Written by the Vancouver International Film Festival
In celebration of the commencement of our 2014 festival, we have compiled another list of fascinating but underrated films that you may have missed while flipping through our program. Take a moment to watch a few trailers and browse the movie intros below, we promise you will find a film or two that will pique your interest!
The Boy and the World:
In this unique and enchanting animated film, the story starts with a young boy standing heartbroken as a train carries his father into the distance. The boy will eventually leave home as well, moving from the country to a towering metropolis in search of his dad. In his adventures, he’ll float on clouds of cotton, ride on ships with the beaks of birds and encounter a world ruled by black-clad oppressors.
A 20-year-old still living with her younger brother and single mom, Natalia is also pregnant with her boyfriend Carlos’ baby. With no job prospects on the horizon and a few hundred Euros on the table, Natalia and Carlos agree to appear in a porno.
Legendary Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer and political dissident Fela Kuti is brought to life in this documentary from Oscar-winner Alex Gibney. Kuti’s raw charisma, many wives, mesmerizing musical performances and political aspirations and persecution have certainly been documented before, but director Gibney’s decision to fold in behind-the-scenes documentation of the 2009 Broadway musical Fela! makes this kaleidoscopic film as protean and rousing as Kuti himself was.
When a senior throws herself from her rooftop, the suicide attempt fails to take. Consequently, she’s left to ignobly limp back to the life she was dying to escape. Her odyssey quickly assumes a phantasmagoric air, with each floor warped into a surreal showcase of bizarre spectacles such as a macabre gynecologist’s office, a dinner party frequented by well-heeled grotesques and a germaphobe’s hermetic sanctuary.
*Caution: Trailer below contains scenes that may be mildly disturbing to some viewers.
When a dead cow stuffed with human remains is found in an abandoned WWII bunker, Captain van der Weyden is on the case. A Clouseau-like bumbler afflicted with a strange (and mesmerizingly funny) series of tics and twitches, van der Weyden, along with his assistant Carpentier, whose driving skills leave a lot to be desired, take two steps forward and three steps back as they hunt for the murderer. And all the while the dynamic duo must contend with recalcitrant villagers and mischievous interference courtesy of a pack of juvenile scoundrels led by the impish Quinquin.
In this filmed based on the autobiography of Butet Manurung, Butet spents several years in the Bukit Dua Belas National Park helping tribal kids to become literate and numerate. She faces many challenges in her makeshift jungle school: her own misgivings about leaving behind a life of comfort in Jakarta, the arrogance and self-interest of her NGO boss, and the dangers from illegal loggers in the forest. Most of all, she also has to face the rivalries between the tribes who live in the jungle and the hostility of some to her influence on their kids. TICKETS.
Meat and Milk:
Given reactions to the recent expose of cruelty at a Fraser Valley diary farm, this revealing and unsentimental documentary of where cattle stand in our world forces us to witness the slaughterhouse but also revel in the glory of our land and the magnificent diversity of cowdom.
This documentary follows the Britpop stars Pulp, almost two decades (and 10-million record sales) after “Common People” and “Disco 2000” dominated the UK charts. In the film, the band returns to their unlikely industrial hometown of Sheffield to play one last gig. Rakish frontman Jarvis Cocker once again assumes the spotlight, delighting in adopting the guise of a doddering retiree, making a show of fixing a tire and feeding the ducks.