2019 Vancouver International Film Festival Genre Picks!

25 Sep

Runs Sept 26 to Oct 11 at various venues throughout Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Hot off the heels of the 2019 Toronto Film Festival is the Vancouver International Film Festival for locals and Hollywood North to savour. It’s safe to say a good part of my previous article’s wish list (namely Jojo Rabbit and No 7. Cherry Lane) will screen at this show.

This year’s event has my attention because of the following and these movies are listed in no particular order:

Checkered Ninja

Thu, Sept 26 6:45 pm Rio Theatre
Sun, Sept 29 1:00 pm SFU Goldcorp

A box office smash in Denmark, Anders Matthesen and Thorbjørn Christoffersen’s bouncy animated follow-up to Terkel In Trouble (VIFF ’04) is nothing if not irreverent, featuring profanity, sex jokes, and some inspired cartoon Ultra-violence. The story of a spirit-possessed toy ninja who becomes the buddy of an adolescent victim of bullying, this is a deliciously naughty film about coming of age and the morality of vengeance, blessed with keen wit and a booming rap soundtrack to boot.

Children of the Sea

Sun, Oct 6 1:00 pm
Tue, Oct 8 6:45 pm
International Village Theatre 9

A loner school girl befriends two boys who Were raised by dugongs (manatee-like creatures), and embarks on an aquatic journey to unlock the mysteries of the boys and the sea. Based on Igarashi Daisuke’s lauded manga, Director Watanabe Ayumu and Studio4°c’s bold experimental and environmental statement dazzles the eyes with stupendously beautiful animation of the underwater world, and blows the mind with dense symbolism and disorienting imagery that have drawn comparisons to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Edo Avant-garde

Oct 3 6:15 pm and Oct 5 2:15 pm at the SFU Goldcorp
World Premiere

If you need convincing that Japanese art has been, for centuries, the equal of western art then look no further. Linda Hoaglund’s latest work is a gift: not only does it reveal how japanese artists of the Edo era (1603-1868) pioneered the tenets of modern art—abstraction, minimalism, 3d effects—but it does so in a beautifully cinematic way. In addition, the paintings on display are especially hard to see in the real world, and the large formats of the edo screens are a perfect match for the big screen.

Blood Quantum

Oct 2 9:00 pm
Oct 5 9:30 pm
Rio Theatre

A zombie outbreak has left rural Quebec looking like a butcher’s block and, amidst the blood splatter, a pattern has emerged: while the settler population is being decimated, the indigenous community at red crow reserve appears to be immune to the virus. As the power dynamics of colonization are tipped on their head and hell on earth is unleashed, Jeff Barnaby (rhymes for young ghouls) goes for the jugular as he delivers a hyper-intelligent, gleefully gory, and legitimately provocative genre epic.

Joan of Arc

Sat, Sept 28 9:00 pm The Cinematheque
Wed, Oct 2 1:00 pm Van City Theatre
North American Premiere

How did a teenage peasant girl amaze, galvanize, and terrify the christian world in the early 1400s? This central mystery of Bruno Dumont’s stridently un-hollywood but sharply focused depiction. What does he focus on? Northern France’s coastal landscapes, incredible vistas, and towering christian cathedrals. The faces, odd mannerisms, and period logic of the villagers, soldiers, and religious patriarchy. The indelible, shining performance of Lise Leplat prudhomme as a girl who had a vision.

Bait Mark Jenkin

Sept 30 8:30 pm
Oct 4 12:45 pm
International Village Theatre 08
Drawing comparisons with the work of Guy Maddin and Ben Rivers, Mark Jenkin’s debut drama makes exquisite use of vintage 16mm b&w film stock and nonsynchronous sound to tell the story of two warring brothers on the cornish coast, where a tourist tsunami and the endless recession threaten traditional ways. Heartfelt and visually arresting, this is muscular, unforgettable filmmaking.

Poster for the movie

White Snake

Sept 28 3:30 pm
Oct 11 9:30 pm
Vancouver Playhouse

This movie by Amp Wong and Zhao Ji deserves to be seen on a big screen than anything smaller. This film is an animated prequel to the Legend of the White Snake, a famous Chinese folk tale. The heroes are Blanca, a snake demon who can take human form, and Xuan, the mortal she falls in love with. Together they confront military rulers, violent creatures, and other evil forces, all of which are brought to life with a style that only filmmakers from this country can imagine!

Image result for portrait lady on fire viff

Portrait of A Lady on Fire

Sat, Oct 5 8:45 pm The Center
Thu, Oct 10 6:30 pm Vancouver Playhouse

Set against the backdrop of 18th-century Brittany, a forbidden love stirs between two young women, a painter and her reluctant subject. Marianne (noémie merlant) is commissioned to paint héloïse (adèle haenel) the beautiful daughter of a noblewoman. Upon her arrival, marianne discovers that the previous artist failed, and that héloïse Refuses to pose in protest of being showcased for an unwanted marriage. Ostensibly Hired as a ladies’ companion, marianne takes daily walks with héloïse, observing her Closely yet discreetly, without letting on she’s secretly working on a portrait when They’re apart. As she struggles to make progress on the painting, she finds herself Growing more and more attracted to héloïse.

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