Cinephile Ken Tsui provides a synopsis of his picks for the best three films to see in Vancouver theatres this month. Check below for the when, where and why you should give a damn.
Drive My Car | With a prolific year, Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi has directed two films and co-written another. Drive My Car serves as the standout of them all. Based on a short story by Haruki Murakami, Drive My Car takes the source material on a long ride, stopping in to explore loss, love and art along the way. The film follows Yusuke as he reckons with his wife’s passing while mounting an avant-garde version of Uncle Vanya in a small town. With a quiet complexity, Hamaguchi’s film is a humanistic exploration of grief that has garnered accolades at this year’s Cannes Film Festival before a sold out run at the 2021 Vancouver International Film Festival. Don’t miss your second chance to catch one of the best films of 2021 playing at the VIFF Centre this December.
France | From his early days as the arthouse enfant terrible of the New French Extremity, to a brief jaunt in musicals about Joan of Arc and foray in slapstick comedy, French auteur Bruno Dumont’s unpredictable career is, in and of itself, something to watch. His new film France follows France de Meurs (Lea Seydoux), a self-absorbed, sensationalist reporter courting attention of a camera wherever she goes. After an accident unfolds beyond her control, de Meurs is confronted with an existential unravelling that explores the corrosive culture of identity in a media-saturated 21st century. Part satire of the contemporary news cycle and an examination of fame, France is a blend of black comedy and melodrama that only Dumont can pull off.
The Apu Trilogy | Inspiring directors from the likes of Wes Anderson and Martin Scorcese, master director Satyajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy is a landmark during the golden age of world cinema. Based on two books by Bibhutibhusan Banerjee, the trilogy traces the vibrant life of a rural Bengal boy starting in Pather Panchali to his life as a student in Aparajito before he grows into being a sensitive writer in The World of Apu. A part of just about any list of best films ever made, this richly humane treasure of Bengal cinema matures along with its titular character, charting an epic, humanist journey that’s well worth seeing on the big screen. Catch this beautiful restoration later this month at the Cinematheque.
Pather Panchali – December 26, 27, 29 & January 5 | The Cinematheque
Aparajito – December 27, 29 & January 2 | The Cinematheque
World of Apu – December 29 & January 2, 3 | The Cinematheque
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