Rio Theatre celebrates Robin Williams by showing The Birdcage and The Fisher King

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      Tonight, the Rio Theatre will give Vancouverites an opportunity to see Robin Williams on the big screen.

      At 6:30 p.m., the East Vancouver movie house will screen The Birdcage, in which Williams plays a gay cabaret owner in South Miami Beach opposite his drag queen lover (Nathan Lane).

      That will be followed at 9 p.m. by The Fisher King. Williams stars as a delusional homeless man alongside Jeff Bridges, who plays a despondent former radio shock jock.

      In an interview with the Straight's Dan McLeod after the release of The Fisher King in 1991, Williams said his character was on a quixotic quest for the Holy Grail in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

      "He’s like a lot of people on the streets of New York, who are former mental patients, off their medication, with the programs that could have helped them being cut back.”

      McLeod also interviewed Williams after the release of The Birdcage five years later.

      Williams said that as a resident of San Francisco, he wanted to give his character some dignity so he wouldn't end up "pissing people off".

      Williams added that he would be "quite honoured" if right-wing Republican Pat Buchanan "went berserk" over the film because it would result in "great publicity".

      He also mentioned that he wanted the film to make people more accepting of gay men.

      "This movie is such a great comedy, maybe in the process of laughing there can be more acceptance at a time when people are trying to shove the clock back and writing the Constitution on an Etch-A-Sketch," Williams said. "I’ll probably get weird mail, like, 'Dear fag, I’m going to kill you.' But I’ve gotten that before. I did a thing on the Tonight Show once, where I talked about the right-to-life people who always seem to disappear once the baby is born. And I talked about delivering a crack baby to its mother, saying, 'Mrs. Simmons? Are you Right-to-Life?' "

      When asked if The Birdcage could have been made 10 years earlier, Williams replied: "Well, the French made it 20 years ago."

      Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter @csmithstraight.


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      Aug 24, 2014 at 11:25am

      Man I miss this dude. Hollywood is darker without Robin. Way to go..nice tribute by the Rio.


      Aug 24, 2014 at 12:24pm

      Apart from being very funny, Williams' remarks here show he was very capable of wise social commentary- evolving from his deep sense of compassion- and quite reminiscent of the late, great ground-breaking satirist Lenny Bruce.

      jack crain

      Aug 26, 2014 at 6:59pm

      I always thought that the movie "What Dreams May Come" was one of his best films. I speak from a fans perspective rather than a critics so it would be awesome if you could show that movie on the big screen cuz it is a classic.

      P.S. Ill be keeping an eye out for the advert in the meantime.