Path Alias: 

Drug War

(Du zhen)
(2013, 107 mins, DCP)
CAST Sun Honglei, Louis Koo, Huang Yi, Gao Yunxiang, Wallace Chung, Li Guangije, Hao Ping


Hong Kong auteur Johnnie To may be the best director of thrillers working anywhere in the world today. He’s an assured stylist, a formalist who knows the genre inside out and takes delight in experimenting with its codes and tropes. But with his new film, Drug War, he’s reined in much of the playful stuff you find in more recent movies like Sparrow or Exiled to pare down on a tough, intense mainland China police procedural.

Drug War has been hailed as a return to the form of PTU and Breaking News. Louis Koo (Election) is a gangster who helps cop Sun Honglei infiltrate the "gang of 7". As the uneasy allies are forced to compress months of police work into just 72 sleepless hours, the increasingly desperate police are quickly stretched past their limits. As things spin wildly out of control, the line between duty and recklessness is blurred, and it becomes unclear whether the cop or the criminal truly has the upper hand

Lawrence of Arabia

(1962, 216 mins, DCP)
CAST Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins. Anthony Quayle
Classification: PG, Youth under 18 may attend


Some films demand the big screen and this WWI epic from David Lean is certainly one of them. Screening as a special tribute to the late, great Peter O’Toole (born August 1932, in Connemara, County Galway; died December 2013, in London, England),

Buoyed by the success of Bridge Over the River Kwai, Lean persuaded producer Sam Spiegel to bankroll this four hour 70mm desert epic about the eccentric English cartographer who united the Arab tribes to fight the Turks during the First World War – and cast the virtually unknown O’Toole in the lead. The result is a triumph for actor and director, a film of tremendous sweep and stunning vistas that never loses sight of the complexities and contradictions that agitated Lawrence.

"A miracle… The first film I saw that made me want to be a moviemaker." Steven Spielberg

Sea Shepherd presents... Blackfish

(2013, 83 mins, DCP)


 Special Guests: Carol Ray, one of the former Sea World trainers featured in the film.

In the first of a new series of environmental films copresented with Sea Shepherd, Vancity Theatre is proud to bring back one of our biggest hits from last year, the powerful expose of how orcas are treated in captivity at SeaWorld.

Perhaps you remember Tilikum? The killer whale was a star attraction at Oak Bay, British Columbia’s Sealand of the Pacific park from 1983 to 1992 - when he was shipped out to SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida. The sale took place shortly after the tragic death of a trainer, Keltie Byrne, who slipped and fell into the pool. Although Tilikum was officially exonerated from the death, eye-witnesses tell a very different story. And as filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite discovered, this was not to be the last human death associated with the bull orca.

In fact there is little doubt that the brutal conditions in which he has spent most of his life in captivity have made him into a lethal threat to those people who love him most - his trainers. Meanwhile SeaWorld insists there is nothing to be concerned about here, and continue to propagate self-serving myths about the orcas even as they endanger the lives of their employees.

About Sea Shepherd

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.

Raincity Oscar Party

(240 mins)
Tickets $35


State-of-the-art Oscar® Viewing On The Big Screen at Vancity Theatre

Experience the Academy Awards® on the Big Screen in the comfort of the most luxurious movie theatre in town. Our red carpet party includes a welcome cocktail, hors d'oeuvres, an Oscar pool, prizes, tunes from our guest DJ, and a celebrity host.

We'll be putting our own Raincity spin on Hollywood's big night, so expect surprises, laughs, a bigger splash!


March 2, 2014

Red Carpet Pre-show: 3:30 pm

Live Broadcast: 5:00 pm

Tickets: $35

Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St. | #raincityoscar


Presented by:





Guest Sponsor: 


 Party Sponsor:


Datong: The Great Society

(2012, 120 mins, DCP)
In English, Chinese, French with English and Chinese subtitles


Named 2011 Movie-of-the-Year by China’s progressive Southern Metropolitan Daily for "returning fuller memories and humanity to Chinese history," Datong: The Great Society focuses on modern China’s first major utopian philosopher and constitutional reformer, Kang Youwei (Liu Kai Chi). After the Qing government’s bloody crackdown on the political reform he initiated in 1889, Kang and his daughter Tung Pih (Lindzay Chan) fled into 16 years of exile, including residence on a Swedish island. Evans Chan’s docu-drama recounts Kang’s epic struggle for China’s modernization as well as for his dream of Datong — the Chinese utopia. Stockholm-based actress-choreographer Chiang Ching narrates and Mary Stephen edits. (In English, Chinese, and French with English and Chinese subtitles)

