Movie Monday feature offers a little extra

Vancouver authors Harry Karlinsky and George Fetherling will be on hand at Movie Monday this week (Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m.) for the screening of Beautiful Dreamers.

Starring Rip Torn as American poet Walt Whitman, this period piece is set amid a dreary 19th-century Canadian institution for the mentally ill and/or retarded.

Dr. Maurice Bucke (Colm Feore) bucks the trend of the day by treating his patients as human beings rather than animals. He even begins conducting classes for his patients, teaching them basic cognitive and manual dexterity skills.

When Whitman champions Bucke’s cause, the doctor is ostracized by those who fear the poet’s reputation as a “wild-eyed” radical.

Based on a true story, Beautiful Dreamers offers a great segue into the speakers for the night, each of whom has a book out related to the topic.

Psychiatrist Harry Karlinsky, author of The Evolution of Inanimate Objects: the life and works of Thomas Darwin (2010) and George Fetherling with Walt Whitman’s Secret (2010) will read, discuss the topic and sign books.

The event gets underway at 6:30 p.m. on Monday. The 1990 film is 105 minutes.