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The Royal Opera House presents...

Puccini’s first triumph returns to Covent Garden for the first time in 20 years in a new staging by Jonathan Kent. The exciting Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais sings the title role. A consummate Puccini soprano, Opolais caused a sensation as Madama Butterfly in 2011, and with Manon Lescaut, the bold but impressionable heroine, we will see a very different side of her. She is matched in star power by Jonas Kaufmann as her lover, Des Grieux, and Christopher Maltman as her cynical brother Lescaut. Kent’s vision of a young girl who faces temptation in the big city will surely resonate with today’s audience.

Copacabana Social Club

This intimate documentary captures the great singer Maria Bethânia during a 60th birthday celebration in her hometown, Santo Amaro da Purificação—alongside family including brother Caetano Veloso—as well as an emotional performance in Salvador, Bahia.

(Ay Jalisco, No Te Rajes!‘ ("Hey Jalisco, Don’t Back Down!"))
Vancity Theatre Screening

In rural Mexico, when a young boy’s parents are killed, he is raised by a farm worker and the town’s barman, who instills a desire of vengeance in him, and as an adult he romances a young woman who is going to marry a rich man to save her father from financial ruin. This 1941 Mexican film classic became an enormous hit and features Jorge Negrete as the first cinematic singing Mariachi. This performance made Negrete an international Latin film star and launched the appearance of singing mariachis in films.

SPARK FX

Produced by Robert Lepage (who also costars - from the head up - as cosmologist and inventor Eugene Spaak), this stunning Quebec scifi is an eye-popping debut feature from graphic novelist and Cirque du Soleil alumnus Martin Villeneuve. Set in a futuristic Montreal, with man on the eve of setting foot on Mars, the film is a love triangle involving a beautiful photographer, Avril (Caroline Dhavemas), a musician, Jacob (Jacques Languirand), and his friend Arthur (Paul Ahmarani) whose original instruments are inspired by the female form.

"Mars et Avril is a mind muck. It’s whacked. It also happens to be one of the most inspired films I’ve seen in quite some time." Brendan Kelly, Montreal Gazette

Vancity Theatre Screening

There are men, and then there are men with beards. how your true face to the world. It’s not as easy as it looks! In fact for many men growing a beard is a challenge and even a rite of passage, a time when they reclaim their masculinity despite suspicion and derision from colleagues, bosses, friends and loved ones. If the results can be hairy - especially when confronted with a bowl of soup - they can also prove revelatory, opening up new channels of self expression and even sensuality.

(Micmacs a tire-larigot)
SPARK FX

Jean Pierre Jeunet, the wizard who gave us Amelie and Delicatessen conjures another buoyant medley of slapstick, whimsy and satire in this infinitely inventive contemporary fantasy. Dany Boon is the Chaplinesque hero with a bullet in his brain who falls in with a band of urban outsiders and takes revenge on the weapons manufacturers who put it there.

"A fun-house of mirrors that is lovely to get lost in." Betsy Sharkey, LA Times

"Micmacs is like a Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd movie where everybody is Buster or Harold, yet they all work in harmony." Peter Howell, Toronto Star

Woody Allen: Spring Collection

One of Woody’s most popular recent films, this enchanting slice of whimsy casts Owen Wilson as a Hollywood screenwriter transported back to the moveable feast of Paris in the 1920s, home to Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds and Gertrude Stein.

"In Woody Allen’s beguiling and then bedazzling new comedy, nostalgia isn’t at all what it used to be — it’s smarter, sweeter, fizzier and ever so much funnier." Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

"Midnight in Paris finds Allen in a larky, slightly tart and altogether bountiful mood, giving filmgoers a movie that, while unabashedly funny and playful, provides a profiterole or two for thought." Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

Coenpalooza!

What’s the rumpus? The Coens’ riff on Dashiell Hammett is one of their most flavourful achievements, an intricate, complex and compelling study of integrity among thieves set in the ethically compromised world of civic politics in the Prohibition era.

"A superb, languid fantasia on the theme of the gangster film that repays endless viewing." David Thomson, Have You Seen…?

"Maybe the greatest motion picture of the last 20 years." Jim Emerson, Scanners (2007)

"Elegantly profound, it’s a meditation on what doing the right thing might mean, with a spookily good, career-best performance from Byrne." Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph

IBFF 2013 Vancouver (International Buddhist Film Festival)

Thai-English director Tom Waller takes on one of the popular Father Ananda mystery novels. Former cop Ananda is now a senior monk and is asked by the abbot to solve a murder inside his monastery because the police don’t want to get involved. Not everything in the monastery is what it should be…

Vancity Theatre Screening

When Matt Berninger, the lead singer of The National, invited his under-achieving younger brother Tom along as a roadie on the band’s European tour, he thought he was doing him a favour. What he hadn’t banked on was Tom filming the whole thing - even as he screws up the most rudimentary tasks asked of him, like catching the tour bus, for example… A tour film like no other, this is oddly touching, very honest, and very funny.

"Poignant and hilarious." NME

"Brutal, hilarious, unexpectedly honest." The Hollywood Reporter

"The best documentary we have seen all year." The New York Observer

DEMY MONDE: The Cinema of Jacques Demy

Lola in LA, Demy’s first (and only) Hollywood movie improves with age. Gary Lockwood is the aimless young architect who falls under the spell of a French photographic model (Anouk Aimee). "A marvel of tone and decor…forges the impossible bridge between Quentin Tarantino’s in-jokey cinematic universe of intertwined characters and events, and the recently-completed Before trilogy of Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke." Next Projection

"A marvel of tone and decor…forges the impossible bridge between Quentin Tarantino’s in-jokey cinematic universe of intertwined characters and events, and the recently-completed Before trilogy of Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke." Next Projection

"One of the great movies about LA." Geoff Andrew, Time Out Film Guide

007 Reloaded: Bond vs Bond

Probably inspired by the success of Star Wars, James Bond went into outer space in Moonraker, one of the most popular of the series. It’s got amazing aerial stunts, some of designer Adam’s most inspired sets, a creepy villain in Michel Lonsdale’s Hugo Drax and Richard Kiel is back as the giant, metal-toothed henchman Jaws.

