Vancity Theatre Screening
Films in this Series
Miguel Gomes’ (Tabu, Our Beloved Month of August) astonishing three-volume, six-hour epic draws inspiration from the tales of Scheherazade (here played by Crista Alfaiate) and once again uses a fascinating combination of reality and fiction to comment on Portugal’s past, present and future. "There’s Bunuelian satire, lo-fi crime, Brechtian allegory, and high fantasy all in the mix. It’s dizzying stuff… a film that’s moving, sad, exciting, fiery, and funny." Indiewire
Three pack ticket offer available
Volume 2 – The Desolate One
The dramatic shifts in tone become even more pronounced with the second film’s slow-tempo opening chapter about an old man on the lam. In “The Tears of the Judge,” a public trial becomes a mockery, with the testimony implicating everyone in attendance. Finally, The Desolate One ends on an exhilarating note, with a supremely entertaining story about a dog named Dixie who’s passed between owners, familiarizing us with the inhabitants of a working-class apartment building.
Volume 3 – The Enchanted One
It’s here that the trilogy is both at its most playful and focused. Having escaped the palace of the king, Scheherazade explores a seaside landscape where she encounters, among others, a “wind genie” and a daft suitor. In this chapter, it’s as if the historical backdrop, the modern world and the disparate modes of storytelling collapse into one another. Movingly and unexpectedly, the last gesture of Arabian Nights is to scale back its scope and provide a disarmingly modest and poignant grace note on which one of contemporary cinema’s new masterpieces can close.
An eco-animated gem, this fable about a small boy tracing his missing father’s footsteps from a rural cabin to the big city (and beyond) doesn’t need words to spell out its message about the devastating impact of globalization. But Ale Abreu’s film is also a breathtakingly beautiful and inventive example of the animator’s art, a film of kaleidoscopic visual rhapsodies and delightfully curious investigations into shape and colour, transforming both natural and industrial landscapes into dazzling child’s-eye tableaux. With an infectious Brazilian-inflected score by Ruben Feffer and Gustavo Kurlat.
"Anyone who can throw a hatchet and sue you is a force to be reckoned with." Meet Caleb Behn, one of the new generation of First Nations leaders, a charismatic and articulate young Dene lawyer grappling with the contradictions between tradition and modernity embodied in his own life by the examples of his mom (an oil and gas executive) and his dad (an environmentalist). Caleb’s dilemma will reverberate with anyone with a conscience.
Free VIFF Vancity Theatre members screening of the Academy Award winning drama from Paolo Sorrentino in the run up to the release of his eagerly awaited new film, Youth.
Jep Gambardella has seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades, but after his 65th birthday and a shock from the past, Jep looks past the nightclubs and parties to find a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.
Valorized with great skill and insight by John Vaillant in his Governor General’s Award–winning book The Golden Spruce, Grant Hadwin’s journey from logging scout to eco-terrorist now becomes a powerful non-fiction film. Artfully reconstructing a life in the wilderness, Sasha Snow reminds us how much is at stake here, in our own backyard, and give a fair-minded account of a highly contentious individual.
Valorized with great skill and insight by John Vaillant in his Governor General’s Award–winning book The Golden Spruce, Grant Hadwin’s journey from logging scout to eco-terrorist now becomes a powerful non-fiction film. Artfully reconstructing a life in the wilderness, Sasha Snow reminds us how much is at stake here, in our own backyard, and give a fair-minded account of a highly contentious individual. This screening will be preceded by a peek at Zack Embree’s film about the Kinder Morgan pipeline, Directly Affected (17 min), showing as a work in progress.
If you have never visited Haida Gwaii then this is a great place to start. Wilkinson’s stunning cinematography vividly captures the raw beauty of this very special part of the world. It is also, of course, a battlefield, though Wilkinson finds reasons to hope that First Nations’ long-view of environmental sustainability can prevail over short-term economic interest. Granted this is a complicated and paradoxical struggle, and Wilkinson hears firsthand from those figuring out their own way forward in practical, not ideological, terms. It’s an inspiring film for that, and a worthy conclusion to a fine trilogy.
Artist Laurie Anderson reflects on the deaths of her beloved dog Lolabelle, and her mother; on family memories, surveillance, Buddhist teachings, the creativity and consciousness of canines, and much else besides.
"Dreamy, drifty and altogether lovely… It joyfully embraces silliness… at times, it feels as if she too were haunting her movie even as, with every image and word, she fills it with life." Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
Banned from making films in Iran, Jafar Panahi continues to do just that, this time while moonlighting as a taxi driver, a camera mounted to his dashboard. Operating somewhere between documentary and fiction, he picks up passengers in situations that lie ambiguously between the scripted and the naturalistic. "One of the most humane and imaginative practitioners of the art currently working…[has made] one of the most captivating cinematic experiences of this year." AO Scott, New York Times
Propelled from the death of his father to confronting his mother’s Stage 4 cancer, James (Chris Abbott) is forced to grow up fast; much faster than he’s ready for. He finds fleeting relief in booze, drugs, girls and fights, but in the end he has to be there for his mom, Gail. With awards-worthy performances from Cynthia Nixon and Chris Abbott, this is a searingly honest piece of heartfelt cinema in the tradition of Cassavetes and Pialat from first film filmmaker Josh Mond.
