Beware of Mr. Baker begins with the legendary, but volatile, drummer cracking filmmaker Jay Bulger on the nose with his cane. The film, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the SXSW festival, includes interviews with The Police’s Stewart Copeland and Rush’s Neil Peart about Baker.
Also on the bill are Bobcaygeon, Andy Keen’s concert movie featuring the Tragically Hip, and My Father and the Man in Black, Jonathan Holiff’s documentary about his father, who was manager for Johnny Cash.
From the opera world comes the documentary Wagner’s Dream, in which Canadian Robert Lepage prepares his otherworldly production of the Ring Cycle for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. American filmmaker Susan Froemke captures the action behind the scenes at the Met.
There are profiles of conductor Herbert von Karajan, Canadian pianist Marika Bournaki and French singer Serge Gainsbourg.
World music documentaries explore the sounds of Senegal and Algeria, while Jai Bhim Comrade, from filmmaker Anand Patwardhan looks at the rich musical culture of India’s Dalit underclass.
The Vancouver Film Festival, which runs Sept. 27 to Oct. 12, has already unveiled its animation and Cannes program. The Cannes program highlights selections from the prestigious French festival, including Michael Haneke’s Amour, winner of the Palme d'Or and Matteo Garrone’s satire Reality, which won the grand jury prize.
Animated films featured at VIFF:
- World premiere of Persistence of Vision, a documentary about British filmmaker Richard Williams.
- North American premiere of subversive Hong Kong hit McDull: The Pork of Music by Brian Tse.
- A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman by Bill Jones, Jeff Simpson and Ben Timlett, with help from Monty Python alumni.
- A 3D restoration of Chinese classic The Monkey King – Uproar in Heaven on its 50th anniversary.
A full lineup for the festival will be released Sept. 5.