As the city turns solidly into the second week of social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, we assume you’re about halfway through your third re-watch of Friends.
And that’s all well and good—you have to do you. But hey, if you ever want to take a break from whining (Ross), bad jokes (Chandler) and flat characterization that was blatantly behind its time even 25 years ago (everyone except Phoebe), there are other options.
Including (and here’s the segue you knew was coming!) the Vancouver International Film Festival’s new VIFF Streaming program, in which audiences pay $12 to stream some of the festival’s best films.
Half of the fee goes right back to VIFF to help the festival (which depends on year-round revenue from the Vancity Theatre and its many events).
The first two offerings both turned heads at last fall's screenings.
Bacurau, from Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho, follows the fictional eponymous town, which is beset by strange events following the death of the town matriarch. The “weird Western” is currently holding an 88 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
There’s also The Wild Goose Lake, a Chinese crime drama by writer-director Diao Yinan. The film follows a mid-level crime boss freshly released from prison who quickly finds himself right back into trouble. It's earned a 90 percent rating on RT and sparkling reviews including this one from Variety, which calls it “a definitive Chinese crime noir.”
So instead of subjecting yourself to Janice’s annoying cackle and Gunther’s overt creepiness, do yourself a favour and take in a couple compelling films (and feel good about yourself in the process).