripe for critical reappraisal. Moon hybridizes the fragmented and refracted aesthetics of Old Hollywood to a contemporary African-American sensibility. It’s an old plot, sure, but the race and class mutations it undergoes here are dizzying.
Glenn Kenny, Decider




Prince, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jerome Benton, Steven Berkoff

Country of Origin





In English and French with English subtitles

100 min

Book Tickets

Tuesday February 14

8:35 pm
VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre
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Wednesday February 15

1:00 pm
VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre
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Robert Cavallo, Steven Fargnoli, Joseph Ruffalo


Becky Johnston


Michael Ballhaus


Éva Gárdos, Rebecca Ross

Original Music

Prince and The Revolution

Production Design

Richard Sylbert

Art Director

Damien Lanfranchi

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