Named by Quentin Tarantino as one of the 12 best films ever made, this legendary box office disaster was one of the movies that put an end to the era of directorial power in Hollywood (certainly for Exorcist and French Connection filmmaker William Friedkin). A remake of French classic The Wages of Fear, about the transportation of cans of nitroglycerin by truck across a nameless Latin American country, this is nailbiting adventure cinema at its best.
"An audacious masterpiece! Friedkin’s reinterpretation of Clouzot’s 1953 masterpiece is among his most daring works. Three sequences alone— a chaotic car crash in Boston, the unloading of charred bodies in a Central American village, and the explosives-laden trucks crossing a rickety storm-blown bridge — render Sorcerer a classic and retain their power to make audiences gasp. Released the same year as Star Wars, [it] represents the braver road abandoned by the studio system.”—Haden Guest
Hot from its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, a sneak peek at Foo Fighters’ leader Dave Grohl’s documentary about the legendary Los Angeles recording studio Sound City.
A Canadian-made “porno chic” movie? It never happened! So historians say. But tonight’s screening proves otherwise as the never-released and unknown sexually-explicit [or: ‘X-rated’] horror-spoof Sexcula—-made entirely in British Columbia back in ’73—-screens in a World-Premiere of its original, unplayed 16mm answer-print. Produced with the help of Canadian film tax credits (that’s right—-taxpayers backed a porn movie—only in Canada!), Sexcula is one of the oddest entries in the colourful catalog of “Canuxploitation.”. Special guests to be announced.
With the permission of screenwriter, star and singer Nick Cave, we’re thrilled to offer this special advance screening of his latest work, a not entirely plausible record of a day in the life of the man himself.
“Incredible. Puts most music films to shame. So inventive and inspiring.”—Dave Calhoun, Time Out
“Probably best music doc I’ve ever seen… so much more than music. Beautifully made”—Wendy Mitchell, Screen International
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
Matinee show Aug 25 (only) All Ages Show, under-19s welcome.
Evening show Aug 29 introduced by film scholar Michael van den Bos.
Roger Moore’s pick of his own Bond movies is a slick, spectacular, always fun concoction. When villain Karl Stromberg (Curt Jurgens) hijacks British and Soviet submarines, Bond is paired with Russian agent Anya Amasova (Barbarach Bach) to get to the bottom of his evil plan.
"Exceptional… Moore gives his best performance in the series… Film is a real treat - a well-acted, smartly cast, sexy, visually impressive, lavishly produced, powerfully directed mix of a spy romance and a war-mission film." Danny Peary, Guide for the Film Fanatic.
Playwright and filmmaker David Auburn is the subject of the first Stage to Screen event, a rare opportunity for in-depth exploration of the writing process with a master of the craft. This event includes a presentation of Auburn’s directorial debut, The Girl in the Park (starring Sigourney Weaver and Kate Bosworth), a read-through of his play Proof, Q&A, masterclass and reception. Tickets $47, Students $35, Student (Post Sec. ID required)
Ricky likes lines, shapes, designs. So much so that he can’t quite decipher the more practical banalities we need to grasp to navigate safely from A to B. Autistic and alone on the New York subway, the 13 year old is trapped in a spiral of urban alienation and solipsism while his desperate mother forlornly searches the streets of Queens ahd Hurrican Sandy approaches…
"Wonderfully witty and understated ... A small miracle of a film."—Stephen Holden, New York Times
"Fascinating and beautiful ... an impressionistic record of the subway experience circa exactly right now."—Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice
"An exceptional film ... richly textured and fully engaging."—Amy Taubin, Art Forum
A portrait of the artist that appalled his fans at the time, Stardust Memories is autobiography out of Fellini, the movie where Woody first tried to emulate the greats he admired. The public didn’t love him for it, but it’s a key picture in his own evolution and surprisingly poignant.
Worlds apart, a five-star chef, a retired school teacher and a young girl discover how their small efforts to feed the poor ignite a movement in the fight against hunger. This inspiring and heartwarming documentary tells the tale of these remarkable individuals and the unexpected challenges they face.
"A luminous window into the lives of true local heroes…" The Arts Guild
Curated and presented by veteran CBC film critic Rick Staehling, this illustrated lecture examines the evolution of the opening sequence across a century of cinema history, from The Great Train Robbery in 1903 through Once Upon a Time in the West through to the stunning Children of Men and Seven (and many more).
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.
November 7, 2008, the Danish (Bahamas-registered) cargo vessel CEC Future was boarded by Somali pirates. For 70 days the international crew was held captive at gunpoint while the pirates and the Danish owners negotiated.
This evening Vancity Theatre presents two films inspired by this story, one a documentary (Stolen Seas), the other a dramatic feature (A Hijacking) written and directed by Tobias Lindholm, whose last film was The Hunt.
Assembled from three years’ worth of visits to the dangerous "hot zone" off the coast of Somalia, Payne’s riveting film gives us both the wider context that explains the piracy from all sides, and takes right inside the actual hijacking, incorporating footage shot by the Somalis during the incident.
"Riveting…a dense, sometimes dangerous 90-minute immersion in a world where lawlessness applies to all sides." Peter Debruge, Variety
"A documentary of such ambitious scope you might need a remote control and a notebook to keep up with it." Omer M Mozaffar, Chicago Sun-Times
Universally acclaimed as one of the best concert films ever made, Stop Making Sense documents the groundbreaking Talking Heads at their peak and was directed by Jonathan Demme. "A dose of happiness from beginning to end. Stop Making Sense is close to perfection."—Pauline Kael, New Yorker Magazine
One of the most exciting concert films ever."—David Ansen, Newsweek
"The overwelming impression throughout Stop Making Sense is of enormous energy, of life being lived at a joyous high."—Roger Ebert
Two friends make a bet to see which of them can withstand a week of psychological torture at the hands of the other. What starts out as a bizarre but humourous reality TV scenario gradually spirals out of control.
