Period Dramas at VIFF 2013

The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is back from 26 September – 11 October and here are eight period dramas that will be shown:

  • Camille Claudel, 1915 – 97 min.
    “French actress Juliette Binoche plays Camille Claudel some years after the famous sculptress was committed to a benevolent asylum by her family. Pinning her hopes on a longed-for visit from her brother, Camille keeps herself apart from the other inmates and for the most part enjoys a degree of trust and respect from the nuns, but her composure is fragile and she remains bitter and paranoid when the subject of her old lover Auguste Rodin comes up. Most tragically of all, she refuses to return to her work.”

    • Sept 27 @ 4:30PM (SFU Woodwards)
    • Oct 4 @ 6:45PM (International Village #8)

(See trailer here)

  • A Field in England – 91 min.
    “On the other side of the hedge, Royalists are in pitched battle with Roundheads at the height of the English Civil War. But in this meadow, cowardly scrivener and astronomer Whitehead (Shearsmith) finds himself in the company of a trio of deserters, infantrymen sick of fighting and repairing to the nearest ale-house.”

    • Sept 28 @ 11:30PM (Rio Theatre)
    • Sept 29 @ 4:20PM (International Village #10)

(See trailer here)

  • Gold – 101 min.
    “A band of German immigrants traverse the wilds of the Cariboo on the Klondike Gold Rush trail. Germans love the interior of British Columbia and it’s fascinating to see our province’s history through their adoring eyes.”

    • Sept 28 @ 11AM (SFU Woodwards)
    • Oct 11 @ 6:45PM (Centre for Performing Arts)
  • The Invisible Woman – 111 min.
    “Nelly, a happily married mother and school teacher, is haunted by her past. Her memories, provoked by remorse and guilt, take us back in time to follow the story of her relationship with Dickens, with whom she discovered an exciting but fragile complicity. Dickens—45 years old, married with children, famous, controlling and emotionally isolated within his success—falls for the 18-year-old Nelly, who comes from a family of actors. The theatre—Dickens was a brilliant amateur actor—was a vital arena for the writer, a man who was always more emotionally coherent in his work, or on stage, than in his day-to-day life. As Nelly becomes the focus of Dickens’ passion, and his muse, secrecy is the price that both must pay. But for Nelly, that secrecy extends to invisibility—any public acknowledgement of the truth in rumours of their affair would bring scandal and ruin to all.”

    • Sept 29 @ 6PM (Centre for Perfoming Arts)
    • Oct 3 @ 10:30AM (International Village #9)
  • Measuring the World (Die Vermessung der Welt) – 123 min.
    “Mathematician Gauss (1777-1855), a child prodigy born into a poor family, conceived his major discoveries by the age of 17—all without ever leaving his home state. Explorer von Humboldt (1769 -1859), born into privilege, set out to travel the world over to examine “everything that didn’t have legs nor fear to get away from him.” Very different in so many ways—Gauss was obsessed with women, von Humboldt was seemingly asexual; von Humboldt rejoiced when the death of his mother freed him to travel, Gauss’ was happy to have his mother live with him for the last 22 years of her life—they shared a burning desire for knowledge and an unquenchable thirst for measuring the world in all its contradictory glory.”

    • Sept 30 @ 4:10PM (International Village #10)
    • Oct 3 @ 6:15PM (International Village #9)
    • Oct 5 @ 3:40PM (International Village #9)

  • Michael Kohlhaas – 122 min.
    ‘So begins Heinrich von Kleist’s classic novella about principles, law and revenge. As the book’s synopsis reads: “Based on actual historic events, this thrilling saga of violence and retribution bridged the gap between medieval and modern literature, and speaks so profoundly to the contemporary spirit that it has been the basis of numerous plays, movies, and novels. It has become, in fact, a classic tale: that of the honourable man forced to take the law into his own hands. In this incendiary prototype, a minor tax dispute intensifies explosively, until the eponymous hero finds the forces of an entire kingdom, and even the great Martin Luther, gathered against him. But soon even Luther comes to echo the growing army of peasants asking, Isn’t Kohlhaas right?”’

    • Sept 30 @ 9:15PM (Centre for Perfoming Arts)
    • Oct 11 @ 1:30PM (Vancouver Playhouse)

(See trailer here)

  • The Story of My Death (Historia de la meva mort) – 148 min.
    Spanish? Catalan?
    “An imagining of life at the turn of the 18th century, when rationalism gives way to Romanticism, as told through the journey of the notorious libertine Casanova (art curator Vicenç Altaió) and his valet (Lluis Serrat, also known as Sancho, and never better). Simply put, they live life (The Story of My Life being Casanova’s memoirs), encountering artists and women—beginning at a Swiss chateau and eventually traveling to the Carpathians, where they end up in the presence of another famous figure of the period, Dracula (Eliseu Huertas, the most originally depicted Vlad the Impaler in film history).”

    • Oct 1 @ 10:30AM (Vancity Theatre)
    • Oct 4 @ 9PM (International Village #8)
  • Ludwig II – 140 min.
    “Ludwig’s unconventional genius manifests itself in his creativity and imagination. He backs Wagner and his music when the latter was being shunned; he seeks peace and beauty rather than war; and, as his mind seemingly crumbles, he inspires and funds the creation of two of Germany’s most romantic architectural achievements: the castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau.”

    • Oct 7 @ 9PM (Centre for Performing Arts)
    • Oct 10 @ 4PM (Rio Theatre)

(See the English subtitles here)

In order to see these films, you must first purchase a VIFF membership for $2 (one-time fee). Ticket prices vary:

  • single: $13
  • student (18+)/senior (65+): $11
  • weekday matinée (before 6PM): $11

You can also buy packages for at least 5 tickets, which would save you from $1-3. Tickets are available at the box office or online.


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