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Woody Allen Summer

Woody goes to Wimbledon (well, nearly) in his first foray to the British Isles—a torrid suspense movie which adds a downpour or two to A Place in the Sun. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is the tennis pro torn between the socially superior Emily Mortimer and sexy (but penurous) Scarlett Johansson.

"Allen’s best since Crimes and Misdemeanors ..."—Roger Ebert

USA

Foreign Spoils - Gangsters Abroad

Curated by photographer Greg Girard, who will introduce the films: House of Bamboo & Long Arm of the Law The Walled City of Kowloon was an amazing and forbidding part of Hong Kong, and who better to introduce these films in which it features so centrally than photographer Greg Girard, whose book City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City is itself now legendary.

HOUSE OF BAMBOO The first Hollywood movie to be shot in Japan after WWII, and also the first film to be shot in CinemaScope in that country, House of Bamboo is vividly alert to places and spaces. One of the iconic film noir hard men, Robert Ryan is an ex GI operating an American crime gang on strict military lines. Robert Stack infiltrates the group, but getting in is easier than getting out in one piece.

"A masterpiece that pinpoints the sublime in Fuller’s sensationalism and earns every inch of its widescreen real estate! Turning the on-location Tokyo streets into the perfect backdrop for a cartoonishly colorful version of hardboiled drama—call it Pulp Art— House of Bamboo keeps its story line about an undercover Army cop (Stack) battling a gangster (Ryan) on the lean and mean side. But the impeccable compositions Fuller uses to detail the lyrical and the lurid give even the most lowbrow elements a high-art feel; it’s like a bridge from the gutter to the museum." - David Fear, Time Out New York

"Some of the most stunning examples of widescreen photography in the history of cinema. Travelling to Japan on 20th Century Fox’s dime, Fuller captured a country divided, trapped between past traditions and progressive attitudes while lingering in the devastating aftereffects of an all-too-recent World War. His visual schema represents the societal fractures through a series of deep-focus, Noh-theatrical tableaus, a succession of silhouettes, screens, and stylized color photography that melds the heady insanity of a Douglas Sirk melodrama with the philosophical inquiry of the best noirs." Keith Uhlich, Slant Magazine

Music Mondays

"Though not nearly as famous as Monterey Pop (1968), Woodstock (1970), or Gimme Shelter (1970), Festival is an equally fascinating artifact of the turbulent ’60s music scene."Stuart Galbraith IV, DVD Talk

"Marvellously entertaining."Roger Ebert

Vancity Theatre Screening

The power, intensity and drama of desert ultra-marathon racing fuels Jennifer Steinman’s emotionally charged documentary. Following a small group of very different runners competing the in the Four Desert series (the Atacama, the Gobi, the Sahara and Antarctica) the film draws us in to their lives, to understand what drives them to undertake such a grueling challenge.

Vancity Theatre Screening

Named by Quentin Tarantino as one of the 12 best films ever made, this legendary box office disaster was one of the movies that put an end to the era of directorial power in Hollywood (certainly for Exorcist and French Connection filmmaker William Friedkin). A remake of French classic The Wages of Fear, about the transportation of cans of nitroglycerin by truck across a nameless Latin American country, this is nailbiting adventure cinema at its best.

"An audacious masterpiece! Friedkin’s reinterpretation of Clouzot’s 1953 masterpiece is among his most daring works. Three sequences alone— a chaotic car crash in Boston, the unloading of charred bodies in a Central American village, and the explosives-laden trucks crossing a rickety storm-blown bridge — render Sorcerer a classic and retain their power to make audiences gasp. Released the same year as Star Wars, [it] represents the braver road abandoned by the studio system.”Haden Guest

Coenpalooza!

Career criminal H.I. McDonnaugh (Nic Cage) marries police woman Ed (Holly Hunter), but sadly her womb is a barren place. Hi resolves to make off with one of the quintuplets born to local furniture tycoon Nathan Arizona - after all, how many babies does he need, really?

Music Mondays

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.

"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 and Mail

"This generous, fascinating documentary about the careers of backup singers, most of them African-American women, seeks to rewrite the history of pop music by focusing attention on voices at once marginal and vital." AO Scott, New York Times

"Just about everything in this movie is right. And anybody who gives a rip about unsung heroines of popular music and giving credit when credit’s overdue had better come up with a good excuse not to see it." Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

DOCside

"Peter Nicks’s magnificent documentary spends a day in the life of an over-crowded and under-resourced hospital emergency room in Oakland, Calif., where a staff of compassionate professionals provide care to a startlingly diverse population of patients. This subtle, compassionate tableau lifts the veil on a world often described in terms of squalor and despair, finding the inherent dignity and perseverance therein." Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

"Peter Nicks’s magnificent documentary spends a day in the life of an over-crowded and under-resourced hospital emergency room in Oakland, Calif., where a staff of compassionate professionals provide care to a startlingly diverse population of patients. This subtle, compassionate tableau lifts the veil on a world often described in terms of squalor and despair, finding the inherent dignity and perseverance therein." Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

"Documentarian Peter Nicks had extraordinary access to the people in and around the waiting room of a public hospital in Oakland. But what makes this a classic, and a work of art and not journalism, is his taste, his poetic touches and his talent for understatement." Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

Music Mondays

The title of this archival doc comes from the opening of "Jumpin Jack Flash": "I was born in a crossfire hurricane ..." What follows is a whirlwind history of the rockiest band to celebrate a golden anniversary.

