Cinephiles heed the call of the great indoors

Blistering in the sun isn’t everyone’s bag, especially with so much sweet on-screen action hitting the arthouses and multiplexes this summer

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      “Ever since the beginning of time,” a wise Monty Burns once said, “man has yearned to destroy the sun.” We haven’t quite managed to do it yet, but ducking into a theatre is one way of temporarily escaping that monstrous ball of UV death stubbornly hanging above our heads. In that spirit, here are some of this season’s cinematic highlights. Dark room, big screen required.

      The Vancouver Irish Film Festival

      The city’s newest fest takes its first tentative steps with a single screening of The Drummer & the Keeper at Vancity Theatre on Saturday (June 16), followed, not that surprisingly, by a party at the same venue. Organizers promise to expand VIRFF to three days later in the year.

      The Taiwanese Film Festival

      Kicking off its 12th year with Father, a portrait of glove-puppet master Chen Hsi-huang, TWFF brings 10 feature titles to Vancity Theatre June 22 to 24, the acclaimed Great Buddha+ among them. Meanwhile, the Landmark Cinemas in New Westminster play host to Formosa 3D on June 23.

      The Bell Media Hot Docs Showcase 2018

      With its unwieldy title in tow, Hot Docs returns to Vancity Theatre with lingering questions about the Holocaust (The Accountant of Auschwitz), rousing blows against patriarchy (Afghan Cycles), and at least one portrait of an ex-marine powerlifter transitioning from male to female (Transformer). The four-day fest begins on July 6.

      Outdoor movies

      For its 10th year, the free Evo Summer Cinema Series brings the big inflatable screen to Second Beach at Stanley Park with a roster of family favourites, including Stand by Me, Mean Girls, Spice World, Grease, and Titanic. The weekly event begins on July 3 with The Princess Bride. And if you happened to miss Pixar’s wonderful Coco, then pull up a blanket at Connaught Park on August 26.

      Family budget

      Canada’s biggest theatre chain invites you to “beat the summer heat” with a series of family movies screening on Saturdays and Wednesdays at the Cineplex Odeon International Village—for a mere $2.99! Starting with The Land Before Time on June 23, titles include Despicable Me 3, Captain Underpants, The Princess Bride, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and Paddington 2.

      Bollywood Madness

      In the wake of his latest film, Race 3, megastar Salman Khan visits Canada for the first time in 12 years with a live music-and-dance spectacle featuring, among other guests, Sonakshi Sinha, Manish Paul, and the Tigress of Bollywood, Katrina Kaif. Da-Bangg the Tour—Reloaded lands at the PNE Coliseum on July 1.

      Mr. Nice Guy

      In honour of his 62nd birthday, that fellow from Bosom Buddies gets his own retrospective when Hanksfest begins on July 6 at the Park Theatre with A League of Their Own. The series continues through the month with Big, Apollo 13, and Forrest Gump. Each film plays for a week.


      The venerable film institute continues its mammoth Bergman 100 festival with titles including Hour of the Wolf, Persona, and The Shame. Meanwhile, a Philippe Garrel retrospective begins on July 12 with the Vancouver premiere of the French filmmaker’s latest, Lover for a Day—introduced by Phil­ippe’s brother, Thierry.

      And if the postman always rings twice, then film noir comes knocking year after year. Among the classics and curios coming to the Cinematheque in August are Out of the Past, Strangers on a Train, and Edward Dmytryk’s Crossfire.

      Eyes peeled!

      Some of the buzzier indie flicks to look out for: July finds Gus Van Sant and Joaquin Phoenix reuniting to tell the story of quadraplegic cartoonist John Callahan in the brilliantly titled Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, while 27-year-old boy wonder Bo Burnham makes his directorial debut with the critical grand slam Eighth Grade—exact dates for both still to be confirmed.

      August is all about grrrl power with Crystal Moselle’s semifictional look at New York all-female skate crew Skate Kitchen (August 17), while the underdressed servers of sports bar Double Whammies band together in the Sundance hit Support the Girls (August 24).

      Want more?

      We already know the bad news—and how—but both Metamorphosis and Earth: Seen From the Heart investigate the positive trajectories humans might pursue in the face of climate change, starting June 26 at Vancity Theatre. A little less urgently, two titans of the fashion world receive their close-ups with Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist (June 29) and McQueen (late August).

      Finally, Molly Parker hits a career high in Madeline's Madeline, while the last years of a certain icon are captured in Nico, 1988—both coming to Vancity in August.