‘Endless Poetry’, ‘Christine’ & ‘Possession’ On The Big Screen This Month

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Cinema Usher is a Scout column dedicated to detailing some of the best films playing in theatres with the when, where and why you should really give a damn and go watch. This very special edition is your guide to some of the best films playing at the upcoming Vancouver International Film Festival. 

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by Ken Tsui | The holiday season is upon us and as we are thrown into the wintry human experiment of the Christmas machine leave it to the movies to be our antidote to the squeaky clean, feel-goodery of decked halls and fa-la-las. Here are three films that are worthy of checking out on the big screen this month…

Possession

December 3, 8, 9 | The Cinematheque, 1311 Howe Street | DETAILS

Possession propelled director Andrzej Zulawski to a cult legend status in the art-house scene. Previously banned in the UK and hacked to bits for a North American release, Possession is a rarity, personal favourite of mine and a masterpiece of Euro-Shock cinema. Apparently inspired by his own nasty divorce and Japanese artist Hokusai’s The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife, Zulawski’s film blends a Lovecraftian sex nightmare into the intensely paranoid death throes of a couple’s marriage and a woman’s unhinging from reality. Lead actress Isabelle Adjani’s committed performance borders on interpretive dance which has had a lasting impression on the likes of Massive Attack (see here and here). Though not for the faint of heart, this is a very rare opportunity to see an intense artifact of pure cinematic madness. Catch it as part of a 4 film retrospective of Andrezj Zulawski’s finest at the appropriately titled Hysteria & Heartbreak, in it’s most visceral form.

Christine

December 2nd to 8th at The Vancity Theatre | 1181 Seymour St.
December 12th & 13th at The Rio Theatre | 1660 East Broadway | DETAILS

Indie agit-director Antonio Campos leaps into the mainstream with his third feature, Christine. The film is a true story and character study of Christine Chubbuck, a little-known Florida morning-show host before she punctuated American broadcasting history in 1974 by committing suicide on-air. While the grisly story of Chubbuck is over four decades old and the subject of internet myth, Christine is a brooding portrait with actor Rebecca Hall fully owning the performance of the titular reporter. Expect to hear plenty more about her performance come award season and catch it first hand playing at The Vancouver International Film Centre and The Rio.

Endless Poetry

December 16, 17, 20, 29 | The Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St. | DETAILS

To many, Alejandro Jodorowsky is a surrealist genius. After his glory days at the helm of hallucinogenic classics such as Holy Mountain, El Topo and the ill-fated adaptation of Dune (as chronicled in the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune), the aging visionary has taken it upon himself to chronicle his own life in a trilogy of Fellini-esque memoirs. Endless Poetry is his second entry, chronicling a young Alejandro (played by his own son, Adan) in a coming of age story dotted with oppressive parents, a young artist’s passion for bohemia, and Jodorowsky’s signature surreal flourishes. Endless Poetry is destined to be a visual feast designed not to be missed on the big screen.

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