Ladykillers film 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 Alexander Mackendrick’s The Ladykillers.

The last of the great Ealing Comedies, The Ladykillers features a hapless gang of five supposedly hardened criminals who take a room in the home of sweet, old Mrs. Wilberforce to plan their next heist – while pretending to rehearse as a string quintet! Similarly this classic black comedy smuggles a series of potent metaphors for the state of post-war Britain through the smoggy London backdrop.

It’s directed with exquisite style and precision, along with a sense of irony that only the British can execute. Alec Guinness gives one of his finest comic performances as the increasingly unhinged mastermind Professor Marcus with a set of teeth that should have won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

The Ladykillers is a wonderfully macabre black comedy that really does improve with age.” — 5 out 5, Adrian Hennigan, BBC

Charles Barber

This month’s Cinema Salon is hosted by City Opera Vancouver conductor and artistic director Charles Barber. Charles Barber began piano at age six, violin and trumpet at ten, wrote a piano concerto at 14, and conducted his first orchestra at 15.

After earning a doctorate in music at Stanford, he worked as assistant conductor on such films as Grand Canyon, Alive, Prince of Tides, The Fugitive, and Wyatt Earp. His own work as a filmmaker began in high school with such epics as The Toilet Bowl of Life, Sunset, and Kropotin Rabbit.

Vancity Cinema Salon with Charles Barber Presents The Ladykillers
Date: Tuesday, December 3, 7:30 pm
Venue: Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $13.00; may be purchased online

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