VIFF Repeats brings back Vancouver International Film Festival popular picks

The cinematic paradise/buffet/gauntlet/vortex/what-have-you known as the Vancouver International Film Festival comes to a close today. I'm sure there'll be sighs of sadness, and perhaps relief for those who attended all—or almost all—16 days of the extensive festival.

But it ends on a strong note as there's a lineup of great films today.

(Some of the films that are playing today that I personally enjoyed include Michael Haneke's stunning and deeply affecting Amour, the beautifully made documentary about French gay elders The Invisible Ones, and the documentary Things Left Behind about the Museum of Anthropology's hiroshima exhibit.)

It's also the last time the VIFF will be at the Empire Granville 7 (which closes on November 4). As the last surviving movie theatre from Theatre Row, it truly is the end of an era.

Melancholy aside, there's much to celebrate. There's the closing gala screening of Holy Motors at the Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts tonight (October 12). The screening will be preceded by an awards ceremony that'll include awards for most popular films, as voted for by VIFFgoers.

Speaking of VIFFgoers, some of the most dedicated viewers are here in our own city. If you've seen some of the huge lineups trailing down Granville Street, often forming more than an hour before a screening, you'll know what I'm talking about. (I've even heard about some acts of surprising aggression, and I myself experienced being shoved aside by an impatient patron when a volunteer couldn't find my ticket. Movie rage?)

An unfortunate result of some of those lineups may have been sold-out screenings.

But fear not, there's hope.

The festival may be over but some of the most popular films are being rescreened at Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour Street) in the VIFF Repeats series, which runs from Saturday (October 13) to Thursday (October 18).

It's great for those who may have felt overwhelmed by the idea of sifting through the huge volume of film titles to pick and choose from during the festival. These are some of the festival's most popular films, so the picking and choosing has already been done for you.

The schedule has slightly shifted since it was first announced, so it's best to double-check the website for dates and times.

The lineup includes the The Hunt by Celebration director Thomas Vinterberg (which was in high demand at the festival); Rust and Bone, starring Marion Cotillard; Revolution, Rob Stewart's followup to Sharkwater, and No, starring Gael García Bernal.

Wagner's Dream will appeal not only to opera fans but to anyone with an interest in design or sculpture. The documentary focuses on a visually stunning, groundbreaking, and controversial 90,000-pound stage set.

Meanwhile, the documentary Side by Side: The Science, Art and Impact of Digital Cinema features interviews with David Lynch, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, James Cameron, and more (with Keanu Reeves as host).

The documentary Nuala takes a look at the life of Irish journalist and author Nuala O'Faolain while the Canadian documentary The World Before Her compares two young women in India: one is a beauty pageant contestant, the other is a right-wing Hindu fundamentalist.

Other selections include The Iran Job, When the Night, A Royal Affair, This Ain't California, and The Angels' Share.

And there's more good news.

Vancity Theatre program coordinator Tom Charity has informed me that they'll be bringing back the following films: Rebelle (which is Canada's official entry for best foreign-language Oscar), Tabu, Holy Motors, The Ambassador, Keep the Lights On, The Invisible War (one I also highly recommend for its indepth and often shocking exploration of rape in the army), and Museum Hours.

So keep watching the Vancity Theatre website for updates, as you'll get a second shot at catching some of the titles that you missed at the festival.

Hope you enjoyed this year's 31st edition of the film festival. We'd love to hear what your favourite films were.

Something else to keep in mind is that there are plenty of other film festivals to take in this fall season, including the Amnesty International Film Festival, Vancouver Jewish Film Festival, and more. Fall film festival season has clearly only just begun.

You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at

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