Chinese film scholar Michael Berry has called Evans Chan “one of the most singularly innovative and diverse figures in the Chinese cultural world in the last 15 years.” Chan’s award-winning films – four narrative features and five documentaries – have been shown at the Berlin, Rotterdam, London, Moscow, Montreal, and Taiwan Golden Horse film festivals, among others. He has also published three books of essays in Chinese, and is the editor/translator into Chinese of three books by Susan Sontag. Eros, Angst and Exile, a critical anthology about Chan’s works edited by Tony Williams, is forthcoming from the Hong Kong University Press. Time Out Hong Kong this year has listed Chan’s directorial debut To Liv(e) 浮世戀曲 as one of the 100 Greatest Hong Kong Films.

"Exciting, inventive, bold, post-modern!" Ann Hui, filmmaker

The Great Flood

(2013, 80 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
FEATURING The music of Bill Frisell
Supported by REEL CAUSES


Director Bill Morrison weaves together compelling archival footage of the great Mississippi flood of 1927, complemented by a very well-considered Bill Frisell original score. That flood led to an exodus of sharecroppers, all heading north. The result? Chicago blues, rhythm & blues and, ultimately, rock ’n’ roll…

The flood was the most destructive in American history—27,000 square miles were inundated. The migration fueled the evolution of acoustic blues, including artists who witnessed the flood such as Charley Patton ("High Water Everywhere") and Memphis Minnie ("When the Levee Breaks"), as well as influencing electric blues bands that thrived in cities like Memphis, Detroit and Chicago.

Much of the incredible archival footage here (there is no narration) is taken from sources like the Fox Movietone Newsfilm Library and the National Archives. All the film documenting the catastrophe was shot on volatile nitrate stock, some from the air, some from the land, much from in the midst of the swelling river itself. The partially deteriorated film stock figures prominently in Morrison’s aesthetic—the bubbles and washes of decaying footage are associated with the destructive force of the rising river, the celluloid seeming to have been bathed in the same water as the images it depicts. These layers of visual information—paired with Frisell’s musical mix that combines roots influences with his own inimitable stylings—become contemporary again. The Great Flood’s imagery is visible through history’s prism, one that dances with the sound of modernity.

"Guitarist-composer Bill Frisell’s wall-to-wall, bluesy-jazzy soundtrack beautifully reflects and unifies the visuals while also helping to personalize this distinct endeavor. It’s a terrific achievement." Gary Goldstein, LA Times

The Music Room

(1950, 100 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
CAST Chhabi Biswas, Sardar Akhtar, Gangapada Basu


The Music Room exemplifies the eternal conflict between old money, steeped in tradition, and new money, gleefully snapping at its heels. In the late 1920s, noble Huzur Biswambhar Roy lives with his family and servants in a crumbling Bengali palace lit by lanterns and candles. His joy is his music room, where he celebrates with magnificent concerts and plays generous host to the hilt. The thorn in his side is his neighbour, a vulgar upstart who makes plenty of money with new ideas. Director Satyajit Ray is one of the greatest auteurs of international cinema and the best-known Indian director on the world stage. His film about those who dwell in the past and those who embrace the future is a magnificent tour de force.

Guest presenter:

Scott Watson is Head (2013-) and Professor (2003-) at the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory and Director of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery (1989- ) at UBC. He is Director and Graduate Advisor for the Critical Curatorial Studies program, which he helped initiate in September 2002. Recent distinctions include the Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art (2010), Alvin Balkind Award for Creative Curatorship in British Columbia Arts (2008) and the UBC Dorothy Somerset Award for Performance Development in the Visual and Performing Arts (2005). Professor Watson’s research focus is contemporary art and issues, art theory and criticism, 20th century art history, curatorial and exhibition studies.

Turandot, from The Royal Opera House

(2013, 205 mins, DCP)
CAST Lise Lindstrom, Alasdair Eilliott, Marco Berti, Raymond Aceto, Eri Nakamura.
Running time includes two intermissions. Tickets $22.
Popcorn is not permitted in the theatre for opera shows.


