Are 4 wheels better than 2? Director Fredrik Gertten (Big Boys Gone Bananas!*) investigates the daily drama of traffic worldwide and the bicycle as a tool for change. Travelling from São Paulo, Los Angeles and Toronto, where cyclists fight daily for their right to the road, to Copenhagen, where forty percent of the population commutes by bike, Gertten meets activists and thinkers who are working for revolutionary changes. Bikes vs Cars is an intimate and powerful look at how to move away from car-centric models and toward livable cities.
Valorized with great skill and insight by John Vaillant in his Governor General’s Award–winning book The Golden Spruce, Grant Hadwin’s journey from logging scout to eco-terrorist now becomes a powerful non-fiction film. Artfully reconstructing a life in the wilderness, Sasha Snow reminds us how much is at stake here, in our own backyard, and give a fair-minded account of a highly contentious individual.
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…
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.
Described by Rolling Stone as "the most intimate rock doc ever" this is about as complete and insightful a portrait of Kurt Cobain as we are likely to see. Granted access to the family’s home movies, director Brett Morgan (The Kid Stays in the Picture) goes from the ground up, but never shies away from probing questions or difficult emotional terrain. It’s a must-see.
Young urchin Almitra becomes fascinated with the political prisoner, a poet named Mustafa, who has been kept in house arrest for nearly a decade, and for whom her mother Kamila cleans and cooks. Mustafa spins wonderful stories which make his confinement seem like privilege, at least to the mute Almitra. But when freedom seems closest she gains knowledge of just how precious, and fragile, it really is… A passion project from producer Salma Hayek, this is surely one of the most ambitious and visually stunning animated features targeted at an all-ages family audience, calling on the talents of some of the greatest animators working in film today.
The most electrifying and influential American actor of the Twentieth Century, Marlon Brando never wrote an autobiography, but he recorded a vast archive of tapes: memories, ruminations, philosophy and personal observations, which have never been made public - until now.
"Listen to Me Marlon is the greatest, most searching documentary of an actor ever put on film, and it’s no coincidence that it’s about film’s greatest and most searching actor." David Edelstein, New York Magazine
Marlon Brando’s definitive performance as Terry Malloy, a New York dockworker (and once a promising boxer) who loses faith in his union and his smarter but corrupt older brother Charlie (Rod Steiger) after a whistleblower is murdered. Directed on location with staggering fervor by Elia Kazan, On the Waterfront transcends its blunt ideological premise through the sensitivity of its playing… Without this movie we’d probably never have had Mean Streets or Raging Bull, The Godfather or The Wire.
This satisfying, ingenious mystery thriller finds unexpected new notes in some old tunes. Aki (Ayako Fujitani) is a conflicted Japanese crime novelist who flees a press junket in Tokyo and hops a flight to San Francisco. She meets a handsome young man in the hotel bar, but his susden disappearance propels her into a noir-tinged murder mystery worthy of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.
"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. 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).
In what could be construed as a cry for help, John Travolta made it his mission to bring Scientology leader L Ron Hubbard’s sci-fi novel to the screen. He succeeded only too well. The movie was a big budget disaster. Travolta stars as a 9 foot tall alien (a Psychlos) lording it over the humans in a Rasta wig and KISS boots. Fortunately Vancouver’s own Barry Pepper is on hand to win the world back for mankind.
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.
A furrball of a comic book movie, Catwoman was originally mooted as a spinoff for Michelle Pfeiffer after 1993’s Batman Returns. A decade, several actresses, and 28 screenwriters later, Catwoman emerged as an entirely new conception, a meek graphic designer, Patience Phillips, working at a large cosmetics company run by Lambert Wilson and Sharon Stone. Their latest product line is anti-aging cream - yep, that’s what this movie is about. As Den of Geek put it, this is a "weird mish-mash of The Crow and The Devil Wears Prada", with PG-13 friendly leather s/m trimmings. Miaow!
“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 this irresistible portrait of the irrepressible gospel/soul legend – a vow the movie delivers aplenty. Guided by her father, Pops, The Staples Singers married gospel and delta blues in the 50s; 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. Interviewees include Bob Dylan and Jeff Tweedy but it’s Mavis’s huge voice that does the real talking. You’ll have a blast.
Render’s focus is on innovative and cutting-edge music videos that push the creative boundaries of the art form. Check renderfestival.com for program updates.