VIFF 2014: What Are We Doing Here? familiar yet fun

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      What Are We Doing Here? (Canada)  

      There’s nothing unfamiliar in these raw materials about young Quebecers pushing 30 when they suddenly lose the most charismatic member of their group. But in her hugely entertaining third feature, writer-director Julie Hivon exerts such masterful control over script, settings, her actors, and abrupt shifts in tone that the content hardly matters. VIFFgoers will recognize up-and-comer Sophie Desmerais, playing the girlfriend left behind, from last year’s Sarah Prefers To Run; they will also know Charles-Alexandre Dubé, as a sad-faced zookeeper, from Starbuck and Liverpool. The many scenes with animals are remarkable in their own right.

      SFU, September 29 (6:15 p.m.) and October 1 (1:30 p.m.)