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HIGHLIGHTS FROM CANNES AT VIFF 2014

The 33rd annual Vancouver International Film Festival will once again welcome some of the world’s finest films to one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. For 16 days, almost 350 films from over 70 countries will delight Vancouver film lovers. We’re thrilled to make our first announcement of some of the truly exceptional films that we’ll be showcasing this fall.

 

In May, members of VIFF’s programming team scoured the Cannes Film Festival in search of cinematic gems. While returning with the major award winners, they also sought out titles that will be of particular interest to Vancouverites. And so, our highlights from Cannes not only include Palme d’Or winner Winter Sleep and the latest work from luminaries like Mike Leigh (Mr. Turner) and the Dardenne brothers (Two Days, One Night), they also feature bold documentaries concerning political unrest (Maidan), intense drama set amidst towering mountains (Force Majeure) and an enthralling look back at one of hockey’s most intriguing eras (Red Army).

 

More Cannes titles will be announced soon. And our next round of VIFF selections will be unveiled early next week.

 


CANNES AWARD-WINNERS

WINTER SLEEP

Turkey / Germany / France

DIR: Nuri Bilge Ceylan | View Trailer

 

"Nuri Bilge Ceylan [Once Upon a Time in Anatolia] is at the peak of his powers with [this] richly engrossing and ravishingly beautiful magnum opus... [The film] tunnels into the everyday existence of a middle-aged former actor turned comfortably situated hotel owner—and emerges with a multifaceted study of human frailty whose moral implications resonate far beyond its remote Turkish setting." —Variety.

 

Winner, Palme d’Or, Cannes 2014.

THE WONDERS

(Le meraviglie)
Italy / Switzerland / Germany

DIR: Alice Rohrwacher
Original Language Trailer

 

An entrancing coming of age story, this is a superb companion piece to Alice Rohrwacher’s remarkable debut, Corpo Celeste. Drawing on Rohrwacher’s own childhood, it’s the tale of a young girl forging her identity while her beekeeper father attempts to sidestep financial ruin. "A wistful but no-tears swan song... The tone hovers mysteriously between dream and reality...” —Hollywood Reporter.

 

Winner, Grand Prix, Cannes 2014.

FOXCATCHER

USA
DIR: Bennett Miller | View Trailer

 

Employing an unsettling mix of suspense and absurdity, Bennett Miller (Capote) delves into the bizarre true story of an Olympic wrestler (Channing Tatum) and his well-heeled, mentally imbalanced sponsor (Steve Carell, combining arrogance and anguish to monstrous effect). "Powerfully disturbing... This insidiously gripping psychological drama is a model of bleak, bruising, furiously concentrated storytelling." —Variety.

 

Winner, Best Director, Cannes 2014.

LEVIATHAN

(Leviafan)
Russia
DIR:
Andreï Zvyagintsev | View Trailer

 

This surely cements Andreï Zvyagintsev’s standing as Russia’s leading filmmaker. Initially, its subject—a dispute between a garage owner and a small-town mayor—seems modest in scope. However, this is undeniably a major work: an angry lament for a nation in thrall to endemic corruption. "A tragedy of biblical proportions [but] also a stingingly effective pitch-black comedy." —Indiewire.

 

Winner, Best Screenplay, Cannes 2014.

MR. TURNER

UK / France / Germany

DIR: Mike Leigh | View Trailer

 

Acclaimed director Mike Leigh and perennially unsung actor Timothy Spall are at the heights of their considerable powers in this enthralling account of visionary J.M.W. Turner’s final years. "As successful in its tiny details as it is in its epic amplitude [it works] as a warts-and-all portrait of the painter and his circle, and as a large-scale evocation of Victorian England." —Screen.

 

Winner, Best Actor, Cannes 2014.

GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE 3D

(Adieu au langage)
France
DIR:
Jean-Luc Godard | View Trailer

 

Jean-Luc Godard continues his exploration of the limits of visual expression, here expanding on his 3D experiment The Three Disasters with a loosely structured chronicle of the problems facing an adulterous couple. "As in all Godard’s best work, precise meaning is subsumed in an exhilarating tide of sound and light, impish provocations and inspired philosophizing." —Variety.

 

Winner, Prix du Jury (ex aequo), Cannes 2014.

JAUJA

Argentina / Denmark / France / Mexico / Germany / Brazil

DIR: Lisandro Alonso | View Trailer

 

Lisandro Alonso returns with a gorgeous, 19th-century-set existential exploration. Viggo Mortensen is a Danish engineer who heads into the Patagonian wilderness in search of his missing daughter. "This hallucinatory head-trip Western remains unmistakably Alonso’s film... a metaphysical road movie in which origin and destination are markedly less important than the journey itself." —Variety.

 

Winner, FIPRESCI Prize, Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2014.

LOVE AT FIRST FIGHT

(Les combattants)
France

DIR: Thomas Cailley | View Trailer

 

An unflappable free spirit (Kevin Azaïs, casually charismatic) and driven survivalist (Adèle Haenel, intense and alluring) make for unlikely lovers in Thomas Cailley’s wonderfully oddball comedy. When the couple enlists in boot camp, paintball pellets stand in for Cupid’s arrows and their fledgling romance is put through the paces. "Overflowing with relentlessly acerbic humour..." —Hollywood Reporter.

