Two brothers, orphaned as children: Tomas is now a drifting and withdrawn young man who has an instinctive compassion for others; his older brother Rafael is a university philosophy professor, detached and alone. Their struggles with each other and the world around them take a dramatic turn when they find themselves at a rural Zen center.
In this hit documentary, Italian journalists/filmmakers Ragazzi and Hofer wonder if those roads leading to Rome don’t also look like escape routes. There is an opportunity to move to Berlin - where rents are a third of the price, there’s less unemployment, and less homophobia too. Also Berlusconi doesn’t live there. Even so, Luca is loathe to leave. So they hop into a vintage FIAT 500 and set off to take stock of "the real Italy", with a pilgrimage to visit George Clooney’s Lake Como villa on the side.
"Effervescent." John Anderson, Variety
*** (3 stars out of 4) Rick Groen, Globe & Mail
Set in the 1920s in the palace of a noble Bengali whose passion is music and whose arch-enemy is a wealthy upstart, The Music Room reflects the conflict between the dying aristocracy and new money. Director Satyajit Ray is one of the greatest auteurs of international cinema. His film about those who dwell in the past and those who embrace the future is a magnificent tour de force. Introduced by Professor Scott Watson, head of the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, UBC.
Thirty years after Koyaanisqatsi, Godfrey Reggio creates another stunning, wordless portrait of modern life. Presented by Steven Soderbergh, Visitors reveals humanity’s trancelike relationship with technology, which, when commandeered by extreme emotional states, produces massive effects far beyond the human species. The film is visceral, offering the audience an experience beyond information about the moment in which we live.
"Reggio’s film is an artistic and aesthetic achievement unlikely to be equaled in 2013, and perhaps the only film in recent memory which can proudly claim to be unlike anything else we have ever seen." Christopher Schobert, The Playlist
"Incredibly profound, unexpected and brave." Alison Murray, Filmmaker
Three activists (Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard) plan to blow up a hydro-electric dam in Oregon in this taut, gripping thriller from the director of Wendy and Lucy. Tapping into familiar environmental concerns and asking pressing questions about next steps, Reichardt has crafted a timely, provocative drama which stays with you long after the fade out.
"Night Moves is a film of deliberate, gnawing intensity and focus." Scott Tobias, The Dissolve
"Sharp and haunting." AO Scott, New York Times
When Celestine - a mouse - persuades Ernest (a bear) not to eat her it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship. He’s a busker by trade. She’s also something of a bohemian, and soon they’re inseparable. - much to the consternation of family, rodents and other animals.
"A delightfully old-fashioned kid’s flick with a meaningful message… The screenplay by bestselling French novelist Daniel Pennac keeps things on a believable plain (for a fairy tale), and it’s easy enough to invest in the plights of the duo… Ernest et Célestine gradually becomes a cautionary fable where friendship tries to stand the test of bigotry and intolerance…" Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter
"A delightful melding of visual style and narrative pirouettes, Ernest And Célestine is a just-about-perfect hand drawn animated feature. The unlikely but eventually rock solid alliance between gruff bear Ernest and artistically inclined orphan mouse Célestine is loaded with charm and adventure." Lisa Nesselson, Screen Daily
In French with English subtitiles
In rural Mexico, when a young boy’s parents are killed, he is raised by a farm worker and the town’s barman, who instills a desire of vengeance in him, and as an adult he romances a young woman who is going to marry a rich man to save her father from financial ruin. This 1941 Mexican film classic became an enormous hit and features Jorge Negrete as the first cinematic singing Mariachi. This performance made Negrete an international Latin film star and launched the appearance of singing mariachis in films.
Worlds apart, a five-star chef, a retired school teacher and a young girl discover how their small efforts to feed the poor ignite a movement in the fight against hunger. This inspiring and heartwarming documentary tells the tale of these remarkable individuals and the unexpected challenges they face.
"A luminous window into the lives of true local heroes…" The Arts Guild
Biologist and campaigner Alexandra Morton will introduce this special screening of this powerful BC expose about the impact of salmon farming and the lengths to which government will go to safeguard the industry at the expense of wild salmon - and, arguably, public health.
"EVEN IF YOU’VE read the news coverage about the effects of farmed salmon on B.C. wild salmon stocks, the strength of Twyla Roscovich’s documentary is not only how it amalgamates information about this contentious subject but also how it showcases biologist Alexandra Morton’s incredible tenacity and devotion. It’s as disturbing to see the visual evidence of dead and dying salmon—the keystone species essential to West Coast ecosystems—as much as it is to hear about attempts by federal government officials (who declined interviews) to muzzle and punish scientists (thereby also affecting journalists) who are trying to prove what is killing them. Also, if you chow down on salmon sashimi, this is one you’ll want to see before you take your next bite." Craig Takeuchi, Georgia Straight
"This feisty and provocative film is spoiling-for-a-fight cinema… Let the debate begin." Ian Bailey, The Globe and Mail
A truly hopeful film about Alzheimer’s and aging is something unexpected. This hugely affecting documentary won the Audience Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a portrait of a man on a mission, Dan Cohen, founder of the non-profit Music & Memory, as he fights bureaucrats and austerity budgets with the palpable evidence of how very simply the gift of an iPod can restore vitality and spiritual well-being to patients suffering from dementia and depression.
"Gloriously inspirational."—Hollywood Reporter
When Cardinal Bergoglio became Pope Francis last year, it was an expression of the humility and love he admired in Saint Francis of Assisi - which also happens to be the subject of this beautiful, sweetly spiritual and unexpectedly whimsical film written by Federico Fellini along with the pioneer of neo-realism, Roberto Rossellini, who also directed.
“I’ve never seen the life of a saint treated on film with so little solemnity and so much warmth.” Martin Scorsese
Based on a notorious historical incident in which the sixteenth century French town of Loudun was swept up in tide of witch-hunting mania, Ken Russell’s searing movie kept censors busy all over the world with its shocking imagery and no-holds-barred assault on ecclesiastical hypocrisy. Forty years on it retains its power, not least for the astounding, career-best performances from Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave, Derek Jarman’s bold production design, and the electrifying score by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
"The pinnacle of Russell’s astonishing career, blending the exuberant visuals and musical underpinning of his most most exotic fantasies wieh a serious undercurrent of outraged political intent… a fearsome, breathtaking masterwork." Mark Kermode, BBC
"A garish glossary of sado-masochism… a taste for visual sensation that makes scene after scene look like the masturbatory fantasies of a Roman Catholic boyhood." Alexander Walker, Evening Standard
In 2008, 18 climbers from a party of 24 reached the summit of the world’s second highest mountain, the treacherous K2. 48 hours later, 11 were dead, or had simply vanished. What happened? Nick Ryan weaves together found footage, eerie reenactments and interviews with survivors to try and solve this tragic mystery.
"Riveting. Gripping. Thrilling." Indiewire
"A gripping cliffhanger. A heart-throbbing experience." Hollywood Reporter