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the review: October 1999

the review

Volume III No. 10

October 1999

Editor:  Ed Farolan

The 18th Annual Vancouver International Film Festival ends October 10th, while The International Writers' Festival  is underway with preparations for events from Oct. 20-24.

Our reviews this month are films and interviews from the Vancouver International Film Festival; two plays, Candide and Summerfolk from the Royal National Theatre of London (England); the dance rave of this millenium's end, Riverdance; Vancouver Symphony Orchestra 's MILLENIUM CRUISE ; Verdi's Rigoletto from Vancouver Opera;  Ballet British Columbia in the Vancouver premiere of The National Ballet of Canada's new production of Swan Lake ; and The Vancouver East Cultural Centre's Doing Leonard Cohen.

Calendar of Events


The 18th Annual Vancouver International Film Festival opened September 24th and runs through October 10th with over 400 screenings of 275 films from more than 50 countries. The films include: Dragons and Tigers: The Cinemas of East Asia, the largest ongoing programme of East Asian films in the Americas; Canadian Images, the best 1999 shorts and features, with an emphasis on Western Canadian films; Nonfiction features of 1999, pver 30 feature length documentary films; Walk on the Wild Side, midnight series featuring outrageous films for young audiences; Cinema of Our Time, the best new films from over 25 countries; The Best of Britain; Spotlight on France; Archival Series; Tributes.

At its annual media reception at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Georgia last September 9th, Festival Director Alan Franey announced the Festival theme: Same Planet, Different Worlds. The Festival will open with Khyentse Norbu's The Cup from Tibet/Bhutan.  The Anniversary Gala will be Jeremy Podeswa's Canadian film The Five Senses and the Festival will close with Cuba's Life is to Whistle, directed by Fernando Perez.

The 14th Annual Film and Television Trade Forum, bringing together some of the world's experts on film and TV, runs from September 29th to October 1st with New Filmmakers' Day on October 2nd.

Venues : The Ridge, Pacific Cinematheque, Judge McGill Theatre (Robson Square), Van Centre I & II.  Other venues to be announced later.

Tickets:  Adult $8, Seniors $6, Matinees $6.  Passes: VIP Pass $575 (includes Trade Forum); Express Pass $500 (includes reserved seatings); Full series Discount Pass $225; VISA Gold Pass $210; Senior and Student Pass $150; Daytime Pass $100; Student Weekday Pass $75. Visa charge by phone 685-8297 starting September 13th, or order by web at

Nations, Pollinations, and Dislocations: Americas on the Verge: Selected works by Latin American filmmakers and Latino and non-Latino Canadian and U.S. filmmakers. This curated film and video showcase at Pacific Cinemateque begins August 15, 1999, continues for a period of 12 weeks, and is part of a larger series of screenings, visual art exhibits, dance and performing arts events taking place at various locations throughout Vancouver. A symposium and film screenings will be held at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design on October 29-31.

Unless otherwise indicated, all screenings are held at PACIFIC CINEMATHEQUE (1131 Howe St., between Helmcken & Davie),Vancouver, British Columbia.

September 26 – October 10

The following films will be shown in cooperation and with the generous support of the Vancouver International Film Festival. Please check Festival program for film descriptions and playing times.

—The Southern Cross / La Cruz del Sur. Patricio Guzmán Spain 1992 | fiction | colour | 35mm | 80'

—The Day You Will Love Me / El día que me quieras. Leandro Katz U.S. 1997 | experimental documentary | colour | 16mm | 30'

—Corpus. Lourdes Portillo U.S. 1998 | documentary | colour | 16mm | 47'

—Haragia. Bego Vicario Spain 1999 | experimental | colour | 12'

Sunday, October 17 Chiapas: History, Memory, Action

7: 00

—Reign of the Dog. Ruth Hayes U.S. 1996 | animation | colour | video | 16'

"Native North American and South American nostalgic songs blend together with images of the life and the uprising of native peoples in Chiapas, creating a powerful visual and musical documentary"

—A Place Called Chiapas. Nettie Wild Canada/Mexico | 1988 | documentary | colour | 35mm | 93'


—Nishin. Juan Balmaceda, Keith Herrick Canada 1994 | music video | colour | 3:30

—The Gift. Gary Farmer Canada/Mexico 1998 | documentary | colour | video | 48'

