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VIFF 2013: A Guide to Weekend VIFF Films of Note, Part 1

NaHTaK transforming the environment between VIFF screenings, Thursday afternoon

Part 1, Saturday, October 5th, VIFF screenings not-to-be-missed

Here's the latest update of VanRamblings' programme schedule, for the final week of the 32nd annual Vancouver International Film Festival.

Based on general buzz from VIFF crowds, a surfeit of enthusiastic reviews from friends and colleagues, or simply because we loved a film the first time we saw it, and now must take in a second screening of our VIFF favourite — what we'll attempt to do in this post is explain our choices, and use that explanation to point you in the direction of worthy films we insist you programme into your own VIFF schedule (we're kidding about the insist part ... well, kinda) over the course of the final seven days of VIFF 2013.

Don't forget, Sunday is the last day for VIFF screenings at the Cineplex International Village site. As of Monday, VIFF cinephiles will have to make do with only 5 sites: The Centre (a gorgeous venue that may be lost in 2014), The Playhouse, SFU Woodwards, The Cinematheque, and the Vancity.

Here's how today's VanRamblings post is gonna work: we'll write about worthy films deserving of your attention and attendance. Over the weekend, we'll add material to today's column — including later tonight — in order that we might turn the post into a helpful and expansive 3,000+ word guide on what's worth seeing over the final seven days of VIFF 2013. So c'mon back later tonight, tomorrow and again on Sunday for updates of our "what's hot, what's the buzz" VanRamblings' post extraordinaire.

The VIFF 2013 Must-Sees to Screen Today, and Over The Weekend

Alexandros Avranas' Miss Violence, a must-see at VIFF 2013

Miss Violence. Screens today at 10:30am, Cineplex 9, for the last time.

Alexandros Avranas' airless but accomplished sophomore feature is another one of the new Greek cinema's nightmare narratives. Before the opening credits are up, the 13-year-old birthday girl has plunged to her death from a fourth-story balcony, while her family's strangely stilted response to the suicide suggests she had her reasons. Avranas' film employs an irony-free meter that distinguishes his work from that of other Greek "weird wave" directors, lending the film's most explicitly severe sequences of domestic and sexual abuse a kind of cumulative numbing power. The truth is unspeakable, the family's interactions unnatural and violent, the narrative serving to confirm our worst fears.

Catch it if you can. One of VIFF 2013's very hottest buzz films.

You're going to want to re-read yesterday's post, for insight into why you must take in a screening of the entirely magnificent La jaula de oro Saturday at 1pm at VIFF Cineplex, Cinema 9; as well as for insight into why you must take in a screening of one of VIFF's most magnificent features, The Patience Stone, 4pm at The Playhouse next Tuesday, October 8th, and follow it up with an evening screening at The Rio, of Field of Amapolas, an important and affecting film, and a must-see VIFF film, which screens for a final time on Tuesday, 7pm, at The Rio.

Over the course of the weekend, you must, must, must take in a screening of the very best film at VIFF this year, The Great Passage. Click here to read our review of this masterwork from acclaimed Japanese director Ishii Yuya, as accomplished and moving a film as you'll see this year or any other year. VIFF has added a screening of The Great Passage on Saturday morning at 11:30am, at The Cinematheque. There's an all-but-sold-out screening of The Great Passage (which VanRamblings will attend, lining up an hour early) Sunday afternoon, at 2pm, at The Cinematheque.

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If you're going to line up early on Sunday at The Cinematheque for The Great Passage, rather than take in the Saturday morning screening at The Cinematheque, you'll have freed up time to catch the second week, late-
breaking buzz doc of the Festival, The Kill Team, which screens Saturday morning, 11am, at SFU Woodwards (there's another screening of The Kill Team on Tuesday, October 8th, at 12:15pm at The Cinematheque).

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On Saturday, you might want to consider taking in a screening of ...

