VIFF 2015: Mountains May Depart (Jia Zhangke, 2015)

RGB tiff image by MetisIP

 Part of our coverage of the 2015 Vancouver International Film Festival. This review is by Vancouver-based critic Neil Bahadur.

The most ambitious film so far from the great director Jia Zhangke, working in a gorgeous, cyclical structure that it might make it too easy to disregard the film’s more provocative aspects. Jia has been obsessed with the globalization of China since day one, but what is different here is the syphoning of aspects of contemporary China into three broken segments, each of which purport to be a narrative-driven family melodrama. But what seems youthful naivete is rather the fading of a culture, what seems disillusionment of middle-age is the economic collapse of the world we live in today. . . so the earnestness of the film’s final third is the only response possible to the removal of culture entirely. Jia’s 2025 is a fairy-tale world, a complete fantasy wherein this (actually very conventional) three-act structure, surrealism is fully integrated into this narrative sense. And because of the disparity between this part and the first two, this approach disconcerts rather than shocks or provokes. The movie is a series of Brechtian devices which exhaust themselves, and so the only option left is to wear its heart on its sleeve.

Continue reading “VIFF 2015: Mountains May Depart (Jia Zhangke, 2015)”

Friday October 9 – Thursday October 15

Featured Film:

Cat People Double Feature at Scarecrow Video

As part of a series of excellent horror films featured this month on their Screening Room calendar, this Wednesday only Scarecrow Video presents a double feature of Val Lewton classics. The original 1942 Cat People, directed by Jacques Tourneur, is one of the great horror films of the studio era, while 1944’s sequel, The Curse of the Cat People, directed by Robert Wise, is something altogether singular, less a horror film than a meditation on the ways children cope with trauma and loss, a haunted fable and arguably the best film Wise ever made.
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Playing This Week:

Ark Lodge Cinemas:

Moose: The Movie (G. Logan Dellinger) Fri-Thurs

Central Cinema:

The Lost Boys (Joel Schumacher, 1987) Fri-Mon
Twilight (Catherine Hardwicke, 2008) Fri-Tues
Paper Tigers (James Redford) Tues Only

SIFF Cinema Egyptian:

Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival Fri-Thurs Full Program

Grand Cinema:

Tacoma Film Festival Fri-Thurs Full Program

Grand Illusion Cinema:

The Creeping Garden (Tim Grabham & Jasper Sharp) Fri-Thurs
The Green Slime (Kinji Fukasaku, 1968) Fri & Sat Only 16mm

Landmark Guild 45th:

Freeheld (Peter Sollett) Fri-Thurs

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Freeheld (Peter Sollett) Fri-Thurs
Talvar (Meghna Gulzar) Fri-Thurs
Rudrama Devi (Gunasekhar) Fri-Thurs
Monty Python & the Holy Grail (Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones, 1975) Sun & Weds Only Quote-Along

Northwest Film Forum:

Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival Fri-Thurs Full Program

AMC Pacific Place:

Coming Home (Zhang Yimou) Fri-Thurs
Lost in Hong Kong (Xu Zheng) Fri-Thurs
Saving Mr. Wu (Ding Sheng) Fri-Thurs
Freeheld (Peter Sollett) Fri-Thurs

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Etiquette for Mistresses (Chito S. Roño) Fri-Thurs

Scarecrow Video Screening Room:

They Live (John Carpenter, 1988) Fri Only
Zeder (Pupi Avati, 1983) Sat Only
Kenny & Co. (Don Coscarelli, 1976) Sun Only
The Brood (David Cronenberg, 1979) Mon Only
Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968) Tues Only
Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, 1942) Weds Only
Curse of the Cat People (Robert Wise, 1944) Weds Only
Gary Larson’s Tales from the Far Side (Marv Newland, 1994) Thurs Only

Landmark Seven Gables:

Meru (Jimmy Chin & Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Film Center:

The Quay Brothers in 35mm (Stephen & Timothy Quay) Fri-Thurs 35mm
Final Girls (Todd Strauss-Schulson) Fri-Sun Only

Sundance Cinemas Seattle:

Yakuza Apocalypse (Takashi Miike) Fri-Thurs
Peace Officer (Brad Barber & Scott Christopherson) Fri-Thurs
Meet the Patels (Ravi & Geeta Patel) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Cinema Uptown:

Goodnight Mommy (Ulrich Seidel) Fri-Thurs
Seattle Polish Film Festival Fri-Thurs Full Program
Final Girls (Todd Strauss-Schulson) Mon-Thurs Only
A Brilliant Young Mind (Morgan Matthews) Fri-Thurs
The Heart of the Game (Ward Serrill) Tues Only
This Changes Everything (Avi Lewis) Weds Only Naomi Klein in person

Varsity Theatre:

Time Out of Mind (Oren Moverman) Fri-Thurs
Trash (Stephen Daldry & Christian Duurvoort) Fri-Thurs
Finders Keepers (Bryan Carberry & Clay Tweel) Fri-Thurs
Seattle Latino Film Festival Fri-Sun
The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies Extended Edition (Peter Jackson) Tues Only