Robert Redford a triumph in All is Lost

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RADIOMAN: Movie shoots attract gawkers and hangers on. Here’s one who became a legend in New York, friendly with many stars and a self-styled expert on the movies. For over 20 years he’s shown up at locations on his bicycle, a radio hanging from his neck (hence his name) and talking about “Marty” and others like they’re pals. Many talk about him for this film, including George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep (who calls him “fabulous”). Tom Hanks comes over and greets him on camera, although others aren’t so friendly. And when he shows up in Los Angeles and can’t get into the Academy Awards, he learns his real status.

The former homeless drunk lives in a cluttered, dirty apartment but spouts optimism and intelligence. And gets into the movies. He’s had small parts in over 100, some of which have been found for this film, including an actual speaking part in a Robert Pattinson film that became in the final edit just a brief background glimpse. Doesn’t faze him though. He’s more visible in Marty’s Shutter Island and that’s what makes him content. (The Cinematheque) 2 ½ out of 5             


SEXCULA: This is a one-time showing of a local film that’s gained a legendary reputation although it may have been screened only once before. And that wasn’t even to the public, just to cast and crew. It’s a sex film financed back in 1974 by a local developer who had some extra money on hand. Deep Throat and others had found a market in the U.S.  for films with graphic sex and Canada was offering tax incentives.  So, this oddity was produced with a Frankenstein theme. A sex partner is built in a lab but can’t get it up, as they say, and Countess Sexcula is brought in to fix him.

I’ve read that many things went wrong and short cuts were taken. When an actress found her costume was off being laundered, she played naked. When the film came out too short, extra minutes were filmed with different actors. They became a dream sequence. The director says they didn’t really know what they were doing. The VanCity Theatre calls Friday night’s show a “world premiere.”


MORE  HORROR:  You can keep your early Halloween celebration going with these five other films at the VanCity Theatre. 

The Devils is Ken Russell’s attack on religious hypocrisy featuring Vanessa Redgrave as a deranged nun. (Fri  at 10:30).

HAXAN, Witchcraft Through the Ages is a 1922 Danish film that was widely banned. It’s said to be a “mind-blowing cult classic” about superstition, demons  and burnings at the stake.  (Sat at 8 and Halloween night at 7:30).


Black Sunday  is a 1960 film from Italy that made Barbara Steele a star and revealed Mario Bava as a master of creepy mood and atmosphere. A vampire is executed and, 200 years later, accidentally revived. (Sun. at 10:00 pm)

Inferno by Mario Bava’s protégé Dario Argento, is considered a masterpiece of dread and horror. A woman in New York is convinced witches live in her building. She takes a look. (Tues. 08:45 pm).

Macario: This is part a whole evening of film, music and hot chocolate the night before our Halloween to honor Mexico’s  Day of the Dead Festival. The film is based on a folk tale about a peasant who wants a turkey dinner and makes a deal with the Grim Reaper. It was nominated for an Oscar as best foreign language film back in 1961. (Oct 30 06:15 pm)

There’s more information on all of them at


Also now playing …

THE COUNSELOR: Cormac McCarthy takes his pessimistic view of humanity straight to a screenplay (no novel first) and Ridley Scott directs a dream cast including Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and Javier Bardem in a story about a lawyer who dabbles in drug trafficking. It wasn’t previewed for the Vancouver Observer so I can’t say how good it is but I’m worried about the many reviews online. The word “dull” keeps coming up. Todd McCarthy, no relation that I know of, calls it “a bummer.” (International Village and many suburban theatres)

NOTE: All images are movie stills (or a poster) provided by the producers. They are the exclusive property of their copyright owners.


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Angry history in Official Secrets, dubious flash in Hustlers and a muddle in The Goldfinch

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VIFF announces the opener, closer and a very promising schedule for this year’s festival

A scene from Parasite, the Cannes winner that will be also screen at VIFF
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