Get the Most out of Your VIFF Experience by Following This Viewer’s Learning Curve

The Curve is a new Scout column dedicated to exploring and feeling out the corners of complex, multi-dimensional, often hierarchical and always completely random subjects. The aim is to inform readers – in progressive, graduating fashion – on everything from gin and poems to cheeseburgers and trees. This week, Scout’s Thalia Stopa offers some insight on how to get the most out of the 36th Annual Vancouver International Film Festival. This year’s festival runs September 28th to October 13th.

BEGINNER | Since the VIFF’s vast program can be overwhelming even to seasoned cinephiles, I recommend narrowing it down to showings at the Vancity Theatre because a) it’s conveniently located super close to transit with the Yaletown/Roundhouse skytrain station located about 5 mins walking distance away; b) the theatre seats are lush, wide and velvet with cup-holders; and c) the theatre serves beer, wine and cider, so you can do your cup-holder justice. First time attendees should also purchase tickets well in advance and show up as early as they can.

INTERMEDIATE | There are still tickets left to In Conversation With Boon Joon-ho, and a special screening of his most recent film, Okja. Even if you’ve already held your own private Netflix screening, this really is the sort of film that requires an immersive theatre experience in order to truly appreciate its visual storytelling. Plus, since the film was produced as a Netflix Original, this may be your only chance to see it outside of the streaming service! Sat, Sept. 30 | The Centre | 7pm | TICKETS

ADVANCED | That I share the same hometown as Winnipeg-born filmmaker Guy Maddin might make me slightly biased in my selection here … Regardless, for the film-goer who likes to be challenged, I highly recommend The Green Fog. Maddin’s surreal and experimental reimagining of the classic Hitchcock noir Vertigo is a must-see not least of all because it’s being screened with a live score by the world-famous Kronos Quartet. If you’ve never seen a Maddin film or experienced a live film score before then I envy you because you have no idea of the next-level, psychedelic waking life event that awaits you…no drugs necessary. Tue, Oct. 10 | 8pm | The Centre | TICKETS

EXTRA CREDIT | This year’s VIFF programming goes well beyond movie screenings. Get some insight into the under-appreciated or overlooked elements of film and television by attending one of the Creator Talk series events. I finally started watching the The Handmaid’s Tale – a show with equally intense content and striking visuals – so the idea of getting to witness a brain-picking of the show’s costume designer, Ane Crabtree, is especially intriguing to me. See you there! Mon, Oct. 2 | 6:30pm | Vancity Theatre | TICKETS

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