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September 11 , 2013

NEW VOICES / NEW VISIONS / ALTERED STATES


QUICKLINKS


NEW VOICES / NEW VISIONS

What are the most "innovative" films at VIFF this year? We know that many of you are looking for progressive cinema: the audacious, the formally inventive, the cutting edge. For others, it's simply a matter of films feeling fresh, and familiar stories being expressed in ways they never have before.

Of course that's what interests many of the best artists working today, whether they are in their 20s or several decades into their careers: exploring new formal strategies, pushing boundaries, being "original" (which is not so easy these days!), or simply being true.

Here's a selection of particularly fresh cinema: some hip, some well beyond that.

Coast of Death

COAST OF DEATH

(Costa da Morte)

Spain | Director: Lois Patiño

Related Links: Director’s Website & Trailer

North American Premiere

Sun. Oct 6, 9:30 pm, Vancity
Tue. Oct 8, 3:00 pm, Vancity

Home to shipwrecks and oil spills, Spain’s Costa da Morte has rightfully earned its moniker. Lois Patiño’s poetic documentary explores these treacherous shores and the people who inhabit them through a series of immaculate tableaux. "A visually stimulating and gently engrossing film…"—Next Projection.
Winner, Best Emerging Director, Locarno 2013.

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Distant

DISTANT

(Yuanfang)

China | Director: Yang Zhengfan

Related Links: Official Website | Trailer

North American Premiere

Wed. Oct 2, 7:00 pm, Intl Village 8
Fri. Oct 4, 1:30 pm, Intl Village 8

In just 13 fixed shots, without dialogue, new director Yang Zhengfan creates a series of striking scenes set in southern China. Each one hints at a micro-story, some humorous, some tragic, others rich with symbolic meaning. Surrender to the film’s measured pace and prepare to be enthralled.

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Exhibition

EXHIBITION

UK | Director: Joanna Hogg

Related Links: Clip | Review

Canadian Premiere

Fri. Oct 4, 10:45 am, SFU-GCA
Wed. Oct 9, 9:00 pm, SFU-GCA

A tour de force of directorial precision and control, Joanna Hogg’s unnerving drama dissects the marriage of two middle-aged artists (Viv Albertine, of 1970s punk legends The Slits, and Turner Prize-nominated artist Liam Gillick) as they prepare to vacate their gleaming modernist digs. "A brilliantly chilly portrait of a couple, a home, and an unspoken horror…"—Guardian

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Forty Years from Yesterday

FORTY YEARS FROM YESTERDAY

USA | Director: Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck

Related Links: Website & Trailer

Canadian Premiere

Wed. Oct 2, 9:15 pm, Intl Village 10
Sun. Oct 6, 4:15 pm, Intl Village 9

Grief in all its forms takes over a family after a man discovers that his wife of 40 years has died unexpectedly. Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck’s moving debut is "a superb opening salvo from a filmmaking team with a fine future… Not a moment in the film is wasted, nor an affectation indulged…"—Film Comment

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Manakamana

MANAKAMANA

USA/Nepal | Director: Stephanie Spray, Pacho Velez

Related Links: Website & Trailer | Review

Mon. Oct 7, 9:15 pm, Vancity
Wed. Oct 9, 4:30 pm, Vancity

Produced by Leviathan’s Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel from Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Laboratory, Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez’s debut documentary takes us high above the jungle in Nepal, where pilgrims go on an ancient journey, travelling by cable car to reach the Manakamana temple.
Winner, Golden Leopard (Filmmakers of the Present), Locarno 2013.

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The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear

THE MACHINE WHICH MAKES EVERYTHING DISAPPEAR

(Manqana, romelic kvelafers gaaqrobs)

Georgia/Germany | Director: Tinatin Gurchiani

Related Links: Trailer | Review

Mon. Oct 7, 4:45 pm, Vancity
Fri. Oct 11, 8:45 pm, Vancity

During a series of open auditions, Tinatin Gurchiani turns her camera on young Georgians, discovering both aspiring stars and disenfranchised strugglers eager to share their stories. Self-deprecating humour and heartrending accounts of war and domestic strife conspire in highly cinematic vignettes.
Winner, World Cinema Directing Award: Documentary, Sundance 2013.

