Even art-house aficionados were unprepared for the dramatic sophistication and depth on display in this blistering domestic drama from Iran’s Asghar Farhadi (About Elly; The Past). It was as if Ingmar Bergman had been reborn in Tehran, to dissect the dissolution of a middle class marriage. Dense, riveting and complex, this is masterly filmmaking that repays repeat viewing.
"A Separation serves as a quiet reminder of how good it’s possible for movies to be." Dana Stevens, Slate
"A Separation is totally foreign and achingly familiar. It’s a thrilling domestic drama that offers acute insights into human motivations and behavior as well as a compelling look at what goes on behind a particular curtain that almost never gets raised." Kenneth Turan, LA Times
Introduced by UBC Film professor Ernest Mathijs, author of the first book length study of the movie, a rare chance to see arguably the best Canadian horror movie of the new millennium in 35mm. Emily Perkins and Katherine Isabelle star.
ITALIAN FILM FESTIVAL OPENING NIGHT GALA
The opening night gala for the inaugura Vancouverl Italian Film Festival includes an exhibition of drawings by Federico Fellini inspired by his love of food; live music by Roy & Rosemary; catered reception with Italian wine and food, and the Canadian premiere of the documentary short Federico of the Spirits, plus a special screening of one Fellini’s most beloved masterpieces, Amarcord, in 35mm.
Fellini exhibition: Live music (Roy & Rosemary). Wine, hors d’oeuvres
6.00, 6.30 FEDERICO OF THE SPIRITS (20 min)
7.00 Introductory remarks + film screening: AMARCORD
9.15 Catered reception. Live music.
Shortly after turning 50 and at the height of his career, Federico Fellini returned to the seaside town of Rimini, where he grew up, to make Amarcord (a neologism that suggests "mi ricordo" in the Emiliano-Romagnolo dialect: I remember).
Set in the 1930s, the film has the free-wheeling form that became one of Fellini’s hallmarks. It allows him to swing back and forth between ribald comedy, fantasy and melancholy.
"Amarcord is the least grandiose and most immediate of the maestro’s later films and deserves to be rated among the finest screen memoirs of the 20th century. It offers an extraordinarily lyrical and vivid succession of vignettes, inside the most subtly rigorous narrative structure of Fellini’s career. […] Although the figure of the boy Titta is obviously his alter ego, Fellini builds a generously fractured mosaic that belongs to no one central character or even the on-screen narrator… Like many autobiographical tales written or filmed, this one weaves the innocent, limited viewpoint of children into its wider social context, which here heralds the reign of fascism in Italy in the 30s. Poignant indeed is the gap, gradually revealed to the viewer, between the hints of violence and social exclusion to come (especially in relation to the Jewish population), and the life-affirming antics of youth. […] Fellini’s comedy, refreshingly, goes to the outer limits of vulgarity in a number of hilarious scenes. His style is streamlined here into a pure, exalted poetry of mist, flowing camera movements, pastel colours, and lightly artificial set design. A triumph of artistic form, its emotions are direct and affecting." Adrian Martin
Abel Ferrara’s (Bad Lieutenant, King Of New York) 1981 revenge thriller classic Ms. 45 follows a mute garment-district seamstress – played by the late model/actress/musician/screenwriter Zoë Tamerlis – who after falling victim to multiple unspeakable assaults, ignites her one-woman homicidal rampage against New York City’s entire male population. Now remastered in HD from the original negative materials.
["Ferrera] is clearly a talented fellow. One can only hope he finds something else to make movies about very soon." Janet Maslin, New York Times
Ricky likes lines, shapes, designs. So much so that he can’t quite decipher the more practical banalities we need to grasp to navigate safely from A to B. Autistic and alone on the New York subway, the 13 year old is trapped in a spiral of urban alienation and solipsism while his desperate mother forlornly searches the streets of Queens ahd Hurrican Sandy approaches…
"Wonderfully witty and understated ... A small miracle of a film."—Stephen Holden, New York Times
"Fascinating and beautiful ... an impressionistic record of the subway experience circa exactly right now."—Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice
"An exceptional film ... richly textured and fully engaging."—Amy Taubin, Art Forum
José Henrique Fonseca
He was the soccer player Pele idolized in the 1940s, Brazil’s best striker, a dashing, cavalier talent with movie star looks and a burning desire to win. But Heleno was also an erratic talent, plagued with psychological problems, and despised by some of his teammates. His career was brilliant, but cut brutally short as he mental problems mounted.
"Fonseca’s handsome black-and-white, impressionistic bio-drama goes very Raging Bull-ish… (Santoro) is mighty matinee-idol charismatic himself in the title role, alternating between swaggering lady-killer and ravaged victim of self-destruction. B+" Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
"Powerfully acted and dazzlingly shot in heavenly black and white, Heleno is a feverish opera…. The road to ruin is blindingly beautiful." Jeanette Catsoulis, New York Times
Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard
With the permission of screenwriter, star and singer Nick Cave, we’re thrilled to offer this special advance screening of his latest work, a not entirely plausible record of a day in the life of the man himself.
“Incredible. Puts most music films to shame. So inventive and inspiring.”—Dave Calhoun, Time Out
“Probably best music doc I’ve ever seen… so much more than music. Beautifully made”—Wendy Mitchell, Screen International
Named by Quentin Tarantino as one of the 12 best films ever made, this legendary box office disaster was one of the movies that put an end to the era of directorial power in Hollywood (certainly for Exorcist and French Connection filmmaker William Friedkin). A remake of French classic The Wages of Fear, about the transportation of cans of nitroglycerin by truck across a nameless Latin American country, this is nailbiting adventure cinema at its best.
"An audacious masterpiece! Friedkin’s reinterpretation of Clouzot’s 1953 masterpiece is among his most daring works. Three sequences alone— a chaotic car crash in Boston, the unloading of charred bodies in a Central American village, and the explosives-laden trucks crossing a rickety storm-blown bridge — render Sorcerer a classic and retain their power to make audiences gasp. Released the same year as Star Wars, [it] represents the braver road abandoned by the studio system.”—Haden Guest
Lisa Fruchtman, Rob Fruchtman
Ice cream, music and collective action all play a part in this alternately joyous and sobering documentary about the challenges in opening the first ever ice cream parlor in Kigali, Rwanda.
Post screening entertainment will be a drumming performance by women drummers led by Jacky Essombe.
"It’s utterly rousing watching the women master their instruments and then push past the birth pains of their new business enterprise, and it’s completely wrenching as their individual backstories unfold. The vibrantly filmed Dreams (the Rwandan landscape is breathtaking) is a powerful entry in the list of documentaries charting the country’s rebirth, illustrating the unexpected ways the human spirit reinvents itself after enduring the unthinkable." Ernest Hardy, LA Weekly
"Wonderful… Moving… Engrossing. An affecting celebration of the human spirit. Contagious joy abounds." Anita Katz, San Francisco Examiner
"A movie that will bring you to tears." Deena Shanker, Village Voice