Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges in a scene from The Fisher King on screen at the arts centre Friday.

Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges in a scene from The Fisher King on screen at the arts centre Friday.

The Fisher King on screen Friday

The first screening of the Williams Lake Film Club at the Arts Centre went very well.

The first screening of the Williams Lake Film Club at the Arts Centre went very well. We were sold out but found enough chairs not to leave anyone out in the bitter cold.

To me the real difference came after the screening.

Everyone took their chair and put it back into the rack — and then the social started. And it truly was a social gathering, a party actually.

The room was full, laughter and talking everywhere. Mulled cider was enjoyed as were the different cookies.

Now I am really looking forward to our next film, which will be screened this coming Friday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The Fisher King is our next film, released in 1991, filmed in New York, directed by Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame.

The main actors are Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges, Mercedes Ruehl, and Amanda Plummer.

It is considered a comedy/drama, runs for 137 minutes and is rated PG.

All of us probably still remember the shock we felt when learning of Robin Williams’ suicide.

He brought us so much joy, we laughed tears at his clever tirades.

How could we realize how deep and imprisoning the weight of his mental stress, maybe even mental illness really was. We only saw him from far away.

The Fisher King brings him much closer to us.

It is eerie to watch him play a former history professor who lost his beloved wife in a shooting incident at a popular bar.

This shooting had been triggered by a thoughtless remark of shock-jock radio DJ  Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges), who subsequently lost his job, turned into a heavy drinker and is now, barely, working in the video store owned by his girlfriend (Mercedes Ruehl).

Jack cannot get over his fall from grace and in his depressive state decides to commit suicide.

That is when he meets Parry (Robin Williams).

In the  not so distant past Parry was Henry Sagan, a university professor who specialized in Holy Grail literature, now he is a homeless man. And so the amazing story of the Fisher King unfolds.

The film deals with trauma, but in the most unexpected ways.

Rarely have we seen the subjects of tragedy and comedy so closely interwoven in a Hollywood film.

The Fisher King has laughter and romance clinging for survival in the face of aching hopelessness.

The Fisher King shows us true compassion, is at once ageless and immediate, tragic and comic. As film critic Niles Schwartz states: “No Robin Williams film can hit harder — or be so fully consoling in such heartbreaking circumstances – than The Fisher King.”

What I really would like to say is please come and see this film, it has so much to tell you in such a beautiful way, it will stay with you for a long time.

I have seen the film when it first came out, a couple of times again since then, and honestly, I can’t wait to show it to you on Friday.

And as always, there will be all kinds of goodies afterwards to keep the talk and the good times going!

Williams Lake Tribune

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