 

Winner, FIPRESCI Prize, Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes 2014.


OTHER CANNES HIGHLIGHTS

FORCE MAJEURE (AKA TOURIST)

(Turist)
Sweden

DIR: Ruben Östlund | View Trailer

 

Echoing The Hunt’s psychological intensity, Ruben Östlund’s riveting drama features another desperate man whose world crumbles around him. After an avalanche at a ski resort in the Alps, a family’s narrow escape is overshadowed by husband/father Tomas’ cowardice in the clutch. It seems that running for his (own) life is a slight his wife Ebba just can’t shake. "Precisely calibrated… Visually stunning... Emotionally perceptive..." —Variety

TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT

(Deux jours, une nuit)
Belgium / France / Italy

DIR: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
View Trailer

 

Marion Cotillard gives her rawest performance as a woman desperately trying to save her job and discovering the meaning of solidarity and self-worth. "A tense dramatic situation and a subtly magnificent central performance... add up to an outstanding new movie from the Dardenne brothers: impassioned, exciting and moving—a Twelve Angry Men of the 21st-century workplace."—Guardian.

 

Winner, Sydney Film Prize, Sydney 2014.

WILD TALES

(Relatos salvajes)
Argentina/Spain

DIR: Damián Szifrón | View Trailer

 

For sheer entertainment value, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat this outrageous anthology film. One of Cannes’ most buzzed about discoveries, Damián Szifrón’s third feature plays like a calling card from a preposterously talented newcomer, it’s so chock-full of crazy ideas and verve. “Delicious, horrible, scary and scabrous... Szifrón brings off a very difficult trick: making something genuinely funny and genuinely scary at the same time." —Guardian

THE OWNERS

Kazakhstan

DIR: Adilkhan Yerzhanov | View Trailer

 

Decamping to the countryside, three siblings discover an alcoholic squatter holed up in their late mother’s cabin. Given that the local police chief is the intruder’s brother, an escalating blood feud becomes unavoidable. "Kafka meets Kaurismäki... [Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s bleakly funny drama] is a caustic critique of small-town corruption and croneyism in contemporary Kazakhstan. It is also poetic, surreal and visually arresting." —Hollywood Reporter

COMING HOME

(Giu lai)
China

DIR: Zhang Yimou | View Trailer

 

The radiant Gong Li stars as a teacher whose husband is sent away for "re-education" in ’70s rural China. When he escapes, the family debates whether to turn him in. "Chinese master Zhang Yimou’s... family drama of guilt, love and reconciliation set during the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution [is] heartbreaking in its depiction of ordinary lives affected by political upheaval." —Variety

IN THE NAME OF MY DAUGHTER

(L’Homme qu’on aimait trop)
France

DIR: André Téchiné
Original Language Trailer

 

Catherine Deneuve owns the screen in this, her seventh collaboration with director André Téchiné (Scene of the Crime, Thieves). She plays real-life casino owner Renée Le Roux, who went up against the mob in 1970s Nice and whose daughter Agnès (Adèle Haenel) subsequently disappeared. Guillaume Canet (Tell No One) is the shady lawyer—Agnès’ lover—who may (or may not) be involved in the disappearance...

MAIDAN

Ukraine/ Netherlands

DIR: Sergei Loznitsa
Original Language Trailer

 

The ongoing crisis in Ukraine makes Sergei Loznitsa’s (My Joy) achievement here doubly relevant and engaging. His chronicle of the revolution that overthrew Viktor Yanukovych’s corrupt regime has the kinds of urgency and artistry rarely seen in documentaries. "This stunning, epic-scaled film harkens back to the heroic, journalistic roots of documentary-making and yet feels ineffably modern and formally daring." —Hollywood Reporter

RED ARMY

USA / Russia

DIR: Gabe Polsky | View Trailer

 

Home to some of the greatest hockey players ever, the Soviet Union’s Red Army team was also a key combatant in the Cold War’s propaganda battle and exemplars of the ethos that the system trumped individual stardom. Viacheslav Festisov—a Red Army standout and eventual defector to the NHL—makes an ideal guide for Gabe Polsky’s exploration of the ties between on-ice ambition and national identity.

