Big Sur

A low-key adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s novel, this film sees Kerouac (Jean-Marc Barr) trying to cope with his sudden success and his alcoholism by retreating to Big Sur, California. The movie also stars Kate Bosworth as Kerouac’s love interest Billie, and Josh Lucas as the infamous Neal Cassady. It premiered at Sundance in January, where it received mostly positive reviews. The release date is set for November 1.

The Book Thief

Based on Marcus Zusak’s novel of the same name, the titular book thief is Liesel Meminger (Sophie Nelisse), a young German girl who is sent to live with foster parents Hans (Geoffrey Rush) and Rosa (Emily Watson) around the outbreak of WWII. While one of the major portions of the plot concerns hiding a Jewish refugee in their basement, the book was able to go beyond a typical Holocaust story and explore deeper themes like the bonds of family, and most of all, the unyielding power words can have. It was also narrated by Death, which was a supremely effective narrative tool. It will be interesting to see if the movie keeps this in any way (the trailer points to no) but regardless this looks like a worthy adaptation. Release date November 15.


Film buffs have been waiting for this movie with bated breath ever since world got wind of Spike Lee directing a remake of the Korean original from 2003. An average businessman, husband and father (Josh Brolin) is kidnapped and held captive, with no explanation. After 20 years in solitary confinement and going a little mad, he is released. From that point on his goal is to find out who imprisoned him and seek revenge on them. Fans of the original will be curious to see how Spike Lee handles this material – a cat-and-mouse game with enough blood to satisfy Tarantino and enough twists to confuse M. Night Shyamalan. Whether Lee does the original Oldboy justice depends on his willingness to take risks and make people uncomfortable with some rather unsettling portions of the plot. Either way, it should be worth turning out to see. Release date November 27.


Rocky Horror Picture Show

Have you ever dreamed of leaving the house attired like some strange cross between leather dominatrix, mad scientist and transvestite, but worried you wouldn’t be able to pull it off as well as Tim Curry? Well, don’t dream it – BE it, darlings! Indulge in a post-Halloween hookup with this salaciously outrageous musical, courtesy of the Rio Theatre and featuring a live shadow cast. Props are encouraged. Now, brush up on those Time Warp dance steps and prepare to give yourself over to absolute pleasure! Virgins beware. Playing November 9 at 10 p.m. at the Rio Theatre.

Grave of the Fireflies & Wolf Children

Anime fans, this is the double bill you’ve been dreaming of! Even if all you’ve ever seen are Hayao Miyazaki movies, these two films will still be right up your alley. Grave of the Fireflies tells the story of a brother and sister trying to help each other survive during WWII in Japan. It’s a sure-fire tearjerker. Wolf Children might also leave you misty-eyed, but it’s definitely the lighter film of the two. Hana falls in love with a dashing young man who turns out to be half wolf, and able to change between his forms at will. This doesn’t perturb Hana. They have two children, Ame and Yuki, who are the titular wolf children. Hana struggles to raise them on her own after her wolf lover falls fate to an unfortunate accident. It’s about being a parent, and more so about family, the bonds they have with each other, and learning when to let go. Vancity Theatre will be showing both films from November 10-13.

An Evening With Todd Haynes

Director Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine, Far From Heaven) graces The Cinematheque with his luminary presence for a conversation with executive and artistic director Jim Sinclair and a Q&A prior to a screening of his Bob Dylan pseudo-biopic “I’m Not There.” This event is definitely a “must” event for any fans of Haynes’ work or for anyone who just likes to pick artists’ brains. There is also a red carpet reception before the question period, tickets for which are $40. Regular tickets are $25, and the Q&A and screening begin at 8 p.m. at the Cinematheque on November 15.

By Carly Smith

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