—Cases of Violence Against Indigenous Communities in Chiapas /Casos de violencia contra comunidades indígenas en Chiapas. Carlos Martínez Suárez (Jury Prize, First International Short Film Festival Mexico 1998) Mexico 1998 | documentary | colour | video | 53'

Sunday, October 24 Imaging and Imagining New Borders and Nations


—Performing the Border. Ursula Biemann U.S./Mexico 1999 | experimental | documentary | colour | video | 42'

—Fronterilandia / Frontierland. Rubén Ortiz Torres, Jesse Lerner U.S./Mexico 1995 | experimental | colour | 16mm | 77'"a parody of ethnographic documentary. Invasion of Mexico"

[see also ref. to "Mexperimental" in Cine Acción and Nativos]


—Watching. Marcos Arriaga Canada 1994 | experimental | colour | video | 7'

—Cruceros/Crossroads. Ramiro Puerta Canada/Colombia 1994 | fiction | colour | 16mm | 28' Two documentaries by Ardele Lister

—Behold the Promised Land. U.S./Canada 1991 | documentary | colour | video | 22'

—Conditional Love. Canada/U.S. 1997 | documentary | colour | video | 60'

Friday, October 29 **

7:00 —An evening of Experimental Shorts.

Selected by Enrique Ortiga, Latin America's foremost curator of short film and video. Video In Studios, 1965 Main St.

Sunday, October 31 Growing Up In the Americas

7: 00

—Máscaras/Masques/Masks. Elisa Rivas Canada 1996 | animation | colour | video | 8'

—Three experimental shorts by Ximena Cuevas Before Television / Antes de la televisión and Encountering TV / Encuentro con la televisión. Mexico 1983-1993 | fiction | b&w | video | 2'

---Calzada de Kansas. Serie "Dormimundo" México 1999 | experimental | colour | video | 4'

—Cuentos de mi niñez/Tales From my Childhood. Francisca Durán Canada/Chile 1991 | fiction | colour | video | 9'

—Maroon. Jorge Manzano (w. Ken Skunner & the Jazzmongers) Canada 1997 | fiction | colour | video | 5'

"About a woman who travels from Santiago to North of Chile." Funded by Toronto Arts Council, Canada Council, and Liason of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT), NFBs new initiatives in film, and Racial Equity Fund (Toronto). Is expecting more funding to finish. Espects to have another version beyond rough cut: fine cut end of summer without sound or music.

—Tampon Thieves / Ladrona de Tampones. Jorge Lozano, Lynn Hutchinson Canada 1995 | fiction | colour | 16mm | 22

—Malajunta / Bad Company. Eduardo Aliverti Argentina 1996 | documentary | colour | video | 55'


—A Photograph Travels Around the World / Una foto recorre el mundo. Peter Chaskell. Cuba 1982 | documentary | colour | 35mm | 14'

—Sunny Clouds at the Crossroads/Nubes soleadas en la encrucijada. Raúl Ferrera Balanquet U.S /Mexico/Cuba 1996 | fiction | colour | video | 28'

—Cuba Dreams. Six short videos from G.I.F.T.S. (Gulf Island Film and TV School) Cuba/Canada Intervideo 1998 | Wraparound documentary | colour | video | 53'

—Speak It! From the Heart of Black Nova Scotia. Sylvia Hamilton Canada 1994 | documentary | colour | 16mm | 29'

Sunday, November 7 Veiled Fantasies, Shattered Dreams


—How to Read a Macho Mouse. Rubén Ortiz-Torres, Aaron Anish U.S. 1991 | experimental | colour | video | 8'

—From Here, From This Side. Gloria Ribe México 1988 | experimental documentary | colour | video | 24'

—A Man, When He is a Man / El hombre cuando es hombre. Valeria Sarmiento Chile/Costa Rica 1982 | fiction | colour | 16 mm | 66'


—Poppy: Cursed Flower / Amapola. Flor maldita. Marta Rodríguez Colombia 1999 | documentary | colour | video | 26'

—Society Under the Influence. Germán Gutiérrez Canada 1997 | documentary | colour | video | 52'

—In the Company of Fear. Velcrow Ripper. Canada/Colombia 1999 | documentary | colour | video | 52'

Sunday, November 14 Travelling Desires


—Ode to the Chilotas / Oda a las Chilotas. Claudia Morgado Canada/Chile 1989 | colour | 16mm | 8'