“We’ve come this evening to bring you some joy, happiness, inspiration, and some pos-i-tive vi-brations,” Mavis Staples tells concertgoers at the opening of this irresistible portrait of the irrepressible gospel/soul legend – a vow the movie delivers aplenty. Guided by her father, Pops, The Staples Singers married gospel and delta blues in the 50s; sang Freedom songs for the civil rights movement in the 60s; and topped the Billboard charts with “Respect Yourself” and “I’ll Take You There” in the 1970s. Interviewees include Bob Dylan and Jeff Tweedy but it’s Mavis’s huge voice that does the real talking. You’ll have a blast.
Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar) returns with an energetic, laugh-out-loud political comedy that couldn’t be more timely. Steve Guibord (Patrick Huard, brilliant) is an independent Quebec MP travelling to his northern riding with a new Haitian intern. Soon after finding themselves caught in the crossfire of activists, miners, truckers, politicians and Aboriginal groups, it turns out that Guibord somehow holds the decisive vote in a national debate that will decide whether Canada will go to war in the Middle East!
Peggy Guggenheim not only amassed one of the world’s most impressive collections of contemporary art but also rightfully earned a reputation as the consummate bohemian. In her wildly entertaining follow up to Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel,Vreeland explores how Guggenheim crashed the international art scene, discovering the likes of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko in the process. “[With] so many love affairs and ego clashes Art Addict never feels a bit like a history lesson.”—Hollywood Reporter
80 years ago antibiotics revolutionized medicine. Only now are we realizing the potentially catastrophic consequences of these miracle drugs. The question is: have we reached a point where we must save antibiotics to save ourselves?
Documentary followed by panel discussion.
James Jones’ autobiographical debut novel about army life at the Schofield Barracks, Oahu, in the run up to the attack on Pearl Harbor became an instant best-seller in 1951. The movie version followed quickly, and went on to win 8 Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Frank Sinatra in his first substantial dramatic role.
Sinatra is at his Frankest as John O’Hara’s womanizing heel, a second rate singer but a first class charmer. Caught between his feelings for a young chorus girl (Kim Novak) and relationship with the wealthy society matron Vera, (Rita Hayworth) who is backing his nightclub, Joey risks losing everything. With a bumper package of delovely Rodgers and Hart songs (including My Funny Valentine, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, The Lady Is A Tramp, and I Didn’t Know What Time It Was), eye-popping Technicolor and its trio of top stars, this has everything you could hope for in a musical, and more.
Just in time for Christmas, Vancouver film scholar Michael van den Bos raises the spirit of singers from movies past. Singing in the Dark is a collection of exciting vocal performances as seen and heard in the movies, including a special stocking stuffer of Hollywood holiday songs. Louis Armstrong, Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Judy Garland, Jeanette MacDonald, Frank Sinatra, and other surprise guests.
All Ages Show
To celebrate the centennial of superstar performer Frank Sinatra (born 12 December 1915), Vancouver film scholar Michael van den Bos has curated and will host a special presentation of clips featuring Ol’ Blue Eyes singing, dancing, and acting in his own inimitable style. Culled from a variety of Sinatra’s movies – both musical and dramatic – plus television specials, Michael will introduce each of the clips, highlighting the Chairman of the Board’s flair and artistry over a remarkable seven-decade career.
Reporting a potentially lethal crack in the wall of a crowded apartment block, plumber Dima quickly finds himself the victim of a Kafka-esque spiral of corruption and conspiracy. This scathing Russian satire is in a similar vein to Leviathan, another powerful critique of a country that seems to have lost its moral compass. “A distressing moral drama, gripping thriller and scathing sociopolitical portrait of Russia rolled into one.” Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter
See the movie that inspired George Lucas’s original Star Wars. Toshiro Mifune stars as a general charged with guarding his defeated clan’s princess (a fierce Misa Uehara) as the two smuggle royal treasure across hostile territory. Accompanying them are a pair of bumbling, conniving peasants who may or may not be their friends. This rip-roaring ride is among the director’s most beloved films, delivering Kurosawa’s trademark deft blend of wry humor, breathtaking action, and compassionate humanity. 35mm print.
$7 Youth Ticket Available
In August, 1971, Dr Philip Zimbardo (Billy Crudup) enlisted 24 male students to simulate prison life within the confines of the psychology department at Stanford. Scheduled to last a fortnight the experiment was called after just six days before lasting harm befell its participants. A brilliant young cast brings this notorious Psych study to life with riveting intensity. "Stark and riveting" New York Times
Everything you need to know about the roots of roots music, at least of Country variety: starting with the Original Carter Family—A.P., Sara and Maybelle—the film traces the trio’s early musical success, the transformation of the act into The Carter Sisters, June Carter’s marriage to legend Johnny Cash, and the efforts of the present-day Carter family to keep the music alive. Part history, part performance, part family saga, the film illuminates the Carter’s musical and cultural contributions and features a who’s who of Americana music, including Johnny Cash in one of his last interviews. Opening night show features a live performance by Petunia (of Petunia and the Vipers).
Naomi Klein (Shock Doctrine) has risen to prominence around the world as one of Canada’s most forceful and relevant public intellectuals. Her cogent call to direct action has inspired youth and helped chart roadmaps for social progressives and environmentalists.
"An essential documentary…" Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail
The latest screening from the City of Vancouver Archives features newly digitized films that focus on the city’s transportation, landmarks, industry, and domestic and public spheres. From Vancouver’s last interurban streetcar ride to its first Grey Cup Parade, from Obon in Oppenheimer Park to barrelmaking on False Creek, spend a Sunday afternoon reliving Vancouver’s past from the 1920s to the 1960s.
Local historian and artist Michael Kluckner will provide commentary during the projection. The silent films will be accompanied live by renowned jazz pianist, Wayne Stewart.