Path Alias: 

After the Last River

(2015, 86 mins)
Classification: 19+


Jun 13 08:30 pm

Attawapiskat is a name we are hearing more often: it’s the community that has been riven with a horrific spate of suicides this past year, and the same community which Stephen Harper implied was some kind of mis-managed money pit for Canadian tax payers (misleadingly, as it turns out). Vicky Lean filmed there from 2008 to 2013, a period which saw the much-heralded arrival of a new neighbour for Attawapiskat in the form of a De Beers diamond mine, just 90 miles away.

The new mine came with warming PR about the benefits that would flow down river in the form of jobs, money and development. Yet year after year, Lean found a very different story: a story of entrenched poverty, no utilities, inadequate schooling, disenfranchisement, neglect and despair. Her film may be the most pressing portrait of Canada you will see all year.

Presenting partner: Reel Causes

"This howl of anger and despair demands to be seen" Adrian Mack, Georgia Straight.

Vancouver Queer Film Festival and VIFF Vancity Theatre present: Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures

(2016, 108 mins)
FEATURING Sam Wagstaff, David Croland, Lisa Lyon, Mary Boone, Carolina Herrera, Brooke Shields, Helen and Brice Marden, Fran Lebowitz, Bob Colacello and Debbie Harry
Classification: 19+
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia


May 17 06:30 pm

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

This defining, star-packed portrait opens with white-gloved Getty curators looking over several of Robert Mapplethorpe’s most iconic and controversial photographs, most notably his “devilish” self-portrait with the bullwhip inserted you-know-where. In sharp contrast, a subsequent scene shows former U.S. Senator Jesse Helms decrying this art as obscenity in an attempt to censor it. (“Look at the pictures!” is Helms’ line, reclaimed now by directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato.)

From Mapplethorpe’s Catholic upbringing to his early years living in the Chelsea Hotel with Patti Smith, to his ‘40s—his last decade of life due to AIDS—the film offers equal weight to the man’s own audacity and ambition as it does his focus on bondage and sadomasochism, phalluses, and even flowers. Powerfully, thanks to rare rediscovered

interviews, we get to hear plenty from Mapplethorpe himself. There’s compelling footage, too, of Patti Smith, Deborah Harry, and Peter Berlin.

I Am the Blues

(2016, 106 mins, DCP)
FEATURING Bobby Rush, Barbara Lynn, Henry Gray, Carol Fran, Lazy Lester, Bilbo Walker, RL Boyce, Jimmy ’Duck’ Holmes, Lil Buck Sinegal, LC Ulmer
Classification: PG


Jun 13 06:30 pm
Jun 15 06:30 pm

A musical journey through the swamps of the Louisiana Bayou, the juke joints of the Mississippi Delta and Moonshine soaked BBQs in the North Mississippi Hill Country. Visiting the last original blues devils, many in their 80’s, still living in the deep south, working without management and touring the Chitlin’ Circuit. Let Bobby Rush, Barbara Lynn, Henry Gray, Carol Fran, Lazy Lester, Bilbo Walker, RL Boyce, Jimmy ’Duck’ Holmes, Lil Buck Sinegal, LC Ulmer and their friends awaken the blues in all of us.

Tale of Tales

(Il Racconto dei racconti)
(2015, 134 mins, DCP)
CAST Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones, John C Reilly, Stacy Martin, Shirley Henderson
Classification: 19+


Jun 03 06:00 pm
Jun 04 03:40 pm
Jun 04 08:40 pm
Jun 06 06:00 pm
Jun 07 08:25 pm
Jun 08 06:30 pm
Jun 09 02:00 pm

Once upon a time there were three neighboring kingdoms each with a magnificent castle, from which ruled kings and queens, princes and princesses. One king was a fornicating libertine, another captivated by a strange animal, while one of the queens was obsessed by her wish for a child. Sorcerers and fairies, fearsome monsters, ogres and old washerwomen, acrobats and courtesans are the protagonists of this loose interpretation of the celebrated tales of Giambattista Basile directed by Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah).

