Not just a celebration of the New York Review of Books (though it is certainly that), Martin Scorsese and David Tedescho’s documentary chronicles many of the historical, political and cultural landmarks of the past half century, through the prism of that august publication’s intellectual insight and rigour. Along the way, they interview (or unearth archival footage of) some of the finest minds of the period, including Joan Didion, Gore Vidal, Susan Sontag, Norman Mailer, Noam Chomsky, Stephen Jay Gould, Andrei Sakharov, Vaclev Havel, Oliver Sacks and James Baldwin. As you might expect, the film sparkles with wit and wisdom, erudition and elucidation.
"A bracing film about the value of radical ideas and the importance of being courageous enough to consider them." — Norman Wilner, Now
Do your kids spend too much time on electronic devices? Do you? Suzanne and her husband decided to change that. They abandoned C21st comforts to take their three kids to a cabin off the grid in the remote Yukon wilderness for nine months. It was a grand adventure, a return to the self-sustaining pioneering lifestyle of the kind described by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and it transformed this Canadian family’s understanding of "Quality time".
"A magnificent film." — David Suzuki
"Timely and inspring. 5 stars." — Michael Reid, Times Colonist
"Family-friendly, heartwarming, uplifting and important." — Allan MacInnis, Alienated in Vancouver
Yogananda was the Hindu Swami who brought yoga and meditation to the West in the 1920s. Paramahansa Yogananda authored the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi, which has sold millions of copies worldwide and is a go-to book for seekers, philosophers and yoga enthusiasts today. This unconventional documentary has won critical plaudits everywhere it has screened.
"Fittingly enlightening, Awake: The Life of Yogananda is a vivid, elegantly assembled portrait of the savvy guru with the cherubic face and penetrating gaze who brought meditation to the West." — Michael Rechtschaffen, LA Times
"Gentle sitar music, languorous camerawork and soothing narration ... This could be a good movie to do yoga by." — The New York Times
Like 12th graders everywhere, the students at Shanti Bhavan School are preparing for their graduation exams. But imagine the pressure: they’re the first of India’s "untouchables" to be granted the opportunity to study for the tests. And if they fail, the fate of the non-profit school which has been their home for a decade lies in the balance...
“A genuinely moving and inspiring documentary that will resonate with viewers." — Craig Takeuchi, The Georgia Straight
“Had me crying and cheering at the end...” — Alex Hutt, Canadian Film Review
Simpsons scribe Rob Cohen distills the essence of Canada like sap from a maple in this lighthearted odyssey across our great nation. He gets a little help from the likes of Seth Rogen, Mike Myers, Catherine O’Hara, Rush, Michael J Fox, Cobie Smulders and William Shatner (to name just a few).
The quirky naturalistic coming of age comedy stars Dan Abramovici as Ben as he copes with life, love, and bouncing back from a bad breakup. Heartbroken and cynical after he’s dumped by his girlfriend, Ben makes the unusual decision never to leave his house again. Relevant and witty, the film speaks to the heart of our scattered, digital age, and is a topical and comedic look at today’s wired generation.
"Remarkably funny." Montreal Gazette
Don José (Jonas Kaufmann) is a young soldier in the army in Seville. He intends to marry Micaëla, a girl from his home village, but when he meets the sensual and high-spirited Carmen (Anna Caterina Antonacci), his head is soon turned…Spanish heat and gypsy passion are brought to the stage in Francesca Zambello’s vivid production of Bizet’s famous opera.
Sung in French with English subtitles
Acts One and Two will last for about 1 hour 50 minutes, followed by a 15 minute interval. Act Three will last for about 1 hour 5 mins.
Celebrating the art of the Canadian low-to-no budget independent filmmaker, Cinema Spectacular is back for its second year! Bringing you a program gathered from across Canada, this unique event relishes the opportunity to bring you passion projects from all walks of life. Spend an evening with shorts, music videos, web series previews, and feature film trailers made from strength of will, gumption, and the love of filmmaking. Stick around after the event for a Q+A with attending filmmakers, fundraising raffle, and some good old fashioned networking.
Love local cinema!
Bring cash for door tickets, raffle entries, and merchandise!"
In January 2013, filmmaker Laura Poitras was in the process of constructing a film about abuses of national security in post-9/11 America when she started receiving encrypted e-mails from someone identifying himself as “citizen four,” who was ready to blow the whistle on the massive covert surveillance programs run by the NSA and other intelligence agencies. In June 2013, she and reporter Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her.
"The documentary of the year may also be its most hair-raising thriller." — Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"This patient, beautiful, painful, engrossing film pits husband and wife against each other and their world in a series of extended conversations/confrontations." — Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice
"Tense and frightening ... a primal political fable for the digital age." — New York Times
Vancouver film scholar Michael van den Bos returns with an all-new edition of Dancing in the Dark – The Surreal, The Sublime and The Spectacular. Michael will introduce a choreographic compilation of delirious, divine and dazzling dances from such films as The Band Wagon, Cabaret, Cabin in the Sky, Cover Girl, Dames, Kiss Me Kate, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Singin’ in the Rain, Swing Time and White Nights among other terpsichorean treats.
Kasper Holten, ROH Director of Opera, presents a mesmerizing new production of Mozart’s sublime tragicomedy. The impulsive and charismatic Don Giovanni travels through Europe seducing women, accompanied by his long-suffering servant Leporello. When he commits murder, he unleashes vengeance from beyond the grave.
