Juliette Binoche delivers another luminous performance in this probing drama about a conflict photographer torn between the high risk work she believes in and the responsibility her husband (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) insists she has to stay safe for the sake of their children.
"A subtle, densely layered portrait of a real family at a crossroads." G Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
Street style photographer Ari Seth Cohen and director Lina Plioplyte dive into the personal lives of New York City’s most fashionable women over 60. In an industry obsessed with youth, these older women dispel conventional ideas about beauty and aging and prove that with age comes grace, confidence, boldness, flair and new, unimagined opportunities for fame and fortune.
"Inspired by Ari Seth Cohen’s blog by the same name, "Advanced Style" is a love letter to older women who’ve elevated dressing to an art form." Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"The way the women occupy Cohen and Plioplyte’s spotlight is a lesson in aging well, a lesson that begins with the refusal to play by the rule that says to grow older, especially for women, is to fade into the shadows." Sherri Linden, LA Times
"These women are living life to the fullest - and they are inviting us to do the same." David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle
Fifteen years and 9 Antarctic winters in the making, Powell’s film gives a glimpse into what it is like to spend a full year living and working in the harshest place on the planet, presenting a never-before-seen insider’s view of the frozen south. It’s a dazzling movie, but never more so than in long, endless nights of the Antarctic winter, when the sun never rises, time stands still, and the aurora australis puts on a private show of heavenly dimensions. "An extraordinary achievement that reinvigorates our sense of wonder about the natural world." NZ Herald
You’ll think twice before using that overworked word “awesome” again after seeing Anthony Powell’s film […] There are moments when what Powell’s cameras have captured will bring you to tears. Which is why you need to see it in the dark, on a big screen." Helene Wong, The NZ Listener
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
The most impressive debut feature of the year also happens to be the scariest. This tale of an anguished single mom (an incredible performance from Essie Davies), her monstrous six-year-old, and the storybook bogeyman who terrorizes their home is guaranteed to chill you to the bone.
"One of the strongest, most effective horror films of recent years - with awards-quality lead work from Essie Davis, and a brilliantly designed new monster who could well become the break-out spook archetype of the decade." Kim Newman, Empire
"Managing to scare an audience silly with original imagery and non-formulaic jolts is no mean feat […] Managing to move us at the same time is close to miraculous." Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
"Deeply disturbing and unusually beatiful." Variety
One of the most popular movies at this year’s VIFF, this is both an acute psychological study and a deadpan comedy of manners, a portrait of a family riven by the father’s instinctive act of cowardice in the face of an avalanche during a skiing holiday. For all his attempts to pretend that nothing has happened, everything has changed. But what to do about it?
"An ice cold knockout. Brilliantly perceptive and frostily funny." Aaron Hills, Village Voice
"Damning, frequently hilarious study of imploding male ego." AV Club
"Visually stunning. Emotionally perceptive." Variety
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
A gem of a film for all ages from Studio Ghibli’s other master, Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies). In this captivating 10,000 year fable, a woodcutter discovers a magical child in a bamboo stalk. The girl grows quickly, transforming into a young woman of such grace and beauty it seems her life is charmed…
“Princess Kaguya has the feel of a true Takahata film, from its unshrinking emotional fidelity to its sudden, exhilarating leaps into fantasy […] There is a deep wisdom in this film, but a deep sadness too. If it is Takahata’s farewell, it’s one that will have a long echo, just like his 1,000-year-old source.” Mark Schilling, Japan Times
"A visionary tour de force." Maggie Lee, Variety
A pinnacle of animation in the new millennium." Matt Patches, IGN Movies
A dazzling winter’s tale from an unusually energized Wes Anderson, this is an all-star mittel-European carousel of rampaging passions, class and transgression.
Arguably the most underrated US movie of the year, the latest from James Gray (Two Lovers) is a romantic epic set in New York in the 1920s. Marion Cotillard is superb as the Polish woman torn between Joaquin Phoenix’s dubious fixer, Bruno, and his cousin, an illusionist (Jeremy Renner).
"The film is earnestly and unabashedly melodramatic to an extent that may baffle audiences accustomed to clever, knowing historical fictions. But it also has a depth and purity of feeling that makes other movies feel timid and small by comparison." AO Scott, The New York Times
"You may often find yourself second-guessing the film, questioning how—and if—it will all come together. But by the time of the intense and impassioned climax, a storm of emotion is ensured: a great movie rising before you like a delusion, like a dream." Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York
The Overnighters evokes Steinbeck (and John Ford) in its compassionate portrait of economic migrants flooding into North Dakota fto grasp their slice of the oil boom. Shunned as interlopers by most, these newcomers are welcomed into the Concordia Lutheran Church by a remarkable Pastor - who Christian charity affronts his congregation and community.
