The Vancouver International Film Festival 2016 — a preview


Tomorrow marks the beginning of the 35th Vancouver International Film Festival (September 29 – October 14). I’ve been attending every year since 1994, when I was an editor at one of the UBC student papers, so this will be my 23rd year at VIFF.

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The Ten Commandments celebrates its 60th anniversary


This is a year for Bible-movie anniversaries. Intolerance turned 100 last month, The Bible: In the Beginning… turns 50 on Wednesday, and The Nativity Story turns 10 in December. But the most significant Bible movie celebrating the end of yet another decade on our screens would have to be the second and most famous version of The Ten Commandments, which premiered 60 years ago in the fall of 1956.

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Box office: Denzel Washington has a Magnificent weekend


Denzel Washington scored one of the biggest openings of his career this week, with a film that proved remakes of classic movies don’t have to be flops.

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Prophet Joseph — episodes thirty-nine and forty


Synopsis. The once-bald priests of Amon, now hairy and bearded after their stint in prison, are summoned to the court of Akhenaten. Joseph speaks to the Egyptians in the building that used to be Amon’s temple, and, seeing Rudamon in the crowd, tells the officer to stay by his side from here on. Joseph’s wife Asenath discovers who Zuleikha is and confronts Joseph with the fact that the woman who once owned him has become a beggar while he ignored her. An angel appears to Joseph and tells him he must marry Zuleikha. Zuleikha is brought before the court and, after Joseph prays to God, both Zuleikha’s sight and her youth are restored to her. The chief priest of Amon, who has experience tricking people into believing that gods have acted, refuses to believe that the miracle is genuine, but at least one priest does believe. Zuleikha goes to another room with the women, and tells them that — surprise! — she doesn’t want to see Joseph right now. Instead, she wants to be alone with God for now.

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“Hollywood’s highest-ranking Evangelical Christian” — and a key figure in the Bible-movie revival — leaves Paramount


From Darren Aronofsky’s Noah to Timur Bekmambetov’s Ben-Hur, if there was any major Hollywood studio that committed itself to the recent Bible-movie revival, it was Paramount. (Fox came a close second by producing Exodus: Gods and Kings and distributing Son of God.) And Paramount owed its interest in the genre partly to the fact that its vice chairman, Rob Moore, was an evangelical Christian.

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The Hollars producer Tom Rice on looking for Christian themes in movies that aren’t necessarily “Christian movies”


Tom Rice is a Christian. He is also a movie producer. But that doesn’t mean he makes “Christian movies”. Instead, he says, he makes movies that reflect his Christian worldview on a broader level, and to date that has meant making uplifting films like Begin Again (original title: Can a Song Save Your Life?) and The Way Way Back, as well as grittier films like the gambling-addict drama Mississippi Grind.

Rice’s newest film The Hollars — which expands to three hundred theatres this week after opening in limited release a few weeks ago — is another case in point.

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