Adapted from the myth that served as the basis for Wagner’s Ring cycle(though not an adaptation of the operas themselves), Lang’s two part, five-hour epic is a monumental fantasy film on a par with his subsequent Metropolis. Its extraordinary set-pieces, archetypal themes, and unrestrained ambition have proven an inspiration for nearly every fantasy cycle that has emerged on-screen since – from Star Wars to The Lord of the Rings.
This edition is mastered in HD from the extensive 35mm restoration conducted by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, completed in 2012, and featuring a recent recording of the original 1924 score. Screening in two parts with a 40 minute intermission.
"It’s too-faint praise to claim thatDie Nibelungen is The Lord of the Rings of its time (J.R.R. Tolkien was apparently inspired by the Nibelungenlied, too), but that gives you some sense of all the scope, innovation, rousing razzle-dazzle, human emotion writ large, and cinematic virtuosity on proud display here. It’s a huge, action-packed spectacle to rival those concocted by DeMille and Griffith, but with access to the bold, harsh, glacially-gleaming, tragically doomed finality of Northern-European myth. Once it’s over, you’ll be exhausted, emotionally drained, and already looking forward to the time you can experience the whole intensely involving, transporting, and devastating dream/nightmare once more." Christopher McQuain, DVD Talk
Claude Lanzmann, whose epic "Shoah" is certainly the definitive film about the Holocaust, returns to one of the subjects from that masterpiece to unravel the tale of the ‘model’ concentration camp, Theresienstadt, and the ambiguous leader of its Jewish Council, Benjamin Murmelstein.
"A discursive, essential Shoah postscript centered on as fascinating and inconvenient a figure as may have survived Hitler’s annihilation." Michelle Orange, Village Voice
"Those who think this is a black-and-white issue will be surprised, as Lanzmann himself appears to have been, by what is said here." Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
“Utterly fascinating. A reminder of another way documentaries can be made: simply, agonizingly, without comedy or narcissism, and with unforgettable, almost unbearable power."
Stephen Marche, Esquire
Summer war games between the neighbourhood kids turn deadly serious when jealousy and betrayal enter the mix, in this alternately hilarious and horrifying black comedy that mixes equal parts Lord of the Flies and Roald Dahl.
"Sharp, funny and edge-of-your-seat chilling, this darkly provocative actioner, starring a startlingly stellar all-kid ensemble cast, turns a neighbourhood woods game of Capture the Flag into a high-stakes round of no-holds-barred jungle warfare – with the rules about to be broken. The fantasy-tinged film nails the ferocious intensity of children’s games (the imaginary world feels real in the moment) while it plays with cinema conventions (coming-of-age stories, war tales, etc). An after-school special you won’t want to miss." 4 stars Globe & Mail
"I Declare War is everthing The Hunger Games attempts to be, but better - it says more with less, goes farther while staying smaller, and finds reality in a more fantastical scenario… A Lord Of The Flies for a new generation, I Declare War deserves to be seen by adults and needs to be seen by kids. We don’t often get action films of any kind that have this much to say, much less films that are this delicately balanced between mainstream appeal and realistic intensity. Smart, touching, and exciting, I Declare War is sure to be one of your favorites of this year or next." Renn Brown, CHUD
Lawrence Le Lam, Rik Kingle-Watt
Join us for a special screening of a new Vancouver-made documentary highlighting a new breed of ethical entrepreneurs, capitalists with a conscience who are reframing the debate about profit and loss. The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Brett Wilson (Dragon’s Den), Joel Bakan (writer, The Corporation), Mark Brand (Save on Meat), RBC Director of Sustainability Sandra Odendahl and moderated by Sharad Khare. Tickets ($18) include post show reception.
David Lean’s sweeping, four-hour desert epic demands to be seen on the big screen. The late, great Peter O’Toole landed the role of his lifetime as the British cartographer who united the Arab tribes to fight the Turks in WW1. Screening in a restored DCP version.
"A miracle… The first film I saw that made me want to be a moviemaker." Steven Spielberg
Business is booming at the Suicide Shop - a discreet boutique for the terminally-inclined. Then, disaster: Madame Tuvanche gets a surprise bundle of joy – a new baby boy so relentlessly cheerful he threatens to ruin the family business. The first animated film from celebrated live action director Patrice Leconte (Ridicule; The Man on the Train) turns out to be a whimsical black comedy worthy of Tim Burton himself, and a musical to boot.
"A mordantly macabre musical." Lisa Nesselson, Screen
A senior chef lives with his three grown daughters; the middle one finds her future plans affected by unexpected events and the life changes of the other household members. A foodie film classic selected by James Walt, executive chef at Whistler’s Araxi restaurant.
Longman Leung, Sunny Luk
This breathless, twisty Hong Kong cop thriller triumphed at the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards, picking up nine statuettes including best film, best director, best screenplay and best actor (Tony Leung Ka Fai).
Guest passes and volunteer passes not accepted.
It takes more than good food to make a restaurant work. Spinning Plates is an insightful, compelling and moving documentary tracing the fates of three very different establishments: the high-end Alinea, where Grant Achatz practices his culinary perfection; the 150-year-old country steak house Breitbach’s, a community hub in rural Iowa, and La Cocina de Gabby, a new Mexican restaurant surviving on a wing and a prayer in Tuscon. This screening will be accompanied by a panel of distinguished Vancouver chef’s moderated by Vancouver Magazine editor John Burns. Check viff.org for updates.
