By Paris Spence-Lang
VANCOUVER — With over 350 films, it’s impossible to see all of VIFF without a time-turner. This guide is the next best thing. We’ve exhaustively researched the festival program and endured hundreds of subtitle-free trailers to bring you our top four picks for this year’s VIFF. Grab your tickets, turn off your cellphones, and hide your snacks in your handbag—you won’t want to miss these films.
Comedy, Romance, Thriller
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
Colin Farrell takes a break from shooting people to star in this beautiful-looking sci-fi flick. In the movie’s dystopian near-future, very similar to Victorian England, single people are taken to The Hotel where they have 45 days to find a romantic partner before they’re turned into animals. With a fantastic cast including John C. Reilly as a lisping man who yearns to be a parrot, and Rachel Weisz as a short-sighted woman who invents a secret love-code, this awkward comedy is sure to fetch a high market price.
Directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien
The Assassin won Hou Hsiao-Hsien an award for best director at Cannes, and those guys know their stuff. 10-year-old Nie Yinniang is abducted and brought up by a particularly feisty nun, who, when her training is complete, orders her to kill the man Yinniang had been promised to. Unfortunately, Yinniang has some serious issues and is still in love with the man, and must choose between her feelings and the sacred way of the righteous assassins. An easy choice for most of us, but hey—sometimes love wins in the end.
The Measure of a Man
Directed by Stéphane Brizé
Like most Vancouverites, Thierry has been unemployed for 20 years, but unlike most Vancouverites, he’s already 51. After finally finding a new job at a struggling supermarket, Thierry is quickly confronted with a moral dilemma: keep his humanity, or keep his job. Reminiscent of Two Days, One Night, a fantastic entry in VIFF 2014, The Measure of a Man is a character study of the highest level. Psychology students, this is a must-see.
Frank and the Wondercat
Directed by Tony Massil, Pablo Alvarez-Mesa
Frank Furko is 80 years old and famous. Of course, he would be nothing without his partner: Pudgie Wudgie, a twenty-pound performing housecat. Furko and Pudgie purveyed cat videos before they were cool, and this film doesn’t hesitate to bare fangs as it documents Furko’s relationship with his incredible cat, as well as the unusual and entirely fascinating past he’s left behind him. And it’s got a performing cat, for chrissake, just see it!
Find the pullout schedule for showtimes at VIFF’s website.BC, British Columbia, Vancouver International Film Festival, VIFF, VIFF 2015