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Vancity Theatre Screening

Adam (Richard E Grant) is a rich industrialist, who aspires to a more cultured world. Spurred on by playful jibes that he’s little more than a city suit living the capitalist’s dream, this frustrated amateur opera singer decides to throw an opera in his lavish country retreat. Once his friends see him belting out the notes, he feels sure it will spell the end to their shallow taunts. In fact, it might even help him win the hand of a female conductor he’s been pursuing whom, it just so happens, is the first to be recruited for his showpiece.

Shakespeare’s Globe on Screen

Shakespeare’s masterpiece of the turbulence of war and the arts of peace tells the romantic story of Henry’s campaign to recapture the English possessions in France.

"Jamie Parker makes a fantastic Henry V."—The Independent

"Bold and enthralling."—The Times

007 Reloaded: Bond vs Bond

Timothy Dalton’s second (and last) Bond movie is one of the least typical but also one of the most satisfying on its own terms. It’s a revenge movie, for one thing, with Bond going AWOL to take on a ruthless Mexican drug baron (Robert Davi).

007 Reloaded: Bond vs Bond

Bond goes to Thailand in Roger Moore’s second outing (after Live and Let Die). Christopher Lee (Ian Fleming’s cousin) is excellent as the villain, Scaramanga, and he brings out what may be Moore’s strongest performance.

Vancity Theatre Screening

"Don’t be afraid. A new world of sound awaits you…" This dense, resonant experimental thriller casts Toby Jones as a genius sound-mixer, a Brit invited to work on the post-production of an Italian horror movie in the late 1970s (something by Dario Argento, perhaps?). Almost from the first this unusual assignment comes with disturbing undertones of mystery and menace - as if the bloody supernatural thriller we hear being constructed (but almost never see) is spilling out into the sound studio…

"Utterly distinctive and all but unclassifiable, a musique concrète nightmare, a psycho-metaphysical implosion of anxiety, with strange-tasting traces of black comedy and movie-buff riffs. It is seriously weird and seriously good." Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

"A delicately detailed immersion into the world of Z-grade Italian horror cinema that ultimately may or may not be a horror film itself, Peter Strickland’s “Berberian Sound Studio” is a tense, teasing triumph." Guy Lodge, Variety

"The creepiness builds with symphonic precision until reality truly is indistinguishable from fantasy." 4 stars. Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York

Vancity Theatre Screening

David Lean’s sweeping, four-hour desert epic demands to be seen on the big screen. The late, great Peter O’Toole landed the role of his lifetime as the British cartographer who united the Arab tribes to fight the Turks in WW1. Screening in a restored DCP version.

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

GB, USA

DOCside

When doctors diagnosed 19-year-old rock star Jason Becker with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, they said he would never make music again and that he wouldn’t live to see his 25th birthday. 22 years later, without the ability to move or to speak, Jason is alive and making music with his eyes.

Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet is a feature-length documentary film that tells the incredible story of a guitar legend who refuses to give up on his dream of being a musician despite the most incredible odds. It is a story of dreams, love, and the strength of the human spirit.

"This heartfelt documentary is also, more subtly, a tribute to the squadron of caregivers that has enabled Mr. Becker not only to survive for an extraordinarily long time but also to continue to compose music, using virtually the only part of him that still moves, his eyes." Neil Genzlinger, New York Times

"Inspiring heartbreaker of a documentary." Joshua Rothkopf, New York Times

SPARK FX

Based on Arthur C Clarke’s short story ‘The Sentinel’, 2001: A Space Odyssey redefined the sci-fi genre. With its radical structure (a single cut elides 4 million years), scant dialogue and oblique narrative this was the first movie to emulate the philosophical seriousness of writers like Clarke and Philip K Dick, and the first to see that special effects could become an integral component in the art-form.

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

GB, Somalia

Vancity Theatre Screening

November 7, 2008, the Danish (Bahamas-registered) cargo vessel CEC Future was boarded by Somali pirates. For 70 days the international crew was held captive at gunpoint while the pirates and the Danish owners negotiated.

