Juan José Campanella
A multi-layered and poignant thriller interweaving the personal lives of a state prosecution investigator (Ricardo Darin) and a judge, with a manhunt spanning twenty-five years.
Winner: Academy Award, Best Foreign Language Film
"The wonder is that the film balances its many genres, from the thorns of murder to the bloom of romance to the thickets of politics, with such easy grace. 4/4" Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
This beautiful film, directed with subtlety and grace by Juan José Campanella, really is about moving from fear to love." Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"Secret is bound to linger in the memory for years." Betsy Sharkey, LA Times
For his first North American movie the acclaimed French filmmaker Laurent Cantet (The Class; Time Out) came to Canada to film Joyce Carol Oates’ novel about a girl gang in the 1950s. Inspired by their leader, "Legs", the gang fights back against disciplinarian school masters, abusive employers, predatory males and neglectful parents - eventually establishing their own quasi-"collective". "A frequently thrilling evocation of teen lives." Empire
"A frequently thrilling evocation of teen lives. Proof that The Class and Time Out were no pan flashes. 4/5" Angie Errigo, Empire
"Impressively directed and superbly written, this is a riveting and emotionally engaging drama with some thought-provoking ideas and terrific performances from its young cast of unknowns. Highly recommended." Matt Turner, View
"As beautiful as it is surprising, Cantet’s Foxfire girls appear like the ancestors of Pussy Riot." Les Inrockuptibles
Framed around the Swedish sojourn (1904-1908) of Kang Youwei (Liu Kai Chi), who famously revived the Confucian utopia Datong: The Great Society, the film traces the struggle of Kang, his daughter Tung Pih (Lindzay Chan), and his disciple Liang Qichao (Ben Yeung) to modernize China’s imperial monarchy.
"Exciting, inventive, bold, post-modern!" Ann Hui, filmmaker
Touch of the Light is a heart-warming tale of two young adult’s struggle to find a place in society. While from different upbringing, the two protagonists spot similarities in their troubles and found comfort in the company of another who understands. Like pillars of light, countless triumphs of camaraderie, hope and unyielding passion for their dreams pierce through the cruel choking atmosphere of modern elitist materialism throughout this 110 minute sensual masterpiece.
Stephen Chow, Derek Kwok
Kung Fu Hustle director Stephen Chow may be the CGI era’s closest ancestor to such subversive cartoon greats as Tex Avery and Chuck Jonze. Here the Hong Kong superstar remains behind the camera, but the mixture of gob-smacking slapstick and breathtaking fantasy is unmistakeably his own, turning the oft-told tale of ancient demon hunters into the kind of rollicking adventure Hollywood can only marvel at.
"Truly magical…[Chow] is like the Quentin Tarantino of kung fu, going back through the history of the Hong Kong genre and tapping everyone from the Shaw Brothers to his contemporaries (Jackie Chan, Jet Li) for inspiration. The result is a wonderfully entertaining work which manages to be both easily approachable for the non-subtitle set as well as true to its roots in ancient Chinese customs and beliefs." Bill Gibron, Pop Matters
"Rarely is it that a CGI-heavy spectacle such as this could be called both entertaining and inspiring in the same breath, but such is the unexpectedly special magic of Journey to the West." Kenji Fujishima, Slant
Isabelle Clark and Daniel Costelle
It was the "War to End All Wars", a global conflict with obscure causes and no great gains that claimed the lives of nearly 20 million soldiers and civilians. This monumental documentary uses expertly colorized archival footage to bring WWI to life with unprecedented immediacy and impact. Unfolding in five 52-minute episodes, packaged here in double bills, Apocalypse is a landmark commemoration of a vast man-made catastrophe.
Producer Josette D Normandeau will join us to introduce these special screenings, and participate in two panel discussions over the weekend.
Tickets are available for programs of two episodes back to back at our standard prices, or as a $21 ticket pack for all 5 episodes. Panel discussions are free on a first-come, first-served basis.
Friday June 13
6.30 Apocalypse FURY + Apocalypse FEAR
1.30 Apocalypse FURY + Apocalypse FEAR followed by 1 hr break
4.30 Apocalypse HELL + Apocalypse RAGE
7.00-8.30 Panel: Cinema, War, Commemoration, Memory and the Archive
8.45 Apocalypse DELIVERANCE
5.00 Apocalypse HELL + RAGE
7.00 Panel: History Now: New Media and the Ever Present Past
8.30 Apocalypse DELIVERANCE
Based on James Franco’s short stories, Palo Alto marks the directorial debut of Gia Coppola, granddaughter of Francis and niece of Sofia. It’s the latter who seems to have exerted the most immediate influence. A shimmering, limpid film about California teens coasting towards they know not what, Palo Alto may not break new territory but it certainly surveys the landscape with fresh insight and humanity.