GOOD PEOPLE

(Gente de bien)
Colombia

DIR: Franco Lolli

 

It’s Christmas in Bogotá and 10-year-old Eric has been caught stealing. Finding it in her heart to forgive him, Eric’s victim likewise invites the impoverished boy into her palatial mansion. As she demonstrates how a "decent" family lives, Franco Lolli’s incisive debut illustrates that the holiday spirit is no match for class divides. "An engrossing, sensitive and admirably nuanced social drama." —Hollywood Reporter

BEAUTIFUL YOUTH

(Hermosa juventud)
Spain / France

DIR: Jaime Rosales | View Trailer

 

Incisively and with great compassion, Jaime Rosales sketches the lives of Spain’s lost generation through the relationship of Carlos (Carlos Rodríguez) and Natalia (Ingrid García Jonsson). "An intelligent, bracing study of Spanish twentysomethings doomed to unemployment and disillusion... Brilliant, challenging... [The] whole film is an audacious leap into real lives and real experiences… A powerful and heartfelt film." —Guardian

CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA

(Sils Maria)
France / Switzerland / Germany

DIR: Olivier Assayas | View Trailer

 

Juliet Binoche is riveting as an actress asked to revisit the play that made her a star 20 years before—but this time she is to essay the role of the older woman, not the ingenue... "Though deceptively casual on its surface... [Olivier Assayas’ film is] a multi-layered, femme-driven meta-fiction that pushes all involved—including next-gen starlets Kristen Stewart and Chloë Grace Moretz—to new heights." —Variety

WHIPLASH

USA

DIR: Damien Chazelle | View Trailer

 

Fierce rhythms and ferocious humour drive Damien Chazelle’s riveting film about an ambitious jazz drummer (Miles Teller, overdue for stardom) pushed beyond his breaking point by an instructor who takes tough-love to extremes (J.K. Simmons, elemental). "Unique, personal, transfixing and transforming... A pedagogical thriller and an emotional S&M two-hander."—Film Comment.

 

Winner, US Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic; Audience Award: US Dramatic, Sundance 2014.

CHARLIE'S COUNTRY

Australia

DIR: Rolf de Heer | View Trailer

 

The magnificent David Gulpilil quietly dominates Rolf de Heer’s heartfelt and uncompromising portrait of contemporary Aboriginal life. Gulpilil drew on his own troubles while co-writing the story of shambolic Charlie, down on his luck in an Arnhemland community. "The third film collaboration between Rolf de Heer and David Gulpilil is a majestic work." —Sydney Morning Herald.

 

Winner, Best Actor, Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2014.

RUN

Ivory Coast / France

DIR: Philippe Lacôte | View Trailer

 

Beginning with an assassination that makes it obvious why our protagonist (Abdoul Karim Konaté) is called "Run," Philippe Lacôte’s alternately oneiric and ultra-realistic coming-of-age tale is mesmerizing cinema. "Run makes one young man’s picaresque adventures into a magical realist microcosm of the Ivory Coast’s recent history... The current hotness of African cinema just got a little hotter." —Hollywood Reporter

CARTOONISTS: FOOT SOLDIERS OF DEMOCRACY

(Caricaturistes, fantassins de la démocratie)
France

DIR: Stéphanie Valloatto | View Trailer

 

“A government without a sense of humour isn’t democratic.” This caption from a Venezuelan cartoon speaks volumes about satire's power to test the establishment in political hotspots. Stéphanie Valloatto’s stirring, funny documentary profiles a dissident profession's greatest practitioners. “Just like the best political cartoons, the documentary... manages to synthesize a vast subject in ways both insightful and, at times, frightfully funny.”—Hollywood Reporter

LI'L QUINQUIN

(P'tit Quinquin)
France
DIR:
Bruno Dumont | View Trailer

 

Provocateur Bruno Dumont (Humanity) delivers arguably his biggest shocker yet with this outrageous comedy. An absurdist police procedural, it follows a Clouseau-like, tic-infested inspector as he investigates a macabre murder spree (dead cows are being stuffed with human remains) and contends with mischievous interference courtesy of a pack of juvenile scoundrels led by the impish Quinquin. “Wonderfully weird and unexpectedly hilarious...”—Variety


 

FESTIVAL VENUES


We’re excited to once again be presenting these films in Vancouver’s finest auditoriums.

The Centre for the Performing Arts
777 Homer Street (at Robson)

The Cinematheque
1131 Howe Street (at Helmcken)

Cineplex Odeon International Village
88 West Pender Street (at Abbott)

Rio Theatre
1660 East Broadway (at Commercial)
Liquor served. Ages 19+ unless otherwise noted. ID and bag checks are possible.

SFU’S Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 West Hastings Street (between Cambie and Abbott inside SFU Woodward’s)

Vancity Theatre
1181 Seymour Street (at Davie)
Liquor served. Ages 19+ unless otherwise noted.

Vancouver Playhouse
600 Hamilton Street (at Dunsmuir)

 


 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

 

August 18
PASSES + TICKET PACKS on sale at viff.org

 

September 4
FULL FESTIVAL PROGRAM posted to viff.org + ADVANCE BOX OFFICE opens (online only)


September 6
VIFF COMPLETE FESTIVAL GUIDE available at locations around town

 

September 13
ADVANCE IN-PERSON SALES start at Vancity Theatre Box Office, 1181 Seymour Street, noon — 7pm


September 25
33rd ANNUAL VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL opens


October 1
VIFF INDUSTRY CONFERENCE opens


 

Film selections are subject to change.

 

Vancouver International Film Festival

September 25 - October 10, 2014

Film Info: 604.683.FILM (3456)

VIFF Office: 604.685.0260