The last of the great Ealing Comedies, The Ladykillers features a hapless gang of five supposedly hardened criminals who take a room in the home of sweet, old Mrs. Wilberforce to plan their next heist - while pretending to rehearse as a string quintet! Similarly this classic black comedy smuggles a series of potent metaphors for the state of post-war Britain through the smoggy London backdrop . It’s directed with exquisite style and precision, along with a sense of irony that only the British can execute. Guinness gives one of his finest comic performances as the increasingly unhinged mastermind Professor Marcus with a set of teeth should have won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
City Opera Vancouver conductor and artistic director Charles Barber began piano at age six, violin and trumpet at ten, at 14 wrote a piano concerto, and at 15 first conducted an orchestra. After earning a doctorate in music at Stanford, he worked as assistant conductor on such films as GRAND CANYON (director: Lawrence Kasdan, 1991), ALIVE (Frank Marshall, 1993), PRINCE OF TIDES (Barbra Streisand, 1991), The FUGITIVE (Andrew Davis, 1993), and WYATT EARP (Lawrence Kasdan, 1994). His own work as filmmaker began in high school with such epics as THE TOILET BOWL OF LIFE, SUNSET and KROPOTIN RABBIT.