Browsing: VIFF 2014

Film Festival Class Enemy (dir. Rok Bicek)

A film about isolation and class disparity, Gente de bien chronicles the life of a confused young boy lost in the middle of social hierarchies and gentrification. Living with his estranged father after his mother leaves, the boy develops a kind of borderline personality disorder. Feeling abandoned, he rejects his father who seems to represent all the negative forces surrounding him…

Film Festival Food Chains 
(dir. Sanjay Rawal)

Fashionable in today’s media are documentaries and interviews about food and nutrition, health and consciousness, corporate and private exploitation, etc. These documentaries tend to say the same things in the same way. We get it, but we are not moved or immediately called to action. Food Chains breaks this cycle. Primarily because of the authenticity and actuality of its subjects…

Film Festival Violent (Dir. Andrew Huculiak)

Violent is a visually and aurally poetic illustration of dying as an isolated act of experience that recalls one’s social journey through life. A companion piece to the latest album by Vancouver Indie band We Are the City, Violent uses music and abstract imagery to form a poetic and philosophical rumination on life and death. A debut feature, Violent won the both the top Canadian…

Film Festival The Vancouver Asahi
(Dir. Yûya Ishii)

The Vancouver Asahi was a Japanese baseball team based out of Vancouver in the 1930s. The team faced adversity in the form of: physical size, skill, racism and poverty. The source of hate in this film comes in the form of Caucasian Canadian males: double their size, earning double wages and living a better life. The audience is reminded of these facts over and over again…

Film Festival maxresdefault

The gentle, distant sounds of a train engine play over blackness for the opening minute or two of The Iron Ministry, the new documentary from Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab that produced critically acclaimed documentaries Leviathan and Manakamana. This film follows suit with those, being a very detached and slow …

Film Festival Regarding Susan Sontag (dir. Nancy D. Kates)

Nancy D. Kates’ Regarding Susan Sontag (2014) is an unusually poetic documentary which uses abstract form, both visual and aural, to create a sort of collage of Sontag’s illustrious life. Through graphic images, fragmentation, and a wonderful score—which deserves its own reading as an independent piece of art—Sontag’s life and work is conveyed in little pieces. Like…

Film Festival Force Majeure (dir. Ruben Östlund)

In Ruben Östlund’s hilarious take on the family drama, comedy abounds when the epic is juxtaposed with the quotidian. A family vacation is turned sour when a believed threat for their lives forces man and wife to look deeply into each other’s fundamental characteristics. In long conversations, they express deep emotions over seemingly trivial and circumstantial ideals…

Film Festival Leviathan
(dir. Andrey Zvyagintsev)

As a grand, unequalled presence, Leviathan refers to the invisible forces that govern the moral and social world: religious and political bodies. Visual metaphors are presented in large expanses of water, a giant skeleton, and a bulldozer. These symbols display a contrast of sorts: they are natural and mechanical; their great presence is visible. The great forces, however, behind…

Film Festival You’re Sleeping Nicole
(dir. Stéphane Lafleur)

Shot with a 60s aesthetic resembling the French New Wave, but conveying circumstances present only in the 21st century, this absurdly comedic Quebec film puts together art and satire to decent at best ends. In 35mm black and white, a young girl careens through a life of purposelessness and ennui. She displays an evident complex of self-entitlement and naiveté, as one may expect…

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