"One could draw numerous lessons from this moving and almost operatic documentary… Jesse Moss spins a gripping saga that seems to capture the American zeitgeist in uncanny fashion, and it’s all true." Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com
At first galvanizing in its depiction of survival amid dire circumstances, The Overnighters transforms into a devastating portrait of communal unrest." Eric Kohn, Indiewire
"Starkly bleak and devastatingly humane… an indelible American documentary." Katie Walsh, The Playlist
Best of 2014 Ticket Packs
See 3 films for $24, or 10 films for $50 (additional $2 Vancity membership not included)
Limit one ticket per film
The most radical, underground movie to creep into the mainstream in some time, Jonathan Glazer’s first since Birth might have been called "The Woman Who Fell to Earth". That woman is Scarlett Johansson, simultaneously deglamourized and highly sexualized. In a mesmerically choreographed series of incidents she picks up random men and destroys them. It’s a dispassionate, alien-ated view of sexual attraction and human connection, and unlike anything you have seen before.
"It sure as hell got under mine. Jonathan Glazer’s sci-fi horror is loosely adapted, or atmospherically distilled, by Walter Campbell from the 2000 novel by Michel Faber. The result is visually stunning and deeply disturbing: very freaky, very scary and very erotic." Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Lukas Moodysson (Together; Show Me Love) adapts his wife Coco’s graphic novel about three 13-year-old girls growing up in early ’80s Stockholm and forming their own punk band - the best band in the world!
"A gloriously funny coming-of-age comedy – although age itself is squeezed almost entirely into the margins, crowded out by the film’s raucous, window-rattling love of being young." Daily Telegraph
"A joyous, heart-swelling tale of youthful rebellion." Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"A joyous time capsule. Captures the DIY empowerment of punk rock and the bond of female friendships in one blissful swoop. For those of us who’ve been hoping that Lukas Moodysson would return to the tender touch of early movies like Show Me Love and Together, the wait is over." David Fear, The Village Voice
" A gloriously funny coming-of-age comedy – although age itself is squeezed almost entirely into the margins, crowded out by the film’s raucous, window-rattling love of being young." Robbie Colin, Daily Telegraph
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.
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.
Chosen by VIFF Vancity Theatre members, this year’s free New Year’s Eve event movie is Edgar Wright’s anti-blockbuster, a hipster’s comic book adaptation chock full of great gags and inventive fun. When under-employed underground hero Scott Pilgrim (the cutely anxious Michael Cera) takes up with a cool American girl, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), he must fight it out with her seven exes in videogame-style battles.
It’s the perfect appetizer for a memorable New Year’s Eve. Pre-order your free tickets at viff.org Doors at 5.45, Film at 7.00
"Full of fresh, sharp touches and nonchalantly brash performances, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World consistently hits the sweet spot." Tom Charity, CNN.com
"Its speedy, funny, happy-sad spirit is so infectious that the movie makes you feel at home in its world." AO Scott, New York Times
"Like an animatronic kitten that won’t leave you alone, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World wins its audience over on adorable persistence." Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is one of the largest and most visited museums in the world, holding over 3 million treasures and world class masterpieces in stunning architectural settings. To celebrate its 250th anniversary in 2014, Margy Kinmonth’s film reveals the remarkable stories that have shaped the Hermitage’s 250 year journey from Imperial Palace to State Museum.
VIFF Vancity Theatre and the Cinematheque join together this weekend to celebrate the centenary of a cinema landmark. In the Land of the Head Hunters was the first feature film made in B.C. and is the oldest extant feature made in Canada. It’s also the first feature made with an entirely indigenous North American cast and arguably the first ever documentary feature. A portrait of the Kwakwaka’wakw (formerly Kwakiutl) people of northern Vancouver Island and the central coast, it was directed by Edward S. Curtis, the renowned American photographer of First Nations life.
Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings. You know you need to see this genuine Christmas classic as it was intended to be seen, on the big screen. Jimmy Stewart’s finest hour.
A lost key and an accidental touch of cold hands in the dark – so begins one of the great romances of all opera. In his depiction of the tender and ultimately tragic love between Mimì and Rodolfo, Puccini achieved an immediacy, warmth and humanity that have rarely been equalled.