Review Roundup: Letter from Masanjia, The King, Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood


This week at Vancity Theatre: Peabody Award-winning director Leon Lee looks at the chain of events that take place after an Oregon woman finds an SOS message in her Halloween decorations from a Chinese dissident, in Letter From Masanjia; Eugene Jarecki takes Elvis Presley’s 1963 Rolls Royce across America to retrace the life of The Kingand a deliciously scandalous portrait of Hollywood’s unsung legend Scotty Bowers, who spent decades as a sexual procurer to the stars, in Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood.

Read on to find out what the critics had to say, then drop in to see the film and make up your own mind!

Letter from Masanjia

August 3 – August 9

Times & Tickets

“A disquieting exposé of China’s human-rights abuses… The perseverance on show should leave viewers inspired to learn more.” –  Lucy Lau, Georgia Straight

“4.5 out of 5… It’s got high drama about standing up and not giving in.” – Volkmar Richter, Vancouver Observer

The King

August 3 – August 9

Times & Tickets

“Wildly ambitious, thoroughly entertaining and embellished with some snaky moves, Eugene Jarecki’s documentary The King is a lot like its nominal subject, Elvis Presley.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times

“Perceptive, probing and ultimately devastating, The King is for anyone who cares about where this country has been and where it’s headed… The movie’s final minutes come at you like a lightning bolt.” – Stephanie Zacharek, Time

“There aren’t many documentaries that see Elvis Presley as the bruised soul of America through fun times and bum times.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood

August 3 – August 14

Times & Tickets

“Engaging and colourful.” -Tim GriersonScreen

“There is an undeniable element of novelty to this Hollywood insider’s portrait. Bowers is a good storyteller and a quirky character. ” –  Patrick Mullen, POV Magazine

“…more than just a salacious tell-all.” – Adam B Vary, Buzzfeed


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