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See You Never

SEE YOU NEVER

(Hasta Nunca)

Uruguay/USA | Director: Mark Street

Related Links: Official Website | Trailer

International Premiere

Fri. Oct 4, 7:00 pm, Cinematheque
Sun. Oct 6, 11:30 am, Cinematheque
Wed. Oct 9, 2:30 pm, Cinematheque

The host of a radio call-in show in Montevideo, Mario serves as a sounding board for his fellow Uruguayans’ insecurities and fears. As the hipster DJ endures an identity crisis of his own, Mark Street’s ingenious hybrid docudrama melds vérité and poetic invention to explore the state of a nation in transition.

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Soft in the Head

SOFT IN THE HEAD

USA | Director: Nathan Silver

Related Links: Trailer

Canadian Premiere

Thu. Oct 3, 9:00 pm, Cinematheque
Fri. Oct 4, 1:15 pm, SFU-GCA

An accident that can’t wait to happen, Natalia displays an arsonist’s flair for burning bridges. Even after her downward spiral lands her in a men’s shelter, Nathan Silver’s engrossing character study continues to knock us for a loop.
Winner, Best Actress, Brooklyn 2013.

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A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness

A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS

Estonia/France | Director: Ben Rivers, Ben Russell

Related Links: Trailer

Fri. Sep 27, 4:00 pm, Intl Village 8
Tue. Oct 1, 6:45 pm, Intl Village 8

Art-house titans (and mutual admirers) Ben Rivers and Ben Russell conspire on this uncompromising, three-part sensory experience that commences in a bucolic Estonian commune and culminates with a black metal concert. "[A] tapestry of beautifully rendered concepts [that’s] impressively committed to its poetic design… Rivers and Russell have certainly cast a spell that sticks."—Indiewire

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Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING DOORS

USA | Director: Sam Fleischner

Related Links: Official Website | Featurette with Director

International Premiere

Mon. Sep 30, 6:45 pm, Intl Village 8
Wed. Oct 2, 10:30 am, Intl Village 8

An autistic 13-year-old embarks on an underground odyssey that would give Orpheus pause: 11 days patiently lost on New York’s subway. As his family searches frantically for him, Hurricane Sandy lurks on the horizon. "As intense and indelible an immersion in the real New York as I have seen in a long time… Completely, exhilaratingly alive."—New York Times

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Stemple Pass

STEMPLE PASS

USA | Director: James Benning

Related Links: Review

Canadian Premiere

Tue. Oct 8, 1:30 pm, SFU-GCA
Thu. Oct 10, 9:15 pm, Vancity

Equally entrancing and unsettling, James Benning’s rigorous study of the Unabomber’s bucolic hideaway habitat and, through extensive readings from his journals, his tortured inner world "explores profound ideas about [man’s place in] nature, America, time, technology and film itself."—Variety

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The Story of My Death

THE STORY OF MY DEATH

(Historia de la meva mort)

Spain/France/Romania | Director: Albert Serra

Related Links: Review

Tue. Oct 1, 10:30 am, Vancity
Fri. Oct 4, 9:00 pm, Intl Village 8

Albert Serra’s (Honor de Cavelleria) dreamy period piece finds an aging Giacomo Casanova (Vicenç Altaió) coming face to face with the new age, as embodied in the form of Dracula… “Serra’s most accessible work… Casanova is a vivid character rich with metaphor… [Serra] turns the characters into symbols of history in flux.”—Indiewire.
Winner, Golden Leopard, Locarno 2013.

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Time Goes By Like a Roaring Lion

TIME GOES BY LIKE A ROARING LION

(Die Zeit vergeht wie ein brüllender Löwe)

Germany | Director: Philipp Hartmann

Related Links: Official Website

North American Premiere

Sun. Oct 6, 10:00 am, Vancity
Tue. Oct 8, 9:15 pm, Vancity

Time is one of the most intriguing things to think about. (Of course, it’s not a thing at all—we call it a dimension.) Director Philipp Hartmann puts his chronophobia to fascinating and occasionally funny use in this philosophical, psychological and very German investigation into the phenomenology of time.

