Vancouver International Film Festival 2014

September 25 – October 10, 2014
Various locations
viff.org

DISCONCERTO (Mahoro Ekimae Kyosokyoku)
Omori Tatsushi (Japan, 123 min)

  • Fri. Sep 26, 8:15 pm, International Village #9
  • Sat. Sep 27, 10:30 am, International Village #9

**World Premiere** Omori follows The Ravine of Goodbye with a delicious comedy-drama about the perfect odd couple: Tada (Eita), who runs a shaky do-it-all service, and his buddy Gyoten (Matsuda Ryuhei), who usually gets in the way. The storyline involves phoney organic farming, pensioners, babysitting, yakuza and lesbian parenting. Two hours of sheer charm! –Tony Rayns

THE FURTHEST END AWAITS (Saiha Tenite)
Hirabayashi Isamu (Japan/Taiwan, 118 min)

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  • Sat. Sep 27, 2:00 pm, Vancity Theatre
  • Mon. Sep 29, 9:00 pm, Cinematheque

**North American Premiere** Made in Japan by a Taiwanese woman director, this sets a high benchmark for films about female solidarity. A woman returns to the remote peninsula where she grew up; she wants to “find” her father, lost at sea, but instead bonds with a single mother living nearby. Piercing emotional depth and wonderful performances, plus great visual beauty. – Tony Rayns

THE HORSES OF FUKUSHIMA (Matsuri no uma)
Matsubayashi Yoju (JAPAN, 74 min)

  • Mon. Sep 29, 10:00 am, Cinematheque
  • Wed. Oct 1, 9:30 pm, Cinematheque

**Canadian Premiere** Much of Matsubayashi’s prize-winning documentary was shot inside the “exclusion zone” around the crippled nuclear power-plant at Fukushima. He finds a stable of horses injured in the tsunami, and follows their rehabilitation to take part in a local horse festival. Very movingly, we watch one horse overcome its traumas… and one man overcome his fears. –Tony Rayns *** Filmmaker in Attendance ***

NIAGARA
Hayakawa Chie (JAPAN, 28 min)

  • Mon. Sep 29, 10:00 am, Cinematheque
  • Wed. Oct 1, 9:30 pm, Cinematheque

Trained in photography in New York, Hayakawa put her filmmaking career on hiatus ten years ago. This excellent “comeback” film centres on the moment that a young woman (who has grown up thinking she’s an orphan) learns for the first time to see… and to start living. – Tony Rayns

OW (Maru)
Suzuki Yohei (JAPAN, 89 min)

    • Wed. Oct 1, 7:00 pm, Cinematheque
    • Fri. Oct 3, 10:00 am, Cinematheque

**International Premiere** The mysterious sphere which appears in an ordinary suburban house seems to stop time and scramble the brains of the Suzuki family. Maybe it’s a cousin of 2001’s monolith? The police are too dopey to care much, but an intrepid reporter goes where angels fear to tread… A brilliantly original debut feature, scary and funny. The accompanying short’s great too! –Tony Rayns Best New Director Award Nominee. *** Filmmaker in Attendance ***

SHARING
Shinozaki Makoto (JAPAN, 94 min)

Sharing

  • Tue. Sep 30, 2:30 pm, Cinematheque
  • Wed. Oct 8, 9:00 pm, Cinematheque
      **International Premiere** VIFF regular Shinozaki brings a touch of his enthusiasm for horror-fantasy movies to the tragic story of a teacher who has lost her fiancé in the 2011 tsunami. Her traumatizing loss meshes with her interest in precognitive dreams… and with the post-tsunami play developed by one of her students. Hirabayashi’s brilliant short also explores the aftershocks of the disaster. –Tony Rayns

SOLITON
Hirabayashi Isamu (Japan, 14 min)

  • Tue. Sep 30, 2:30 pm, Cinematheque
  • Wed. Oct 8, 9:00 pm, Cinematheque
      VIFF regular Hirabayashi turns his thoughts back to the 2011 tsunami with a brilliantly imagined sequence-shot journey. – Tony Rayns

THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA (Kaguyahime no monogatari)
Takahata Isao (JAPAN, 137 min)

      • Sat. Sep 27, 11:30 am, Centre for Performing Arts

Princess Kaguya has the feel of a true Takahata film, from its unshrinking emotional fidelity to its sudden, exhilarating leaps into fantasy… There is a deep wisdom in this film, but a deep sadness too. If it is Takahata’s farewell, it’s one that will have a long echo, just like his 1,000 year-old source – Mark Schilling, Japan Times

THE VANCOUVER ASAHI (Vancouver no Asahi)
Ishii Yuya (JAPAN/CANADA, 130 min)

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  • Mon. Sep 29, 6:30 pm, Centre for Performing Arts **Special Presentation **
  • Sat. Oct 4, 2:30 pm, Centre for Performing Arts
  • Fri. Oct 10, 1:00 pm, Playhouse

