VIFF

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After 16 days, some 300-plus 2

fea­tures, and a stag­ger­ing num­ber of tick­ets sold, the 36th an­nual Van­cou­ver In­ter­na­tional Film Festival wraps up at the Cen­tre on Fri­day (Oc­to­ber 13) with a gala screen­ing of direc­tor Todd Haynes’s lat­est, Won­der­struck. But there’s still lots to catch up with be­fore then. Here are a few of the best flicks screen­ing in the fi­nal days be­fore the flick­er­ing pro­jec­tor lamp is once again ex­tin­guished for the year.

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (USA/ Italy/france) A sun-drenched 1983 sum­mer in pic­turesque north­ern Italy be­comes a piv­otal one for Elio (Ti­mothée Cha­la­met) when a Jewish-amer­i­can doc­toral stu­dent, Oliver (Ar­mie Ham­mer), ar­rives to be the new as­sis­tant to Elio’s ar­chae­ol­ogy-pro­fes­sor father. Al­though Elio is pur­su­ing a lo­cal French girl, Oliver’s pres­ence arouses de­sire in him. While the es­sen­tial el­e­ments are all there in the film’s sen­sual tex­tures, there’s a strange slop­pi­ness around its edges: choppy edit­ing, brisk pac­ing at odds with its lan­guid sub­ject mat­ter, ill-de­fined char­ac­ter be­hav­iour, and a lop­sided fo­cus on Elio’s at­trac­tion to Oliver, with lit­tle in­di­ca­tion of covert mu­tual flir­ta­tion char­ac­ter­is­tic of clos­eted gay men. That said, it’s a pas­sion­ate, visu­ally rich ro­mance, by I Am Love direc­tor Luca Guadagnino, that par­tic­u­larly ex­cels in its re­fresh­ing take on the per­mis­sive­ness that’s pos­si­ble through lib­er­al­ism guided by knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence. Cen­tre, Oc­to­ber 12 (3:15 p.m.) > CRAIG TAKEUCHI DJANGO (France) First-time direc­tor Eti­enne Co­mar goes waaaay off re­al­ity to bring cloak-and-dag­ger swag to the two-hour tale of famed Ro­many gui­tarist Django Rein­hardt and how he left Nazioc­cu­pied Paris at the height of the war. But Reda Kateb is a con­vinc­ing stand-in for the hugely in­flu­en­tial Bel­gian mu­si­cian, and the tunes— played by the Rosen­berg Trio and oth­ers—are ex­cep­tion­ally well in­te­grated into the tale. The stately Cé­cile de France, com­plete with Veron­ica Lake mane, plays his part­ner in un­likely es­pi­onage, and those bits play like In­glou­ri­ous Bas­terds with a bet­ter sound­track. SFU, Oc­to­ber 12 (6 p.m.) > KEN EISNER

GAR­DEN STORE: FAM­ILY FRIEND

(Czech Repub­lic) The start-and-end lo­ca­tion of the first in­stall­ment of this time-span­ning Czech-tv tril­ogy is what we would (and the movie should) call a nurs­ery. This hot­house for rare plants is also home to an early re­sis­tance to the Nazi takeover, in 1939, and a place for re­mem­brance when the war is fin­ished. It’s more melo­dra­matic than what we’re used to see­ing from the re­li­able di­rectin­gand-writ­ing team of Jan Hre­bejk and Petr Jar­chovský, who cov­ered re­lated ter­ri­tory in Di­vided We Fall. But it fea­tures some of their favourite ac­tors in hand­somely de­signed and shot set­tings, and the story picks up steam as it moves along. The fam­ily friend of the ti­tle is a young doc­tor who falls in love with a woman whose hus­band is grabbed by the Gestapo. Play­house, Oc­to­ber 12 (3:45 p.m.) > KE MOTH­ER­LAND (Philip­pines/usa) Welcome to the Dr. Jose Fa­bella Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal, where cots are chock-a-block in a gi­ant dor­mi­tory, women in labour share sin­gle beds, and nurses hand out kan­ga­roo­like tube tops be­cause of an in­cu­ba­tor short­age. For any­one who’s ever com­plained about not hav­ing a pri­vate room for their de­liv­ery at a west­ern hos­pi­tal, Ra­mona S. Diaz’s ver­ité doc­u­men­tary about a Manila ma­ter­nity ward is at once eye-opening, sober­ing, and, of­ten, over­whelm­ing. At some points it seems like ba­bies are pop­ping out ev­ery­where you look—in­clud­ing one who’s the Philip­pines’ 100 mil­lionth cit­i­zen. Though the re­silience and hu­mour are in­spir­ing—both in the staff and the pa­tients—birth isn’t al­ways some­thing to cel­e­brate here. Rather,

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