With movie theatres dark due to the COVID-19 pandemic, VIFF is streaming films through its website this year
Now Streaming at VIFF.org
Price: varies (shorts are free)
1. Bacurau. VIFF is streaming films through its website. These include features (for a fee, with half of the money going back to VIFF) and locally made shorts (six in all). The three currently available features played last year’s Vancouver International Film Festival and were among the audience favourites. Bacurau (Nighthawk) is a Brazilian film starring the great Sônia Braga. In a four-star review, the Guardian describes it as a “disquieting horror-style western about a town under siege from a mysterious threat.”
2. The Wild Goose Lake. The other feature screening now at viff.org include Poland’s Corpus Christi (nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film) and this noirish Chinese gangster flick. “This is a film that lives in its vibrant craft and fluid reimagining of scenarios that should be stale clichés by now,” says Variety.
3. Asian Gangs. This very funny 2013 short from local filmmaker Lewis Bennett subverts expectations to hilarious effect. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking for other shorts by the talented Bennett.
4. Medical Drama. Sophie Jarvis’s 2018 short is a sharp, concise (fictional) portrait of an actress (played by Meredith Hama-Brown) for whom everything goes bizarrely wrong the night before an audition. In an interview, Jarvis said that she wanted to explore “what it means to do a good thing and why we need to be awarded for doing a good thing.” And any film with a credit for a “cat wrangler” can’t be all bad.
5. The Mountain of SGaana. Christopher Auchter’s wordless fable combines traditional animation with Haida imagery to tell the story a young man stolen away into the spirit world. Gorgeous.