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theatre

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theatre

Demon

(2015, 94 mins, DCP)
In Polish, English, Yiddish with English subtitles
Director:
CAST Itay Tiran, Agnieszka Zulewska, Andrzej Grabowski
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Oct 28 09:40 pm
Oct 29 08:55 pm
Oct 31 08:30 pm
Nov 01 06:30 pm

"Demon is an honest-to-goodness ghost story, which isn’t to be taken for granted… Wrona springs a dazzling variety of set pieces of exponentially intensifying strangeness and sadness. Demon offers a tidal wave of unrelieved longing and regret, with a devilish streak of absurdism." Chuck Bowen, Slant

"A unique take on the Jewish legend of the Dybbuk that feels both deeply rooted in cultural nightmares and refreshingly new. Stylish and clever.. great energy…eerie atmosphere… fanatastic costume design." Brian Tallerico, Rogerebert.com

Miss Hokusai

(2015, 93 mins, DCP)
Director:
Classification: 14A

Showtimes

Oct 28 05:00 pm
Oct 30 05:15 pm
Nov 03 06:30 pm
Nov 05 04:45 pm

From award-winning director Keiichi Hara (Colorful) and Japanese powerhouse Production I.G (creators of Ghost in the Shell and A Letter to Momo) comes a remarkable story of a blossoming young artist. As all of Edo flocks to see the work of the famous painter Hokusai, his daughter O-Ei toils diligently inside his studio, unknown to the public. Her masterful portraits, dragons and erotic sketches – sold under the name of her father – are coveted by upper crust Lords and journeyman print makers alike.

In public, O-Ei knows and respects “her place,” but at home in the studio, she’s as brash and uninhibited as her father, smoking a pipe while sketching erotic drawings that would make contemporary Japanese ladies blush. But despite her talent and fiercely independent spirit, O-Ei struggles under the domineering influence of her father and is ridiculed for lacking the life experience that she is attempting to portray in her art. Miss Hokusai‘s lively Edo (present day Tokyo) is filled with yokai spirits, dragons, and conniving tradesmen, while O-Ei’s relationships with her famously impetuous father and blind younger sister provide a powerful emotional underpinning to this rollicking and sumptuously-animated feminist coming-of-age tale.

"Gorgeous! A small poetic wonder! That an anime film can explore such complex subjects so beautifully in what’s nominally an artist’s biopic is a blessing in itself." Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter

"Shines as an example of one creative soul paying tribute to another. A stellar example of the oft-cited principle that animation is an art form, not a genre." Peter Debruge, Variety

The Lovers and the Despot

(2016, 98 mins, DCP)
In Korean, English, Japanese with English subtitles
Directors:
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Oct 24 06:30 pm
Oct 25 05:15 pm
Oct 26 06:30 pm
Oct 27 01:00 pm

Film buffs didn’t come more omnicient than the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, as this extraordinary documentary shows.

The romance between the debonair film director Shin Sang-ok and glamorous actress Choi Eun-hee took them to the heights of South Korean society. Fame took a toll on their love, but it also attracted unbelievable twists of fate. The two find themselves kidnapped by the North Korean regime, and they are forced to play along with a bizarre filmmaking project led by superfan Kim.

Enduring torture, imprisonment, and surveillance, their romance is rekindled, and they realize escape is only possible through filmmaking—but the smallest mistake in their plans could cost them their lives.

"Perhaps the all-time strangest, most outlandish true-life story connected to the cinema and its practitioners…Fascinating on personal, political and cinematic levels." Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

"Essential stranger-than-fiction viewing." Justin Chang, Variety

"As both an utterly mad true story and as a document of the boundless reach of the cinema across borders and cultures and even ideologies, The Lovers and the Despot is wild, valuable viewing for all." Dominick Suzanne-Mayer, Consequences of Sound

Koneline: Our Beautiful Land

(2016, 96 mins, DCP)
Director:
Classification: 14A

Showtimes

Oct 28 06:50 pm
Oct 29 06:30 pm
Oct 30 07:10 pm
Oct 31 06:30 pm
Nov 01 08:30 pm
Nov 02 06:30 pm
Nov 03 01:00 pm
Nov 03 08:30 pm
Nov 04 06:30 pm
Nov 05 02:45 pm
Nov 05 06:30 pm
Nov 06 06:30 pm
Nov 08 06:30 pm
Nov 09 01:00 pm
Nov 10 01:00 pm

Beautiful British Columbia: like last year’s doc Haida Gwaii, Nettie Wild’s extraordinary Koneline takes us beyond the Lower Mainland to reveal the stunning landscape to the north, and to chart the tension between a still relatively pristine beauty and the scars that economic development inevitably brings in the form of resource extraction and power lines. (Also like Haida Gwaii, Koneline was awarded the Best Canadian Feature Documentary prize at HotDocs earlier this year.)

