This week’s offerings from VIFF come with a historical flavour, featuring a ground-breaking biopic, compelling documentaries, and a showing of one of the world’s most famous operas. Check out this week’s trailers below, and visit viff.org for showtimes and tickets.
Emily Dickinson as you have never seen her before! Gleefully upending the conventional image of the nineteenth century poet as a repressed recluse, Madeleine Olnek’s cheeky biopic instead suggests she enjoyed a long, passionate romance with her sister in law and next door neighbour, Susan. Molly Shannon brings her adroit comic sensibilities to the role, and is smartly supported by Susan Ziegler and Amy Seimetz. “Could forever change the narrative of the world’s most famous woman poet.” – IndieWire
Rome before Rome, 700 B.C. Romulus and Remus are 18-year-old shepherds, living in peace near the Tiber. Convinced that he is bigger than gods’ will, Remus believes he is meant to become king of the city he will found together with his brother. But their tragic destiny is already written… Written and directed by Matteo Rovere (Italian Race) this propulsive action film practically revels in the blood and mud of an era pre-civilization. It’s mythic, but primal and elemental, violent and emotional.
Halston was his middle name, but the only one he answered to. He came out of the farm-belt, found a niche as milliner at Bergdorf Goodman – famously put Jackie Kennedy in a pillbox hat – and then set out on his own as America’s answer to Yves Saint Laurent. He was a genius with a swath of cloth and a pair of scissors, and his elegantly simple clothes were themselves a kind of Women’s Liberation. As much as anyone he defined Disco chic. Then, in the blink of an eye he lost everything, even his name.
Norval Morrisseau was the first Indigenous Canadian artist to be taken seriously in the art world. By the turn of this century his work commanded tens of thousands of dollars. So when Barenaked Ladies keyboardist Kevin Hearn learned his prized painting was a forgery, he sued. But as Jamie Kastner’s jaw-dropping doc reveals, there was a cottage industry in fake Morrisseaus, an industry that flourished unchecked for years, feeding on greed, exploitation, racism and contempt.
Film scholar Michael van den Bos presents an all-new Reel Jazz clip show! From Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, through Spike Jones and Fats Waller, this year’s program is more eclectic than ever as Michael spreads out a tasty jam of classic jazz and vintage R&B from Hollywood movies. Included is a live performance by the bewitching Vancouver jazz vocalist ANGELA VERBRUGGE, accompanied by Nick Apivor on vibraphone, Steve Smith on bass and Buff Allen on drums. Live jazz 5:30pm. Clip show 6:30pm.
Gounod’s most popular opera returns in David McVicar’s stunning Parisian production, with singers including Michael Fabiano, Diana Damrau and Erwin Schrott.