Down by Law movie still

Each month, Melanie Friesen invites a distinguished guest to Vancity Theatre’s Cinema Salon, in order to present his/her favourite film. After the screening, both audience and speaker have the opportunity to engage over drinks and snacks in the Vancity lounge. This month’s film is 1986’s brilliant Jim Jarmusch gem Down By Law.

Far from the tourists on Bourbon Street, Zack (Tom Waits), an unemployed DJ, and Jack (John Lurie), a small-time pimp, are thrown into a New Orleans jail cell with a happy-go-lucky Italian, Bob (Roberto Benigni), who speaks poor English, but loves to chat. Both Zack and Jack were framed and cannot stand one other. Bob is in for manslaughter but regards the charge as simply a temporary inconvenience. An escape is executed and living on the lam in Cajun country begins.

Director Jim Jarmusch calls this a “neo-Beat noir” comedy. Down By Law pays hommage to the anti-hero, and includes music by John Lurie and gritty, magnificent black and white cinematography of Robert Müller.

“The excitement (of Down by Law) comes from the realization that we are seeing a true film maker at work, using film to create a narrative that couldn’t exist on the stage or the printed page of a novel.” – NY Times

This month’s Cinema Salon is hosted by Ben Worcester, one of two key songwriters and frontmen of Vancouver’s own Said the Whale. Ben’s a born and raised Vancouverite; his love and passion for both our city and its surrounding natural beautify inspires him in his song writing.

Ben Worcester @ CBC Outdoor Stage
[Ben Worcester at CBC outdoor stage. Photo credit: le_petit_chat on Flickr]

Said the Whale’s hook-heavy, pop-rock sound has propelled them to success, including a CBC documentary, a JUNO Award for New Group of the Year, and several world tours. In an age of overnight internet sensations, theirs is a true grassroots success story.

Vancity Cinema Salon with Ben Worcester Presents Down By Law
Date: Tuesday, August 7, 7:30 pm
Venue: Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $13.00; may be purchased online


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