Spider / Patricia Grey

Thursday, August 18, 2005 – 7:30 pm
United Kingdom / Canada 2002. Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Gabriel Byrne, Lynn Redgrave, Miranda Richardson, Philip Craig

David Cronenberg’s magnificent, bleak Spider stars Ralph Fiennes in a tour-de-force performance as Dennis Clegg, nicknamed “Spider” by his mother during his childhood because of his fascination with arachnids and their webs. Spider has spent the last thirty years in a facility for the mentally ill, and when we first meet this slightly stooped, perpetually muttering, entirely haunted figure, he has just been released to an East End London halfway house, where he receives little care or attention from the landlady Mrs. Wilkinson (Lynn Redgrave). Unsupervised, Spider stops taking his medication and starts revisiting his childhood haunts, and we are subtly drawn into his mind as he remembers a lonely working-class boyhood, the only son of a plumber, Bill (Gabriel Byrne) and his subdued genteel wife (Miranda Richardson). As Spider struggles to order his confused memories into a kind of truth, his attempts to sustain his delusional account of his past begin to unravel, and Spider spirals into fresh madness. From a script by Patrick McGrath, who adapted his own 1990 novel, Spider was chosen as one of the ten best films of 2002 by “Les Cahiers du cinema” (France). “This is the film that Shine and A Beautiful Mind could not be, a story about schizophrenia that doesn’t neatly resolve its complex subject matter” – Darrin Keene, Film Threat. “More poetic than clinical in its approach to schizophrenia, suffused with existential dread, this evocation of psychological torment is both sensationally grim and exquisitely realized.” – J Hoberman, The Village Voice. Colour, 35mm, 98 mins.

Preceded by

Patricia Grey

Canada, 2004. Director: Anne Koizumi

A dark animated short about the haunted world of a woman, Patricia Grey, whose daughter has been strangled with her skipping rope. The viewer sees Patricia as she is led through her excruciating and painful interrogation about her daughter’s death. Patricia Grey was shot with plastercine on glass stop-motion animation and the more traditional 3-D stop-motion puppet animation. Colour, DVD, 6 mins.

The program will include a post-screening discussion with:
David Spaner. David is a Vancouver Province movie critic. A graduate of Simon Fraser University and Langara College, he has worked as a reporter, editor, and feature writer for numerous publications. Born in North York, Ontario, David grew up in Vancouver. His recent book is titled ‘Dreaming in the Rain. How Vancouver Became Hollywood North by Northwest.’

Evening moderated by:
Dr. Harry Karlinsky Director of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.