Andrei Serban’s staging of Puccini’s final opera is a glorious pageant of rich colour, dance and drama. Turandot is a tale of disguised identities, riddles, ritual executions and powerful, triumphant love. This is a spectacular production of the dark Oriental fairytale, with magnificent sets, elaborate masks and costumes inspired by traditional Chinese theatre. One of the greatest Turandot singers today, Lise Lindstrom, makes her Royal Opera debut, with Marco Berti in the role of Prince Calaf.

Conducted by Henrik Nanasi

Running time includes two intermissions

The Way We Dance

(2013, 110 mins, DCP)
In Cantonese with English subtitles
CAST Cherry Ngan
Sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office


Fleur (Cherry Ngan), who used to spend time working at her parents’ tofu restaurant is now a member of BombA, a hip-hop dance group at her university. A chance encounter brings her in touch with Tai Chi, a traditional martial art that local elders usually practice for its health benefits. She soon finds innovative ways to incorporate the movement vocabulary of the ancient form into her dance. But just when she is ready to challenge another group on the dance floor, her foot is severely injured in an accident. Will she persevere?

This low-budget dance film became a surprise hit in the Hong Kong box office. It injected the local film industry with a breath of fresh and youthful air that has recently swept across Chinese screens with such films as So Young (Zhao Wei, 2013) and You Are the Apple of My Eye (Giddens Ko, 2011). The young and sensational lead actress Ngan is nominated for a Taipei Golden Horse Film Awards in the Best Actress category for her performance in this film.

"A cracking spectacle that showcases some of Hong Kong’s best street dancers" The Hollywood Reporter

"The choreography shows flashes of genuine inventiveness that will impress even those unfamiliar with the street dance scene." Twitch

"After all these years, we have finally found the new hope for Hong Kong cinema." Shu Kei


(Ji zhan)
(2013, 120 mins, DCP)
In Cantonese, Mandarin with English subtitles
CAST Nick Cheung, Eddie Peng, Crystal Lee
Sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office


Fleeing to Macau to escape loan sharks, a former mixed-martial arts champion becomes embroiled in the lives of a psychologically troubled single mother and a young wannabe fighter, in Hong Kong auteur Dante Lam’s stylish and compelling action-drama.

Unbeatable is not just another fight flick. The latest action-drama by Hong Kong auteur Dante Lam, set in the mixed-martial-arts world, is a film with broad appeal, one that can satisfy the appetites of disparate audiences, from genre aficionados to lovers of Asian melodrama, from the young to the old — ladies included.

Former boxing champion Chin Fai (superbly played by Nick Cheung) has moved to Macau to escape the loan sharks on his trail. Unable to afford a flat on his own, he rents a room in the rundown apartment of Gwen (Mei Ting), a single mother suffering from mental disorders she developed after a terrible family accident. Struggling to keep her mother from plunging into madness is ten-year-old Dani (an amazing Crystal Lee, who won Best Actress for her performance at the Shanghai International film festival). At the gym where he does menial chores to make ends meet, Fai meets Lin Siqi (Eddie Peng), who wants to enter an MMA championship to prove himself to his father (Jack Kao).

Lam delivers masterful combat scenes, rendering his characters’ technique and emotions with equal dexterity, but the focus of the film remains the lives of these damaged, unlikely heroes. The "Raging War" of the original Chinese title, Ji Zhan, seems to refer not only to the furious fights within the ring but also to their the characters’ life struggles.

A compelling tale of endurance, impeccably directed, Unbeatable is moving, uplifting, and entertaining. (Toronto International Film Festival)

Director Biography

Dante Lam was born in Hong Kong and began his career as an actor and assistant director. His feature directing credits include Operation Zero (97), Beast Cops (98), Jiang Hu: The Triad Zone (00), The Twins Effect (03), Beast Stalker (08), Sniper (09), Fire of Conscience (10),

"The storytelling artistry of Hong Kong helmer Dante Lam and Nick Cheung’s powerhouse performance make a raw and compelling experience out of this action-drama set in the world of mixed martial arts. While Lam never loses his grip on the action, he also beautifully modulates his characters’ turbulent ups and downs like musical movements, expressing the protagonist’s motto that fighting is all about setting your own rhythm." Maggie Lee, Variety