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The Broadcast Tapes of Dr. Peter + Glowing in the Dark

X. A City of Commitment and Innovation
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The Broadcast Tapes of Dr. Peter
Canada 1993. Dir: David Paperny. 45 min. DCP

Vancouver producer-director David Paperny’s poignant 1993 documentary is based on the video journals of a young Vancouver physician with AIDS. Peter Jepson-Young, aka Dr. Peter, was diagnosed with AIDS not long after finishing medical school. For the last two years of his life (he died in 1992, age 35), he chronicled his personal experiences and promoted AIDS awareness and education on a regular CBC-TV news segment called “The Dr. Peter Diaries.” Paperny’s film, released the same year as Jonathan Demme’s Academy Award-winning AIDS drama Philadelphia, received an Oscar nomination in the Best Documentary Feature category. Courtesy of CBC Vancouver.

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Glowing in the Dark
Canada 1997. Dir: Harry Killas. 48 min. Digibeta

Vancouver was once the neon capital of North America, with an estimated 19,000 neon signs lighting up its rain-slicked streets. This illuminating documentary — directed by Vancouver filmmaker and “The Image Before Us” curator Harry Killas — celebrates a fascinating civic and aesthetic history. The film explores the origin and manufacture of neon; the craze for it in mid-20th-century urban culture (Los Angeles and Las Vegas were also major neon meccas); the changing tastes that saw it fall out of favour; and the growing movement among heritage preservation advocates to conserve it. Among the neon experts, artists, and enthusiasts making appearance are Vancouver rockers 54-40, who helped save the city’s much-loved Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret sign; and prominent local heritage consulate John Atkin.

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Guests in attendance: David PapernyHarry KillasAlan Goldman, producer, Glowing in the Dark; and John Atkin, heritage activist; and a representative from the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation.