Search Films by Director

Martha Shane, Lana Wilson

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Martha Shane, Lana Wilson

After Tiller intimately explores the highly controversial subject of third-trimester abortions in the wake of the 2009 assassination of practitioner Dr. George Tiller. The procedure is now performed by only four doctors in the United States, all former colleagues of Dr. Tiller, who risk their lives every day in the name of their unwavering commitment toward their patients. An informative, thought-provoking, and compassionate look at an incendiary topic.

Ben Shapiro

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Ben Shapiro

Gregory Crewdson has created some of the most gorgeously haunting pictures in the history of photography, evoking Hitchcock, Lynch, Edward Hopper and Diane Arbus. Shot over a decade, this mesmerizing film lays bare his art.

"A must-see for art lovers." Variety

"As an artistic peripeteia, Brief Encounters is great entertainment." Ela Bittencourt, Slant

"A beautiful and contemplative look at Crewdson’s process." The Paris Review

Melanie Shatzky

DOCside
Director: Melanie Shatzky

If you think Amour was too sentimental, then this extraordinary documentary from Brian Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky (Frances) is just what you crave: the filmmakers spent years visiting a nursing home, charting the progress of senility, dementia, and of course death among the residents. All this narrated with bleak, wrily philosophical humor by one of their number. The film is not journalistic, but poetic, a "dirge", in the words of the filmmakers - and one you will not forget in a hurry.

"The Patron Saints was the single best film I saw during the festival run of Putty Hill." - Matt Porterfield

"Mainly, this observational realism serves the filmmakers exceedingly well, creating a humane, almost elegiac atmosphere, with occasional flashes of black humour, all of it heightened by a soundtrack of choral music that culminates in Arvo Part’s ethereal version of My Heart’s in the Highlands." Kate Taylor, Globe & Mail

"Bleak, moving, expressionistic." NOW magazine

Andrew Sherbourne

After Effects: Guatemala and El Salvador
Director: Andrew Sherbourne

Imagine gold "as far as the eye can see". All you have to do is rip it out of the ground. But one man’s nirvana is another’s hell. Gold Fever witnesses the arrival of Goldcorp Inc to a remote Guatemalan village. 500 years after the conquistadors, and still reeling from decades of US-backed repression, Diodora, Crisanta and Gregoria are caught in the cross-hairs of another global frenzy for gold. Together with their community, they resist the threat to their ancestral lands in the face of grave consequences.

“Beautifully-made. Sobering and tragic, but ultimately empowering.”

The Yes Men

“Tests Guatemalan society’s willingness to confront what might be today’s biggest challenge: overcoming the social unrest caused by the massive extraction of natural resources.”

Uli Stelzner, Muestra de Cine Internacional Memoria Verdad Justicia

Tsering Rhitar Sherpa

IBFF 2013 Vancouver (International Buddhist Film Festival)
Director: Tsering Rhitar Sherpa

In a remote nunnery a revered abbess dies. Prayers and rituals must be performed but the nunnery has no money. A nun, Karma, must journey to find the man who may owe a debt. Filmed in the remote Himalayan region of Mustang, we follow Karma to Katmandu where she discovers that things are not what she thought.

Cate Shortland

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Cate Shortland

Left to fend for themselves after their SS officer father and mother, staunch Nazi believers, are interred by the victorious Allies at the end of World War II, five German children undertake a harrowing journey that exposes them to the reality and consequences of their parents’ actions. Led by the eldest sibling, 14-year old Lore (striking newcomer Saskia Rosendahl), they set out on a journey across a devastated country to reach their grandmother in the north.

"A lyrical, deeply affecting study into a rarely seen legacy of the Holocaust." - Megan Lehmann, The Hollywood Reporter

"Intense and emotional. Saskia Rosendahl is mesmerizing." - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"Shortland’s brilliant new film is an unsettling coming-of-age story that renders its judgement on Germany’s crimes and strange aftermath of the war." - George Robinson, The Jewish Week

Bill Siegel

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Bill Siegel

Heroes don’t come more gold-plated than Muhammad Ali. But if you’re too young to remember the 1960s then you may be shocked to discover how controversial the heavyweight champion was in his heyday. Indeed, he was a constant thorn in the side of the establishment, and a hate figure for much of the mainstream media.

"The best Muhammad Ali doc I’ve ever seen and - dare I say - I’ve seen ’em all.” Dave Zirin, The Nation

"A wholly illuminating look at Muhammad Ali in all his complexity, providing a surprisingly fresh and vivid portrait of a man who played rope-a-dope with history, religion and sport." Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist

"Bill Siegel’s audacious documentary puts new heat and focus on what an extraordinary figure Muhammad Ali was outside the boxing ring. No film has probed this deeply into the fallout from his name change or his complex bond with Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam. And the saga of Ali’s refusal to be drafted during Vietnam becomes a profile in courage — a tale of shocking vilification and faith lost and found. A-" Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Bryan Single

Vancity Theatre Screening
Director: Bryan Single

Filmed inside the war zone of northern Uganda over a period of three years, this is the story of a group of former child soldiers as they undergo trauma therapy and emotional healing while in a rehabilitation centre. Having been abducted from their homes and forced to become fighters by the Lord’s Resistance Army - a quasi religious militia led by self-proclaimed prophet and war criminal Joseph Kony - the children struggle to confront years of brutal abuse.

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

Renato Terra

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.

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