VIFF 2020: "Tales of the Lockdown"

Proving that some good can come from a pandemic, this omnibus film from Spain features five delightfully dark tales "directed by five leading Spanish filmmakers under quarantine conditions." Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

VIFF 2020: "The Pencil"

In this forceful critique of contemporary Russia, director Natalya Nazarova shows a young woman's attempt to resist thuggery in an industrial town in northern Russia. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

VIFF 2020: "Uncle"

On a Danish farm, a young woman works alongside her uncle, who has been handicapped by a stroke. Though they rarely talk, and the routine of their days seems unlikely to change, a quiet drama slowly begins to unfold. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

VIFF 2020: "Last and First Men"

Adapted from Olaf Stapledon's early science fiction novel, this stark and striking film from Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson extrapolates us through 2 billion years, into mankind's far future and ultimate fate. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

VIFF 2020: "Super Frenchie"

A profile of Matthias Giraud, a professional "ski-baser" and risk-taker, whose passion is to ski down steep slopes at speed with a parachute on his back, and then launch himself into space. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

VIFF 2020: "My Rembrandt"

A fascinating glimpse into the lives of those few who, driven by "nostalgia, heritage, beauty, obsession and [...] the satisfaction of exclusive ownership", have the desire—and the means—to own a painting by Rembrandt. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

Review: Christopher Nolan's "Tenet"

Time flows backwards as well as forwards in this intricate new techno-thriller, the first major theatrical release in the COVID-19 era, from the director of Memento and Inception. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

Review: "The Two Popes"

A two-hour docu-drama that attempts to do for the papacy what The Crown has done, accidentally or deliberately, for the British royal family: humanize an institution that is desperately in need of an image makeover. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

Review: "The Irishman"

Director Martin Scorsese gets the whole gang back together—Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel—for an epic 3 1/2 hour long mob film, which has a brief theatrical run before settling into an exclusive Netflix residency. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

Review: "The King"

In which the first of several Netflix-funded feature films receives a short theatrical release in preparation for this year's awards season. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

VIFF 2019: "The Painted Bird"

Václav Marhoul’s bleak and brutal film version of Jerzy Kosiński’s 1965 novel, about a young boy traveling alone through a landscape in the throes of war. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

VIFF 2019: "Joan of Arc"

Controversial French auteur Bruno Dumont's take on the Joan of Arc story, a sequel to his 2017 film Jeannette, l'enfance de Jeanne d'Arc. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

VIFF 2019: "Sorry We Missed You"

A working class family living in Newcastle-upon-Tyne struggles to stay afloat, in a new film from director Ken Loach. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

VIFF 2019: "Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom"

A young Bhutanese teacher, wrestling with his commitment to that career, is sent to the remote Himalayan village of Lunana, to fulfill the final year of his contract. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

VIFF 2019: "The Lighthouse"

A new black and white horror from Robert Eggers, filmed in Nova Scotia and starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, which—while not a satire—has a lot of fun playing with the genre's tropes. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

VIFF 2019 preview: "One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk"

The latest feature film from Inuk director Zacharias Kunuk ("Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner") dramatizes a key moment from Inuit oral history: a 1961 encounter on spring sea ice, between Noah Piugattuk, an Inuit camp leader, and an Indian Agent. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

VIFF 2019 preview: "Miel-Emile"

An absorbing portrait of Emile Raaijmakers, also known as Miel, who lives a solitary life in the eastern Pyrenees of France. Miel-Emile, now almost 80 years of age, reflects upon the events of his life, and describes his personal philosophy. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

VIFF: "Mademoiselle de Joncquières"

This French period film from Emmanuel Mouret follows in the footsteps of "Les Liaisons Dangeureuses," as (bachelor) Marquis and (widowed) Marquise engage in a verbal duel of wits and manners. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

VIFF: "Roma"

Alfonso Cuaron's new film, set in Mexico City in 1970/71, is a rich and complex drama in which the slow unravelling of domestic life takes precedence over larger events. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

VIFF: "This Mountain Life"

One of the hits of VIFF 2018 returns to the Vancity Theatre. Read more

Michael Hayward's Blog

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