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Vancouver Film Festival

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    Interview: 'The Comedy' Director Rick Alverson On Provoking Audiences -- And Why His Next Movie Is About the Ku Klux Klan

    In another life, Rick Alverson could have been a college professor. The director of "The Comedy" speaks in lengthy paragraphs, as if he were explaining unifying theories to a freshman philosophy major.

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    Vancouver Film Fest Forges On Despite Uncertainty About Festival's Future

    It hadn’t really rained on Granville Street since the end of July. But few were complaining back on September 22nd as the Vancouver International Film Festival began for the 31st time to a clear forecast. Few festivals benefit from sunny skies as much as VIFF. Whether you bus in from over the bridge...

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  • The Playlist
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    VIFF Review: Brazilian 'Neighbouring Sounds' Is A Film For People Watchers

    We lovers of cinema are nosy little bastards. It is the medium for the voyeur. We like to watch, truly a “race of Peeping Toms” as “Rear Window” taught us. The Brazilian film “Neighbouring Sounds” is kinda like that Hitchcock masterpiece, in a way. It’s all about observing. It’s the audience and the...

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  • The Playlist
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    VIFF Review: Overstuffed 'Love Is All You Need' An Unsatisfying, Predictable Rom-Com From Susanne Bier

    What’s up with those crazy Danish filmmakers and their compulsion to pile it on? The latest from Oscar-winning filmmaker Susanne Bier (“In A Better World”) is like watching a long game of Jenga. As every sub plot, reveal and character… err, caricature that is, gets stacked o...

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  • The Playlist
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    VIFF '11: Lo-Fi Puppets And A Big, Hilarious Heart; 'Kooky' Is Destined To Be A Family Cult Classic

    In many ways, “Kooky” harkens back to the halcyon days of yore (read: in particular the ‘80s) when things were scary in kids’ movies. Or maybe we're just starting to show our old age, but didn't it seem like filmmakers back then were unafraid to at least hint at the possibility of actual threat and potential harm to characters, if not follow through on it completely? It was certainly a different time. Maybe they were untethered by the whims of insanely over-protective parents and ludicrous MPAA ratings strictures that insist on rounding off every sharp edge, creating a bland cinematic landscape these days that all-too-often wears down a movie...

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  • The Playlist
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    VIFF '11: In Belgian 'Bullhead' Sympathy For The Devil Is A Mark Of Quality

    “No matter what you do or think, one thing is for sure, you’re always fucked. Now, tomorrow, next week or next year, until the end of time, fucked.”

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  • The Playlist
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    VIFF '11: Paddy Considine's Directorial Debut 'Tyrannosaur' An Uneven Portrait Of A Damaged Man

    The opening scene of “Tyrannosaur” is a real belter. Through near whiplash-inducing cross cuts, we are introduced to a night in the life of Joseph (Peter Mullan) as he drinks heavily and stews with unfettered rage on a barstool (and back at home with a sawed-off wood baseball bat that looks like a l...

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  • The Playlist
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    VIFF '11: 'Elena' Is A Dramatic Masterwork From Russian Director Andrey Zvyagintsev

    For this writer, there are fewer things in cinema more satisfying than a filmmaker in total control of their story. Sure, we love the visceral thrill of a well-choreographed, impeccably staged action sequence as much as the next red-blooded human being. And there’s the perfect combination of song/score over moving images, blissful moments heightened through all the tools available in the medium. But then there are those rare moments when a film has just begun, and the feeling sets in immediately that you’re in good hands; that no matter what happens in this film, you can trust the filmmaker has thought everything through and knows what he or ...

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  • The Playlist
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    VIFF '11: Johnnie To's 'Life Without Principle' An Uneven, All Too Familiar Financial Crisis Drama

    While movies are primarily considered a form of entertainment, they do have the ability to inform, especially to a mass audience. But that’s a slippery slope. All too easily, the audience can be taken right out of the story if things get too didactic. We at the secret Playlist headquarters (which is...

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  • The Playlist
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    VIFF '11: Thai Existentialist Hitman Film 'Headshot' Proves The Genre Still Has A Pulse

    The hitman genre has been done to death. If cinema can be a reflection of the times we live in, and a recorded piece of history of what the filmmakers are concerned with at the time of inception and production, then it’s amazing any of us are still alive. When done well, the genre can be a lot...

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