Film Festival Series


Path Alias: 

Northwest Comedy & VIFF present Bad Movies We Love: ANACONDA... in Hecklevision!

(1997, 89 mins, DVD)
CAST Jon Voight, Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Eric Stoltz, Owen Wilson, Danny Trejo
Classification: 19+


Sep 11 10:45 pm

For anyone who felt that the problem with Jaws was the whole shark thing, this is definitely a step in the right direction: a 40 foot killer snake picking off a documentary crew as they make their way through the Amazon rainforest. There is an all-star cast to contend with the eponymous CGI villain (J-Lo, Ice Cube, Eric Stoltz, Owen Wilson), but for connoisseurs of bad acting Anaconda will always be prized for the scenery chewing antics of a bugged out Jon Voight, a stand out turn for all the wrong reasons.

Copresented with Northwest Comedy, this screening will be shown in Hecklevision: allowing you, the audience, to text your running commentary, barbs, put downs and snark up there on the screen.

Vancity Theatre is licensed for the sale of alcohol.

How does it work?

Best if you download the free iOS MuVChat texting app from your iPhone’s App Store. If you don’t have an iPhone, you can simply send standard text messages.

When you arrive at Anaconda, you’ll be given a screening-specific access code to enter into the app or text to MuVChat. Once you receive a confirmation, your heckles appear on the big-screen for the duration of the event.

"Anaconda, directed by Luis Llosa with all of the subtlety of a snake-oil salesman, is in the great tradition of cinematic cheese, as processed as Kraft Singles slices." Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

"Great "B" movie trash, complete with bad special effects and cheesy monsters." Jeffrey Anderson, Combustible Celluloid

Twenty Feet From Stardom

(2013, 89 mins, DCP)
Classification: 19+


Nov 16 08:15 pm

Millions know their voices, but no one knows their names. Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. Triumphant and heartbreaking in equal measure, the film is both a tribute to the unsung voices who brought shape and style to popular music and a reflection on the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others. These gifted artists span a range of styles, genres and eras of popular music, but each has a uniquely fascinating and personal story to share of life spent in the shadows of superstardom. Along with rare archival footage and a peerless soundtrack, 20 Feet From Stardom boasts intimate interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger and Sting to name just a few. However, these world-famous figures take a backseat to the diverse array of backup singers whose lives and stories take center stage in the film.

"Nails the sense of joie de vivre these extraordinary artists put into every note-a tribute to doing it for the love of the expression over stardom that provides incalculable amounts of inspiration." David Fear, Time Out New York

"You may never hear the Rolling Stones’s Gimme Shelter the same way again after hearing Jagger’s and Clayton’s separate accounts of the recording of the song." Liam Lacey, Globe & Mail

"I have rarely seen a movie that better expressed the revivifying nature of music." Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

Reflecting the City (Redux): Movies from the City of Vancouver Archives

(120 mins)
Classification: 19+


Nov 15 07:15 pm

Back by popular demand, the City of Vancouver Archives returns to the big screen with an archival presentation originally screened in 2013. Experience Vancouver’s outdoor pastimes in the 1940s. Flash back to the 1960s with a rain dance in Kitsilano. Take a bicycle ride though Vancouver in the 1970s. Witness the city’s transition leading up to Expo ’86.

With commentary provided by historian Michael Kluckner, this screening includes home movies, City-commissioned films, television shows produced by local stations and the community, and local advertisements. Those movies originally produced without sound will be accompanied live by pianist Wayne Stewart.

Vancouver: A Distant Mirror (from the City of Vancouver Archives)

(120 mins)
Classification: 19+


Nov 15 03:00 pm
Nov 29 03:00 pm

The latest screening from the City of Vancouver Archives features newly digitized films that focus on the city’s transportation, landmarks, industry, and domestic and public spheres. From Vancouver’s last interurban streetcar ride to its first Grey Cup Parade, from Obon in Oppenheimer Park to barrelmaking on False Creek, spend a Sunday afternoon reliving Vancouver’s past from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Local historian and artist Michael Kluckner will provide commentary during the projection. The silent films will be accompanied live by renowned jazz pianist, Wayne Stewart.

They Live

(1988, 93 mins, DCP)
CAST Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster
Classification: 19+


Oct 31 10:00 pm

When a drifter discovers a very special pair of sunglasses, it gives him a whole new perspective on life. See, these are a kind of x-ray specs. They reveal the true nature of the world we live in: the power elite is in fact an alien race, feeding off our apathy through the promotion of rampant consumerism. Far-fetched? Tell that to Donald Trump…

Screening here in tribute to the late Roddy Piper, who passed away this summer. See also Ghost Materialities presentation on Thurs 29 October.


(2015, 80 mins, DCP)
FEATURING Mavis Staples, Jeff Tweedy, Bob Dylan, Sharon Jones, Chuck D, Bonnie Raitt, Marty Stuart


Nov 14 04:00 pm
Nov 15 05:30 pm
Nov 16 06:30 pm
Nov 19 01:00 pm
Nov 19 09:00 pm

“We’ve come this evening to bring you some joy, happiness, inspiration, and some pos-i-tive vi-brations,” Mavis Staples tells concertgoers at the opening of Jessica Edwards’ irresistible portrait of the irrepressible gospel/soul legend – a vow the movie delivers aplenty. Blessed with a Himalayan vocal range even as a teen, Mavis never met a note she couldn’t knock out of the park. Guided by her father, Pops, The Staples Singers married gospel and delta blues in the 50s; won over the folkies and sang Freedom songs for the civil rights movement in the 60s; and topped the Billboard charts with “Respect Yourself” and “I’ll Take You There” in the 1970s. Since, there have been records with Prince and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy; more tours, more shows, more positive vibrations.

