Ana Lily Amirpour
The first Iranian Vampire Western ever made, Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut basks in the sheer pleasure of pulp. A joyful mash-up of genre, archetype, and iconography, its prolific influences span spaghetti westerns, graphic novels, horror films, and the Iranian New Wave.
Presenting the cream of the crop from this year’s HotDocs Film Festival, VIFF Vancity Theatre is pleased to showcase five of the outstanding documentaries of 2016. Sour Grapes (from Jerry Rothwell, the director of How to Change the World) is one for the connoisseurs, the eye-opening, mouth-watering true crime tale of what happened when oenophilia met high finance in the heady years leading up to the crash of 2008.
3-ticket pack available for Best of Hot Docs
Claude Monet, Van Gogh, Sargent and Matisse all feature in this Exhibition on Film documentary based on the recent show mounted at both London’s Royal Academy and Cleveland’s Museum of Art.
"A thoroughly pleasant feast for the eyes." Andrew Pulver, The Guardian
With the recent passing of director Michael Cimino and DP Vilmos Zsigmond it is high time to reevaluate this notorious box office flop, a western - or anti-western - that was too radical for US critics in 1980, both in its politics and its aesthetic daring. Restored to its full glory, this elegy for lost ideals could be the greatest movie you’ve never seen.
A French platoon on a rocky outpost near the Afghan-Pakistan border is rocked by the disappearance of one of their comrades one night. Has he gone AWOL, or has he been captured by the Taliban? A couple of nights later another man vanishes, again without a trace. Captain Bonassieu (Jeremie Renier) is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery…
t’s not easy being a good father to two boys you barely know anymore. Elliot (Joel Kinnaman, Suicide Squad) takes his sons into the great outdoors for some target practice, but his attempt to get in Bradley’s good side by giving his the keys to drive them back home backfires badly when they skid off the road in the middle of nowhere. Shrewdly dissecting father-son and sibling tensions, this nailbiting endurance thriller shuttles vividly between interior psychological and external, environmental factors.
The latest from Quebec’s Denis Côté is a psychological thriller, a portrait of a successful businessman whose arrogance slowly begins to crumble under the duress of coping with his wife’s breakdown. Is her mute passivity actually a form of protest? Or is it a kind of karmic payback for Boris’s infidelities, greed, and narcissism? That’s the disturbing claim of a strange messenger (played by Leos Carax-favourite Denis Lavant) who encroaches on Boris’s country retreat.
Kris de Meester
A washed up Hollywood director is trapped in a remote castle by his own fears until the arrival of a mysterious woman offers him possible salvation. Inspired by Dostoevsky’s ’Notes from the Underground’, Johnny Walker attempts to answer the burning question: Is living a long life vulgar, immoral or just plain bad manners?
Brian De Palma
A young reporter (Jennifer Salt) witnesses a murder from afar, but cannot prove it. The truth is more grim than she imagines… Sisters has a grand guignol conceit but it’s not really a horror movie - rather it’s a witty mystery suspense thriller drawing from Rear Window and Psycho. Ironically through Hitchcockian pastiche De Palma found his own voice as a filmmaker. Even at this early stage includes extraordinarily adept use of split screen, lengthy travelling shots, and an operatic "Eye of God" storytelling sense - or if you prefer, a deeply twisted sense of humour.
Jasmin, once a successful actor in former Yugoslavia, now lives in Toronto with his second wife and young son. While juggling a construction job and a busy audition schedule, he dreams of re-launching an old televised stage show that made him famous in his homeland. When he is cast in a role that triggers recollections of the civil war, he is forced to reconcile his current reality with memories of his past success.
Seamlessly weaving the experiences of the Group of Seven with three modern day sleuths, Gary & Joanie McGuffin and Michael Burtch are determined to find the precise locations the artists painted. This beautiful film explores the rivers and lakes of Algoma and the land north of Superior, energized by breathtaking aerial and landscape cinematography, combining original photography, archival materials, paintings, and re-creations.
Nothing can prepare you for the weirdness that is Tickled: when journalist David Farrier stumbles across an online video for "competitive endurance tickling", he knows there must be a story there. But he no idea of where this is going to take him. In fact within five minutes we promise, your mind is going to be boggled, and things will only get curiouser and curiouser…
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
The second of Fassbinder’s great BRD Trilogy, this is the true story of an UFA starlet, rumoured to be a mistress of Goebbels, who falls to drug addiction after the war. Shot in icy black and white, it’s intentionally reminiscent of Billy Wilder’s Sunset Blvd but more devastating still.
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Coppola’s second take on an SE Hinton teen novel is in a very different register to The Outsiders: it’s an expressionistic urban art film dealing in icons, symbols and a syncopated percussive score by Stewart Copeland of The Police. Matt Dillon and Mickey Rourke star, along with a very young Diane Lane and Nicolas Cage (and "Domino", aka Sofia Coppola).
11-year-old Leo has a secret. A mysterious illness has transformed him into a phantom boy, able to leave the confines of his body and explore the city as a ghostly apparition. The highly anticipated new film from the Academy Award-nominated writers and directors of A Cat In Paris is a stylish animated noir caper, set in the shadowy streets and alleyways of New York.
Widely disparaged by reviewers on its release (it rates just 39% on the aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes) and a box office failure, Birth is a sorely misunderstood film, and more than that, a surrealist masterpiece. Nicole Kidman plays a young Manhattan widow who is bemused, angered, appalled, and finally captivated and enraptured by the strange courtship of a ten-year-old boy (Vancouver’s Cameron Bright) who claims to be Sean, her late husband.
Copresented by the Lacan Salon and the APW Conference On Love, this screening will include remarks and discussion led by Christine Evans and Ona Nierenberg, PhD.
Jose Luis Guerin
Catalonia’s Jose Luis Guerin is arguably the least well known of contemporary greats; his penchant for teasing poetry out of non-fiction approach has been emulated by many, but rarely matched. Here a professor of philology flirts with his female students and engages in amorous discourse with his wife. "Consistently amusing, frequently stimulating, and occasionally erotic work." The House Next Door
Society depends on the Internet for nearly everything but rarely do we step back and recognize its endless intricacies and unsettling omnipotence. From the brilliant mind of Werner Herzog comes a playful yet chilling examination of our rapidly interconnecting lives.