Provoked into an act of violence, a taciturn widower (Thomas Haden Church, spectacular) pilots his snowplow into a Quebec forest and sets about living as an outlaw. In turns amusing, morbid, tragic and tense, Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais’ singular debut signals the arrival of a formidable new talent. Winner, Best New Narrative Director, Tribeca 2013.
Having graphically depicted the ghastly behaviour we’re capable of in his black comedies, maverick writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait now employs the found-footage horror genre to explore our enduring obsession with the sasquatch myth. As a couple strays off California’s "Bigfoot Scenic Byway" and into the woods, Willow Creek transports us into a realm of primal terror.
With Dostoyevsky serving as inspiration and war-torn Sri Lanka the backdrop, Prasanna Vithanage’s clear-eyed drama centres on the unlikely marriage between an aloof pawnbroker and a kindhearted young woman. As past secrets reveal themselves, the lasting schisms wrought by civil war likewise come to the fore. A deeply moving and impeccably acted film.
"Anime helmer Hosoda Mamoru tenderly imagines the complications that follow when an ordinary girl takes a lupine lover… Embracing the patient, poetic style of such Japanese masters as Ozu and Mizoguchi… this elegant project lovingly upholds Japan’s hand-drawn tradition."—Variety. Winner, Best Animated Feature, Sitges 2012. Note: Families welcome at the matinee screening!
Words can be sticky, persistent, nasty things.
Leifur (Olafur Darri Ólafsson) wakes up hung over, buck naked, smelling of sex and slathered in makeup. All told, it’s just another day at the office for Iceland’s most notorious politician. Emulating Leifur’s chronologically jumbled, kaleidoscopic reality, Marteinn Thórsson’s extremist fever dream plunges us into a bacchanalian hell. Winner, Best Actor, Karlovy Vary 2013.
The great Alain Resnais brings together a fantastic cast—Piccoli, Azéma, Arditi, Amalric and others—for a roundelay of theatre and passion in a country house. "Digital technology meets lyrical drama… in this puckishly daring, intricately original work."—New Yorker. Dedicated to the memory of film critic, professor and VIFF friend Mark Harris.
François Ozon’s controversial drama follows 17-year-old Isabelle (Marine Vacth), from a comfortable Parisian background, who chooses to become a high-class prostitute. Ozon’s refusal to judge coupled with Vacth’s amazing performance make for a disturbing and deeply affecting work.
Taking their cues from the vagaries of youth, these capricious short films tackle those formative experiences that either shape our futures or simply leave us forever scarred.
Innovative in form and revealing in content, Lynne Sachs’ tenderly poetic "hybrid documentary" uses scripted monologues, improvised scenes and vérité footage to paint a vivid portrait of contemporary immigrant life in "shift-bed" rooming houses in New York’s Chinatown.
“An amateur kidnapping plotted by two teenage brothers goes wrong in Tom Shoval’s quirky first feature… A fetching addition to the Israeli panorama, an offbeat but not completely downbeat dramedy and coming-of-age tale that incidentally portrays the suburban class struggle and decline of the country’s middle class.”—Hollywood Reporter
This Chinese experimental-fiction-documentary—poetic, quasi-plotless, adorned with groovy pop hits—dazzlingly combines ghost stories and “ruin porn” to form a celluloid psycho-collage. Wandering souls seek connections with one another and a lost collective history among the remnants of an abandoned Chinese oil town.
Zentai are full-body-suit fetishists, and Hashiguchi Ryusuke’s wonderful comedy introduces us to four of them, two men and two women. Warning: secret identities are involved.