Julie Georgia Bernard
A favourite at VIFF 2014, this enormously affectionate film celebrates the artisans who crafted fabulous haute-couture outfits for Dior, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent: M. Gérard Lognon, a third-generation specialist in pleat-making; M. Bruno Legeron, a designer of perfect artificial flowers whose atelier opened in 1880; and M. Lorenzo Ré, one of three remaining sculptors of wooden forms for hat-making. But can small remain beautiful in today’s big money world?
Told in fourteen fixed-angle, single shot, individual tableaus that parallel Christ’s journey to his own crucifixion,Stations ... is both an indictment of fundamentalist faith and the articulation of an impressionable teen’s struggle to find her own path in life. Though from the outside Maria lives in the modern world, her family and her heart are faithful to a Catholic radicalism that requires sacrifice and devotion at every turn.
"This brilliant and subtle comedy about teenage martyrdom argues that extremism has no place in the modern world." — David Jenkins, Little White Lies
"Passionate, generous, witty; Dietrich Bruggemann’s study of a fanatical Catholic family renews one’s faith in the power of slow art movies to change the world." — London Evening Standard
This crisp, unexpected drama from regular Laurent Cantet collaborator (and Les Revenants creator) Robin Campillo oscillates between thriller, social realism, and gay love story without ever missing a beat. It begins with a classic mis-step. Bourgeois businessman Daniel foolishly picks up an Eastern European hustler at the Gare du Nord, and invites him back to his apartment the next day. But when he buzzes in his new acquaintance, he’s in for an unpleasant surprise…
"Fascinating... Sleek, shape-shifting... by turns a frightening home-invasion drama, a tender love story and a tense hide-and-seek thriller." — Guy Lodge, Variety
"A surprisingly resonant thrill ride." — Bob Mondello, NPR
"Explores interlocking themes of sexuality, immigration and power dynamics with a cleareyed sensitivity and refuses to demonize even its shadiest characters." — Stephen Holden, New York Times
Simpsons scribe Rob Cohen distills the essence of Canada like sap from a maple in this lighthearted odyssey across our great nation. He gets a little help from the likes of Seth Rogen, Mike Myers, Catherine O’Hara, Rush, Michael J Fox, Cobie Smulders and William Shatner (to name just a few).
Do your kids spend too much time on electronic devices? Do you? Suzanne and her husband decided to change that. They abandoned C21st comforts to take their three kids to a cabin off the grid in the remote Yukon wilderness for nine months. It was a grand adventure, a return to the self-sustaining pioneering lifestyle of the kind described by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and it transformed this Canadian family’s understanding of "Quality time".
"A magnificent film." — David Suzuki
"Timely and inspring. 5 stars." — Michael Reid, Times Colonist
"Family-friendly, heartwarming, uplifting and important." — Allan MacInnis, Alienated in Vancouver
Paola Di Florio
Yogananda was the Hindu Swami who brought yoga and meditation to the West in the 1920s. Paramahansa Yogananda authored the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi, which has sold millions of copies worldwide and is a go-to book for seekers, philosophers and yoga enthusiasts today. This unconventional documentary has won critical plaudits everywhere it has screened.
"Fittingly enlightening, Awake: The Life of Yogananda is a vivid, elegantly assembled portrait of the savvy guru with the cherubic face and penetrating gaze who brought meditation to the West." — Michael Rechtschaffen, LA Times
"Gentle sitar music, languorous camerawork and soothing narration ... This could be a good movie to do yoga by." — The New York Times
The fifth film from 25-year-old Dolan invites extreme reactions: it’s the story of a deeply troubled teen, his tumultuous relationship with his single mom (Anne Dorval), and the timid part time teacher who agrees to tutor him (Suzanne Clement). It’s a pulsing, live-wire movie, kicking and screaming to make itself heard.
What would happen if you could take your quiet desperation and channel it into song? Office drudge Carol does just that, and what starts as an exercise in therapeutic self-expression turns out to have serious drawbacks. In short order she is visited by the cops, fired, and worst of all, becomes the fixation of her ex-boss, "Asshole Dave", who quits to pursue his own rock-n-roll dream, and insists on Carol coming along. This oddball musical comedy comes from the peculiar mind of Vancouver filmmaker Kris Elgstrand (Doppelganger Paul).
"Bushnell and Dryborough make for a wonderful comedic odd couple, delivering what finally amounts to a heartfelt search for self-improvement." — Andrew Parker, Dork Shelf
"Often gob-smackingly good... Strangely beautiful... Uber-quirky." — Susan G Cole, Now magazine
An Israeli woman seeking to finalize a divorce (gett) from her estranged husband finds herself effectively put on trial by her country’s religious marriage laws, in this powerhouse courtroom drama from sibling directors Shlomi and Ronit Elkabetz. Winner of the Israeli Film Academy Ophir Award for Best Picture and propelled by the craft of Ronit Elkabetz (Late Marriage; The Band’s Visit), one of Israeli cinema’s most acclaimed actresses, Gett: The Trial of VIvian Amsalem is an uncompromising, heart-rending portrait of a woman’s struggle to overcome an unmoving patriarchy and live a life of her own design.
