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VIFF Notes, part I: Time Commitments

Among VIFF regulars, 90 minutes is the threshold of a good movie--indicative of strong storytelling, smart editing, an awareness of the audience's attention span, and, in festival settings anyway, their itch to get to the next movie. A movie's running time that closes in on two hours better make every minute count; over two hours and the quality of the movie becomes highly suspicious.

But then, what draws in the audience? The compelling subject? The past work of the director or cast? The challenge? The movie as an event? The camaraderie of a shared and rare experience? Last year's VIFF offered up Extraordinary Stories, at 4 hours and 11 minutes, and though few invested their time, the word was that it was a worthwhile endeavor. This year's VIFF has more than one event offering over the two-hour mark, so take heed and plan ahead.

Carlos, a bio-pic of Carlos the Jackal that seems to take coverage of his 21 years of notoriety to heart. The three trailers on the official website are only 15 seconds long, and in conjunction with the one from YouTube below, at 39 seconds, I feel like I've seen what I need to see. But maybe not.

330 mins = 5.5 hours


Sat, Oct 9th 1:00pm @ Park Theatre

Mon, Oct 11th 5:30pm @ Park Theatre

*tickets for this event are $20.00

Mysteries of Lisbon, a

Mysteries of Lisbon directed by Raul Ruiz - Trailer from Clap Filmes on Vimeo.

272 mins = 4.5ish hours


Sat, Oct 2nd 1:00pm @ Park Theatre

Tue, Oct 5th 7:00pm @ Park Theatre

*tickets for this event are $20.00

Karamay is a documentary from China that follows up a horrific fire in 1994 in which several diplomats saved themselves at the expense of over 300 children. Things to note: banned in China, by director Xu Xin, no music, no narration.

356 mins = practically 6 hours


Tue, Oct 5th 5:15pm @ Empire Granville 7 Th 5

Fortune Teller, another doc from China, this one by director Xu Tong, follows traditional fortune teller Li Baicheng as he cares for his disabled wife amidst his growing marginalization from society.

157 mins = 2.6ish hours


Sat, Oct 2nd 2:30pm @ Empire Granville 7 Th 5

Sun, Oct 3rd 8:45pm @ Empire Granville 7 Th 5

Biutiful follows an awful-looking and depressed Javier Bardem through the streets of Barcelona. Even though he looks awful and depressed, it's Javier Bardem for over two hours. Rush tickets are what's available for the fest's two screenings.

147 mins = 2.45 hours

Screenings, rush tickets only:

Sat, Oct 2nd 9:30pm @ Visa Screening Room, Empire Granville Th7

Mon, Oct 4th 4:00pm @ Visa Screening Room, Empire Granville Th7



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