Unknown Victoria

Victoria: The Unknown City is a guidebook to an eccentric town on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. This is the author's blog. Look here for Victoria lore, updates and additions to the book, and hate mail.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A Movie We Could've Made

Back in 2006, when the $12-million BC Experience tanked after a few weeks in business, it occurred to me that the money would’ve been better spent by investing it with Atom Egoyan. As readers know, this city is rich with weird stories. If the most respected filmmaker to grow up here was commissioned to dramatize a few, I calculated, his film would promote Victoria a thousand times more effectively than any tourist attraction.

Too late. Guy Maddin has made just such a film about his own home town, the fantastic My Winnipeg. Thick with urban legends and demented takes on municipal history, its sensibility is completely in tune with the Unknown City books. The movie (budget: $600,000) opens tomorrow at the Odeon cinemas downtown. Go see it. And then dare to ask, What If ?

PS We can learn from this. Movies and TV shows glamourize their locations, and bring in tourists. All too often, though, the stuff shot here pretends to be set in Seattle or California. Why not offer an extra tax break to films and shows that are identifiably set in Victoria?


At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Yule Heibel said...

Interesting -- thanks for the heads-up. Did you catch the article (T-C, I think?) about William Stephenson, "the man called intrepid," on whom Ian Fleming likely based his James Bond character? He was from Winnipeg...

At 8:54 PM, Blogger ross said...

And Winnie The Pooh, too!

At 11:15 PM, Anonymous Yule Heibel said...

Yes, Winnie, too... And Carol Shields spent time there. Heck, even I did -- it was my family's first stop, after emigrating to Canada. Lived there for 4 years, till I was 12; learned English in Winnipeg, got dusted with DDT there, and battled blizzards, too. Drove to Lake of the Woods, Kenora (Ontario) -- the advantage of Winnipeg is that it's not on an island!


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