Better than Netflix – five cool November movie experiences in Vancouver

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Scene from Lightning Bolt’s The Metal East.

Puppy mills, a sacred spruce, Brigitte Bardot and some of the best music videos of the past year are among the subjects in our cinematic picks for November.

Whether you’re an arthouse habitué, music fan or animal lover, Vancouver’s specialty theatres are offering up a plethora of special events designed to remind us that there is more to life than Netflix.

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Better than Netflix – five cool November movie experiences in Vancouver

Uptown Vancouver theatre goes downtown

Anaconda

One of Vancouver’s most respected theatres is opening its screen to some good, old-fashioned cinematic trash.

Moviegoers can usually count on Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St.) to screen the best (or, at least most interesting) films from around the world, along with classics, forgotten gems, documentaries, and retrospectives. Not so when the NorthWest Comedy Festival gets involved.

Once a month over the next few months, the theatre – which is programmed by the folks at the Vancouver International Film Festival – will screen some famously bad cinema. And it will all be done in Hecklevision.

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Uptown Vancouver theatre goes downtown

Meet Mavis, Misty and more in this year’s VIFF documentary lineup

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Mavis Staples with the Staples Singers.

A famous art collector, a gospel/soul legend and an American ballerina are among the people you can discover at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival.

Now going into its 34th year, the VIFF has just has announced several documentaries for this year’s edition. The festival, which runs Sept. 24 to Oct. 9, 2015, features more than 75 nonfiction features. Here are some highlights.

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Meet Mavis, Misty and more in this year’s VIFF documentary lineup

Rare exploitation and horror cult films coming to Vancouver!

A scene from Demons, screening at the inaugural Northwest Horror Show film festival in Vancouver.

No, it’s not filmgoers leaving a screening of the latest Adam Sandler movie. It’s a scene from Demons, a 1985 Italian film screening at the inaugural Northwest Horror Show film festival in Vancouver.

Ah, spring. The buds are in bloom, the birds are singing, locals are taking to the streets in yogawear and shorts. What better time to take in a midnight screening of Cannibal Holocaust?

This year is the inaugural Northwest Horror Show film festival. For three days, March 20-22, Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour) will open its doors to film fans who like their movies twisted, depraved and at least a little off. Not only does the festival marks a rare chance to see cult favourites like Cannibal Holocaust, Demons and The Beyond on the big screen, but it’s bringing to town some films that have never before been screened in Vancouver.

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Rare exploitation and horror cult films coming to Vancouver!

Where to celebrate Black History Month in Vancouver

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Image from Through a Lens Darkly, screening at Vancity Theatre in honour of Black History Month.

 

February is Black History Month. Recognized in the U.S. and, more recently, the U.K. and Canada, it’s a month-long celebration of contributions to history and culture by citizens of African and Caribbean descent.

The movie Selma, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, dramatizes the historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965. It’s in theatres now. But, though Vancouver has a relatively small black population (only one per cent, according to citystats.ca), a number of arts organizations are honouring the event with special productions, performances and screenings.

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Where to celebrate Black History Month in Vancouver

Movies Italian-style at the 2015 Vancouver Italian Film Festival

Those Happy Years

Scene from Those Happy Years, screening at the second annual Italian Film Festival at Vancity Theatre.

Ah, Italian cinema! Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Federico Fellini, Vittorio De Sica – all of the greats and more will be represented at this year’s Vancouver Italian Film Festival at Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St.) between Jan 9-14.

Now in its second year, the festival celebrates movies from Italy, then and now, from classics like Marriage Italian Style and 8 1/2 to new movies like Those Happy Years and A Five Star Life. Along with screenings, the film festival will feature a photo exhibition devoted to Sophia Loren and other special events. Here are some highlights.

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Movies Italian-style at the 2015 Vancouver Italian Film Festival

A midsummer night’s Woody

A scene from Match Point (2005), showing as part of Vancity Theatre's Woody Allen 4 Seasons: Summer series.

A scene from Match Point (2005), showing as part of Vancity Theatre’s Woody Allen 4 Seasons: Summer series.

As part of its Woody Allen 4 Seasons retrospective, Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St.) is showing some of the director’s best and most popular films that also happen to be set in the summer. They range from the broad hilarity of A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy to the dark murder drama Match Point. Two of the films – including the science-fiction comedy Sleeper – have already been screened, but you still have four chances to soak up some Woody on a Sunday summer evening.

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A midsummer night’s Woody