Nico, 1988

Italy 2017. Dir: Susanna Nicchiarelli. 93 mins. VENUE: Various in August

Reviewer Ed Farolan

The film chronicles the last years of the life of singer Nico (played by Danish actress Trine Dyrholm), as she tours and grapples with addiction and personal demons. Set between Paris, Prague, Nuremberg, Manchester, the Polish countryside and the Roman seaside, Nico, 1988 is dedicated to the last years of Christa Päffgen, known by her stage name “Nico”. One of Warhol's muses, singer of The Velvet Underground and a beautiful woman in her younger years. However, in this film, she´s 48 and no longer a beauty. Full review



xThe Face Reader

South Korea 2013 Dir. Jae-rim Han. 142 mins.

Date and Venue 12 July Vancity Theatre

In coordination with the Korean Film Festival this month, this film opened as the choice for its gala screening. Before the film, there was a buffet of Korean food and a small programme with the Consul General and other dignitaries giving brief speeches. The Consul gave a brief commentary on how face reading (just as palm reading is in other countries) forms part of Korean culture.Full review





Hour of the Wolf

Sweden 1968 Dir: Ingmar Bergman. 90 min. DCP

Dates and Venue 6 - 10 Jul 2018 | Cinémathèque, 1131 Howe Street, Vancouver

Reviewer Ed Farolan

This year marks the 100th birth anniversary of Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007), and The Cinémathèque celebrates a retrospective of Ingmar films until August 22. He stands out as one of the pioneers of art-house cinema (vs. Hollywood commercial movies), which include his predecessors Griffith, Eisenstein, Buñuel, Dali and later on Fellini and the French wave.Full review


The Rite

Sweden 1969 Dir: Ingmar Bergman. 72 min. 35mm

Dates and Venue 8 - 10 Jul 2018 | Pacific Cinémathèque, 1131 Howe Street, Vancouver

Reviewer Ed Farolan

This is one of two films (the other one, "Torment") which The Cinematheque is screening from existing 35mm prints. I still remember this format watching films in the fifties.Full review




La Carga

Mexico 2016 Dir. Alan Jonsson. 94 mins.

Date and Venue 3 July Vancity Theatre

Reviewer Ed Farolan

In coordination with the 10th anniversary of Carnaval del Sol, this film about a Tameme Indian and a noble Spanish woman fleeing through the forests of the New World in search of freedom was the right choice for the festival. It won a number of awards, in particular, for Best Screenplay to filmmaker Jonsson at the Lleida Latina American Film Festival in 2016. Full review







Uncle Drew

USA 2018. Dir: Charles Stone III. 103 mins. Opens June 29 in select theatres

Reviewer Ed Farolan

This film distributed by Elevation Pictures got a number of favourable reviews because it´s funny and for people in their 70s like myself who love basketball, the story-line is entertaining. Full review



xThe Girl in the Fog (La ragazza nella nebbia)

Italy 2017 Dir. Donato Carrisi. 128 mins.

Dates and Venue 15 - 21 June Oct Vancity Theatre

As part of the Italian Contemporary Film Festival, this film is based on the best-selling novel by Donato Carrisi who also directs it. It´s an intriguing film. One could label it as an Italian Agatha Christie whodunnit movie. Full review







American Animals

USA 2018. Dir: Bart Layton. 116 mins. Opens June 1

Reviewer Ed Farolan

This film is based on a true story where four students in Kentucky attempt a heist, stealing rare books from the Transylvania University library in 2004. A hybrid of documentary and drama, the film cuts into brief interviews and recollections from the real-life people involved, as the almost unbelievable dramatic scenes ensue. Full review


2018 DOXA Documentary Film Festival



The Creator of Universes

78 mins., Uruguay, 2017, dir. Mercedes Dominioni

Date and Venue 13 May @ 4:15 Cinematheque

Asperge disease has its upside. Just like Dustin Hoffman in The Rainman who was a genius in Math, so also is 16-year old Juan who is a genius as a filmmaker. Full review



xThe Rankin File: Legacy of a Radical

90 mins., Canada, 2018, dir. Teresa Alfeld

Dates and Venue 6 May 2018, 7.00pm @ Vancouver Playhouse & 8 May 2018, 6.00pm @ SFU-GCA , 149 W Hastings St.

