Art receives its deserved big-screen treatment at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival. Here are a list of films featuring various artists from legendary Canadian folk artist Maude Lewis to renowned photographer Harry Benson.
Maudie (OPENING GALA FILM)
Thu. Sep 29, 6:30 pm, Centre for ArtsSat. Oct 1, 1:00 pm, Playhouse
Mon. Oct 10, 6:30 pm, Playhouse
The life of legendary Canadian folk artist Maude Lewis is painted in exquisite detail in this impeccably acted, incredibly affecting biopic. At the beating heart of Aisling Walsh’s film is Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky), who not only captures the contorted physicality of this self-taught painter, who contended with rheumatoid arthritis, but also exudes the creative spirit raging within her despite her debilitated frame. “Hawkins' performance splendidly carries the day.”--Hollywood Reporter
Tim Marrianan, Richard Dewey
Fri. Sep 30, 1:30 pm, SFU-GCA
Thu. Oct 13, 8:30 pm, Vancity
The “burn out vs. fade-away” debate will likely be restoked by this account of the rise and reinvention of late performance artist/sculptor Chris Burden. An incendiary art scene figure notorious for self-punishment (including being shot and crucified) in the 70s, Burden seemed an unlikely candidate to spend his later years crafting colourful models and bonafide tourist attractions. Such surprising twists in his trajectory make Timothy Marrinan and Richard Dewey's profile all the more transfixing.
The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg
Fri. Sep 30, 3:45 pm, SFU-GCA
Mon. Oct 10, 7:15 pm, Intl Village 9
A power broker who forged ties between the West and Communist China... An art collector with a staggering 2,200 pieces in his collection... A mentor to revolutionary artists like Ai Weiwei, Zeng Fanzhi and Cao Fei... Influential, imposing and mysterious, Uli Sigg is an exceptional subject for a documentary and Michael Schindhelm's telling of his story is suitably compelling. This isn't just a portrait of an extraordinary figure: it's an eye-opening peek into the intrigue and splendour of the art world.
WEBSITE AND TRAILER: http://www.ulisiggmovie.com/en/
Don't Blink: Robert Frank
Sat. Oct 8, 1:30 pm, SFU-GCA
Wed. Oct 12, 8:15 pm, Intl Village 8
Photographer, filmmaker and Beat Generation icon Robert Frank is the subject of Laura Israel's long-overdue examination of one of the 20th century's most protean artists. Roving from New York to Frank's summer home in Mabou, Nova Scotia, Israel captures the 91-year-old Frank at his most intimate and candid. “This compact, fast-moving portrait of the artist proceeds through a flurry of images... You leave with a vivid sense of the man’s living presence... This is an impressive achievement.”--New York Times
Harry Benson: Shoot First
Matthew Miele, Justin Bare
Sat. Oct 8, 9:00 pm, Intl Village 9
Wed. Oct 12, 11:00 am, Intl Village 9
A Zelig-like character who’s witnessed every major cultural and political event of the last 50 years, Scottish photographer Harry Benson, now 86 and still working, tells his story in Matthew Miele and Justin Bare's fascinating doc. Photographer of the last 11 US presidents, chronicler of the Beatles' 1964 American tour and the man standing next to Bobby Kennedy on the night he was shot, Benson--who took intimate portraits of everyone from Winston Churchill to Sharon Stone--is truly one for the ages.
Where the Universe Sings: The Spiritual Journey of Lawren Harris
Nancy Lang, Peter Raymont
Sun. Oct 2, 4:00 pm, Intl Village 10
Tue. Oct 4, 6:45 pm, Intl Village 9
Lawren Harris was born to a life of privilege in one of Toronto's wealthiest families. After studying in Europe, he returned to Canada determined to break free of the restrictive academic painting style prevalent at the time, boldly expressing his radical vision of our country with vibrant colour. Peter Raymont and newcomer Nancy Lang explore what drove this complex character, a co-founder of the Group of Seven and the most valued artist in Canadian history, collected by many (including Steve Martin).
Thu. Oct 6, 9:30 pm, SFU-GCA
Tue. Oct 11, 1:00 pm, Intl Village 8
Taking the subject of amnesia and turning it upside down, Fiona Tan's drama is a meditation on memory, illusion and 21st-century Europe--not to mention a spellbinding mystery. A man known only as “Missing Person” wanders Europe, searching for his identity while the continent around him roils... Tan tears up the playbook and scatters the pieces; the result is dazzling, mind-bending cinema. “An explosion of ideas and imagery... [It] essentially attempts to rewrite the rules of cinema.”—Screen