  • Like Father Like Son. Saturday, 1pm, The Playhouse (screens again Tuesday, October 8th, at The Centre). The "switched at birth" urban legend and the Nature-vs.-Nurture debate provide Hirokazu Kore-eda with a fresh opportunity to revisit his ongoing preoccupation with family dynamics and parent-child relationships in contemporary Japan. The life of go-getting workaholic architect Ryota (Masaharu Fukuyama) — one of comfort and quietly ordered affluence with his wife Midori (Ono Machiko) and son Keita (Keita Ninomiya) — is violently overturned when hospital administrators reveal the unthinkable: Keita is not his biological son. Due to a mistake made by a negligent nurse, his "true" son has been raised in the dishevelled but warm-hearted home of working-class shopkeeper Yudai (Lily Franky) and his wife (Yôko Maki). The different approaches of both couples to their excruciating dilemma and the gradual emotional awakening of the all-too-rational Ryota are at the core of this sensitive drama of family feeling, which showcases Kore-eda's rich sense of humanity.

  • Blue is the Warmest Colour. Abdellatif Kechiche's newest film, based on Julie Maroh's graphic novel, was the sensation of this year's Cannes Film Festival even before it was awarded the Palme d'Or. Adèle Exarchopoulos is Adèle, a young woman whose longings and ecstasies and losses are charted across a span of several years. Léa Seydoux (Midnight in Paris) is the older woman who excites her desire and becomes the love of her life. Kechiche's movie is, like the films of John Cassavetes, an epic of emotional transformation. Blue pulses with gestures, embraces, furtive exchanges, and arias of joy and devastation, some verbal and some physical (including the film's now celebrated sexual encounters between the two actresses). Screens Saturday, at noon, at The Rio. Not-to-be-missed. A must-see.

  • Ilo Ilo. Saturday, 1:30pm, Cineplex, Cinema 10 (screens again on Wednesday, October 9th, 4pm, at The Centre. Anthony Chen's subtle snapshot of family life in 1990s Singapore, the Camera d'Or winner at Cannes, and a film that, according to Variety film critic Maggie Lee, "brims with love, humour and heartbreak."

  • A Story of Children and Film. Screens at 4:45pm on Saturday, at The Cinematheque, and for a final time next Wednesday, October 9th, 7pm at The Cinematheque. You'll want to read our at length review of one of our very favourite VIFF documentaries.

  • Felix. * Update * Spoke with Festival Director Alan Franey about the fact that the feel-good film of the Festival, a magnificent family affair, has been booked exclusively into the age-restricted Rio Theatre, where those under 19 will not be admitted. Alan told VanRamblings that an arrangement had been made with The Rio's Corinne Lea to allow children, accompanied by their parents, into The Rio's balcony, for the two upcoming screenings of Felix. Not so, says senior VIFF administrator Mickey Brazeau — there'll be no admission of children at Saturday's 6:30pm screening at The Rio, and she wasn't entirely sure if Tuesday's 1:30pm screening of Felix, again at The Rio, would be admitting children. Alan fully understands that building a new VIFF audience is important, and allowing children to accompany their parents to screenings builds on VIFF's future, but ... suffice to say that the screening development involving Felix is regrettable, indeed. For those of you without children, VanRamblings would suggest to you that Felix is an absolute must-see, a humble, deeply affecting, cross-cultural coming-of-age story set in South Africa that left the audience at an earlier screening of the film verklempt but heartened, with nary a dry eye in the house. Everything in Felix works: the cinematography, the production values, performances, screenwriting, and directorial ambition. Quite simply, a moving and accomplished film that is not-to-be-missed at VIFF 2013.

  • Anatomy of a Paperclip. You're going to want to place this winner of this year's Dragons and Tiger award, which will screen at a special time on Saturday, 4pm, Cineplex, Cinema 8. Vancity programmer Tom Charity told the audience in attendance for the awards ceremony on Thursday evening that he and the awards jury loved the film. Tom loves a film? VanRamblings is there.

  • Finding Vivian Maier. The buzz on this film has been nothing short of through the roof — we've scheduled it for next Wednesday, 10am, at SFU, but there's a screening on Saturday, 9:30pm, SFU Woodwards.

  • Grand Central. Also arriving at VIFF with good buzz. Scott Foundas, chief film critic for Variety, and until recently the chief programming of the New York Film Festival loved it. Screens for a final time on Saturday, 9:15pm, at The Rio. VanRamblings will be there.

Check out Part 2 of our Weekend Special, the films screening on Sunday that are not-to-be-missed at the 32nd annual Vancouver International Film Festival. C'mon back early on Saturday for our Sunday films of note.



Posted by Raymond Tomlin at October 4, 2013 1:58 AM in VIFF 2013

   

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