If the movie is to be believed (there’s no reason to doubt it) Mavis heeded Pops’ advice, takes pleasure from her good fortune and does her own laundry. In one touching scene she visits The Band’s ailing drummer Levon Helm and shortly, inevitably, into song right there in his parlor; he sits by and beams, and so do we. Music is her balm and she dispenses it with grace and gusto. Edwards makes a strong case for the Staples Singers’ importance, and testimony from Tweedy, Bonnie Raitt, Sharon Jones, Chuck D and one Bob Dylan tends to lend credence. Most importantly, though, there’s wall-to-wall music; that jubilant voice which will not be denied.

"Spirited and captivating." Joe Leydon, Variety

Render: The Vancouver International Music Video Festival 2015

(2015, 180 mins)
Classification: 19+


Nov 06 08:00 pm
Nov 07 02:00 pm

Render: The Vancouver International Music Video Festival is an annual event that showcases the art of the music video and the creativity of the filmmakers involved in producing them.

Render’s focus is on innovative and cutting-edge music videos that push the creative boundaries of the art form. The music video is often seen as a supplement to the music in the video: Render turns this understanding upside-down, championing the videos, the work that goes into them and the people who make them.

Little Shop of Horrors

(1986, 94 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
CAST Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Levis Stubbs (voice), Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Vincent Gardenia. John Candy, James Belushi
Classification: 19+ (late show) PG-13 matinee


Oct 30 10:30 pm
Oct 31 04:00 pm

"Feed me!" Levi Stubbs from the Four Tops provides the vocal chords for Audrey, a personable plant with vampiric tendencies in this irrepressibly dark but gleefully funny musical comedy. Screening here in the even darker director’s cut (Warner Bros balked and it’s not hard to see why), Little Shop of Horrors is deliciously macabre, but also oddly loveable. Steve Martin has a show-stopping turn as a sadistic dentist, but even he is upstaged by Bill Murray’s masochistic patient - while Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene are unexpectedly, genuinely, touching as the lovers caught up in mayhem.

Showing here in both the darker, Director’s Cut (late show, 19+ only) and the original PG 13 theatrical release (Saturday matinee).

"The kind of movie that cults are made of." Roger Ebert

The Who: Lambert & Stamp

(2014, 117 mins, DCP)
FEATURING Kit Lambert, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, Chris Stamp, Terence Stamp
Classification: 19+


Sep 21 08:40 pm

This is the remarkable story of Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert, aspiring filmmakers from opposite sides of the tracks who set out to find a subject for their underground movie, leading them to discover, mentor and manage the iconic band that would become known as The Who.

Inspired by the burgeoning 1960s youth culture, they found in the ’High Numbers’ a rebellious restlessness that was just what they were looking for. Rechristening them ’The Who’, they quickly scrapped the idea of making a movie and imbued into the process their unusual chemistry, filmic ideas, stylish dress and outrageous performance. They forged a complex and moving relationship, deeply tragic and brilliantly comedic, fueling the band’s artistic development and leaving an indelible imprint on its time and generations to come.

Lambert & Stamp is charged with a mad concoction of noise, love, rebellion, artistry, and hilarity. Starring Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert, featuring Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, director James D. Cooper takes us along on the surprising ride of two men who shaped one of the most exciting bands of all time and on a universal search examining the sensitive and frightening bonds that make it possible to create.

"James D. Cooper’s impeccably directed debut is a definitive screen bio of the Who and its-rock operatic rise." Rob Nelson, Variety

"Illuminates the glory and tumult of the band’s rise with unexpected candor.. it’s the rare truthful and beautiful film about the rock ’n’ roll life." Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

"Rollicking…packed with primo archival material and killer tunes. It’s also a vigorous testament to the rewards of creative collaboration, shining a spotlight on two highly unorthodox, self-invented rock entrepreneurs." David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

Ayotzinapa:Chronicle of a State Crime

(2015, 101 mins)
In Spanish with English subtitles
Classification: 19+


Sep 14 08:30 pm

The night of September 26, 2014, in the city of Iguala, Guerrero, in Mexico, more the 100 young students of the Escuela Normal Rural of Ayotzinapa, were attacked by police forces, resulting in 3 students dying, more then 20 injured, and 43 kidnapped by the police. The Mexican military is also implicated in this crime.

Within a few days tens of thousands of voices, especially young voices, echoed through streets and avenues of cities of Mexico and the world, demanding the safe return of the "disappeared" students, and denouncing this act as a Crime of State - although it remains to this day unpunished.

In their testimony and the commentary of other witnesses and experts,two student survivors of the Iguala massacre reconstruct the climate of impunity, corruption, and criminality that exists, not only in the state of Guerrero but in the entire country.

Ayotzinapa: Chronicle of a State Crime is a documentary made by Mexican cinematogrophers committed to express the Mexican reality.

Copresented with Solidaridad con Ayotzinpa Vancouver/Vancouver Solidarity with Ayotzinapa

Facebook: Solidaridad con Ayotzinapa Vancouver

Twitter: @AyotziVancouver