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Tito on Ice

TITO ON ICE

Sweden/Germany/Bosnia | Directors: Max Andersson, Helena Ahonen

Related Links: Film Blog | Trailer

Canadian Premiere

Fri. Sep 27, 7:00 pm, Cinematheque
Sun. Oct 6, 8:45 pm, Cinematheque
Tue. Oct 8, 4:45 pm, Cinematheque

On a barnstorming tour of the former Yugoslavia, graphic novelists Max Andersson (who directs, with Helena Ahonen) and Lars Sjunneson bring a macabre "mummy" of Marshal Tito along for the ride. Astonishing stop-motion animation sequences render their journey all the more surreal while a Balkan new wave soundtrack affirms this doc’s punk rock spirit.

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Your Day Is My Night

YOUR DAY IS MY NIGHT

USA | Director: Lynne Sachs

Related Links: Official Website

International Premiere

Thu. Oct 3, 6:30 pm, Cinematheque
Sat. Oct 5, 2:30 pm, Cinematheque

Innovative in form and revealing in content, Lynne Sachs’ tenderly poetic "hybrid documentary" uses scripted monologues, improvised scenes and vérité footage to paint a vivid portrait of contemporary immigrant life in "shift-bed" rooming houses in New York’s Chinatown.

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The Unity of All Things

THE UNITY OF ALL THINGS

USA | Director: Alexander Carver, Daniel Schmidt

North American Premiere

Sun. Sep 29, 1:20 pm, Intl Village 8
Tue. Oct 1, 9:00 pm, Intl Village 8

Adventurous and irreverent, Alexander Carver and Daniel Schmidt’s speculative satire explores the concept of utopia and tests the bounds of visual art with an exhilarating sense of daring. "A bizarre, gentle and lyrical meld of sci-fi, incest, and pantheism… [Unity] demonstrates how irrationally beautiful something can be when shot and scored well…"—Slant

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La última película

LA ÚLTIMA PELÍCULA

Canada/Denmark/Philippines/Mexico | DIR: Raya Martin, Mark Peranson

Related Links: Clip 1 | Clip 2

Wed. Oct 2, 9:30 pm, Vancity
Thu. Oct 3, 3:30 pm, Cinematheque

A famous American filmmaker (The Color Wheel director Alex Ross Perry) travels to the Yucatán to scout locations for his last movie. The Mayan Apocalypse intercedes. Raya Martin (Independencia) and Mark Peranson (Waiting for Sancho) co-direct.

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When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism

WHEN EVENING FALLS ON BUCHAREST OR METABOLISM

(Când se lasă seara peste Bucureşti sau metabolism)

Romania/France | Director: Corneliu Porumboiu

Related Links: Trailer

Sun. Oct 6, 9:15 pm, Intl Village 10
Thu. Oct 10, 4:00 pm, SFU-GCA

Corneliu Porumboiu follows up on Police, Adjective with this film within a film about a director whose affair with one of his supporting actresses threatens to cross over into—and change the shape of—the film he is making. A clever and intimate look at the easily crossed fine line between art and life.

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ALTERED STATES

As the hour grows late, the strange ones come out to play... In our late-night series, VIFF unveils some of the best in international genre films, as well as fantastic cinema that defies ready classification. Best experienced on the big screen, these oddities demand that you play by their rules as they slowly bend you to their will and leave a lasting impression. Be warned: Your dreams may never be the same...

Antisocial

ANTISOCIAL

Canada | Director: Cody Calahan

Related Links: Review | Trailer

Wed. Oct 9, 4:45 pm, Cinematheque
Fri. Oct 11, 11:30 pm, Rio

Something sinister just went viral, coursing through social networks and sparking an apocalyptic outbreak. As five university students try to make sense of the chaos, Cody Calahan’s thriller offers an "intelligent and nicely claustrophobic spin on the killer virus/zombie film… Impressively designed and staged… [it] keeps on developing its structure and concept…"—Screen

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Big Bad Wolves

BIG BAD WOLVES

Israel | Director: Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado

Related Links: Review | Trailer

Sat. Oct 5, 11:30 pm, Rio
Sun. Oct 6, 1:40 pm, Intl Village 10

A disgraced cop and grieving father look to exact vengeance on a suspected pedophile murderer in this grisly tale. With its heady mix of brutality, merciless black comedy and potent subtext, Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado’s thriller leaves you reeling and forces you to question where your sympathies lie.
Winner, Best Film, Best Screenplay, Fantasia 2013.