This evening Vancity Theatre presents two films inspired by this story, one a documentary (Stolen Seas), the other a dramatic feature (A Hijacking) written and directed by Tobias Lindholm, whose last film was The Hunt.

Assembled from three years’ worth of visits to the dangerous "hot zone" off the coast of Somalia, Payne’s riveting film gives us both the wider context that explains the piracy from all sides, and takes right inside the actual hijacking, incorporating footage shot by the Somalis during the incident.

"Riveting…a dense, sometimes dangerous 90-minute immersion in a world where lawlessness applies to all sides." Peter Debruge, Variety

"A documentary of such ambitious scope you might need a remote control and a notebook to keep up with it." Omer M Mozaffar, Chicago Sun-Times

Ger, Germany

Vancity Theatre Screening

Heavyweight German filmmaker von Trotta turns her attention to one of the pre-eminent thinkers of the twentieth century, Hannah Arendt, and in particular to the crucial time in 1961 when she reported on the trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann for the New Yorker. It was Eichmann’s pathetic disavowals of the Final Solution policy he helped frame that inspired Arendt to coin her famous phrase, "the banality of evil."

"Trotta has made an extremely vivid cinematic essay, thrilling in its every minute, deeply moving in its seriousness and suitably unsettling." Elke Schmitter, Der Spiegel

"A thrilling lesson in courage." Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter

"The best movie this critic has ever seen about the life and times of a writer." Brandon Harris, Filmmaker

Vancity Theatre Screening

Heavyweight German filmmaker von Trotta turns her attention to one of the pre-eminent thinkers of the twentieth century, Hannah Arendt, and in particular to the crucial time in 1961 when she reported on the trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann for the New Yorker. It was Eichmann’s pathetic disavowals of the Final Solution policy he helped frame that inspired Arendt to coin her famous phrase, "the banality of evil."

"Trotta has made an extremely vivid cinematic essay, thrilling in its every minute, deeply moving in its seriousness and suitably unsettling." Elke Schmitter, Der Spiegel

"A thrilling lesson in courage." Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter

"The best movie this critic has ever seen about the life and times of a writer." Brandon Harris, Filmmaker

Germany

Vancity Theatre Screening

Few composers inspire such extremes of love and revulsion as Richard Wagner, and few classical music documentaries go the extremes of this astounding German-made feature, which includes stylized, modern-dress reenactments of key moments in Wagner’s tumultuous life and digital animated graphics alongside more traditional expert testimony.

Vancity Theatre Screening

A new female doctor arrives at a provincial hospital in what is still East Germany. Barbara (Petzold’s regular star, Nina Hoss) is a transfer from Berlin, and immediately strikes her colleagues as distant and aloof. But there are reasons, as they suspect. Her small apartment is regularly searched, meanwhile her preference for cycling to and from work seems designed to make it more difficult for the Stasi to keep an eye on her…

"It’s one terrific film, as smart, thoughtful and emotionally involving as just about anything that’s out there." Kenneth Turan, LA Times

"Petzold handles personal, formal, and political concerns in such perfect balance, it’s difficult, and not especially desirable, to separate one from the next. The movie is dense but never feels it, assembled with easy mastery and engrossing throughout." Sam Adams, AV Club

"Barbara is a film about the old Germany from one of the best directors working in the new: Christian Petzold. For more than a decade Mr. Petzold has been making his mark on the international cinema scene with smart, tense films that resemble psychological thrillers, but are distinguished by their strange story turns, moral thorns, visual beauty and filmmaking intelligence." Manohla Dargis, New York Times

Women in Film Festival
(Das Leben der Anderen)
Mongrel Media 20th Anniversary

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

"A thoroughly compelling political thriller, at once intellectually challenging and profoundly emotional."—Claudia Puig, USA Today