"Tale of Tales reminds you that fairy tales have always been fractured, and filled with the stuff of nightmares… What Garrone & co. have concocted is a Grand Guignol pop-up storybook, full of metaphorical dark woods and morality plays. Enter, and you’ll see why it’s worth its weight in sea monster hearts." David Fear, Rolling Stone

"Garrone’s colorful and kinky exploration of what women want. And what men will do to give it to them. Finger-licking good." Jeanette Catsoulis, New York Times

"Every shot in the film could be framed, hung on the wall of the Uffizi Gallery, and not seem out of place. It’s gorgeous." Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly


(2016, 88 mins, DCP)
CAST Jamie Bamber, Stefanie von Pfetten, Marie Avgeropoulos, Aleks Paunovic, Colin Cunningham
Classification: 19+


May 16 08:30 pm

"Unemployed for months and about to lose his home in Vancouver, Will (Jamie Bamber) heads to some far-flung northern town with his wife, Dawn (Stefanie von Pfetten), to accept the job that they hope will ensure their survival. But times are hard all around, and when he learns the company has instead reneged on its agreement, Will is too devastated to break the news to his wife. During their long, snowy drive back to Vancouver, Will impulsively picks up two hitchhiking siblings, to Dawn’s near-immediate regret: Cheryl (Marie Avgeropoulos) proves sharp-tongued and abrasive, and her brother, Lee (Aleks Paunovic), turns out to be a recently released ex-con.

Lee is also something of a backseat philosopher, the type of person who doesn’t believe in coincidences and thinks that fortune favors the bold. And so when Will makes yet another ill-advised altruistic pickup — this time, a barely conscious elderly man who promptly succumbs to hypothermia — Lee believes they’ve had a stroke of luck. Not only does the dead man have a few grand in his wallet, but he also has a slip of paper containing what appear to be GPS coordinates. And when some quick Googling confirms his identity as a bank robber, Lee and Cheryl are certain that the coordinates (which point ot a location just 30 miles or so away) will lead them straight to a stash of $4 million in gold that was never recovered by police." Variety

Filmmakers in attendance

"Impressively handled by director Jason R. Goode and writer Andre Harden, both making their feature debuts… this low-budget chiller has enough substance to suggest hotter things to come." Georgia Straight

Just For Cats Festival 2016

(2016, 65 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
Classification: PG
Special $5 youth ticket (under 18) price available to 10.30am, 12.30 shows only


Jun 26 02:00 pm

Back for a second visit to VIFF Vancity Theatre, the 2016 Just For Cats Festival features an exclusive reel of the best cat videos on the internet programmed by Will Braden creator of the Henri Le Chat Noir and created by the Walker Art Center.

Together we can revel in all things feline while enjoying the best cat videos the internet has to offer all while raising money for cat welfare in Canada!

Co-presented with BC SPCA, we’re delighted to share this specially vetted package cat-themed internet videos with Vancouver cat lovers.

The Devil's Horn

(2016, 86 mins, DCP)
Classification: PG


Jun 14 08:40 pm

Did you know that the saxophone was banned from the Earth by the Nazis? Saxophones were burned and saxophonists were jailed and exiled. The director of Inside Hana’s Suitcase, Mozartballs, Stormy Weather: The Music of Howard Arlen, Larry Weinstein returns with his latest documentary about the history of the saxophone and the fate of some of history’s greatest saxophone players. Follow Larry Weinstein as he explores the origins of Adolphe Sax, the creator of the saxophone 175 years ago and the role the sax has played over time and borders.