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Borgman

BORGMAN

Netherlands | Director: Alex van Warmerdam

Related Links: Trailer

Fri. Oct 4, 11:30 pm, Rio
Sat. Oct 5, 3:45 pm, Rio

As a vagrant trickster plays funny games with an affluent family, Alex van Warmerdam’s outrageous provocation casts a sinister, enthralling spell. Oblivious to the abstract class warfare being waged against them, the homeowners likewise can’t envision the nightmare that’s about to enter their waking lives. "Sly, insidious and intermittently hilarious…"—Variety

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A Field in England

A FIELD IN ENGLAND

UK | Director: Ben Wheatley

Related Links: Trailer | Article

Sat. Sep 28, 11:30 pm, Rio
Sun. Sep 29, 4:20 pm, Intl Village 10

Genre-bender Ben Wheatley’s deranged, magic mushroom-fueled vision of the English Civil War climaxes with a "sequence of pure psychedelic freefall and freakout [that’s] one of the most captivating, hypnotic and beautiful things you’ll ever see on a cinema screen."—Time Out. Winner, Special Jury Prize, Karlovy Vary 2013.

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Halley

HALLEY

Mexico/Netherlands | Director: Sebastián Hofmann

Related Links: Official Website | Trailer

Sun. Oct 6, 11:30 pm, Rio
Mon. Oct 7, 4:45 pm, Cinematheque

Despite his best efforts, Beto can no longer mask the fact he’s dead and rapidly decomposing. Sebastián Hofmann’s melancholic, meditative film mines Beto’s final days amongst the living for dark humour, horror and, ultimately, transcendence. "A disturbingly stylish and surrealistic drama…"—Screen

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Willow Creek

WILLOW CREEK

USA | Director: Bobcat Goldthwait

Related Links: Trailer

Fri. Sep 27, 11:30 pm, Rio
Sun. Sep 29, 2:15 pm, Cinematheque
Mon. Oct 7, 9:15 pm, Cinematheque

Having graphically depicted the ghastly behaviour we’re capable of in his black comedies, maverick writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait now employs the found-footage horror genre to explore our enduring obsession with the sasquatch myth. As a couple strays off California’s "Bigfoot Scenic Byway" and into the woods, Willow Creek transports us into a realm of primal terror.

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XL

XL

Iceland | Director: Marteinn Thórsson

Related Links: Trailer

Tue. Oct 8, 4:15 pm, SFU-GCA
Thu. Oct 10, 11:30 pm, Rio

Leifur (Olafur Darri Ólafsson) wakes up hung over, buck naked, smelling of sex and slathered in makeup. All told, it’s just another day at the office for Iceland’s most notorious politician. Emulating Leifur’s chronologically jumbled, kaleidoscopic reality, Marteinn Thórsson’s extremist fever dream plunges us into a bacchanalian hell.
Winner, Best Actor, Karlovy Vary 2013.

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MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Sept. 4 – VIFF’s new 32-page MINI-GUIDE available as PDF download.
Sept. 5 – ONLINE BOX OFFICE opens; VIFF Mini-Guide available freely around town.
Sept. 9 – Media screenings begin.
Sept. 14 – IN-PERSON BOX OFFICE opens at Vancity Theatre.
Sept. 19 – PROGRAM CATALOGUE on sale. 196 pages in full colour.
Sept. 26 – FESTIVAL OPENS!
Oct. 2 – FILM + TELEVISION FORUM OPENS!


Vancouver International Film Festival | VIFF 2013

September 26 - October 11, 2013 | Film Info: 604.683.FILM (3456) | VIFF Office: 604.685.0260