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Canadian Horror, Obsessive Love, French Mystery And The Fates Of Cities

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. Presented by Ken Tsui.


The Void

April 14th & 18th | The Rio Theatre, 1660 E. Broadway

For all the gorehounds out there, The Void descends upon The Rio for a short run this month. This John Carpenter-inspired flick is about a small group of people trapped inside a hospital as a group of creepy hooded cultists swarm the building and a Lovecraftian, shape-shifting monster ascends from the basement. Directed by Winnipeg film collective Astron-6, the film is a pastiche of lurid body horror with a light sprinkling of plot. Boasting strictly practical special effects (no CGI), The Void will pluck the heartstrings of any fanboy/girl wistful of those messy 80’s horror movies.


April 19th, 8:30PM

The Cinematheque is celebrating Canada’s momentous sesquicentennial marker with a free screening of one of our country’s weirdest films, Archangel. Directed by Winnipeg’s surrealist filmmaker, Guy Maddin, it is a dreamy throwback to early cinema that tells the story of obsessive love in an arctic Russian town in the midst of World War I. Made on a shoe-string budget, Maddin’s wild blend of comedy, melodrama and kitsch amplifies one of the most unique voices to ever come out of Canadian film. Tickets to the free screening are on a  first come, first served basis so you don’t want to wait!

Citizen Jane

April 21st, 24th – 27th & 29th | Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St.

If modern day Vancouver had a force to be reckoned with like Jane Jacobs, the city might look a little different. Jacob’s essential book, ‘The Death and Life of Great American Cities’ rocked the architecture and urban planning scene in the 1960’s and remains a preeminent text to this day. Citizen Jane is a David versus Goliath style documentary that puts Jacobs the activist up against Robert Moses, a civic builder looking to pave over New York City in the name of progress and traffic “flow”. As these two intellectual titans lob volleys back and forth on screen, we are privy to a unique glimpse of the modern city through the perspective of one of its greatest thinkers.


April 22nd & April 27th | The Cinematheque, 1131 Howe St.

Bruno Dumont is a French director who is misunderstood and celebrated in equal measure. Echoing the incredible visions of masters like Robert Bresson, Dumont launched a career as an international provocateur with his sophomoric film, L’Humanité. The controversial film follows a policeman tasked with solving a lust-driven murder in a small town. It would make fans of True Detective blush. Despite being celebrated broadly by film critics as one of the best films of the millennium, L’Humanité is hard to track down so make sure you take this rare opportunity to catch it on the big screen at The Cinematheque.

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