“Splendid and engrossing … a love letter to that singular intersection of artistic innovation, cultural legacy, community pride, and family-sustaining (or -straining) commerce known as the restaurant.” Village Voice
The writer of VIFF-favourite The Hunt fashions a lean, taut, morally ambiguous Scandinavian thriller out of the facts of the hijacking of a Danish-owned cargo boat by Somali pirates (the very incident captured in the documentary Stolen Seas).
96% Fresh Rotten Tomatoes
"No mainstream American thriller could ever be made about this subject that resisted simple-minded narrative clichés the way "A Hijacking" does, or that refused to depict its characters as either heroes or villains." Andrew O’Hehir, Salon
"A nail-biter of a thriller." Geoff Pevere, Globe & Mail
The first in a double bill featuring two of the most highly acclaimed US features of the year, Before Midnight is Richard Linklater’s bittersweet study of a love affair languishing in middle-age - his follow up to generational touchstones Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.
“Before Midnight is a wonderful paradox: a movie passionately committed to the ideal of imperfection that is itself very close to perfect." AO Scott, New York Times
Lisa Immordina Vreeland
Both a tribute to one of the twentieth century’s most extravagant and influential personalities, and simultaneously a chronicle of the impact of fashion in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, this portrait of the irrepressible editor of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar is an eye-opener, just like its subject.
Curated by photographer Greg Girard, who will introduce the films: House of Bamboo & Long Arm of the Law The Walled City of Kowloon was an amazing and forbidding part of Hong Kong, and who better to introduce these films in which it features so centrally than photographer Greg Girard, whose book City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City is itself now legendary.
LONG ARM OF THE LAW Regarded as one of the top ten Chinese films ever made, this electrifying thriller was at the forefront of the "heroic bloodshed" films that dominated the Hong Kong industry in the 1980s. The story concerns a group of mainlanders, ex army men, looking to make a big score in Hong Kong.
John Maloof, Charlie Siskel
This extraordinary documentary - one of the most popular films at VIFF last year - shuttles from New York to France to Chicago as it traces the life story of the late Vivian Maier, a career nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs has earned her a posthumous reputation as one of America’s most accomplished and insightful street photographers.
"Compelling… haunting… captivating." Variety
"Poignant, informative, occasionally disturbing." Globe and Mail
Juan Manuel Sepúlveda
Between 1982 and 1996, the Ixil and Quiché people took refuge in the mountains as a last resort to save themselves from the massacres carried out by the Guatemalan Army, which took the lives of more than 200,000 indigenous people. After those fourteen years, the communities ended up settling in the northeastern part of the range, an area currently under siege due to the wealth of natural resources to be found there. Lessons for a War is a celebration of the resistance of people preparing to defend themselves against another coming war. A chant of hope of a community that will not give up.
Produced by Fernando Meirelles (Blindness, City of God), the film focuses on the musical portion of the turbulent, inspiring cultural movement headed by Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso in the late 1960s. With a psychedelic aesthetic much in vogue at the time, the film mixes archival footage (some rarely seen), with interviews, animation, and cool graphics.
Join us for the opening of The Copacabana Social Club Series with a special event featuring the film Tropicalia, live music, food and a free Caipirinha!
Doors open at 7.00pm, Film at 7.30, followed by music and mixer. Tickets $20 ($22 non-members). No student/senior discounts, guest or volunteer passes apply.
* VIFC Guest + Volunteer Passes are not valid for Best Of Hot Docs Series
How does a poor, single, African-American mother from segregated 1950s America wind up as one of the world’s most notorious jewel thieves? Stylish recreations, an extensive archive and candid interviews reveal how "Diamond Doris" managed to jet-set her way into any Cartier or Tiffany’s from Monte Carlo to Japan and walk out with small fortunes.
"Unsurprisingly, Payne’s life story is currently set to be made into a film starring Halle Berry, who has her work cut out for her if she’s going to inhabit the devilishly charming Miss Doris Payne, international criminal." Scott A Gray, exclaim
"4 stars, Must See!" Now magazine
“Is The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne Essential Hot Docs Viewing? Absolutely. You won’t find a more charming, befuddling subject of a film at this year’s fest.” Kristal Cooper, Toronto Film Scene
Are animals sentient beings, or are they property? Photographer Jo-Anne McArthur has made it her life’s work to challenge the widespread willful ignorance that allows animal abuse to carry on unchecked. For more than a decade she has documented animals held in captivity to supply our food, clothing, scientific research, or simply our entertainment. Her photos are sometimes heartbreaking, but also often unexpectedly beautiful, always soulful, and inspiring. The same could be said of Liz Marshall’s film, which gives a sense of the horrors humans inflict on animals, but also the immense spiritual bond which many of us naturally feel for other living beings.
"A superb example of committed fimmaking." 4 stars. Susan Cole, Now magazine
Mark Patrick McGuire
VANCOUVER PREMIERE - The school of Japanese asceticism called Shugendo is a blend of Shinto, Daoism and Buddhism. Followers practice arduous rituals in wildernesses and are deeply committed to protecting the natural environment. The film is a poetic and intimate journey into a rarely seen world between the developed and the wild, between the present and the infinite.
“Beautifully filmed, aesthetically pleasing, and religiously challenging." Paul Swanson