"Riotously entertaining."—Neil Smith, Total Film

Coenpalooza!

What’s the rumpus? The Coens’ riff on Dashiell Hammett is one of their most flavourful achievements, an intricate, complex and compelling study of integrity among thieves set in the ethically compromised world of civic politics in the Prohibition era.

"A superb, languid fantasia on the theme of the gangster film that repays endless viewing." David Thomson, Have You Seen…?

"Maybe the greatest motion picture of the last 20 years." Jim Emerson, Scanners (2007)

"Elegantly profound, it’s a meditation on what doing the right thing might mean, with a spookily good, career-best performance from Byrne." Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph

Music Mondays

The rock/funk band Miller, Miller, Miller and Sloan hoped to make it big in 1980s New York City music scene. They had talent, a unique sound, and fans—everything but a record deal. This "where are they now?" documentary is a kind of rock n roll 7 Up, funny, rueful, and full of piercing insight.

"By the time the film ends you’ll be hoping for a reunion." Unseen Films

IBFF 2013 Vancouver (International Buddhist Film Festival)

Against all odds, E. Gene Smith, a Mormon, pacifist and Buddhist organized a mission to rescue the written legacy of the Tibetan culture even as it was threatened with destruction and loss. The film documents his amazing efforts which set in motion an ongoing project to preserve, digitize and translate 20,000 volumes of Tibetan literature, from medicine and history to poetry and Buddhist texts.

Music Mondays

The Doors Live At The Bowl ’68, is widely held as the band’s best performance ever captured on film. And now for the first time, fans can watch the complete version in digitally re–mastered glory with 5.1 surround sound as the entire concert has been carefully restored from the original camera negatives to include the lost performances of "Hello I Love You," "Texas Radio and the Big Beat" and "Spanish Caravan."

WOODY ALLEN 4 SEASONS: Woody in Winter

Expertly weaving between comedy and tragedy ("if it bends, it’s funny; if it breaks, it isn’t," as Alan Alda’s egomaniac sitcom writer is fond of saying), this is one of Allen’s finest movies, a dark, somber but also very witty tale of infidelity and murder that grapples with the philosophical implications of our own, seemingly in-built ethical limitations and stands as a cynical corrective to the warmth of Hannah and Her Sisters.

"His best and most courageous work to date." Stanley Kauffman, New Republic (1989)

After Effects: Guatemala and El Salvador

Imagine gold "as far as the eye can see". All you have to do is rip it out of the ground. But one man’s nirvana is another’s hell. Gold Fever witnesses the arrival of Goldcorp Inc to a remote Guatemalan village. 500 years after the conquistadors, and still reeling from decades of US-backed repression, Diodora, Crisanta and Gregoria are caught in the cross-hairs of another global frenzy for gold. Together with their community, they resist the threat to their ancestral lands in the face of grave consequences.

“Beautifully-made. Sobering and tragic, but ultimately empowering.”

The Yes Men

“Tests Guatemalan society’s willingness to confront what might be today’s biggest challenge: overcoming the social unrest caused by the massive extraction of natural resources.”

Uli Stelzner, Muestra de Cine Internacional Memoria Verdad Justicia

Vancity Theatre Screening

Eternally opinionated, brilliantly funny and terminally political, Gore Vidal—novelist, essayist, polemicist, politician, pundit, screenwriter—was the true protean man. If nothing else, this acute, trenchant documentary reminds us just how much we’re missing in a cultural landscape from which the public intellectual has been banished without a trace.

"Immensely enjoyable… invigorating."Ernest Hardy, Village Voice

"Nicholas Wrathall’s treasure-trove documentary does a terrific job of summing up the late political writer’s life and work."Time Out New York

Coenpalooza!

“I gotta tell you, the life of the mind… There’s no roadmap for that territory… And exploring it can be painful.” John Turturro gives what may be the definitive portrait of a blocked - but still unbearably pompous - writer in this insider satire on Hollywood culture.

Cinema Salon

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.

Vancity Theatre Screening

The hilarious (and possibly exaggerated) origin story of the real life alien bluegrass band, Future Folk. When a comet threatens to destroy their planet, the citizens of Hondo enlist their most decorated soldier, General Trius (Nils d’Aulaire), to search for a new home planet- and wipe out the current inhabitants with a flesh-eating virus. After landing somewhere near Brooklyn, General Trius wanders into a megastore to unleash the terror… when he’s enchanted by a strange and mystical human invention known as "music."

"Close encounters of the charming kind." Robert Koehler, Variety

"Delightful." LA Weekly

"Hilarious." San Francisco Chronicle

USA, France, South Korea

In a future where a failed global-warming experiment kills off most life on the planet, a class system evolves aboard the Snowpiercer, a bullet train that travels around the globe via a perpetual-motion engine. From acclaimed director Bong Joon-ho (The Host; Mother; Memories of Murder) comes the coolest action pic of the summer, a class allegory delivered with slambang violence, visual panache, and delirious conviction - and starring Captain America himself!

"Politically provocative and visually spectacular Snowpiercer — the best action film of 2014, and probably the best film, period." — Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

"Watching it, I was reminded of the first time I experienced The Matrix or District 9Snowpiercer sucks you into its strange, brave new world so completely, it leaves you with the all too rare sensation that you’ve just witnessed something you’ve never seen before ... and need to see again and again. A" — Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

"Gets at a kind of daring, giddy excitement that plays like something our movies have lost." — Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York

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