"The Lives of Others is a supremely intelligent, unfailingly honest look at a shadowy period in recent German history."—AO Scott, New York Times

Vancity Theatre Screening

"A beautiful experimental film… I was crying at the end." The People’s Paper (India)

"The Halfmoon Files is a gift – a generous gift and an invitation. An invitation to journey to distant lands that turn out to be very close after all, to seek the unexpected, to listen to the noises of an old barrack or a landscape that gradually emerges from the fog, and to observe closely the many possible images of a voice. A film as invitation to follow ghosts and at the same time a modest but nonetheless intense call to think.” Nicole Wolf

SPARK FX

Adapted from the myth that served as the basis for Wagner’s Ring cycle(though not an adaptation of the operas themselves), Lang’s two part, five-hour epic is a monumental fantasy film on a par with his subsequent Metropolis. Its extraordinary set-pieces, archetypal themes, and unrestrained ambition have proven an inspiration for nearly every fantasy cycle that has emerged on-screen since – from Star Wars to The Lord of the Rings.

This edition is mastered in HD from the extensive 35mm restoration conducted by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, completed in 2012, and featuring a recent recording of the original 1924 score. Screening in two parts with a 40 minute intermission.

"It’s too-faint praise to claim thatDie Nibelungen is The Lord of the Rings of its time (J.R.R. Tolkien was apparently inspired by the Nibelungenlied, too), but that gives you some sense of all the scope, innovation, rousing razzle-dazzle, human emotion writ large, and cinematic virtuosity on proud display here. It’s a huge, action-packed spectacle to rival those concocted by DeMille and Griffith, but with access to the bold, harsh, glacially-gleaming, tragically doomed finality of Northern-European myth. Once it’s over, you’ll be exhausted, emotionally drained, and already looking forward to the time you can experience the whole intensely involving, transporting, and devastating dream/nightmare once more." Christopher McQuain, DVD Talk

(Herz des Himmels, Herz der Erde)
After Effects: Guatemala and El Salvador

The location of the world’s largest—possibly toxic—gold-mine pit, Guatemala is also the homeland of the Maya and their decidedly holistic cosmology. Frauke Sandig and Eric Black’s kaleidoscopically beautiful documentary follows the daily and ceremonial lives of six articulate young Maya as they struggle to maintain their way of life in the face of C21 capitalism.

"Of course one cannot simply reverse European history and the creation of the “Self”, which is also tied to liberation from the forces of nature. But one can empathize with a philosophy that does not separate the individual from nature. This different relationship to nature is better described with pictures than with words. Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth does exactly this, with clouds that glow from within, rivers with power one can sense, or mountains, which exude an inner peace. The camerawork creates settings that inspire fascination in a hitherto unknown world."

Peter Gutting, kino-zeit

"It is an exquisitely, achingly beautiful film – wonderfully conceived and sensitively filmed. I particularly appreciated the references to ancestral dreams and memories, sequences that ring truer than any film I’ve ever seen on Maya spirituality… The sequences on the war were particularly poignant. One of the communities I lived in for 6 months was completely wiped out—I still don’t know if anyone survived. It is my sincerest hope that some lived to tell their stories like the wonderful people in this film. What strikes me is the resilience of the Maya in the face of powerful and concerted efforts to destroy or alter it. I was profoundly affected by this film and will carry many of its images with me to the end of my days."

Allen J. Christenson, Author of Popul Vuh: The Sacred Book of the Maya

After Effects: Guatemala and El Salvador

Guatemala. The war ended long ago. Though the people want to forget it, the violence continues, and it has spread throughout the society like cancer. Each day, journalists wait to report on the next murder victim, and a social worker helps the relatives of women who have been killed.

The global hunger for cheap resources has been another cause of violence, and a war over bananas has taken on a life of its own. The society suffers from the aftermath of the 36-year civil war. Mass graves are found in the mountains, former rebels mourn their comrades, and a war criminal has nightmares about all the things he’s done. Peace continues to elude Guatemala.

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