Welcome to London’s famous National Gallery, as seen by America’s foremost observational filmmaker, Fred Wiseman (La Danse; At Berkeley). Wiseman gives us a guided tour of masterpieces by Turner, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Caravaggio and Da Vinci, but also shows what’s going on behind the scenes at one of the world’s premier art institutions.
"A great, great film. Wiseman’s technique is simple, refined, and blissfully pure. The real joy of his film is that it never needs to strain for effect; it sits back. It’s like being lulled with intelligence." Tim Robey, The Telegraph (UK)
"One of the greatest [films] I have seen all year… Magnificent… Wiseman’s touch is deft but light here, and the experience of watching National Gallery is pleasurable and immersive because he’s a wonderful storyteller. It is also unexpectedly moving." Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
"One of Wiseman’s richest and most thought-provoking films." Budd Wilkins, Slant
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the breakout debut movie from the Minneapolis maestro, Prince Nelson Rogers. Purple Rain is everything you could want from a rock film, and more - it’s sexy, sassy, slick and it captures the young Prince in the raw.
The Overnighters evokes Steinbeck (and John Ford) in its compassionate portrait of economic migrants flooding into North Dakota fto grasp their slice of the oil boom. Shunned as interlopers by most, these newcomers are welcomed into the Concordia Lutheran Church by a remarkable Pastor - who Christian charity affronts his congregation and community.
"One could draw numerous lessons from this moving and almost operatic documentary… Jesse Moss spins a gripping saga that seems to capture the American zeitgeist in uncanny fashion, and it’s all true." Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com
At first galvanizing in its depiction of survival amid dire circumstances, The Overnighters transforms into a devastating portrait of communal unrest." Eric Kohn, Indiewire
"Starkly bleak and devastatingly humane… an indelible American documentary." Katie Walsh, The Playlist
Best of 2014 Ticket Packs
See 3 films for $24, or 10 films for $50 (additional $2 Vancity membership not included)
Limit one ticket per film
A dazzling winter’s tale from an unusually energized Wes Anderson, this is an all-star mittel-European carousel of rampaging passions, class and transgression.
Sir Michael Caine delivered one of his very finest performances as Ebenezer Scrooge in this surprisingly faithful, and downright irresistible Muppet version on the Dickens yuletide favourite.
"A wonderful festive story, enchantingly told." Daily Telegraph
Prominently displayed outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), land artist Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass gained worldwide recognition during its installation in 2012. Over 10 nights, a 340-ton solid granite boulder crawled through Southern California neighborhoods on a 294-foot-long, 206-wheeled trailer. Thousands of people came out to watch it travel through their communities. It is one of the only pieces of art in recent history to inspire such a reaction in pop culture. The film masterfully interweaves this artist’s biography, the dreams of a major museum, and the uniting of a city, examining the perennial question: what is art?
"The proximity, orientation, and monumental nature is what makes Levitated Mass the piece so powerful, and Levitated Mass the film not only captures that but puts those ideals forth as something culturally and socially important, something that happened when the mass met the masses." Katie Walsh, Playlist
Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings. You know you need to see this genuine Christmas classic as it was intended to be seen, on the big screen. Jimmy Stewart’s finest hour.
A portrait of Nino Corvato, Checchino Fonticoli and Joe Centofanti, three Italian master tailors who confront the decline of the apprentice system as they navigate their challenging roles in the twilight of their career. The film unravels the mystery of their artistry and reveals how their passionate devotion to their Old World craft is akin to a religion.
“A captivating tale of an art in both remission and resurgence, Men of the Cloth is a journey across the globe unifying craftsmanship and style….Dynamic, emotional, and inspiring, it was truly an experience.” A & H Magazine
“We get to feel the love of the men for their job and we understand just how special handmade suits are…. You will feel a loss at the notion that their way of life is fading from existence. I love films that make you feel and this one does in spades.” Unseen Films blog
Chosen by VIFF Vancity Theatre members, this year’s free New Year’s Eve event movie is Edgar Wright’s anti-blockbuster, a hipster’s comic book adaptation chock full of great gags and inventive fun. When under-employed underground hero Scott Pilgrim (the cutely anxious Michael Cera) takes up with a cool American girl, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), he must fight it out with her seven exes in videogame-style battles.
It’s the perfect appetizer for a memorable New Year’s Eve. Pre-order your free tickets at viff.org Doors at 5.45, Film at 7.00
"Full of fresh, sharp touches and nonchalantly brash performances, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World consistently hits the sweet spot." Tom Charity, CNN.com
"Its speedy, funny, happy-sad spirit is so infectious that the movie makes you feel at home in its world." AO Scott, New York Times
"Like an animatronic kitten that won’t leave you alone, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World wins its audience over on adorable persistence." Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
Back by popular demand! In the Land of the Head Hunters was the first feature film made in B.C. and is the oldest extant feature made in Canada. It’s also the first feature made with an entirely indigenous North American cast and arguably the first ever documentary feature. A portrait of the Kwakwaka’wakw (formerly Kwakiutl) people of northern Vancouver Island and the central coast, it was directed by Edward S Curtis, the renowned American photographer of First Nations life.
We are delighted to welcome AARON GLASS and BRAD EVANS, editors of the newly published book, Return to the Land of the Head Hunters (University of Washington Press).
We are delighted to welcome Bill Cranmer and Andy Everson who will attend as spokespeople of the Kwakwaka’wakw. Owen Underhill from the Turning Point ensemble will also be on hand to talk about his involvement with recording the film’s score, and the evening will be hosted by poet, scholar and filmmaker Colin Browne.
A sharp, compassionate, tender and piercing tale of a nine year old fighing to tame his stubbornly curly hair and, he hopes, win the love and affection of his over-burdened mom. From this seemingly trivial tale Venezuelan filmmaker Mariana Rondon fashions a memorable movie about sex identity, mothers and sons, love and disappointment. Winner: Best Film, San Sebastian Film Festival. 100% Fresh, Rotten Tomatoes
"The most endearing film I saw out of 36 films [at the Toronto International Film Festival] was Bad Hair." Kent Turner, Film-Forward
"At just 93 minutes, the movie breezes by but is anything but forgettable." Monica Catillo, Movie Mezzanine
"Tender insight… a deft balance of toughness and sensitivity." David Rooney, Variety