This crisp, unexpected drama from regular Laurent Cantet collaborator (and Les Revenants creator) Robin Campillo oscillates between thriller, social realism, and gay love story without ever missing a beat. It begins with a classic mis-step. Bourgeois businessman Daniel foolishly picks up an Eastern European hustler at the Gare du Nord, and invites him back to his apartment the next day. But when he buzzes in his new acquaintance, he’s in for an unpleasant surprise…
"Fascinating... Sleek, shape-shifting... by turns a frightening home-invasion drama, a tender love story and a tense hide-and-seek thriller." — Guy Lodge, Variety
"A surprisingly resonant thrill ride." — Bob Mondello, NPR
"Explores interlocking themes of sexuality, immigration and power dynamics with a cleareyed sensitivity and refuses to demonize even its shadiest characters." — Stephen Holden, New York Times
Two years to the day since the collapse of the garment factory in Rana Plaza, Bangladesh, that claimed the lives of 1129 workers, Eco Fashion Week, Fashion Revolution Day and VIFF Vancity Theatre present this inspiring documentary about individuals and organizations forging change. ‘Traceability’ is the aim to have a proper trail for every single step in the supply chain. As well as where, it wants consumers to be concerned with how garments are made. Sharpe’s film follows young designer Laura Seigel as she seeks to connect her work with the people and the places who manufacture them, putting an altogether brighter spin on "globalization".
In your lifetime, the history of photography has seen a seismic shift, the dramatic change from film to digital. Harvey Wang was mid-career when the tools of his craft were made nearly obsolete. He interviewed more than 20 photographers and prominent figures in the field, including Jerome Liebling, George Tice, David Goldblatt, Sally Mann, Eugene Richards, Ruud van Empel, John Cohen and Jeff Jacobson, as well as Steven Sasson, co-inventor of the digital camera, and Thomas Knoll, co-creator of Photoshop.
An Israeli woman seeking to finalize a divorce (gett) from her estranged husband finds herself effectively put on trial by her country’s religious marriage laws, in this powerhouse courtroom drama from sibling directors Shlomi and Ronit Elkabetz. Winner of the Israeli Film Academy Ophir Award for Best Picture and propelled by the craft of Ronit Elkabetz (Late Marriage; The Band’s Visit), one of Israeli cinema’s most acclaimed actresses, Gett: The Trial of VIvian Amsalem is an uncompromising, heart-rending portrait of a woman’s struggle to overcome an unmoving patriarchy and live a life of her own design.
“Expertly written, brilliantly acted…The beautifully modulated script, ripe with moments of liberating humor, builds to a crescendo of indignation, allowing Elkabetz several cathartic outbursts, but they’re no more riveting than the actress’ silences.” — Jay Weissberg, Variety
"The action quivers with tension, impatience, comic heat, and, beneath it all, an irrepressible rage." — Anthony Lane, The New Yorker
"Hypnotic ... Gripping cinema from start to finish." — Manohla Dargis, New York Times
“There’s no way to escape the image on the screen, nor deny its truth. We blew it at Altamont; Gimme Shelter lets us watch ourselves blowing it, and makes us understand how and why. It’s a lot harder than it looks to make a film as good as this one.” — Rolling Stone, 1970
Fed up with her abusive family situation, lack of school prospects and the “boys’ law” in the neighborhood, Marieme (Karidja Touré) starts a new life after meeting a group of three free-spirited girls. She changes her name, her style, drops out of school and starts stealing to be accepted into the gang. Tomboy director Celine Sciamma may not approve of these choices but she revels in the exuberance of adolescent discovery - the euphoria of first love, fast friends, and living on the edge - while lip-synching to Rihanna.
“It’s the feminist answer to Boyhood, yet it manages to dig deeper ... Girlhood is one of the most exceptional films you’ll see this year. Truly a must-see. Highly recommended!” — Jeff Nelson, DVD Talk
"One of the best coming of age movies in years!" — Eric Kohn, Indiewire
"Beautifully observed, precisely directed and acted with wonderful conviction, it pulls us into the life of its protagonist in a deeply involving way." — Kenneth Turan, LA Times
Populated by gorgeous misfits and propelled by effervescent pop songs, this jubilant indie musical from Belle & Sebastian lynchpin Stuart Murdoch depicts a critical juncture for three young Glaswegians when it seems they’ve no other option than starting a band. Affectionate nods to the French New Wave, A Hard Day’s Night and Bill Forsyth’s Scottish fables abound as Murdoch offers us a minor key fairy tale about how music may just salvage an otherwise dreary Glasgow summer.
"Murdoch spins poetic, kitchen-sink tales of bad sex and messy break-ups and hopeless romantics in search of true love. On God Help the Girl, his directing debut, he has fashioned his songs into a narrative daisy-chain and hung them around his heroine’s neck. That it’s pretty and fragile is surely half the point… It’s warm and generous… Even non-believers will acknowledge the film’s utter sincerity. It may be indulgent, but it means what it says." Xan Brooks, Guardian
A favourite at VIFF 2014, this enormously affectionate film celebrates the artisans who crafted fabulous haute-couture outfits for Dior, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent: M. Gérard Lognon, a third-generation specialist in pleat-making; M. Bruno Legeron, a designer of perfect artificial flowers whose atelier opened in 1880; and M. Lorenzo Ré, one of three remaining sculptors of wooden forms for hat-making. But can small remain beautiful in today’s big money world?
Polish-born, UK-based filmmaker Pawlikowski (My Summer of Love) returns to his native land for this evocative, resonant art film about a novice nun discovering a family secret in the 1960s. Beautifully shot in black and white, this award-winning drama has been compared to the work of Francois Truffaut and Robert Bresson.
"In a very short time, Pawlikowski’s film tells us a powerful, poignant story with fine, intelligent performances." — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
"This story of faith and despair is gracefully told, its simple, uncluttered spaces and luminous black-and-white photography harking back to Robert Bresson." — JR Jones, Chicago Reader
"It’s absolutely stunning, one of the year’s best films, and a fulfillment of the promise that the director has shown for so long." — Oli Lyttleton, Indiewire