Sing-a-long Moulin Rouge delivers post-Valentine's love letter

Audiences encouraged to participate in musical screening

The first film sing-a-long Christopher Logan hosted at Denman Cinemas was a heartwarming affair.

The actor and filmmaker screened Bing Crosby's White Christmas, with the songs subtitled, in December.

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"It was kind of interesting, a bunch of gay guys and their moms holding hands and singing," Logan said.

On Saturday after Valentine's Day, he's screening a sing-along to Moulin Rouge. "Because whether or not you had a great Valentine's and you fell in love, or you had one of the worst breakups of your life, Moulin Rouge kind of suits that," he said.

It's also a smart sing-a-long choice for those who've never seen the over-the-top Baz Luhrmann movie starring Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman.

"Every song in Moulin Rouge is bits and pieces of other pop songs so it's a great first sing-a-long for people because you'll still know all the music even if you've never seen the film," Logan said.

Ditties include Elton John's "Your Song," Marilyn Monroe's "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" and Madonna's "Material Girl."

Logan and his film editor spent hours adding subtitles, colour coded for each character.

"And when people sing together, their colours [blend] and just cute little things that make it a little bigger than just the movie," he said.

Logan recognized that filmgoers like to interact when he screened Sketch, the part-documentary and part-fictional film he directed and produced, at Denman Cinemas in October.

A mixer with music provided by singer-songwriter Babe Coal, who performs outside the Starbucks on Davie Street at Thurlow, preceded the film about after-hour parties and drugs. Time to mingle meant filmgoers felt freer during the movie.

"It kind of became like the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The people were yelling at the screen, talking to each other," Logan said. "There seemed to be a need because [from] a crowd of about 250 people, I got about 50 emails from people saying that they met so many people that night and it was kind of an interesting way of seeing a movie. People were a little less likely to keep to themselves because they felt like they knew everyone in the room."

The Kitsilano-based actor and filmmaker is trying to raise money for an independent film on drag with the production and sale of a coffee-table book of photos of drag queens around the world shot by a fashion photographer. Logan met some of the featured drag queens when he appeared as one in the 2004 movie Connie and Carla with David Duchovny, Nia Vardalos and Toni Collette.

He'll advertise the upcoming book at the Moulin Rouge sing-along that starts at 8 p.m. with a mixer at Denman Cinemas (1779 Comox St.). Coal will perform and filmgoers can try on fantastical handcrafted masks fashioned by Shay Lhea of Oculto Luxury Masks and check out the glam/ gothic paintings of Jenn Brisson.

Tickets are $15 at ticketzone.com and include popcorn and pop.

Logan plans to host a sing-along to Singin' in the Rain in April and to Rent in the summer.

"I like to go back and forth between a classic and a contemporary to kind of bridge the audience a bit," he said.

crossi@vancourier.com Twitter: @Cheryl_Rossi

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