"Irresistibly entertaining." Frank Rich, Time

"A minor masterpiece." James Monaco, The Connoisseur’s Guide to the Movies

"One of the most buoyant Bond films of all." Vincent Canby, New York Times

Vancity Theatre Screening

Abel Ferrara’s (Bad Lieutenant, King Of New York) 1981 revenge thriller classic Ms. 45 follows a mute garment-district seamstress – played by the late model/actress/musician/screenwriter Zoë Tamerlis – who after falling victim to multiple unspeakable assaults, ignites her one-woman homicidal rampage against New York City’s entire male population. Now remastered in HD from the original negative materials.

["Ferrera] is clearly a talented fellow. One can only hope he finds something else to make movies about very soon." Janet Maslin, New York Times

Vancity Theatre Screening

Located on the banks of the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama is the unlikely breeding ground for some of the most creative and defiant music in American history. With nothing but grit and great ears, producer Rick Hall turned a tiny studio into the heart and soul of 60s R&B, recording such classic songs as "I’ll Take You There," "Brown Sugar," "When a Man Loves a Woman," "I Never Loved A Man the Way That I Loved You," "Mustang Sally,” "Tell Mama" and "Freebird".

"Propelled in equal measure by its gorgeous music and rich anecdotes, it’s joyous, uplifting – and as funky as the music at its heart." David Gritten, Daily Telegraph

"A terrific film… a must see for even the most casual of music fans.. a stunning, soulful achievement." Jason Gorber, Twitch

"Will appeal to just about everyone." Katherine Monk, Canada.com

Vancity Theatre Screening

When a Vienna museum guard befriends an enigmatic visitor, the grand Kunsthistorisches Art Museum becomes a mysterious crossroads which sparks explorations of their lives, the city, and the ways artworks reflect and shape the world.

"On the one hand a sad, poignant character study, "Museum Hours" is also a treatise on art history and a love letter to architectural wonder. A-" Eric Kohn, Indiewire

"Engaginly offbeat… Cerebral stuff, but delivered with warmth, wit and quiet confidence." Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter

"Delightfully accessible…filled with gently moving wit." Ken Eisner, Georgia Straight

Vancity Theatre Screening

When a Vienna museum guard befriends an enigmatic visitor, the grand Kunsthistorisches Art Museum becomes a mysterious crossroads which sparks explorations of their lives, the city, and the ways artworks reflect and shape the world.

"On the one hand a sad, poignant character study, "Museum Hours" is also a treatise on art history and a love letter to architectural wonder. A-" Eric Kohn, Indiewire

"Engaginly offbeat… Cerebral stuff, but delivered with warmth, wit and quiet confidence." Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter

"Delightfully accessible…filled with gently moving wit." Ken Eisner, Georgia Straight

Black History Month

Presented in association with Black History Month, Music for Mandela explores the role music played in the remarkable life of one of the world’s few genuinely heroic politicians. Musical performances include celebrated artist Vusi Mahlasela, Grammy award-winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and new music from the internationally acclaimed Soweto Gospel Choir. Interviews include the legendary BB King, Sean Paul, Estelle, Welsh opera star Katherine Jenkins and Mandela’s grandson, hip hop artist Bambatha Mandela.

Live musical tribute performed post screening by Benin musician Yoro Noukoussi.

Cinema Salon

Set in the 1920s in the palace of a noble Bengali whose passion is music and whose arch-enemy is a wealthy upstart, The Music Room reflects the conflict between the dying aristocracy and new money. Director Satyajit Ray is one of the greatest auteurs of international cinema. His film about those who dwell in the past and those who embrace the future is a magnificent tour de force. Introduced by Professor Scott Watson, head of the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, UBC.

The Royal Opera House presents...

Daniele Abbado explores themes of identity, exile and religion in a powerful staging of Verdi’s epic opera. War has broken out between the Babylonians and Israelites. The Israelites have captured Fenena, younger daughter of the Babylonian King, Nabucco. In revenge, Nabucco vows to destroy Jerusalem, aided by the vengeful Abigaille.

“Domingo’s career, 42 years at Covent Garden and counting, continues to be a wonder of the age.” The Guardian

(O soma o redor)
Vancity Theatre Screening

After a series of burglaries on a middle-class Recife avenue, a private security team is hired by the residents—with ominous results. A gripping and expectations-upending slow-burn thriller from Kleber Mendonça Filho, Neighbouring Sounds is one of the first films from Brazil to deal with the clash between the archaic, exploitive class-based society of plantation owners and workers, and the more modern and egalitarian bourgeois society that Brazil has become. It is also superbly constructed, wonderfully acted and luminously filmed.

"A revelatory debut feature. Mr. Mendonça, a former film critic whose command of the medium is both formidable and subtle. The scope of his movie is narrow, but its ambitions are enormous, and it accomplishes nothing less than the illumination of the peculiar state of Brazilian (and not only Brazilian) society." AO Scott, New York Times

"I’d put money on the likelihood that Brazil’s Kleber Mendonça Filho is on track to become a major filmmaker in the coming years." Gavin Smith, Film Comment

"A thoroughly modern, film-savvy opus (at times it suggests Cache as directed by Paul Thomas Anderson), steeped equally in dread and humor." Dennis Lim, Artforum

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