“Stress Position is an intelligent, thought-provoking film, which can only become increasingly relevant … the overall effect is a film you both want to see again because of its numerous admirable qualities, and never want to re-endure because the psychological tortures are so convincing and the verisimilitude too unnerving.” Alex Fitch, Electric Sheep Magazine
"A nearly flawless debut feature which jumps head first into psychological terror." Film Bizarro
"Stress Position is an attractive, inventive, creative film well worth seeing." David Jaffer, exlaim
Established in 2004, the Student Film Showcase showcases the finest in student films from universities and colleges from across Canada. With the participation of the Film School Consortium this TIFF event presents a range of student films in diverse forms - including animation, documentary, fiction and experimental work - that represent the burgeoning talent of our nation’s next generation of filmmakers.
Genius: The Kevin Aussant Story
Kevin — and his mother — always believed he’d become the greatest screenwriter of all time. Gifted and confident, but discouraged by his father, Kevin finally moves to the big city to pursue his dream in this quirky comedy about the unshakable power of creativity.
Placement of the Grain
Sculpted monochromatic figures mutate into eerie renderings that are simultaneously transfixing and disturbing; if the Quay Brothers and David Cronenberg had an animated cinematic lovechild, it might look like Placement of the Grain.
On a small farm, two young brothers spend their day picking produce, tormenting chickens, throwing eggs at trains, and hunting each other with foam-dart guns. Daily life in the countryside is given a sensitive, subtle and patient treatment by director Dylan Stirewalt.
It’s a beautiful day in the mountains as a young boy, Snorkly, joins a day-camp race and lies to get onto the team of his choice, The Fanny Pack. Team Work is an absurd, hilarious film — a cross between Robot Chicken and South Park, with a touch more heart.
The Toronto blackout of 2003 is the focus of this animated documentary, which stitches personal anecdotes together with handcrafted illustrations to recall a moment when the vibrant Big Smoke was transformed into a magical, mysterious place.
Lou pumps gas at the local truck ’n’ go, but dreams of one day escaping with her BFF Chantal to "blow up" in the big city. Funny and brutally honest, Firecrackers paints a picture of small-town life filled with truck-stop diners, deadbeat adults, and the teenagers who hope to escape from both.
Sun of a Beach
Shunned for shining a little too brightly, the poor sun feels alone in its search to connect and be wanted. Good intentions fire up the screen in this fun and cheerful animated vignette. SPF 30 recommended.
Walter Woodman, Patrick Cederberg
In a story that plays out entirely on a teenager’s computer screen, Noah follows its eponymous protagonist as his relationship takes a rapid turn for the worse in this fascinating study of behaviour (and romance) in the digital age.
Eui Yong Zong
A sensitive documentary on the preservation of memories, Elizabeth follows Donald as he prepares to put to rest his companion of 18 years. This film is a raw, touching, and at times surprising portrait of grief and the difficulty of imagining life without a loyal partner.
Repurposing an old home movie clip of a family posing on a boat near port, Byron Chan loops the footage and reconfigures history in this captivating formal study of analogue archival material reshaped in the modern age.
Eileen H. Peng
A Brothers Grimm-inspired fairy tale given a striking animation treatment, Godfather Death tells the story of a young doctor whose godfather was — fittingly — Death. Empowered by his godfather’s gift of a potion that cures all disease, the doctor soon learns that the balance of life cannot be cheated.
Toronto artisan Ross Stuart has been hand-crafting banjos and ukuleles for years, but has found it hard to turn his work into a sole source of income. Rosbilt is as much a polished portrait of an honest, outspoken and hard-working man as it is an examination of artistic output as livelihood.
Basilisk, a greedy land-based creature with eyes only for a pot of gold, is on the run trying to track down his prize. A colourful, vivid animation reminiscent of the great Hayao Miyazaki, Basilisk and its animator Mami Thompson are names to watch out for
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
In 2008, 18 climbers from a party of 24 reached the summit of the world’s second highest mountain, the treacherous K2. 48 hours later, 11 were dead, or had simply vanished. What happened? Nick Ryan weaves together found footage, eerie reenactments and interviews with survivors to try and solve this tragic mystery.
"Riveting. Gripping. Thrilling." Indiewire
"A gripping cliffhanger. A heart-throbbing experience." Hollywood Reporter
School’s out for summer, and son of a preacher man Vincent Furnier (better known as the rock n roll icon Alice Cooper) would like to remind you that there’s more to life than grades, grad and grind. Like sex, drugs and grand guignol, for example.
Ice cream, music and collective action all play a part in this alternately joyous and sobering documentary about the challenges in opening the first ever ice cream parlor in Kigali, Rwanda.
Post screening entertainment will be a drumming performance by women drummers led by Jacky Essombe.
"It’s utterly rousing watching the women master their instruments and then push past the birth pains of their new business enterprise, and it’s completely wrenching as their individual backstories unfold. The vibrantly filmed Dreams (the Rwandan landscape is breathtaking) is a powerful entry in the list of documentaries charting the country’s rebirth, illustrating the unexpected ways the human spirit reinvents itself after enduring the unthinkable." Ernest Hardy, LA Weekly
"Wonderful… Moving… Engrossing. An affecting celebration of the human spirit. Contagious joy abounds." Anita Katz, San Francisco Examiner
"A movie that will bring you to tears." Deena Shanker, Village Voice