Wednesday, September 28, 2011

VIFF PICKS, week 1

My picks for must-sees at VIFF is in this week's WE

Japan's Tatsumi is one of our VIFF picks
Japan's Tatsumi is one of our VIFF picks
Credit: Supplied


Put on your popcorn-eating pants: It’s VIFF. The beloved film festival celebrates its 30th anniversary with more movies than most people can possibly see. So, over the 17 days of VIFF’s run, WE will provide our picks, previews and reviews of the films that thrill us the most.


Starring Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya
Directed by Pedro Almódovar

Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almódovar specializes in crafting soap-y, enthralling melodrama with more twists and turns than a corn maze. His latest, a loose adaptation of  Thierry Jonquet’s novel Tarantula, is a psycho-sexual horror film that returns Banderas to his native tongue as a plastic surgeon holding a young woman captive, which, oddly, is the least disturbing bit of the film. Sept. 29 (7:00) and Sept. 30 (1:30) at Vogue Theatre.


Starring Olympia Dukakis, Brenda Fricker
Directed by Thom Fitzgerald

Canada comes out strong with this flick about 80-year-old lesbians forced to flee Maine for Nova Scotia after vulgar, fiery Stella (a feisty Dukakis) springs her lover of 30 years, sweet, blind Dot (Fricker), from an old-folks home. It’s funny, heartfelt and full of foul language — and indeed a story everyone needs to see. Oct. 1 (6:45pm) and Oct. 2 (4pm) at Empire Granville 7.


Starring Bessho Tetsuya, Tatsumi Yoshihiro
Directed by Eric Khoo

Part celebration, part ode, Eric Khoo makes his directorial debut with this animated feature, a tribute to the work of famed artist Tatsumi Yoshihiro, the man who invented gekiga in 1957. Gekiga is a style of manga that fuses darkness and realism, and essentially gave grown-ups permission to view manga as high art instead of kids’ stuff. The film’s base is Yoshihiro’s own award-winning manga autobiography, A Drifting Life, fleshed out by adaptations of five of the artist’s most famous short stories. It’s a visual feast. If you think animation is just for the little ones, see this and get the snob slapped out of you. Oct. 2 (2:45pm) and Oct. 4 (9:30pm) at Empire Granville.

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