First and foremost a rhapsodic visual response to a place and the people in it, Koneline engages the senses with its ravishing aerial views and staggering vistas (as well as its superb, subtle sound design). On at least three separate occasions, Wild catches something thrillingly new and raw on camera, whether it’s a moose coming to a sticky end, horses being cajoled across a torrential river, or a power transmission tower being painstaking lowered into place by a massive helicopter. Then there’s the sequence when fish are airlifted up river for their own protection… And the scenes where a Tahltan First Nation discusses his efforts to learn his native tongue ("Koneline" means "Beautiful land")… By no means a polemic, the film is instead a meditation on different cultures, different conceptions of time and value, and a glimpse of the something that will surely outlast us all.

” Transcendent, breathtaking spectacle….she let the camera hunt for art in every frame, mining veins of abstract beauty rather than sharp nuggets of political narrative. She allows every image an ecumenical gaze.”

Brian D. Johnson, Maclean’s

“A feast for the eyes… [we are] in the hands of an expert story teller. Koneline is a wise, humanistic documentary… a tone poem to a beautiful land and the amazing characters who live in it. I urge you to see it.”-POV

"Beautiful, complicated, compelling." Chris Knight, National Post

Movies for Mommies: When the Ocean Met the Sky

(2015, 91 mins, DCP)
Director:
CAST Phillip Thomas, Aren Buchholz, Spencer Foley, Terry Field
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Aug 31 11:30 am

Shot in British Columbia, When the Ocean Met the Sky follows three estranged twenty-something brothers who must journey to a remote location on a wilderness adventure designed by their late and eccentric parents. According to a stipulation in the parent’s will, in order to gain their inheritance, the three must all complete the trek together. Along the way, Daniel (the eldest, a father and business man), Tyler (the middle son, aimless and sensitive), and Jordan (the youngest brother, sweet and naive) encounter their eccentric stoner guide, Carter Cooper Jr., who seems to heighten the tension on an already tenuous trip.

Movies for Mommies screenings are modified for the enjoyment of moms and their infants. Screenings take place in low light with lower volume levels; baby changing facilities are available.

Paths of the Soul

(2015, 117 mins, DCP)
Director:
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Sep 16 08:45 pm
Sep 17 05:00 pm
Sep 20 06:10 pm
Sep 21 08:40 pm

An astonishing journey of redemption, faith, and devotion. Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Zhang Yang (Shower, Getting Home) blurs the border between documentary and fiction to follow a group of Tibetan villagers who leave their families and homes in the small village of Nyima to make a Buddhist "bowing pilgrimage"-laying their bodies flat on the ground after every few steps-along the 1,200 km road to Lhasa, the holy capital of Tibet. Though united in their remarkable devotion, each of the travelers embarks on this near impossible journey for very personal reasons. One traveler needs to expunge bad family karma, a butcher wants to cleanse animal bloodstains from his soul, another nearing his life’s end, hopes that the prostrations will break the chain of cause and effect determined by his life’s actions.

Stunningly photographed over the course of an entire year, with non-professional actors and no script, Paths of the Soul is a mesmerizing study of faith that will inspire viewers to reflect on their own journey through life. This is a truly Buddhist film. Renounce dramatic expections, surrender to contemplation and open yourself to transcendence.

"There’s never been a road movie quite like Paths of the Soul, an extraordinary chronicle of ordinary Tibetan citizens undertaking a 1,200-mile pilgrimage to Lhasa… a stirring study in faith and spirituality that will inspire many viewers to think about big and small questions of life." Richard Kuipers, Variety

"The movie’s physicality is never pushed to suggest suffering. It’s like a constant meditation, something to absorb and exhale." Robert Abele, LA Times

"The film is restful and exhausting, inviting us into contemplation: of Tibet’s epic-scale natural beauty, which has rarely been filmed with such you-are-there patience and intimacy." Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

Gimme Danger

(2016, 108 mins, DCP)
Director:
FEATURING Iggy Pop, the Stooges
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Nov 04 08:30 pm
Nov 05 08:50 pm
Nov 06 08:35 pm
Nov 07 06:30 pm
Nov 08 08:30 pm
Nov 10 03:00 pm

"Jim Jarmusch’s contention that the Stooges were the best rock’n’roll band ever is the starting point for a wonderfully eloquent documentary; not only does Iggy Pop contribute (verbally and facially) articulate reminiscences about the rise and fall of the band, but there’s a lovely mix of archive footage, interviews, photos and even animation to accompany the music. The director’s enthusiasm and erudition combine with his cinematic expertise to create one of the great rock documentaries of recent times." Geoff Andrew, Sight & Sound

Kaili Blues

(2015, 110 mins, DCP)
Director:
CAST Chen Yongzhong, Xie Lixun, Yu Shixie, Guo Yue
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Sep 16 06:30 pm
Sep 17 09:30 pm
Sep 20 04:00 pm
Sep 21 06:30 pm

This remarkable, dreamlike, intensely poetic feature is one of the most auspicious debuts of a young Chinese director in recent memory. Set in mystical Guizhou province, the story follows country doctor Chen Sheng, a man with a chequered past. He defended a bereaved gangster from even worse thugs, which landed him in jail for a spell. On his release, he bought into a rural medical practice with elderly and wise country doctor Zhao Daqing. Zhao harbours mementos of her old lover. Chen, post-release, remembers his dead wife Zhang Xi while worrying about his nephew young Weiwei, whom he thinks his ne’er-do-well brother Crazy Face wants to sell.