—Sifted Evidence. Patricia Gruben Canada/Mexico 1982 | experimental | 16mm | 42'

—Winter Tan. Aerlyn Weissman, co-dir. w. 4 others ?? Canada/Mexico 1988 | fiction | colour | 35mm | 90'


—Initiation Rite-Sacred Bath. Magdalena Campos and Kate Craig Cuba/Canada 1993 | performance video | colour | 32'

—El diablo nunca duerme / The Devil Never Sleeps. Lourdes Portillo U.S./Mexico 1994 | documentary | colour | video | 82'

 For details, visit the web page at, or contact Lalo Espejo at (604)730-1648.

The 1999 Vancouver International Writers (& Readers) Festival takes place October 20 through 24 at venues on Granville Island and around the city. In person at the following Festival Box Office Bookstores:

Blackberry Books on Granville Island

Little Sister's at 1238 Davie Street

People's Co-op at 1391 Commercial Drive

32 Books at 140 East 14th Street in North Vancouver

Kids Books at 3083 West Broadway

Ticket prices (exceptions for special events noted below) are:

Daytime events: $10.50

Evening events: $16.00

Bill Duthie Memorial Lecture: $20.00

Authors A La Carte Brunch: $20


Frances Backhouse / British Columbia

Shauna Singh Baldwin / Quebec / India

Nick Bantock / British Columbia

Ronan Bennett / Ireland

Martin Booth / United Kingdom

Alicia Borinsky / Argentine

Christopher Brookmyre / Scotland

Heather Burles / British Columbia

Wayson Choy / BC / Ontario

Wayde Compton / British Columbia

Lynn Crosbie / Ontario

George Elliott Clarke / Ontario

Julia Darling / United Kingdom

Roddy Doyle / Ireland

Susan Faludi / United States (Bill Duthie Memorial Lecture)

M.A.C. Farrant / British Columbia

Esther Freud / United Kingdom

Gale Zoë Garnett / Ontario

Zsuzsi Gartner / British Columbia

Marie-Lousie Gay / Québec

Francisco Goldman / Guatemala / United States

Sonya Hartnett / Australia

Jane Hirshfield / United States

David Homel / Québec

Nancy Huston / France / Alberta

Wayne Johnston / Newfoundland

Thomas Keneally / Australia

Thomas King / Ontario

Greg Kramer / Québec

Evelyn Lau / British Columbia

Michèle Lemieux / Québec

Roger McDonald / Australia

Tessa McWatt / Ontario

Harry Mathews / United States

Stephen E. Miller / British Columbia

Victor Montejo / Guatemala / U.S.

Donna Morrissey / Newfoundland

David Nandi Odhiambo / British Columbia

Pia Pera / Italy

Pierre Pratt / Québec

Jack Prelutsky / United States

Peter Robinson / Ontario

Greg Scofield / British Columbia

Esta Spalding / British Columbia

Michelle Spring / United Kingdom / British Columbia

Richard Swartz / Sweden

Yoko Tawada / Germany

Drew Hayden-Taylor / British Columbia

Richard Teleky / Ontario

Sharon Thesen / British Columbia

Audry Thomas / British Columbia

Michael Turner / British Columbia

Michael Winter / Newfoundland

C.D. Wright / United States

Rachel Wyatt / British Columbia

Tim Wynne-Jones / Ontario

Jan Zwicky / British Columbia

LE SALON GUEST AUTHORS / October 20 - 24

Noël Audet / Québec

Annie Bourret / British Columbia

Marie-Louise Gay / Québec

David Homel / Québec

Nancy Huston / Québec / France

Michèle Lemieux / Québec

Harry Mathews / United States

Jean-Noël Pancrazi / France

Pierre Pratt / Québec

Didier Van Cauvelaert / France


Desire / Launch of prose collection by Douglas & McIntyre

Thursday, Oct. 21 / 8 pm / $12

Lorna Crozier, Shani Mootoo, Susan Musgrave, Evelyn Lau.

Island Writes / Granville Island 20th Anniversary Commissioned Readings

Saturday, Oct. 23 / 4 pm / Performance Works / $10.50

Jack Christie, Evelyn Lau, Kathleen Oliver, Denise Ryan, Gregory Scofield, Peggy Thompson.

