Arts and Entertainment

A film critic makes an offer a theater can’t refuse

Two red-carpet worthy film events are talking place this weekend, thanks to a duo of celebrated screenwriters and a big-time film critic who have fallen in love with Vashon and its historic movie theater.

On Saturday, Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan will present a new 35mm print of “The Godfather” at Vashon Theatre. The evening — a benefit for Vashon Theatre — will also include a pre-screening talk by Turan as well as a question-and-answer session after the show.

And on Sunday, Turan will interview screenwriters Robin Swicord and Nicholas Kazan in a sold-out installment of Vashon Allied Arts “Arts and Humanities” lecture series at Blue Heron Art Center.

Swicord and Kazan — who have penned such famous screenplays as “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Reversal of Fortune” and “Bicentennial Man” — have had a second home on the Island for 20 years.

Swicord said that Turan has been a frequent visitor to her Vashon home over the years, and he’s come to appreciate the eclectic programming of Vashon’s single-screen theater.

“We’ve gone to Vashon Theatre almost every time he has come to visit,” Swicord said, adding that Turan decided he wanted to do something to help the owners of the theater after some valuable equipment was stolen from the projection booth last year.

“On a small Island like this, it’s a true film buff’s theater, and Kenny recognizes that,” Swicord said.

Theater owner Eileen Wolcott said she was excited about the upcoming event and grateful to Turan.

“He has been very kind,” she said, adding that she was bowled over when she phoned Turan to work out the details of showing “The Godfather.”

“I called him and was so excited to talk to him, and then he said he was a fan of ours,” she said with a laugh.

In addition to his work at the Los Angeles Times, Turan is also the film critic for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.

Swicord also said she was excited to attend the event and that she and Kazan were also looking forward to their talk with Turan the following night at the Blue Heron.

“We are going to talk abut filmmaking through the the lens of creativity, where all creative fields merge,” she said.

Kenneth Turan will present “The Godfather” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at Vashon Theatre. Doors open at 6:15 p.m., and beverages and concessions will be available. Tickets cost $12 general admission, $11 seniors and $9 for Vashon Film Society members. Vashon Allied Arts will present a lecture by Turan, Swicord and Kazan at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10. The lecture is sold out. Call 463-5131 to have your name put on a waiting list.

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