In May 2008, the Wachowski siblings followed up the Matrix trilogy with a live action adaptation of the 1960s anime series Speed Racer series. The film had a less than stellar performance at the box office, ending up with a worldwide gross of only $93.9M. I can attest to the poor performance of Speed Racer, as I went to see the film in IMAX at the Scotiabank Theatre here in Toronto and the cinema was half empty. While the film’s ultra-stylized nature took some getting used to, I ultimately ended up enjoying the film, with the IMAX presentation playing a major factor in that enjoyment.
Well, now there is another chance to see Speed Racer in all of its IMAX glory. Local Toronto film programmer and Speed Racer fanboy Peter Kuplowsky, best known for TIFF’s Midnight Madness and the Laser Blast Film Society, has set it upon himself to organize a tenth anniversary screening of Speed Racer at the recently reopened Ontario Place Cinesphere, which has the historic distinction of being the world’s first permanent IMAX theatre.
The screening was over a month in the making, as Kuplowsky organized an IndieGoGo campaign to raise the $6000 need to both rent out the Cinesphere and ship in a 70mm IMAX print of Speed Racer from Warner Brothers. While there were some hurdles along the way, including some unexpected extra costs, the screening has now officially been given a green light and tickets went on sale to the public earlier this week.
Since the release of Speed Racer in 2008, both Lana and Lilly Wachowski has outed themselves as transgender. As such, this tenth anniversary screening is going to be co-presented by Toronto’s Inside Out Film Festival and 100% of the profits will be donated to Inside Out’s re:FOCUS FUND, which directly supports LGBT women and non-binary filmmakers. The screening will also have the Beguiling Books + Art in attendance selling indie comics, manga and art, including some exclusive pieces created by local artists Andrew Barr, B. Nation, Rowan Campbell and Victor Martins.
This tenth anniversary screening of Speed Racer is sure to be a once in a lifetime event!
Speed Racer 10th Anniversary IMAX Screening takes place on Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 8:00pm at the Ontario Place Cinesphere. Tickets are now available at http://universe.com/speedracer.