Life Writing / Readings by Federation of B.C. Writers Members

Saturday, Oct 23 / Playwrights Theatre Centre Studio / 2 pm / $10.50

Joan Givner, Norbert Ruebsaat, Jean Rysstad.

Gatherings / Readings from the 1999 edition of collected works of students of the En'owkin Centre for aboriginal writings.

Sunday, Oct. 24 / Playwrights Theatre Centre Studio / 1 pm / Free

Jeanette Armstrong, Greg Young-Ing, Connie Fife, Marilyn Dumont, Drew Hayden Tayler

Smoking Lung / Launch of Hammer and Tongs: A Smoking Lung Anthology, with party hosted by Lorna Crozier

Friday, Oct. 22 / Performance Works / 8:30 pm / $8

Lori Maleea Acker, Shane Book,Adam Chiles, Brad Cran, Carla Funk, Chris Hutchinson, Aubri Aleka Keleman, Ryan Knighton, Billie Livingston, Billeh Nickerson, Teresa McWhirter, Karen Solie.

Cultured Voices / Readings by Writers Union of Canada members of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Saturday, Oct. 23 / Performance Works / 2 pm / $12

Phinder Dulai, Surjeet Kalsey, David Nandi Odhiambo, Carmen Aguirre, Rita Wong.


The following special events will be held at Christ Church Cathedral at 7 pm. Tickets are $15 and will be available beginning August 30 through Ticketmaster and at Blackberry Books and Kids Books:

Timothy Findley / September 22

Roddy Doyle / October 6

Isabel Allende / November 9

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets will go on sale at 12 noon on Tuesday, September 21 at Ticketmaster (604) 280-3311.


 Headlines Theatre

4th European Conference on Theatre in Prisons (Berlin, April 2000) and the The International Edge Theatre Festival (Cambridge, September 2000)

Escape Artists (UK), Aufbruch (Germany) and Ticvin (Milan), three theatre companies working with both serving and ex-prisoners, are currently seeking information on the following:

1) Organisations based in Europe that work at the social margins.

These can be any type of theatre company working with or run by people who could be described as living at the margins of society i.e. prisoners, the homeless, drug addicts. We are in URGENT need of information regarding such companies. If you are part of such a company or can provide us with information about such a company we would be very grateful. We are making an application for funding from the European Commission for both of the above projects and need partners to join us as soon as possible.

2) Theatre companies and individual theatre practioners throughout the world working in theatre at the social margins.

We are seeking this information so that we can notify them of developments regarding both of the above projects and also so that we can invite them to become members of the Edge Theatre Network. Although this network, if we are successful, will be established through European funding it will be open to all individuals and companies working in the field.

Both the Conference and the Festival have already received a substantial degree of support and will be going ahead regardless of the European funding decision. The Conference has the financial support of, and will be hosted in, the famous Volksbuhne theatre in Berlin, and the Edge Theatre Festival is supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of England and will be taking place in Cambridge.

For information on both of the above projects please see the Escape Artists website . Information about the Berlin Conference is on the pages related to the Edge Theatre Network and information on the Edge Theatre Festival is contained in the News section of the main site. Information about the European funding application we are working on is available at (Action 2 in the online form).

Contact Matthew Taylor at for more info.

Theatre at UBC: Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) by Ann-Marie Macdonald. September 30 to October 9 at the Frederic Wood Theatre. A rollicking look at Shakesperean characters Desdemona, Romeo and Juliet by this Canadian playwright.

Pacific Theatre  : Holy Mo by Lucia Frangione with original music by Marie Russell.October 1-30. Three characters from the book of Exodus sing of the exploits of Moses and King David. For info and tickets,, call (604) 731-5518.

Firehall Arts Centre announces the return of J.J. McColl's hit show Menopositive! The Musical September 24 to October 24.  Tickets (604) 689-0926.

Arts Club Theatre Company's Sweeney Todd by Stephen Sondheim.October 1-October 30 at the Stanley Theatre. A powerful work by the master of the modern musical.  Directed by Morris Panych. High Life by Lee MacDougall. October 29-November 27 at the Granville Island Stage. A highly acclaimed, hard-edged comedy directed by two-time Jessie award winner John Cooper.

Tickets, subscriptions and further info: (604) 687-1644 or Ticketmaster (604) 280-3311.

