It’s still hard to know how to feel about indoor entertainment, indoor gatherings, indoor air. Everyone’s pandemic-risk calculations are different.
Just before Christmas, I attended the phenomenal “Beyond Van Gogh” immersive experience, and subsequently bought surprise tickets for my family. Score! The perfect experience-not-thing holiday gift. Omicron arrived with a thud about two seconds later, and we decided against going. Ditto New Year’s Eve plans at a nightclub.
So what about the cinema? Are people going? Richard Beer, programming director at downtown Vancouver’s Kiggins Theatre, said he’s been pleased by healthy turnout for recent screenings of everything from a niche skiing documentary to the holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Advance ticket sales for a new second-Saturday series of live events for kids, sponsored by Columbia Play Project, have also been strong, and Beer’s fingers are crossed. Saturday’s debut features The Amazing Bubble Man.
Meanwhile, the debut of a locally produced documentary about oil-train and oil-terminal battles, featuring a Q&A with the director, has been postponed from early January until March 20.
“The industry is a mess all over,” Beer said.
Hollywood on Hollywood
Judging by its record of self-evisceration, the baby movie industry took about five minutes to recognize its own dark side and start milking that, too, for great stories and great profits. As early as 1923, a silent film called “Souls For Sale” unleashes a murderer on a movie set. “What Price Hollywood?” from 1932 follows the rise and fall of a naive young actress in the clutches of an alcoholic director. “Sullivan’s Travels” (1941) is about a director who abandons Tinseltown because he can’t get a serious, relevant movie financed.