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
A sharp, compassionate, tender and piercing tale of a nine year old fighing to tame his stubbornly curly hair and, he hopes, win the love and affection of his over-burdened mom. From this seemingly trivial tale Venezuelan filmmaker Mariana Rondon fashions a memorable movie about sex identity, mothers and sons, love and disappointment. Winner: Best Film, San Sebastian Film Festival. 100% Fresh, Rotten Tomatoes
"The most endearing film I saw out of 36 films [at the Toronto International Film Festival] was Bad Hair." Kent Turner, Film-Forward
"At just 93 minutes, the movie breezes by but is anything but forgettable." Monica Catillo, Movie Mezzanine
"Tender insight… a deft balance of toughness and sensitivity." David Rooney, Variety
A repeat performance of Michael van den Bos’s legendary movie medley featuring the greatest dance numbers ever committed to celluloid. Michael will present an exhilarating waltz through the history of movie musicals, featuring 101 toe-tapping clips (roughly) and such showbiz legends as Busby Berkeley, Fred Astaire, Shirley Temple, Bob Fosse, Eleanor Powell, Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisee and Baz Luhrmann. All ages welcome!
Award winning Vancouver filmmaker Julia Kwan trains her eye on our own backyard, Chinatown, Pender, Hastings and Main St, and no matter how well you think you know this area, you’re bound to come away with new insights into the people and businesses that make up this once vibrant community. It’s a neighbourhood in transition, a culture in decline - or on the cusp of gentrification. This isn’t an advocacy doc, but a wise, ruminative portrait, an elegy perhaps, but also a celebration of entrepreneurial energy, resilience and creativity.
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
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
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.
Join us for a screening of this VIFF double prize-winning documentary followed by a panel discussion on food waste and other issues raised in the movie featuring producer Jen Rustemeyer and special guests.
Roger Ebert wasn’t just the most popular North American film critic of the late twentieth century, in part by seizing the opportunities afforded by TV, he was also one of the most insightful and articulate, a wonderful writer with an insatiable curiosity about the world, deep knowledge of cinema, and the passion to communicate it. This acclaimed film from Steve James (Hoop Dreams) captures yet another side of Roger: how he blossomed in the loving family he found late in life, despite the terrible struggle with cancer that ravaged his body and left him unable to speak.
"Life Itself is a work of deftness and delicacy, by turns a film about illness and death, about writing, about cinema and, finally, and very movingly a film about love." Geoffrey O’Brien, The New York Times
Sir Michael Caine delivered one of his very finest performances as Ebenezer Scrooge in this surprisingly faithful, and downright irresistible Muppet version on the Dickens yuletide favourite.
"A wonderful festive story, enchantingly told." Daily Telegraph
It is not often that a documentary merits comparison with The Grapes of Wrath, but The Overnighters evokes Steinbeck (and John Ford) in its compassionate portrait of economic migrants flooding into North Dakota to 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 - whose 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
The Good Wife. Lost. The Big Bang. Battlestar Galactica. Sons of Anarchy. The Shield. Boardwalk Empire. Buffy the Vampire. Firefly. These shows and others like them have defined the twenty first century cultural landscape in a way few movies can compete with. In every case they were crafted by many hands - a large talent pool of writers and directors - but always there is a showrunner pulling the strings, the producer-artist responsible for the big picture and keeping the show on the road. Des Doyle’s documentary gives us the inside scoop on this new breed of auteur, with insights, anecdotes, and observations from some of the best in the business.
Two short films from the Vancouver based producer, writer, director Jonathan Kitzen, including last year’s Academy Award-winning non-fiction short subject The Lady in Number Six: Music Saved My Life (a portrait of 109 year old Holocaust survivor Alcie Herz Sommer), and his new film, Soldiers’ Stories, a war remembrance document that draws parallels between the Battle of the Somme in WWI and today’s conflicts. The latter is presented in 3D and introduced by Jonathan Kitzen.
Jonathan Kitzen will be in attendance and introduce the films
Former intelligence officer John Le Carre wrote his first espionage novel in 1962, just a year after the completion of the Berlin Wall, which loomed large in the book. That same wall - demolished 25 year ago, Nov 9, 1989 - also figures in the opening and closing scenes of Martin Ritt’s acclaimed film adaptation. It’s one of the key Cold War movies, the antithesis of James Bond escapism, and features arguably Richard Burton’s finest screen performance.
Discovered by a wood cutter inside a shining stalk of bamboo, a tiny girl lights up the life of this childless peasant and his wife - even though they’re perplexed by the lightning speed with which she grows into an exquisite young lady. Their "little princess" enthralls everyone she meets, and bestows such bounty on the family that they wood cutter moves them to a city mansion, where she is courted by the most eligible bachelors far and wide. A gem of a film from Studio Ghibli’s other master, Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies).
“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