With the permission of screenwriter, star and singer Nick Cave, we’re thrilled to offer this special advance screening of his latest work, a not entirely plausible record of a day in the life of the man himself.
“Incredible. Puts most music films to shame. So inventive and inspiring.”—Dave Calhoun, Time Out
“Probably best music doc I’ve ever seen… so much more than music. Beautifully made”—Wendy Mitchell, Screen International
Ice cream, music and collective action all play a part in this alternately joyous and sobering documentary about the challenges in opening the first ever ice cream parlor in Kigali, Rwanda.
Post screening entertainment will be a drumming performance by women drummers led by Jacky Essombe.
"It’s utterly rousing watching the women master their instruments and then push past the birth pains of their new business enterprise, and it’s completely wrenching as their individual backstories unfold. The vibrantly filmed Dreams (the Rwandan landscape is breathtaking) is a powerful entry in the list of documentaries charting the country’s rebirth, illustrating the unexpected ways the human spirit reinvents itself after enduring the unthinkable." Ernest Hardy, LA Weekly
"Wonderful… Moving… Engrossing. An affecting celebration of the human spirit. Contagious joy abounds." Anita Katz, San Francisco Examiner
"A movie that will bring you to tears." Deena Shanker, Village Voice
For the summer installment of our four-part Woody Allen cycle, one of the warmest and most purely enjoyable films from his mid-career peak. Inspired by his love for Ingmar Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night (but shot in ravishing colour by the late, great Gordon Willis) this ensemble romantic comedy follows the dalliances of a half a dozen characters in an idyllic early C20th setting.
"A small treasure."—Jeffery M Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
While campaigning to have plastic bottles banned in her Massachusetts hometown, an irrepressible 84-year-old is confronted by an array of adversaries, including local merchants, silver-tongued pundits and the International Bottled Water Association. Undaunted, this courageous senior proves to be the consummate activist.
"The stuff great films are made of… Haunting." Huffington Post
"Activism is the rent I pay for living on the planet." So says Alice Walker. One of the key writers of our times, Walker was born in a shack in the cotton fields of Georgia and became the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, for her groundbreaking novel, The Color Purple. Promotional Partner - Vancouver Writers Festival
"If Pratibha Parmar’s documentary on the life’s work of Alice Walker is the director’s invitation to exalt with connected, layered complexity the artist, the activist, the woman, the person of colour as cultural icon, - then the parting words of Alice Walker invoke a simpler message of connectedness to her own art, her beauty and her truth. In Walker’s words:’Earth was meant for joy. And as an artist, connect with that joy. And you will be forever fed by it.’” Jana Sante, Indiewire
Renowned for outing psychics and faith-healers as frauds, James "The Amazing" Randi makes no bones about being a "liar, cheat and charlatan." But such honesty doesn’t necessarily mean he has nothing to hide. This fascinating film investigates the famed debunker’s own deceptions.
"Directors Justin Weinstein and Tyler Measom apply the same relentless scrutiny to their subject that Randi brings to bear on the phonies he exposes."—NOW Toronto
"(The filmmakers) turn a standard bio-doc about an extraordinary man into a rumination on the blurred line between trickery and truth."—Toronto Star
Worlds apart, a five-star chef, a retired school teacher and a young girl discover how their small efforts to feed the poor ignite a movement in the fight against hunger. This inspiring and heartwarming documentary tells the tale of these remarkable individuals and the unexpected challenges they face.
"A luminous window into the lives of true local heroes…" The Arts Guild
The racial fault lines running deep through the American psyche are painfully exposed in Jason Osder’s riveting account of the stand off in 1985 between the Philadelphia Police Department and the black liberation group MOVE, which resulted in the death of 11 victims. "The force and intrigue of a courtroom thriller… it ripples with urgency and moral complexity."—Screen
"The force and intrigue of a courtroom thriller… it ripples with urgency and moral complexity."—Screen
"The brilliantly edited tapestry of actions and reactions exposes a pattern of prejudice and fear capable of infinitely repeating itself." Ronnie Scheib, Variety
"Quietly terrifying." Stuart Klawans, The Nation
Universally acclaimed as one of the best concert films ever made, Stop Making Sense documents the groundbreaking Talking Heads at their peak and was directed by Jonathan Demme. "A dose of happiness from beginning to end. Stop Making Sense is close to perfection."—Pauline Kael, New Yorker Magazine
One of the most exciting concert films ever."—David Ansen, Newsweek
"The overwelming impression throughout Stop Making Sense is of enormous energy, of life being lived at a joyous high."—Roger Ebert
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
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
Master non-fiction filmmaker Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line; Tabloid; Fast, Loose & Out of Control) returns to the political sphere and the unblinking focus of The Fog of War with this feature-length investigation into the mind of former US Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld. Not an exercise in gotcha journalism, the film is really a ruefully funny/horrified treatise on the constraints of political discourse, and indeed, human comprehension.
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
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 fare in captivity in aquatic parks like SeaWorld. One of those movies credited with changing hearts and minds, Blackfish is an unforgettable film. This screening will be introduced by special guests.
Defrosted some 200 years after he went into hospital for a routine gall bladder operation in 1973, Woody Allen discovers much has changed in the brave new world of giant GM vegetables, virtual sex, and totalitarian group think. Channeling the slapstick energy of Buster Keaton, Allen delivered one of his funniest movies.
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…
"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
Described by Andrew Sarris in the Village Voice as "the one truly great American film of the ’70s," Manhattan was the movie where everything fell into place for Woody Allen, the triumphant crystallization of his cinematic style, sensibility and philosophy. Today, 35 years later, it remains for many, perhaps even most people, his greatest achievement and his most beloved film.
A couple meet on an ocean liner. Jean (Barbara Stanwyck) is a knock-out babe and a con artist. Charles (Henry Fonda) is a nerdy heir, interested in the study of snakes and about to get fleeced. Sturges’ unique gifts for directing comedy and writing witty dialogue makes this yet another of his great romantic comedies that deserves its reputation as a classic.
A short history of the video game, from Pong and Space Invaders through Super Mario Bros and Zelda to Call of Duty, Halo and GTA. Featuring a Who’s Who of video game pioneers, this nifty, celebratory doc traces the evolution of a whole new form of interactive entertainment, the consoles, the joysticks, the bits and the bytes. Along the way it slays more then a few lazy stereotypes about what games and gamers are really like.
When Matt Berninger, the lead singer of The National, invited his under-achieving younger brother Tom along as a roadie on the band’s European tour, he thought he was doing him a favour. What he hadn’t banked on was Tom filming the whole thing - even as he screws up the most rudimentary tasks asked of him, like catching the tour bus, for example… A tour film like no other, this is oddly touching, very honest, and very funny.
"Poignant and hilarious." NME
"Brutal, hilarious, unexpectedly honest." The Hollywood Reporter
"The best documentary we have seen all year." The New York Observer