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April 12 , 2008

Dreaming in the Rain

How Vancouver Became Hollywood North by Northwest


Vancouver is now North America’s third largest center for film and television production, recently witnessing the filming of Halle Berry’s Catwoman and Will Smith’s I, Robot, among others. But Vancouver has been hosting filmmakers for years, coming into its own in the early 1970s when Robert Altman, Warren Beatty and Julie Christie made McCabe and Mrs. Miller and Mike Nichols, Jack Nicholson and Candice Bergen filmed Carnal Knowlege.

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Dreaming in the Rain tells the story of how Vancouver became North by Northwest, from its early days as a Hollywood studio backlot to its becoming home to a vibrant indigenous scene that is among the most acclaimed, provocative, independent filmmaking communities anywhere.

But with Hollywood’s growing concern over “runaway” productions, Vancouver’s growing filmmaking scene is wrought with controversy. The city’s American-based film industry is powerful enough to inspire loathing and threats from Hollywood.

Along with tracing the art and commerce of Vancouver filmmaking, Vancouver Province movie critic David Spaner brings to life the flamboyant film personalities who left their marks. From visitors like Errol Flynn and Robert Altman, to local heroes such as The Matrix’s Carrie Anne Moss, who grew up in Vancouver, and Kissed star Molly Parker and director Lynne Stopkewich, vital players in the groundbreaking Vancouver indie scene.

Includes more than 40 black and white photographs.

“. . . [Spaner] has . . . scrupulous attention to detail and an obvious curiosity and passion for both Vancouver and its film industry.”—Entertainment Today

David Spaner is a movie critic for the Vancouver Province.

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