Try going a day without plastic. In this touching and often flat-out-funny film, we follow “everyman” Jeb Berrier as he embarks on a global tour to unravel the complexities of our plastic world. What starts as a film about plastic bags evolves into a wholesale investigation into plastic’s effects on our oceans, environment, and bodies. We see how our crazy-for-plastic world has finally caught up to us… and what we can do about it.
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?
Rising star Dakota Daulby is riveting in this BC-made crime drama, a powerful tale inspired by a true story. Troubled Jake escapes from his abusive uncle and makes his way to the island farmhouse which is still home to his older brother. But Noel is drinking heavily, and into some seriously dodgy dealings. Soon Jake realizes he’s jumped out of the frying pan, and into the fire…
"A chilling, highly believable portrait of a serial killer that is far removed from a typical horror film, focusing on the amoral psychology rather than the gore. It offers a serious attempt to answer questions about the kind of person who kills without remorse. Picture Trailer Park Boys as imagined by David Cronenberg and set next door to Stephen King’s rural Maine and you’ll be on the right track." Andrew Fleming, Vancouver Courier
The Citizen Kane of surfer flicks, Bruce Brown’s late sixties opus Endless Summer never gets old. Brown and two surfer buddies set out to traverse the globe on their boards, and found the perfect wave at Cape St Francis, South Africa - a four-foot curl that gave rides of 15 minutes and came in so reliably it "looked like it was made by a machine." Their tour also took in Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawaii… And if you can’t get there this summer, this languid ode to the ocean might just be the next best thing.
Presented in partnership with The Surfrider Foundation Vancouver.
"The most influential adventure sports documentary ever made." NPR
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
What does it mean to be a sibling? Yolanda Sonnabend, 77, is an established painter who also found fame as the designer for London’s Royal Ballet. Dr Joseph Sonnabend, 79, is a scientist (Dr Joseph Sonnabend, 79, is the esteemed New York AIDS doctor famous for discovering one of the building blocks of the virus. They live together, at odds but inseparable. This very personal but also universal film is candid, fascinating, and deeply moving, a study of family, aging, art and reason; resentment and reconciliation.
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
A man of few words, Cosmo Vittelli (Ben Gazzara) loves everything about Crazy House West, the strip club that he owns and manages on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. He also has a gambling habit. When the loan sharks who drop in to collect a payment from Vitelli and make him an offer he would love to refuse, the tables turn. Director John Cassavetes didn’t care about the commercial concerns of Hollywood. The unconventional films he wrote and directed with unorthodox characters and troubled relationships made him the father of independent cinema,influencing Martin Scorsese, Jim Jarmusch and Spike Lee, among others. Introduced by photographer Greg Girard.
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).
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
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.
In this dramatic, firsthand account of activists on the front line of the climate fight, one man risks it all to stop the tar sands of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from crossing his land. Shot in the forests, pastures, and living rooms of rural East Texas, Above All Else follows David Daniel, a retired stunt man and high-wire artist, as he rallies neighbors and activists to join him in a final act of brinkmanship: a tree-top blockade of the controversial pipeline. What begins as a stand against corporate encroachments on one man’s land becomes a rallying cry for climate protesters nationwide.
"An inspiring, dramatic, and very timely eco-doc." Hollywood Reporter
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.
Academy Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney blows the lid off this secretive and sinister organization, a "religion" that incorporates the financial structure of pyramid scheme and bears all the hallmarks of a cult. Gibney talks to 8 former Scientologists, including Crash writer-director Paul Haggis and several senior officials now alienated from the organization. The film gives us the history of its bizarre founder L Ron Hubbard, and examines Scientology’s dubious dealings with the IRS and its disturbing exploitation of celebrities like Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
"Jaw-dropping, scary, unnerving, even disturbingly funny." David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle
"The cult is right to be scared. Going Clear is spectacular stuff." Bilge Eberi, New York magazine
"A heat-seeking missile that doesn’t take long to find the heat." Verne Gay, Newsday
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
In downtown Cairo, constructed in the Art Deco style, the majestic Yacoubian building still stands. From a smug self-made millionaire with a thirst for political power to a Piaf-wannabe in a glitzy nightclub, the building and its inhabitants decompose, all victims of their merciless society. Based on a best-selling novel, and covering such taboo subjects as homosexuality and abortion, The Yacoubian Building broke box-office records at home and was a popular VIFF title too.
This much is true: they were the darlings of 1983. Spandau Ballet were the epitome of the New Romantic movement. Fashion, synths and attitude. They sold over 25 million records, scored numerous multi-platinum albums, appeared at Band Aid, and amassed 23 hit singles (including Gold) across the globe. They were one of the iconic super-groups of the 80s. So where did it all go wrong?
"A funny, absorbing, trivia-filled portrait of friendship, the ’80s music biz and bad hair." Ian Freer, Empire
"An immersive plunge into Spandau’s journey from working-class London to Blitz-club epiphanies, stardom, split, royalty scraps and reunion. The salad days thrill; after the rush has gone, the comedown is surprisingly moving." 4/5 Kevin Harley, Total Film
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