Cannes hits, big names, filmmaking greats
I> BY ADRIAN MACK
t’s a good year for VIFF when the docket starts to fill with new works from the likes of Greek superweirdo Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite, starring Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz) and Iranian Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi, who opened this year’s Cannes festival with the thriller Everybody Knows (featuring Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz).
Along with Shadow from China’s great Zhang Yimou, these are among the titles revealed on August 30, when the Vancouver International Film Festival announced its program of special presentations for 2018.
We can look forward to equally weighty product from Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War), Olivier Assayas (Non-fiction), Kore-eda Hirokazu (Shoplifters), and Jacques Audiard— who rounds up Jake Gyllenhaal, Joaquin Phoenix, and John C. Reilly for his first American-made feature, The Sisters Brothers. All of these internationally renowned filmmakers have been closely watched over the years by the programming team at VIFF.
From Canada: Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, and Edward Burtynsky return with Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, while conservationist filmmaker Rob Stewart is remembered with his final film, Sharkwater Extinction, and Miranda de Pencier marks her feature directorial debut with The Grizzlies.
Actor Joel Edgerton also turns up on the other side of the camera for Boy Erased, starring Nicole Kidman, while Rupert Everett does doubleduty as director and star of the Oscar Wilde biopic The Happy Prince.
In the sure-fire hit category: Rosamund Pike and Jamie Dornan find themselves in A Private War (not to mention a Canadian premiere); Melissa Mccarthy plays literary forger Lee Israel in Can You Ever Forgive Me?; Robert Redford bows out of a 58year acting career in David Lowery’s The Old Man & the Gun. And finally, Colette sends Keira Knightley back to fin-de-siècle Paris in the role of pioneering queer writer Sidonie-gabrielle Colette.
The festival’s enhanced programming also brings mad genius Kid Koala to the Orpheum Annex for a three-night event starting October 5 called Satellite, in which visitors station themselves at turntables and effects boxes to join an “ambient vinyl orchestra”.
In a not-too-distant vein, Wu-tang Clan’s RZA will attend a Creator Talk at the Rio Theatre on October 9 to discuss his film work, including 2012’s feature debut as director, The Man With the Iron Fists. He’ll then move on to the Orpheum to perform a live soundtrack to Lau Kar-leung’s martial-arts classic The 36th Chamber of Shaolin.
Directors Patricia Rozema Paris Barclay will also be in attendance for a just-announced DGC Master Class Series, at the Vancity Theatre (October 1) and the Cinematheque (October 6), respectively.
Other titles to look out for: Lars von Trier’s serial-killer shocker The House That Jack Built had Cannes in an uproar this year, with attendees leaving the theatre in droves. A little less controversially, Edge of the Knife brings the first ever Haida-language feature to VIFF, while the Vancouver Grizzlies’ Bryant Reeves is remembered in Finding Big Country. Speaking of hometown matters, Bruce Sweeney also returns this year with his latest, Kingsway.-
On the Lovecast, Dan chats with comedian Guy Branum about ass surgery: savagelovecast.com. Email: email@example.com. Follow Dan on Twitter @fakedansavage. ITMFA.ORG.