When Weiwei disappears, Chen heads out to find him, on a trip to riverside Kaili and the mysterious town of Dang Mai. There, his now grown-up son, his dead wife, and mementos from Doctor Zhao all combine in a near-miraculous, dreamlike sequence that transports the film into an enchanted, quasi-Buddhist realm (the Diamond sutra plays a key role) that seems to knit together past, present and future.

Time flows mysteriously but magically: a beautiful tour guide Yangyang materializes, siren-like, in an ancient river; a rock band plays Taiwanese oldies; trains flow through walls; a clock-man wields mastery over chronology. As lost love flows uninhibited and impassioned, Chinese lyric poetry casts its spell over this radiantly impressionistic film.

"Bi’s singular vision bears comparison to those of other geniuses such as Tarkovsky, Sokurov, David Lynch, Luis Buñuel and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Like those auteurs, he achieves what film is best at but seldom accomplishes — a stirring of a deeper consciousness, a glimpse into a reality transcending the everyday." Peter Keough, Boston Globe

"Showing an unobtrusive mastery of camera movement, Bi lends concrete form and rich dramatic life to the Buddhist notion that past, present and future are all equally untenable." Justin Chang, LA Times

"Tranquil but enthralling." Michael Nordine, Village Voice

Class Enemy

(Razredni sovražnik)
(2014, 112 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
In Slovenian, German with English subtitles
Director:
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Sep 23 08:30 pm
Sep 25 06:15 pm

In this convincingly performed, character-and-situation-driven drama, a group of Slovenian teens blame their demanding new German teacher and his demeaning methods when one of their classmates commits suicide. As a colossal battle of wills unfolds at the high school, debuting director Rok Bicek demonstrates an impressive control of tension and suspense, making each encounter between class and instructor crackle with the possibility of violence.

The academic year is nearly over for a tightly knit bunch of high-school seniors. But the atmosphere in the classroom changes when Nusa, their beloved homeroom teacher, takes maternity leave and is replaced by a new hire, the authoritarian German instructor Robert (Igor Samobor). While Nusa showed great sensitivity to the students’ private lives and personalities, Robert believes in showing them who is boss.

The credible screenplay stresses the generational divide between the students and the school administration and reflects a general dissatisfaction within contemporary Slovenian society. As a director, Bicek capitalizes on the different energy between the teens (carefully cast and rehearsed nonprofessionals) and the adults (portrayed by professional actors) to persuasive effect. The already-bonded youngsters and Samobor (one of Slovenia’s best known actors) did not meet until the first day of the shoot, resulting in the type of friction necessary for the story.

Co-presented with Vancouver Foreign Film Society.

"Group dynamics are dissected with chilling precision…"

Hollywood Reporter

"Compelling, each encounter between class and teacher crackles with the possibility of violence." Alissa Simon, Variety

Home Care

(Domaci pece)
(2015, 92 mins)
Director:
CAST Alena Mihulová, Boleslav Polívka, Tatiana Vilhelmová
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Sep 23 06:30 pm
Sep 25 08:30 pm

Wryly humorous and bittersweet, Home Care is an appealing humanist tale that puts a poignant spin on that perennial staple of the Czech cinema, the village dramedy. It captures the details of small-town life through piquant observation. The action centres on a dedicated home-care nurse in the South Moravian countryside who puts everyone else’s needs before her own. Vivacious 50-ish Vlasta (a tour-de-force from Alena Mihulová) travels all over the countryside, visiting a variety of charmingly eccentric patients, and dispensing compassion and conventional medicine in equal measure.

After Vlasta accepts a ride one rainy night from the local motorcyclist known as “Speedy,” it sets the stage for a shift in the action. It’s difficult to discuss what follows without spoilers; suffice it to say that it paves the way for director Slávek Horák’s underlying theme: an examination of what is important in life and the finality of human existence. Now Vlasta, whose entire life was devoted to saving others, must find salvation for herself.

Her journey to self-knowledge and self-actualization is sparked by her friendship with Mlada (Tatiana Vilhelmová), the daughter of one of her patients; she’s a sensitive woman who leads the rational nurse on an exploration of spirituality and alternative medicine. Despite being about illness, the film is always life-affirming; the action always feels emotionally honest, the comedy never pandering. With the great Boleslav Polívka as Vlasta’s husband.

Co-presented with the Vancouver Foreign Film Society.

Wryly humorous and bittersweet… An appealing humanist tale. Beautifully written and performed.” Alissa Simon, Variety

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