Retro Cinema Fest opens with greatest film ever made

After about a hundred viewings on TV and video, I finally saw The Godfather on the big screen in the early ‘90s when a crisp new print came to the Capitol 6. And really—if you’ll pardon a useful cliché—it was like seeing it for the first time, with every subtle flicker of menace registering huge across Al Pacino’s towering face (this was back before Captain Hoo-Hah! became a grandstanding buffoon, kids.)

The Vancouver Retro Cinema Fest opens tonight with Coppola’s 1972 masterpiece in a double header with the 1974 sequel. Cue lots of debate about which film is more magnificent than the other, a dispute that’s been going on for almost 40 years now. What can’t be argued is that being in a theatre with a pumped up crowd of movie lovers and a stiff drink or two is easily the best way to catch either of these classics.

There are other good reasons to drop in on the festival, running until next Sunday. It’s the last hurrah for the Denman Cinemas, which closes forever on September 30, thanks very much. Organizer Ronald Tucker—who transplanted the Retro Fest from his former home in Sydney, Australia—also promises costume competitions, trivia contests, prizes, and themed drink specials.

No prize for guessing what the cocktail of choice will be when Tucker folds the inaugural Vancouver Lebowski Bash into the proceedings, next Saturday (September 29). Before that we have a schedule of firm favourites including Tarantino and Star Trek double bills ("Khaaaaaan!"), and The Dark Crystal paired with David Bowie's hair and magic balls in Labyrinth, plus a Back to the Future blow-out on the final night.

Full schedule and more details here.

You can follow Adrian Mack's contribution to the lobotomizing techno-nightmare known as Twitter at @AdrianMacked.

Comments (9) Add New Comment
Steve Newton
I totally agree. The Big Lebowski is obviously the greatest film ever made
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Adrian Mack
Ignoring for the moment what you did there, Weisenheimer, I'd like to announce that I've spent the last 48 hours drinking nothing but White Russians.
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Adrian Mack
... amid eurozone debt woes.
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DavidH
In FACT (and I have consulted all of the smartest people on the planet on this, including me, so I know it to be a fact): The greatest movie ever made is Apocalypse Now. Running a very close second is Pulp Fiction.

The Godfather is a nice little "chick flick".
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Adrian Mack
I really don't like Apocalypse Now very much, but I guess I'm probably alone with that opinion, eh? Same goes for Blade Runner.
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A. MacInnis
Heh. Yep, Mack. Two vastly overrated films: the first is a shameless mis-appropriation of both the Vietnam War AND Heart of Darkness, used for what sure seems to reduce to an adolescent wallowing in ain't-it-cool evil; the second is an unsubtly overstated, eye-candy glamourization of a pretty good PK Dick novel that borrows heavily from film noir... both are interesting films, sure, but their status as sacred cultural cows (in North America only - I should imagine the rest of the world knows better) has more to do with HOW FEW REAL FILMS most people have seen - how narrow the feeding tube they've been sucking from is: you kinda know that if anyone has either of those films in their top ten, they haven't been digging very deep. Saying Apocalypse Now is the best film ever made is kind of the equivalent of saying Red Lobster is the greatest restaurant in the world. I mean, there are definitely some restaurants that it is better than, but...
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Miranda Nelson
Adrian, you aren't alone. I fell asleep as soon as Harrison Ford was off the screen in Apocalypse Now. And as for Blade Runner? Despite Ford's grizzled and handsome face, the book was better.
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A. MacInnis
...actually, let me amend that: it's like saying "Stairway To Heaven" is the greatest rock song ever written...
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Adrian Mack
Exactly! To both of you.
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