Vancouver Playhouse: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. September 20 - October 16. A timeless tale of camaraderie and brotherhood, drawn from the classic novel, unfolds as an epic drama upon the stage. As George and Lennie drift from one farm job to the next they yearn for a place to call home, yet like the best laid schemes of mice and men their dreams go awry. An extraordinary friendship, tested by extraordinary events is at the heart of this poignant story which will feature a large ensemble cast of Playhouse favourites. John Steinbeck received a New York Drama Critics Award in 1937 for this stage adaptation.

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice by Jim Cartwright. October 25 - November 20. Poignant story of a withdrawn young woman, Little Voice, who can only express herself when she sings. Bound to a confining existence by a loud and overbearing mother, Little Voice escapes to another world when listening to her late father's collection of favourite records. An incredible mimic who sings like the great women of yesteryear, Little Voice captures the attention of a sleazy agent who schemes to make a fortune from her amazing talent. Full of the music of Judy Garland, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and more, all performed live.

Subscriptions for the 1999/2000 Season are available by calling (604) 873-3311. Single tickets will go on sale August 19, 1999.

The Vancouver East Cultural Centre

Bloodline by kitchen table kolectiv, October 5-9. Co-created by Tita Bozi and Dimitri Chepovtsky.  Directed and co-created by Foursight Theatre Artistic Director Kate Hale. World Premiere.

Doing Leonard Cohen by One Yellow Rabbit, October 14-23.  Adaptaion of Leonard Cohen's writings. Co-presentation with Touchstone Theatre.

For further info, email VECC at: or call 604-251-1363.  For tickets: Ticketmaster  (604) 280-3311.

Classical Music

Vancouver Opera 's Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi (October 16, 19, 21, 23 & 25, 1999); The Elixir of Love by Gaetano Donizetti (November 20, 23, 25, 27 & 29, 1999). For more information, subscriptions, etc. contact the box office at (604) 683-0222.

The annual meeting held last September 27th was characterized by a sense of excitement and renewed optimism for the years ahead.  Board President Joseph E. McHugh was optimistic particularly in referring to VO's new General Director, Jim Wright.  The financial statement ending June 30, 1999 showed a shortfall of $84,969.  But McHugh called it "entirely manageable".

Vancouver Chamber Choir under the direction of Jon Washburn: Discoveries & Rediscoveries, new music from Rossini, Saint-Saens, de Falla and Rodrigo, 8 pm, Friday November 5th at the Ryerson United Church.

For more info, contact  VCC at (604)738-6822 or email:

Friends of Chamber Music: National Chamber Orchestra of Toulouse, Tuesday October 12th; Mandelring String Quartet, Tuesday October 26th; Borodin String Quartet, Tuesday November 9th.

All performances at 8 pm at the Vancouver Playhouse.  For subscriptions and more info, call (604) 437-5747.

Vetta Chamber Music: November 26: Two Pianos, Four Strings, Twelve Hands: Shumann, Schubert & Dvorák.

All concerts at 8 pm, Fridays at West Point Grey United Church, 4595 West 8th Ave. (at Tolmie), in Vancouver.  Tickets: $21 for adults and $18 for seniors.  For more info, e-mail or phone (604) 434-4084.

Vancouver Cantata Singers 1999/2000 Season: Mostly Monteverdi, Saturday, October 30 at 8 pm & Sunday, October 31 at 3 pm, Holy Rosary Cathedral (Dunsmuir at Richards). Tickets:  Ticketmaster (604) 280-3311.

VSO: Vancouver Symphony Orchestra .  Check this website for performances and concerts. Forsyth, Williams & Brahms:Oct. 16 & 18, 8 pm, Orpheum; Tea & Trumpets: Oct. 20, 2 pm, Orpheum. For more info, contact VSO at (604) 684-9100.

Chan Centre for the Performing Arts .  Check this website for performances and concerts by different companies. For more infoTicketmaster  (604) 280-3311.


Ballet British Columbia . The Canadian Premiere of The Three B's: Back.Beethoven@Ballet Nov. 4-6.  All performances at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at 8 pm.  For tickets and information, contact : Ticketmaster  (604) 280-3311.

The Reviewers

the review: January 1999

the review: February 1999

the review: March 1999

the review: April 1999

the review: May 1999

the review: June1999

the review: July 1999

the review: August 1999

the review: September 1999