Search Films by Director

Peter Stebbings

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Peter Stebbings

This affecting portrait of three generations of Cree women smacks of authenticity and truth. It’s a low-key movie about mother-daughter relationships and the way past mistakes have a way of cycling back round again no matter how hard you try to run away from them. 5 Canada Screen Awards Nominations: Best Film, Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actress and Editing.

"Beautifully shot, newcomers Gee and Eyre are revelations, and the central theme of cultural pride is stirring and urgent." Glenn Sumi, Now Toronto

"Finely crafted… A trio of gorgeous performances from the three female leads…" Katherine Monk, Canada.com

Jennifer Steinman

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Jennifer Steinman

The power, intensity and drama of desert ultra-marathon racing fuels Jennifer Steinman’s emotionally charged documentary. Following a small group of very different runners competing the in the Four Desert series (the Atacama, the Gobi, the Sahara and Antarctica) the film draws us in to their lives, to understand what drives them to undertake such a grueling challenge.

Dave Stewart

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Dave Stewart

The inimitable Stevie Nicks has entranced millions of fans worldwide with her poetic lyrics, sultry singing and featherand-lace style. In 2010 Nicks embarked on the recording of a new solo album, In Your Dreams, produced by former Eurythmics mastermind Dave Stewart. With cameras in tow, documentarian Stewart and diva Nicks set up shop in her home studio and reveal their collaborative creative process.

Peter Strickland

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Peter Strickland

"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

Preston Sturges

Cinema Salon
Director: Preston Sturges

A couple meet on an ocean liner. Jean (Barbara Stanwyck) is a knock-out babe and a con artist. Charles (Henry Fonda) is a nerdy heir, interested in the study of snakes and about to get fleeced. Sturges’ unique gifts for directing comedy and writing witty dialogue makes this yet another of his great romantic comedies that deserves its reputation as a classic.

Isao Takahata

(Hotaru no haka)
Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Isao Takahata

Classified for youth: PG (please note this film has somber and sometimes harrowing content.)

Set in Japan during WWII, the film focuses on Seita and his little sister Setsuko. After their mother is killed in an air raid, and with their father serving in the navy, they are forced to fight for survival in the devastated Japanese countryside. Probably the least seen Studio Ghibli masterpiece (at least in North America), this is also one of the most affecting animated films ever made. Roger Ebert described it "as an emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation," adding: "It belongs on any list of the greatest war films ever made."

“Grave of the Fireflies” is an emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation… It belongs on any list of the greatest war films ever made." Roger Ebert

Bertrand Tavernier

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Bertrand Tavernier

Trust the French to come up with the best bebop movie. Sax legend Dexter Gordon is mesmerizing as American horn player, Dale Turner (a thinly veiled amalgam of Bud Powell and Lester Young) trying to shake his demons in 1959 Paris, with loving help from a local fan and his young daughter. Plagued by years of alcoholism and drug use, knowing the end is near; he plays every note of his memories and battles with dignity and wisdom, and then returns home to New York. The forlorn music includes early work of Monk and Bird, the standards of Gershwin and Porter. Gordon’s contribution aside, Herbie Hancock is on piano and others such as Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Ron Carter and Billy Higgins all figure, with Lonette McKee on vocals. Hancock, who a star attraction at this year’s TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, also composed the film’s beautiful score.

"This movie teaches you everything about jazz that you really need to know… It is about a few months in a man’s life, and about his music. It has more jazz in it than any other fiction film ever made, and it is probably better jazz; it makes its best points with music, not words.." Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Paolo Taviani

(Cesare deve morire)
Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Paolo Taviani

Filmed in a documentary style in Rome’s high security Rebibbia prison, the movie chronicles a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar performed by the inmates just a few miles from where the Roman emperor was assassinated. The actors are real life murderers, mafiosi and drug dealers, and their performances slip subtly between Shakespeare’s text and their own contemporary argot, blurring the lines (literally) between past and present, art and life… But complicating things even further, the Tavianis scripted everything, off-stage as well as on, so what we take for "reality" is every bit as artificial as the play itself - and just as true.

Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” usually runs about two-and-a-half hours uncut. Italian directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s tale of a prison-based production of the classic runs 74 minutes. Yet the film gets on screen not only the play’s bloody, double-dealing, hungry essence, but the redemptive potential of art […] Such is literature’s power that the cast is more at ease portraying ancient Romans than speaking as versions of themselves. Muses the man playing Julius Caesar, “To think I found this so boring in school.” Farrah Smith Nehme, New York Post

"At once ancient and dangerously new." Anthony Lane, New Yorker

Vittorio Taviani

(Cesare deve morire)
Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Vittorio Taviani

Filmed in a documentary style in Rome’s high security Rebibbia prison, the movie chronicles a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar performed by the inmates just a few miles from where the Roman emperor was assassinated. The actors are real life murderers, mafiosi and drug dealers, and their performances slip subtly between Shakespeare’s text and their own contemporary argot, blurring the lines (literally) between past and present, art and life… But complicating things even further, the Tavianis scripted everything, off-stage as well as on, so what we take for "reality" is every bit as artificial as the play itself - and just as true.

Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” usually runs about two-and-a-half hours uncut. Italian directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s tale of a prison-based production of the classic runs 74 minutes. Yet the film gets on screen not only the play’s bloody, double-dealing, hungry essence, but the redemptive potential of art […] Such is literature’s power that the cast is more at ease portraying ancient Romans than speaking as versions of themselves. Muses the man playing Julius Caesar, “To think I found this so boring in school.” Farrah Smith Nehme, New York Post

"At once ancient and dangerously new." Anthony Lane, New Yorker

Drew Taylor, Larry Weinstein

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Drew Taylor, Larry Weinstein

Presenting the true "behind the scenes" story of the rescue mission mythologized in last year’s Oscar-winner Argo - this time with due recognition of the pivotal role played by Canadian ambassador to Iran, Ken Taylor.

