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VIFF Centre offers $8 Spring Break youth prices for Beyond Ghibli films and other screenings

Studio Ghibli
Makoto Shinkai's box-office success Suzume is part of the VIFF Centre's Beyond Ghibli series.

A Vancouver independent theatre is giving kids and teenagers a chance to see movies at cut-rate prices later this month. The VIFF Centre (1181 Seymour Street) has reduced admissions for youths to $8 during Spring Break from March 18 to March 30.

The main attraction for many will be a series called Beyond Ghibli. The title refers to the Tokyo-based animation house, Studio Ghibli, which has made five of Japan’s Top 10 grossing anime features.

The VIFF Centre will screen Hiroyuki Imaishi’s Promare, which was described as “wildly entertaining and blaringly ridiculous” by British critic Robbie Collin. According to the theatre website, it’s about a “firefighting idiot” who must save the world after a group called the “Mad Burnish” shows up.

Beyond Ghibli also includes Atsuko Ishizuka’s Goodbye Don Glees!, centering on teenage misfit friends Roma, Toto, and Drop. They must try to prove their innocence after being falsely accused of setting a forest on fire.

Beyond Ghibli
Belle received a glowing review from New York Times critic Manohla Dargis.

Beyond Ghibli includes Belle

A third film in the series, Mamoru Hosada’s Belle, is about a shy student who becomes a renowned singer in a virtual world. New York Times critic Manohla Dargis declared: “Colours and hearts explode in Belle, and your head might too while watching this gorgeous anime”.

For basketball fans, Beyond Ghibli is offering Takehiko Inoue’s The First Slam Dunk. According to New York Times regular contributor Calum Marsh, the film “feels like real basketball”.

“Expertly staged and beautifully rendered using a combination of computer-generated imagery and traditional hand-drawn animation, it’s often so spectacular that I am eager to watch it again,” Marsh noted.

Three other films—Blue Giant, 5 Centimeters Per Second, and Suzume—round out the series.

Beyond Ghibli
The VIFF Centre describes Blue Giant as “the definitive jazz movie of the last decade”.

Yuzuru Tachikawa’s “concert in the theatre”

The VIFF Centre describes Blue Giant as “electrifying jazz anime” and “the definitive jazz movie of the last decade” with a score composed by pianist Hiromi Uehar. Director Yuzuru Tachikawa’s film is about  a young man named Dai, who wants to become the next John Coltrane. So, he leaves his small town for the big city of Tokyo, forming a trio with pianist Yukinori and drummer Shunji in what Tachikawa called a “concert in the theatre”.

Meanwhile, famed director Makoto Shinkai helmed the two other films, 5 Centimeters Per Second and the better-known Suzume. The first, which will have its B.C. theatrical film, is one of his early films about falling in love, told in three vignettes. Suzume also deals with first love in a complex coming-of-age film that includes, according to the VIFF Centre, “a mischievous cat from another dimension, a hero who is fused with a chair, a 17-year-old heroine dealing with childhood loss, a snaky red monster portending doom…”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Leslie Felperin described Suzume as “soaring in scope and cute as a kitten”.

Beyond Ghibli
Slam Dunk offers plenty of realistic basketball passing and shooting.

VIFF Centre screens nature documentaries

Spring Break pricing will also be available at the VIFF Centre for the coming-of-age feature Uproar about a mix-race Maori kid coping with bullying at a boys’ school. It stars Julian Dennison (Hunt for the Wilderpeople), who received great reviews for his performance.

In addition, the VIFF Centre will screen two nature documentaries: The Great Bear Rainforest and Secrets of the Sea in its Spring Break pricing plan. In the past, the two documentaries have only been available in IMAX theatres. The VIFF Centre will offer relaxed screenings of both films at 11:30 a.m. on March 23 and 24 on a pay-what-you-can basis.

Click the movie-title links above for showtimes and tickets. Follow Pancouver on Twitter @PancouverMedia and on Instagram @PancouverMedia.

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Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

Pancouver editor Charlie Smith has worked as a Vancouver journalist in print, radio, and television for more than three decades.

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We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.