This week at the VIFF, we have some hidden gems in store, including two works of British cinema, Babylon and Ray & Liz – “one of the greatest British films” and “an instant classic” respectively. You also won’t want to miss our latest in the Film Studies lecture series, featuring 1983’s Space Race drama The Right Stuff. Check out the trailers for all of this week’s films below, and be sure to visit viff.org for tickets and showtimes.
July 5th – July 11th
In 1990 Chile transitioned to democracy, but all of that seems a world away for 16-year-old Sofia, who lives far off the grid in a mountain enclave of artists and bohemians. Too Late to Die Young takes place during the hot, languorous days between Christmas and New Year’s, when the troubling realities of the adult world—and the elemental forces of nature—begin to intrude on her teenage idyll. A gorgeous and sun-splashed portrait of youth—and a country—on the cusp of exhilarating and terrifying change.
“One of 2019’s great discoveries… a powerful character study that’s mature and warm, with great intimacy and boundless humanity.” Joshua Brunsting, Criterion Cast
July 12th – July 17th
We are all familiar with the pyramid structure of the food chain. Over the last 50 years, though, scientists have pieced together a more nuanced understanding of how ecosystems work and what happens when human development removes “keystone” species – often predators – from the picture. The good news: this is reversible. This fascinating doc looks at five scientists from different fields finding common patterns of destruction and regeneration. Our Sunday, July 14th screening will feature a discussion with Dr. Tony Sinclair, featured in the doc.
“Compelling viewing… It’s a film which sounds an alarm, but, unlike most similarly themed pictures, one which permits a chink of light into the traditionally bleak narrative of man’s impact on the land… It excels… in its visual component, with stunning cinematography and arresting juxtapositions…” Wendy Ide, Screen
July 12th – July 18th
Evoking the desperate defiance of Fish Tank and Ratcatcher, Richard Billingham’s deeply personal portrait of working class life in Thatcher’s Britain is powerfully etched, grim, funny, and terribly human. Ray and Liz are the filmmaker’s parents, and almost grotesquely ill-equipped for the task, yet somehow children survive neglect and abuse, and as this memorable movie proves, live to tell the tale with compassion and poetry.
“All hail an instant classic.” Charlotte O’Sullivan, London Evening Standard
July 12th – July 18th
Finally released in North America 39 years since it premiered at Cannes, Franco Rosso’s reggae rabble-rouser immediately claims its place beside The Harder They Come and Rockers as a lost classic of the genre. It’s a palpably authentic picture of being young and black in south London, with racism constantly simmering in the background, but all fuel to the fire of the music (courtesy of Aswad, Johnny Clarke and Dennis Bovell, among others).
“One of the greatest British films.” Mojo
Fifty years ago this week, man walked on the moon for the first time. The Right Stuff, released in 1983, is the story of the daring and expertise it took to get there. Based on Tom Wolfe’s best-seller, the movie is an idiosyncratic epic about the loner test pilots who became world famous astronauts, a satire on the Space Race, and a reverie for the pioneering spirit. This Film Studies lecture will be led by Tom Charity, VIFF Vancity Theatre programmer and author of the book, The Right Stuff.
“An almost perfect movie.” Christopher Nolan (director, Inception)