“Expertly written, brilliantly acted…The beautifully modulated script, ripe with moments of liberating humor, builds to a crescendo of indignation, allowing Elkabetz several cathartic outbursts, but they’re no more riveting than the actress’ silences.” — Jay Weissberg, Variety
"The action quivers with tension, impatience, comic heat, and, beneath it all, an irrepressible rage." — Anthony Lane, The New Yorker
"Hypnotic ... Gripping cinema from start to finish." — Manohla Dargis, New York Times
Richard Eyre’s produciton of Verdi’s masterpiece has been one of the most successful opera stagings in the long and celebrated history of the Royal Opera House. We present the original, definitive incarnation of that production, starring the incomparable Renee Fleming as the ill-fated courtesan Violetta, oppose Joseph Calleja as Alfredo and Thomas Hapson as his unyielding father.
Considered as one of the greatest American films, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest swept the top five major Academy Awards of its year. Based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Ken Kesey and set in a mental institution, it deals with a very 1970s issue: the struggle of the individual against the establishment. In two towering performances the battle of the wills is fought by minor criminal Murphy (Jack Nicholson) and domineering Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher), the cold and efficient matron of McMurphy’s ward. Introduced by actress and singer Colleen Rennison.
The charismatic Giuseppe Marinoni has been making some of the most desirable bicycle frames in Canada for decades. A competitive cyclist in Italy in his youth, he decides, at age 75, to attempt a World Record for distance cycled in one hour for his age group. Giuseppe’s determination and perseverance lead him back to his native Italy for his training and, ultimately, his attempt at the record. This is a film not only for the spandex-and-helmet crowd but for anyone who believes that a man’s reach should exceed his grasp.
Like 12th graders everywhere, the students at Shanti Bhavan School are preparing for their graduation exams. But imagine the pressure: they’re the first of India’s "untouchables" to be granted the opportunity to study for the tests. And if they fail, the fate of the non-profit school which has been their home for a decade lies in the balance...
“A genuinely moving and inspiring documentary that will resonate with viewers." — Craig Takeuchi, The Georgia Straight
“Had me crying and cheering at the end...” — Alex Hutt, Canadian Film Review
The entire Indian continent sets its annual clock by the coming of the monsoon season. The rains bring life to barren fields, stave off drought and starvation, bring the economy back to life… But they also bring disaster, death and destruction. Gunnarsson traces the trajectory of the season from the southeastern state of Kerala, where the monsoons first hit land, across the continent to Assam in the northwest. In a word: elemental.
"Awe-inspiring sights... unforgettable vistas." — Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter
Return of the River vividly portrays the epic story of the freeing of Olympic National Park’s mighty Elwha River from two salmon-blocking dams. It is a story of hope and possibility amid grim environmental news. It is a film for our time: an invitation to consider crazy ideas that could transform the world for the better.
The Elwha Klallam people, scientists, fishermen, politicians, enviros, and townsfolk all add their voices to a film that is visually dazzling, lyrically evocative, and fluid as mountain snowmelt.”
— Tim McNulty, poet, essayist, nature writer
The quirky naturalistic coming of age comedy stars Dan Abramovici as Ben as he copes with life, love, and bouncing back from a bad breakup. Heartbroken and cynical after he’s dumped by his girlfriend, Ben makes the unusual decision never to leave his house again. Relevant and witty, the film speaks to the heart of our scattered, digital age, and is a topical and comedic look at today’s wired generation.
"Remarkably funny." Montreal Gazette
Winner of the awards for Best Canadian Film and Best BC film at VIFF 2014, and named the Best BC Film by the Vancouver Film Critics Circle, Violent is the debut feature from Andrew Huculiak, drummer for the Vancouver-based band We Are the City. The story takes us to Bergen, Norway, and the protagonist is young Dagny (the incandescent Dagny Backer Johnsen), whose reminiscences of the five people who loved her most rise to the surface at the same time as she experiences a resonant epiphany.
Through majestic cinematography, DamNation explores the history and controversy surrounding dam removal projects. Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades without access.
"Directors Ben Knight and Travis Rummel have made a fleet movie with a convincing argument for systemic dam removal (some of which is caught thrillingly on film) and arresting nature-drenched cinematography." — Robert Abele, LA Times
In the first of our series bringing you opera productions from London’s Royal Opera House, a chance to enjoy the company’s new staging of Richard Wagner’s epic, his final masterpiece. A young man ignorant of everything, including his own name, arrives at the Kingdom of the Holy Grail. Is he the ‘pure fool, enlightened by compassion’, who, it has been prophesied, will purify the kingdom?
Running time includes two intermissions.
An unforgettable experience!
Wrenched reveals how author Edward Abbey’s anarchistic spirit and riotous novels influenced the nascent environmental movement of the 1970s and ‘80s. Through interviews, archival footage and re-enactments, director ML Lincoln captures the outrage of Abbey’s friends who were the original eco-warriors. With tree-spiking, forest occupation and high-profile publicity stunts such as the cracking at Glen Canyon Dam, this group became the eventual target of FBI infiltrators, leading to the arrest of various members.