"An intelligent, complex and tension-filled story that breathes life into historical events that are fast fading from our collective memory.

In doing so, the co-directors give Taylor (the diplomat) and many others their due and give Canadians at large a reason to feel rightly proud." Bruce DeMara, Toronto Star

Teller

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Teller

Delving deeper into the art and mastery of Johannes Vermeer, this entertaining doc by the magician Teller casts a light on the researches of Tim Jenison, a video engineer obsessed with the idea that the painter used optical devices to craft his infinitely detailed canvases.

"Just about the most fun you can have while learning."Variety

"Thrilling."Wall Street Journal

Renato Terra

The Beautiful Game
Director: Renato Terra

Our celebration of the Brazilian World Cup Finals kicks off with this Gala Canadian premiere of the new documentary by Renato Terra (A Night in 67), a rousing chronicle of the passion and fanaticism driving Brazil’s national sport, soccer. Featuring interviews with legends like Zico and Romário, rabid fans and archival footage, the film focuses on the rivalry between two of the largest football clubs in Brazil: Flamengo (’Fla’) and Fluminense (’Flu’). The evening includes live music performance by the Celia Enestrom band and caipirinhas.

"Transports us into the football stadium and the emotions that come with it, causing goose bumps to any supporter’ Paulo Vinicius Coelho, Folha de São Paulo

Copacabana Social Club
Director: Renato Terra

In the theater: applause and screams. On stage: young Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Roberto Carlos, Edu Lobo. Songs: "Roda Viva," "Ponteio," "Alegria, Alegria," "Domingo no Parque." It was a contest, but everybody won. This vivid record offers an invitation to relive the finale of the III Festival da Record, an event that forever changed the course of Musica Popular Brasileira.

Johnnie To

(Du zhen)
Hong Kong Spirit Films
Director: Johnnie To

The French Connection meets The Wire in this exhilarating mainland China cop thriller from Hong Kong auteur Johnnie To. Faced with the death penalty, drug trafficker Timmy Choi reluctantly enters into a partnership with narcotics cop Zhang to break a rich and powerful crime syndicate.

Francois Truffaut

Cinema Salon
Director: Francois Truffaut

Truffaut’s best known film is a love letter to the cinema. Two young men, Jules and Jim, meet in Paris in 1912 and become the best of friends. They share everything from books to women until they meet Catherine, played by Jeanne Moreau in the role which launched her into international fame. Introduced by Alan Twigg, author and publisher.

John Turturro

Italian Film Festival
Director: John Turturro

A beautifully structured and photographed film, John Turturro’s rapturous Passione offers a vibrant exploration and celebration of Neapolitan music in all its grit and glory, presenting 23 musical numbers that encompass a millennium’s worth of influences.

Felix van Groeningen

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Felix van Groeningen

A bluegrass musician and his wife learn their young daughter has cancer in Felix van Groeningen’s masterful evocation of the power of music to convey both joy and sadness. "An immaculately observed, desperately moving story of love, loss, and bluegrass music…"—Indiewire

"Innately understands that sorrow truthfully communicated and shared can be cathartic, rather than depressing." Jessica Kiang, The Playlist

"A gloriously devastating bluegrass masterpiece… Something of a miracle…. Earnest, warm and utterly human." Kurt Halfyard, Twitch

"Intensely moving." David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

Matthijs van Heijningen Jr

SPARK FX
Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr

Ingeniously devised to dovetail with events at the remote Norwegian Antarctic base, this underrated prequel to Carpenter’s modern classic is a tense chiller that pays respect to the past while showcasing cutting edge CGI fx by Vancouver’s Image Engine.

"It’s full of chills and thrills and isolated Antarctic atmosphere and terrific Hieronymus Bosch creature effects, and if it winks genially at the plot twists of Carpenter’s film, it never feels even a little like some kind of inside joke." Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com

Alex van Warmerdom

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Alex van Warmerdom

A dark suburban fable exploring the nature of evil in unexpected places, Borgman follows an enigmatic vagrant who enters the lives of an upper-class family and quickly unravels their carefully curated lifestyle.

"Think Lynch meets Haneke in an absurdist flick that maintains its state of dread without fully tipping its hand. There’s humour, too, as twisted as a graveyard chuckle."Toronto Star

"Caustic, surreal, creepy, and blackly funny ..."Jessica Kiang, The Playlist

"In an era where there are very few truly surprising films, Borgman is one of the rare movies that manages to find something entirely new to say, with original, oddly drawn characters."The Wrap

Agnes Varda

DEMY MONDE: The Cinema of Jacques Demy
Director: Agnes Varda

Agnès Varda’s tribute to her late husband Jacques Demy is a loving look at his brilliant vision and techniques. Included are clips from Demy’s films, along with interviews of those who worked with him and knew him best: Catherine Deneuve, Anouk Aimée, Michel Piccoli, composer Michel Legrand, Demy’s children, and fans.

“Of all the New Wave directors who once professed their joy in cinema, Demy remained most faithful to the delights of sight and sound and to the romance of movie iconography. With loving attention to those Atlantic coast towns — Nantes, Rochefort, and Cherbourg — where he grew up, Demy invented a world of benign and enchanting imagination.”

– David Thomson

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