Establishing Shots: May 7-13, 2021

Every week, Establishing Shots offers some further enlightenment on the films that will be screening in-cinema at the VIFF Centre and online through VIFF Connect.

This is a particularly busy week, with no less than nine new films available for rental on the platform, with another three available to our VIFF+ members. Recognizing that you have a lot of films to watch, we’ll keep this post to the (bullet) point.

Duty Free

Duty Free is warm, personal, beautifully structured and socially relevant as it creates a vivid portrait of its real-life heroine and the ageism she encounters.” Caryn James, Hollywood Reporter

About Endlessness

“Andersson has earned our lasting gratitude. Few living directors beget work that carries so clear and so immediate a signature. There is nothing unfinished about his fragments, and no one else could have summoned the precarious beauty of the moment, in About Endlessness, at which the patrons of a bar regard the snow falling softly outside, to the sound of ‘Silent Night’, and one of them exclaims, in lonely joy, ‘Isn’t it fantastic?’ Indeed.” Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

Berlin Alexanderplatz

“Where Döblin builds a literary montage out of Greek myths, folk songs, news reports and billboard adverts, Qurbani cites William Shakespeare, Hannah Arendt and Francis Ford Coppola. The film’s pivotal scene deliberately echoes the opening line of The Godfather: ‘I believe in America.'” Philip Oltermann, The Guardian

The Paper Tigers

“Balancing the naive structure of an old Shaw Brothers movie (a vengeance mission with an escalating series of fights en route to the Big Boss showdown) with the kind of male-midlife-comedy schtick that bought Judd Apatow a house or six, Tran’s irresistibly good-humored debut is a diverting blend of Hong Kong and Hollywood that delivers, on a slender, Kickstarter-enhanced budget, a rousing roundhouse hug to both traditions.” Jessica Kiang, Variety

Additional Asian Heritage Month Programming

May is Asian Heritage Month, and we are marking the occasion with a bundle of movies from Asian-Canadian filmmakers, headed up by one of the last movies to play the VIFF Centre before we shut down last March, Johnny Ma’s bittersweet saga of a Chinese Opera troupe, To Live to Sing. Also included, Sean Devlin’s film about the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, When the Storm Fades; Julia Kwan’s elegy to Vancouver’s Chinatown, Everything Will Be; Linda Ohama’s study of the restoration of the Japanese spirit in the wake of a disaster, A New Moon Over Tohoku; and Ying Wang’s award-winning documentary about a Chinese couple’s search for answers after the death of their son, The World Is Bright (another resonant title for these times).

Our VIFF+ members receive free access to more than 30 films and talks. Returning to the collection for one-week encores are Le Week-End, My Golden Days and A Quiet Passion. Memberships start at only $12 a month.

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