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The Beautiful Game: Linha de Passe

Program Running Time 113 min.

Films in Program

(Brazil, 2008, 113 mins, Blu-ray Disc)

Walter Salles (Motorcycle Diaries; On the Road; Central Station) collaborates with Daniela Thomas on this neo-realist drama about a mother and her four sons struggling to find their way in the favela of Sao Paulo. The son with the brightest prospects is a potential soccer star, but at 18, he’s all too aware that time is running out. As for his siblings, they have more than enough troubles of their own…

"A beguiling blend of urban poetry and extremely well-observed social realism."Wally Hammond, Time Out

"The film’s title refers to the line of players down which the ball is passed when all are playing properly together. It could hardly be more appropriate for a film that confirms that the unflashy virtues of teamwork are as vital in cinema as they are in life."Paul Julian Smith, Sight & Sound

The Beautiful Game: Rudo y Cursi

Program Running Time 103 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Carlos Cuaron
(Mexico, 2008, 103 mins, Blu-ray Disc)

The Cuaron brothers’ follow up to international hit Y Tu Mama Tambien reunites stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna for a piquant pop satire on Mexico’s obsession with soccer and celebrity. Gael’ Garcia Bernal’s Tato – nicknamed Cursi (“Corny”) - is is a quickfire striker. Beto - known as Rudo ("Rough") - is a great keeper. But which of them will escape poverty to find fame and fortune?

"Mixes soap-opera sentimentality with playful, jumpy aggression and dresses a bittersweet, rags-to-riches fable in the bright clothes of pop satire." AO Scott, New York Times

"Rudo y Cursi is a grave and calculated affront to the men of Mexico, and that’s the source of its roistering charm." Ty Burr, Boston Globe

The Beautiful Game: Fla X Flu

Program Running Time 85 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Renato Terra
(Brazil, 2014, 85 mins, Blu-ray Disc)

Our celebration of the Brazilian World Cup Finals kicks off with this Gala Canadian premiere of the new documentary by Renato Terra (A Night in 67), a rousing chronicle of the passion and fanaticism driving Brazil’s national sport, soccer. Featuring interviews with legends like Zico and Romário, rabid fans and archival footage, the film focuses on the rivalry between two of the largest football clubs in Brazil: Flamengo (’Fla’) and Fluminense (’Flu’). The evening includes live music performance by the Celia Enestrom band and caipirinhas.

"Transports us into the football stadium and the emotions that come with it, causing goose bumps to any supporter’ Paulo Vinicius Coelho, Folha de São Paulo

Palo Alto

Program Running Time 98 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Gia Coppola
(USA, 2014, 98 mins, DCP)

Based on James Franco’s short stories, Palo Alto marks the directorial debut of Gia Coppola, granddaughter of Francis and niece of Sofia. It’s the latter who seems to have exerted the most immediate influence. A shimmering, limpid film about California teens coasting towards they know not what, Palo Alto may not break new territory but it certainly surveys the landscape with fresh insight and humanity.

"A knockout." Gavin Smith, Film Comment

Palo Alto is one of the best movies ever made about high school life in America , blurring the lines between how unique it is to be a teenager, and how universal it is to feel like one." David Ehrlich, Film.com

"The best feature film directed by someone named Coppola in a number of years." Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil le Clercq

Program Running Time 87 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Nancy Buirski
(USA, 2013, 87 mins, DCP)

Of the great ballerinas, Tanaquil Le Clercq may have been the most transcendent. She mesmerized viewers and choreographers alike - her elongated, race-horse physique became the new prototype for the great George Balanchine. The muse to both Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, they loved her as a dancer and a woman. Balanchine married her and Robbins created his famous Afternoon of a Faun for Tanny. She was the foremost dancer of her day until it suddenly all stopped. At age 27, Tanny was struck down by polio and paralyzed. She never danced again.

"It is almost as though you are beholding mythological deities who have alighted briefly on the earth….one of the great ballerinas of the 20th century." - Stephen Holden, New York Times

"The ballet movie we’re swooning over." Marie Claire

"Classical dance great Jacques d’Amboise calls Tanaquil LeClercq’s style a ’path to heaven.’ And this lovely documentary by Nancy Buirski makes it clear that he’s right." - Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News

Thin Blue Line

Program Running Time 103 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Errol Morris
(USA, 1988, 103 mins, HDCAM)

Dallas police officer Robert Wood was shot dead in November 1976 when he approached a blue Mercury Comet on the highway. Two men were in the car – who did it? With its Philip Glass score this landmark documentary put Errol Morris (The Fog of War; The Unknown Known) on the map. "Errol Morris is like a magician, and as great a filmmaker as Hitchcock or Fellini.” Roger Ebert

Introduced by David Beers, founding editor of The Tyee.

Cruel & Unusual

Program Running Time 95 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Merlin Dervisevic
(Canada, 2014, 95 mins, DCP)

In this dark, twisted BC mystery thriller, a man finds himself condemned to a special place in hell, blamed for his wife’s murder – a fact he refuses to accept. His punishment is to eternally re-live that last dreadful day - unless he can prove his innocence…?

Stress Position

Program Running Time 79 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: AJ Bond
(Canada, 2013, 79 mins, DCP)

Two friends make a bet to see which of them can withstand a week of psychological torture at the hands of the other. What starts out as a bizarre but humourous reality TV scenario gradually spirals out of control.

Stress Position is an intelligent, thought-provoking film, which can only become increasingly relevant … the overall effect is a film you both want to see again because of its numerous admirable qualities, and never want to re-endure because the psychological tortures are so convincing and the verisimilitude too unnerving.” Alex Fitch, Electric Sheep Magazine

"A nearly flawless debut feature which jumps head first into psychological terror." Film Bizarro

"Stress Position is an attractive, inventive, creative film well worth seeing." David Jaffer, exlaim

Charles Lloyd: Arrows into Infinity

Program Running Time 114 min.

Films in Program

(USA, 2013, 114 mins, Blu-ray Disc)

Charismatic, ceaselessly evolving and crossing boundaries, reed man Charles Lloyd has been in the vanguard of jazz for over 50 years with his unique, flowing yet swinging sound. This intimate portrait, co-directed by his painter/filmmaker wife, conveys the astonishing range of Lloyd’s career, including his Memphis roots; his counterculture crossovers in the 1960s; seclusion in the 1970s; collaborations with Keith Jarrett, the Beach Boys, Burgess Meredith, Charles Bukowski, Michel Petrucciani etc; and the comeback that began in the late 1980s and is still going strong.

“One of the greatest saxophonists on the planet…never out of touch with his audience.”—BBC Radio 3

Finding Vivian Maier

Program Running Time 83 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: John Maloof
(USA, 2013, 83 mins, DCP)

This extraordinary documentary - one of the most popular films at VIFF last year - shuttles from New York to France to Chicago as it traces the life story of the late Vivian Maier, a career nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs has earned her a posthumous reputation as one of America’s most accomplished and insightful street photographers.

"Compelling… haunting… captivating." Variety

"Poignant, informative, occasionally disturbing." Globe and Mail

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