"A knockout." Gavin Smith, Film Comment
“Palo Alto is one of the best movies ever made about high school life in America , blurring the lines between how unique it is to be a teenager, and how universal it is to feel like one." David Ehrlich, Film.com
"The best feature film directed by someone named Coppola in a number of years." Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter
Elvis lives! Well, if a nursing home in east Texas can be called "living". With his buddy JFK (Ossie Davies) by his side, the King fights off an ancient Egyptian mummy and gets his mojo back. Don Coscarelli’s cult comedy maybe out to lunch in the story department, but it’s also endearingly serious about Elvis, decrepitude, and the horrors of institutionalized care.
"It has the damnedest ingratiating way of making us sit there and grin at its harebrained audacity, laugh at its outhouse humor, and be somewhat moved (not deeply, but somewhat) at the poignancy of these two old men and their situation."—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
This dreamy, lyrical work is both a love letter and a suicide note, a tone poem created by Brazilian fillmmaker Petra Costa in mourning for her older sister Elena, an actress and dancer who moved to New York in search of a stardom that eluded her — despite the radiant fragments collated here.
"With its free-floating imagery, Elena unfolds like a cinematic dream whose central image is water, which symbolizes the washing away of grief."—Stephen Holden, The New York Times
“Filmmaking at its finest. Stunningly beautiful, achingly emotional … A mesmerizing, artful and emotional piece of filmmaking that consistently surprises and awes.”—The Playlist/IndieWire
A behind-the-scenes look inside the case to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Shot over five years, the film follows the unlikely team that took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"The stirring new documentary The Case Against 8, showcasing the lawyers and plaintiffs who challenged California’s 2008 gay marriage ban, is the best kind of popular history, a film that trembles with tears and hope, and I dare you to get through it without bawling some yourself."—Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice
“Cotner and White’s handling of a hugely divisive topic is masterful ... Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, The Case Against 8 is essential viewing.”—National Post
"The film fascinates in part because the legal team behind the couples—and the American Foundation for Equal Rights that supported them—included Republican stalwart Ted Olson and Democrat David Boies, who had squared off in the famous Bush vs. Gore case, the 2000 battle over whether there should be a recount in Florida. Here they’re warm and toasty together and passionately committed to a progressive cause.”—Now magazine
In the land of the midnight sun, 14-year-old Tomas returns to the people and culture of an Inuk father he never knew. He and his mother, Anna, arrive in the small village of Igloolik in the heart of Nunavut following the mysterious death of his father. The second feature from the collective which made the acclaimed Before Tomorrow (2008).
"Experiences and milestones achieved amid laughter in the midnight sun punctuate Uvanga, which is bolstered by natural performances from local actors that draw us in while sharing the secrets of a place both strange and beautiful in its isolation." 3 stars (out of 4) — Linda Bernard, The Star
In the first of a new series of environmental films copresented with Sea Shepherd, Vancity Theatre is proud to bring back one of our biggest hits from last year, the powerful expose of how orcas fare in captivity in aquatic parks like SeaWorld. One of those movies credited with changing hearts and minds, Blackfish is an unforgettable film. This screening will be introduced by special guests.
When an elderly Sicilian fisherman rescues a boatload of African immigrants, he must decide whether to do what the law demands or what he knows to be right. A political powder keg sparks intense drama in Emanuele Crialese’s compelling and relevant piece of humanist filmmaking.
"Crialese is a sentimentalist at heart, but a fine one, and his compassion for the wretched of the earth is thrillingly amped by the movie’s ecstatic imagery. Like his neo-realist forebears before him, the director turns everyday activities and furtive acts — tending to a rotting boat, beating desperate refugees away from a tiny vessel, the tender ablutions of those same refugees on the shore — into a theater of danger, cruelty and sensual delight." Ella Taylor, NPR
"A stirring commentary on our better angels." Gary Goldstein, LA Times
The Cuaron brothers’ follow up to international hit Y Tu Mama Tambien reunites stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna for a piquant pop satire on Mexico’s obsession with soccer and celebrity. Gael’ Garcia Bernal’s Tato – nicknamed Cursi (“Corny”) - is is a quickfire striker. Beto - known as Rudo ("Rough") - is a great keeper. But which of them will escape poverty to find fame and fortune?
"Mixes soap-opera sentimentality with playful, jumpy aggression and dresses a bittersweet, rags-to-riches fable in the bright clothes of pop satire." AO Scott, New York Times
"Rudo y Cursi is a grave and calculated affront to the men of Mexico, and that’s the source of its roistering charm." Ty Burr, Boston Globe