Friday, March 25, 2011

Last night’s screening of Skip Tracer (1977) went well -- a good turn out (including cast members Sue Astley, David Peterson and Stephen Miller) and a lively discussion after.

While preparing my introduction, specifically the question of how this film relates to Vancouver then and now, it occurred to me that the story is not of a debt collector out to “win,” as Charlie Sheen might say, but the nature of debt relative to a city born and raised on speculation, a life based on what is going to happen.

Debt, or outstanding debt, is that which has not happened -- the failure to repay. Rather than seek gold or fish or timber, rather than buying and selling stock or real estate, the film’s protagonist is out to make his bones collecting debt. And like Charlie Sheen in Wall Street, he has his reckoning: that sociopathy is not for everyone.

Thank you to Steve Chow and Sonya William at the Pacific Cinematheque and Elizabeth Park and Kathleen Ritter at the Vancouver Art Gallery for making last night happen.

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