By Paris Spence-Lang
VANCOUVER – VIFF is one of those perennial events that seems to get better every year. “It’s a very exciting time as we create opportunities for audiences to experience VIFF in new and fresh ways,” says festival director Jacqueline Dupuis. “Through live music events, intimate talks with creators, and across screens big and small, we act as a catalyst for our community to discover, discuss and share.”
Despite the emphasis on film (it’s in the name, after all) music is a big part of this too. “Music plays a prominent role in this year’s festival as we launch VIFF Live which celebrates this key collaboration and the artists who come together to bring the screen and stage to life.” One example of this is The Green Fog, Guy Maddin’s reimagining of the film Vertigo. With a live score performed in person by the Kronos Quartet, Dupuis rightfully calls this the “must-attend event” at VIFF 2017.
For more movies on music, check out BeatRoute’s top five must-see picks of the fest:
Bunch of Kunst
Sleaford Mods hit it big so fast that Canadians haven’t even had time to crack vocalist Jason Williamson’s cockneyed and swear-laden UK vocabulary. Between Williamson’s cruelly poetic rantings (“The smell of piss is so strong; It smells like decent bacon”) and the minimal electronic beats of Andrew Fearns, these aging ragers are so keyed in that Iggy Pop calls them “the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band”. Director Christine Frantz’s documentary captures this bunch of kunst at their best as they skyrocket to a muddling stardom.
Chavela Vargas had a hard life, but each new adversity—including her late coming-out—seems to have added new layers to her deep, coarse, dizzyingly rich voice. The Mexican pop singer reached legendary status in ranchera music, and directors Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi use her lyrics to illustrate a towering career that met with much heartbreak. Its incredible soundtrack is a given.
Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of My Life
You might not know Clive Davis, but you probably know some of his proteges, such as Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and Alicia Keys. This legendary recording exec is captured in Chris Perkel’s info-packed portrait, following him through incredible archival footage through his childhood to Monterey Pop to the top of the music biz.
Where You’re Meant to Be
Aidan Moffat, formerly of Arab Strap, decided to reconfigure folk legend Sheila Stewart’s classic Scottish folk songs to help them appeal to a modern audience. But when he crosses paths with the 79-year-old Stewart herself, he finds out she is forcefully opposed to his plans… this doc cuts through the kilt and deep to the soul, with plenty of drinking songs throughout.
When an idiot dad sets up a stereotypical horror plot (run-down shack, middle of woods, no reception, etc.) due to vacation budget constraints, his kids are forced to save him and their mom from a woman who needs them to feed her zombified family. Unless the drone of the undead counts as death metal, this isn’t technically a music flick. But as it’s directed by half of Vancouver electronic duo Humans, Peter Ricq, we had to put this hilariously self-aware and beautifully gory slasher on the list.
For updated showtimes, visit www.VIFF.orgdocumentary, film, Humans, Music, Peter Ricq, VIFF