In the past few decades, Vancouver has had its fair share of colourful and controversial mayors. Alas, local filmmaker Teresa Alfeld’s subject is not one of them. Speculatively, Harry Rankin may have been the best mayor Vancouver never had. Full review


xRoller Dreams

80 mins., Australia/US, 2017, dir. Kate Hickey

Date and Venue May 10, 2018, 6:15pm & May 13, 2018, 7:15pm @ Vancity Theatre

Stroll along the sidewalk adjacent to the recently gentrified Venice beach any weekend and you will see jugglers, musicians, and roller skaters entertaining passers-by. Australian filmmaker Kate Hickey has created an engaging and ultimately poignant documentary about young people using Venice beach in the eighties. Full review


xÉthiopiques: Revolt of the Soul

70 mins., Poland/Germany, 2017, dir. Maciek Bochniak

Date and Venue May 10, 2018, 6:15pm & May 13, 2018, 7:15pm @ Vancity Theatre

In English with English subtitles, song lyrics in Amharic

Éthiopiques is a series of music recordings featuring Ethiopian singers and musicians, released in the seventies and remastered. Maciek Bochniak’s film is more than a documentary. It’s the story of three men: Amha Eshete, record store owner who became a music producer, Girma Beyene, singer, pianist and arranger who embarked on a musical comeback after thirty years and Francis Falceto, a French musicologist who rediscovered Ethiopian popular music. Full review


xGolden Dawn Girls

94 mins., Norway, 2017, dir. Håvard Bustnes

Date and Venue 8 May 2018, 6.45pm @ Vancity Theatre

In English & Greek with English subtitles

Who or what is Golden Dawn?
Filmmaker Håvard Bustnes’ documentary goes some way to inform that Golden Dawn is in fact, despite its bucolic name, is an ultranationalist (let’s say even fascist) political party in Greece’s national government. Full review


xNo Man’s Land

80 mins., US, 2017, dir. David Byers

Date and Venue 5 May 2018, 4.30pm @ Vancity

No Man’s Land is David Byers’ on-the-ground, and largely unbiased, account of what happened in the middle of winter at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, east Oregon, a couple of years ago. The incident is all but forgotten by most people living outside the Pacific North-West.... Full review

xOur New President

78 mins., US/Russia, 2018, dir. Maxim Pozdorovkin

Dates and Venue 5 May 2018, 6.45pm @ Cinematheque & 9 May 2018, 8.30pm @ SFU-GCA, 149 W Hastings

In English & Russian with English subtitles

In Donald Trump’s inaugural speech, he was heard to say “People of the world, thank you.” Over in Moscow Vladimir Putin, watching the event on local television was known to respond with “You’re welcome.” This anecdote is from the host of a news program on one of Russia’s State-owned TV channels seen half way through Maxim Pozdorovkin's documentary Our New President. Full review



85 mins., Canada, 2017, dirs. Nova Ami and Velcrow Ripper

Dates and Venues 10 May 2018, 6pm @ SFU-GCA, 149 W Hastings and 11 May 2018, 12pm @ Vancity

This is an excellent documentary about the much discussed topic of climate change. It does address the issue in a unique manner using the metamorphosos of the Monarch butterfly from caterpillar to coccoon and then, to its final butterfly stage. Full review




Letter from Masanjia

77 mins., Canada, 2018, dir. Leon Lee

Date and Venue 5 May 2018, 2pm @ Vancity

As I was watching this documentary, I couldn´t help but compare the persecuted members of the Falun Gong to the early Christians during the Roman times who were tortured and fed to the lions. This documentary is about one such martyr who stuck to his beliefs and paid dearly for it.Full review