** Special Gala Presentation/ World Premiere ** Back in the 1930s, in Vancouver’s old Japantown, a group of Canadian-born kids launched their own baseball team, the Asahi. Ishii’s lavish-scale entertainment chronicles their battles against failure, racism and prejudice–and the brief moment of triumph they enjoyed before Pearl Harbour changed everything. An epic tale, rich in humour and humanity. –Tony Rayn

*** Filmmaker (Ishii Yuya) and Actors (Satoshi Tsumabuki & Kazuya Kamenashi) in attendance ***

SHORTS

AMAZING ANIME
Various directors (JAPAN/SOUTH KOREA, 86 min)

      • Sat. Sep 27, 6:30 pm, International Village #8
      • Sun. Sep 28, 1:45 pm, International Village #8

An old VIFF tradition is revived in this electrifying anthology of new indie animation from Japan–with a special bonus in the form of Hwang Gyuil’s Deaf and Wind from Korea. A wide range of graphic styles and techniques, tackling everything from a ninja vendetta to the secret origin of the universe. The full listing is on VIFF’s website. –Tony Rayns

ANAL JUICE (Ketsujiru Juke)
Kabuki Sawako (JAPAN, 3 min)

      • Sat. Sep 27, 6:30 pm, International Village #8
      • Sun. Sep 28, 1:45 pm, International Village #8

A funny/sad pop-art mini-extravaganza! Ms Kabuki says that it’s based on a dream she had when her lover left her. He was a man who liked enemas. – Tony Rayns

BUDDING, SWELLING (Megadete Hukurande)
Usuha Ryoya (JAPAN, 7 min)
Sat. Sep 27, 6:30 pm, International Village #8
Sun. Sep 28, 1:45 pm, International Village #8
Computer animation, exploring the space between chemical structures and organic structures. Sparking life is like pushing a bell. – Tony Rayns

DE.RIRIA.SUBASATAIMU
Hidaka Shinsaku (JAPAN, 13 min)

      • Sat. Sep 27, 6:30 pm, International Village #8
      • Sun. Sep 28, 1:45 pm, International Village #8

A man visits his wife in hospital, and goes on a mental journey … a journey through space and time, involving much climbing, sudden death syndrome and a body swap.

FLOWER BUD (Haname)
Nakano Saki (JAPAN, 5 min)

      • Sat. Sep 27, 6:30 pm, International Village #8
      • Sun. Sep 28, 1:45 pm, International Village #8

The first of four titles in this selection by women animators. A rhapsody of touching-feeling-dreaming, in red and black brush-strokes. Terayama Shuji Prize at Image Forum Festival 2014. – Tony Rayns

GYRO (Jairo)
Makoda (JAPAN, 6 min)

      • Sat. Sep 27, 6:30 pm, International Village #8
      • Sun. Sep 28, 1:45 pm, International Village #8

A reggae-rhythmed feminist protest against men who idle while women do all the work. Featuring a woman whose face has been erased and a man who rules with his nose. Award for Excellence, Image Forum Festival 2014. – Tony Rayns

NEWSPAPER
Sato Yoshinao (JAPAN, 7 min)

      • Sat. Sep 27, 6:30 pm, International Village #8
      • Sun. Sep 28, 1:45 pm, International Village #8

If newspapers are dying, this could be their last gasp. Starring The Japan Times, USA Today and the late, lamented International Herald Tribune, amongst others. – Tony Rayns

RAPPA
Nakajima Yuki (JAPAN, 5 min)

      • Sat. Sep 27, 6:30 pm, International Village #8
      • Sun. Sep 28, 1:45 pm, International Village #8

A prison break, a traitor in the gang, a cynical act of betrayal. The quintessence of ninja action in a five-minute vignette! – Tony Rayns

THE SMALL GARDEN (Chiisana Teien)
Saito Shunsuke (JAPAN, 12 min)

      • Sat. Sep 27, 6:30 pm, International Village #8
      • Sun. Sep 28, 1:45 pm, International Village #8

Did the universe begin with a yin-yang globe or with an egg? The most plausible, science-based insight into the mystery of everything since The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. – Tony Rayns

SNOW HUT (Kamakura)
Mizushiri Yoriko (JAPAN, 5 min)

      • Sat. Sep 27, 6:30 pm, International Village #8
      • Sun. Sep 28, 1:45 pm, International Village #8

The director of Futon (VIFF 2013) returns with a sensual meditation on the snow in Kamakura, her home town… and on sewing. – Tony Rayns

WAITER
Yamada Ryoji (JAPAN, 9 min)

      • Sat. Sep 27, 6:30 pm, International Village #8
      • Sun. Sep 28, 1:45 pm, International Village #8

A seriously weird animation which plays on two meanings of “wait”: “wait on (someone)” and “to wait (for something).” Yamada himself says “it might be a criticism of nuclear power.” Award for Excellence, Image Forum Festival 2014. – Tony Rayns

WHITE, HEAT, LIGHTS
Nakajima Takashi (JAPAN, 11 min)

      • Wed. Oct 1, 7:00 pm, Cinematheque
      • Fri. Oct 3, 10:00 am, Cinematheque

The sun rises and sets, but we make lights of our own. Three sharp vignettes by a veteran avant-garde director… with a sci-fi punch line. – Tony Rayns