Moviehouse Rock presented by Michael van den Bos

(2016, 110 mins)
CAST The Beatles, Jeff Beck, Chuck Berry, David Bowie, Agnetha Fältskog, Annette Funicello, Bill Haley and His Comets, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Page, Elvis Presley, Prince, The Ramones, Little Richard, David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel, Tina Turner.
Classification: PG


May 18 06:30 pm

It’s the Big Beat on the Big Screen! Vancouver film scholar Michael van den Bos presents a jukebox jamboree of rock ‘n’ roll rave-ups as presented in the movies. Featuring an all-star line-up of real and fictional rockers—including blues belters and soul singers—in clips from a variety of dramatic, musical and bio-pic films. Be prepared for a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on as we turn up the Vancity Theatre’s amp to 11!

Mountains May Depart

(2015, 125 mins, DCP)
In Cantonese with English subtitles
CAST Tao Zhao, Zhang Yi, Liang Jin Dong, Sylvia Chang, Dong Zijian
Classification: 19+


Jun 03 08:30 pm
Jun 04 06:15 pm
Jun 06 08:35 pm
Jun 07 06:00 pm
Jun 08 09:00 pm

From the first, Jia Zhangke (A Touch of Sin; Platform) has taken the long view. Before any other filmmaker, he appreciated that China’s shift to become the industrial powerhouse of the 21st century demanded the kind of epic and muscular artistic scrutiny Zola and Dickens lavished on earlier epochs. In this, his eighth feature, Jia takes the pulse of the times at three intervals: at the turn of the millennium, in 2014, and in 2025.

In 1999, Shen Tao (Jia’s regular muse, Tao Zhao) is courted by both the easygoing Liangzi (Liang Jin Dong), and Zhang (Zhang Yi), an ambitious entrepreneur. Tao seems perfectly content with the status quo, but her admirers fall out, and pressured to choose, Tao agrees to marry Zhang. The repercussions of this choice – which also represents China’s embrace of capitalism – resonate through the years, and play out dramatically in the displacement of her only son, Dollar. Far-reaching and very moving, Mountains May Depart should be seen as another chapter in one of the most important bodies of work in today’s cinema. As to the title, Jia explains: "Mountains may depart; relationships may endure."

Selected filmography: A Touch of Sin (2013), Still Life (2006), The World (2004), Platform (2000)

A work of soaring ambition and deeply felt humanism.” Scott Foundas, Variety

"With audacious leaps of time and intimate echoes spanning a quarter century of intertwined lives, the director Jia Zhangke endows this romantic melodrama with vast geopolitical import." Richard Brody, New Yorker


(2015, 108 mins, DCP)
In Spanish with English subtitles
CAST Ricardo Darín, Javier Cámara, Dolores Fonzi
Classification: 19+


May 27 05:50 pm
May 28 08:25 pm
May 29 07:50 pm
May 30 06:30 pm
May 31 03:00 pm
Jun 01 09:00 pm
Jun 02 06:30 pm
Jun 09 12:00 pm

Two of the Spanish-speaking world’s finest actors, Ricardo Darin and Javier Camara, team up for this moving, wry film about friendship, family, and last wishes. Julian (Darin) is dying, but doing his best not to make a big deal of it. Unexpectedly, his old friend Tomas (Camara) shows up on his doorstep (all the way from Canada). He can only stay for a few days, but Tomas means to make them count, whether Julian likes it or not. All the latter seems to care about is what to do about Truman, his beloved dog…

"Gay’s wise, wistful and well-observed film about two friends enjoying a final reunion in the shadow of impending death, is by turns amusing and affecting — and quite often both at once — as it focuses on a middle-aged actor’s efforts to put his affairs in order before he faces the final curtain. It should travel far beyond the fest circuit, and find receptive audiences wherever and however it is shown, for it speaks, gently yet directly, in a universal language." Joe Leydon, Variety

"Masterful… well paced, consistently engaging… extremely accessible." Robert Bell, Exclaim!

Emotionally direct… a clean-lined, sensitively-written and beautifully played two-hander that tackles complex issues in a refreshingly straightforward, downbeat way." Jonathan Holland, Hollywood Reporter