FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: February 28, 2000

Contact: Margot Gerber

Tel.: 323.461.2020 ext. 115

E-mail: amcin@msn.com

 

 

THE AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE PRESENTS

THREE SPECIAL ONE NIGHT FILM PROGRAMS IN MARCH

 

A Screening of the Restored Road Show Version, 35 mm Print of Disney’s

Musical THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE with Actress Lesley Ann Warren and

Film Composers Richard & Robert Sherman In-Person (March 15);

A Night at the Egyptian with Director JAMES TOBACK featuring a Sneak Preview

of BLACK AND WHITE starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Brooke Shields (March 29);

Director JOHN GREYSON in-person with his Award-Winning Gay Drama LILIES (March 30)

 

HOLLYWOOD – The American Cinematheque at the Egyptian will present three special one night events in March. On Wednesday, March 15th at 7:00 PM is "A Night At the Egyptian" With Cast and Crew members from Disney’s 1967 Musical THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE (1967, 164 min.). Actress Lesley Ann Warren, composing team Richard and Robert Sherman (THE TIGGER MOVIE, MARY POPPINS, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG) and Screenwriter A.J. CAROTHERS (NEVER A DULL MOMENT, THE MIRACLE OF THE WHITE STALLIONS) will appear in person for discussion following the screening. On Wednesday, March 29th at 8:00 PM is "A Night At the Egyptian" with director James Toback in person and a special Sneak Preview of his latest film, the racially-charged BLACK AND WHITE (2000, 100 min.) starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Brooke Shields, as a double feature with FINGERS (1978, 91 min.) starring Harvey Keitel and Tisa Farrow. On Thursday, March 30th at 7:30 PM is "A Night At the Egyptian" with Canadian director John Greyson in-person with his Award-Winning gay period drama LILIES (1996, 95 min.). This screening is presented in collaboration with Outfest, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and is part of a larger tribute to Greyson that will take place at the Gay & Lesbian Center’s Village Theatre. (Call 323.960.9200 for more information or see www.outfest.com.) All screenings are at the newly renovated Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the historic Egyptian (6712 Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Las Palmas) in Hollywood.

THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE: Wednesday, March 15, 2000

At 7:00 PM is a screening of a brand new 35mm print of the restored, roadshow version of THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE (1967, Walt Disney Pictures, 164 min.). This joyous, lavish musical in the vein of MARY POPPINS, is based on a book by Cordelia Drexel Biddle and Kyle Crichton, about the lives, loves and heartaches of Cordelia’s real life Philadelphia family in 1916. The film stars Fred MacMurray, Greer Garson, John Davidson, Tommy Steele, Geraldine Page, and in her first film role, Lesley Ann Warren. A happy and unbelievably lucky young Irish immigrant, John Lawless, lands a job as the butler of an unconventional millionaire, Biddle (who keeps alligators for pets and teaches boxing at his daily Bible classes). His daughter, Cordelia Drexel Biddle, tires of the unusual antics of her father--especially since the nice young men around town all fear him. She runs off to boarding school and promptly finds the man of her dreams. Unfortunately, his family doesn't approve of Biddle's outrageous antics, either. Songs from Richard and Robert Sherman in MILLIONAIRE include "Fortuosity" and "Valentine Candy." This was a pet project of Walt Disney’s and is reportedly, the last live action film he personally oversaw. Composers Richard and Robert Sherman will be joined for an in-person discussion following the screening, by actress Lesley Ann Warren and screenwriter A.J. Corothers. Between 1960 and 1968 the Sherman Brothers worked on numerous Disney musicals including THE PARENT TRAP and MARY POPPINS. Prior to the screening (6:15 – 6:45 PM) the Sherman Brothers will be signing their new hardcover book Walt’s Time, which will be on sale in the lobby of the Egyptian.

The restored roadshow version of this film is available to screen at the offices of the American Cinematheque

 

Director James Toback In-Person: Wednesday, March 29, 2000

One of American cinema’s most controversial talents, writer/director James Toback will appear in-person for discussion between screenings of two of his films. The screenings will begin at 8:00 PM with a special sneak preview screening of Toback’s latest film as a director, BLACK AND WHITE (2000, Screen Gems, 100 min.). This racially-charged drama is about white kids on New York’s Upper West Side and the Black Rappers they seek to emulate. When high school hipster Charlie (Bijou Phillips) and her friends start hanging out with Harlem's aspiring rap artist Rich Bower (Power) and his group, the American Cream Team, each faction starts to ponder the other's true motivation. Fascinated by this collision of cultures, documentary filmmaker and former rich girl herself Sam Donager (Brooke Shields) attempts to capture the phenomenon on camera with the help of her intriguingly unhinged husband Terry (Robert Downey Jr.).Meanwhile, NYPD detective Mark Clear (Ben Stiller) wants revenge on his heartless ex-girlfriend Greta (Claudia Schiffer), who dumped him for Dean (Allan Houston), a black star basketball player and friend of Rich Bower. Before long, everyone wants something from someone else. As the chain of casual acquaintance comes full circle, worlds collide -- black and white, wealthy and wanting, uptown and downtown -- until it becomes clear that nobody is really who they seem to be.

This ensemble film covers much societal territory where black and white cultures collide including music, sports gambling, drugs, delinquency and sex. This erotic, dangerous and unpredictable film features performances by Robert Downey, Jr. (who previously worked under Toback’s direction on TWO GIRLS AND A GUY and THE PICK-UP ARTIST), Ben Stiller, Claudia Shiffer, Brooke Shields, Stacy Edwards, Jared Leto, Elijah Wood, Gaby Hoffman, Bijou Phillips, Raekwon – and in an almost documentary performance – Mike Tyson. Following a discussion with James Toback, his film FINGERS (1978, Warner Bros. Classics, 91 min.) will screen as the second half of this double feature. Harvey Keitel stars as a concert pianist who works for his bookie father as a debt collector in Toback’s directorial debut. Tisa Farrow (Mia’s little seen sister) and football great Jim Brown co-star in this rarely-screened, harrowing thriller. On par with other great lost crime films of the 1970s like THE DRIVER and THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE. Toback, a former teacher of literature in New York, as well as a widely published journalist, became a screenwriter in the 70s, and later a director. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for the Warren Beatty starrer BUGSY (1991). He also wrote THE GAMBLER (1974) and wrote and directed LOVE AND MONEY (1982), EXPOSED (1983) and THE BIG BANG (1989), as well as the films mentioned above.

Screen Gems will release BLACK AND WHITE theatrically. It is not available for review in connection with this screening. For release publicity information call Tracy McArdle at Screen Gems: 310.244.7658. See www.blackandwhitefilm.com/ and http://www.sputnik7.com/blackandwhite/ for more information on this film. FINGERS is available on tape at the video stores listed on the last page.

John Greyson In Person with LILIES: Thursday, March 30, 2000

At 7:30 PM is a screening of John Greyson’s Canadian Genie (equivalent of the American Oscar) Award-Winning drama LILIES (1996, Turbulent Arts, 95 min.), followed by a discussion with the filmmaker. This screening is presented in collaboration with Outfest, The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and Turbulent Arts and is part of a John Greyson retrospective which will continue at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center’s Village Theatre at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place. For further information call 323.960.9200. Outfest Members will receive $1 off the price of admission to this screening..

LILIES is an emotionally intense, suspense-laden tale of love, betrayal and revenge in which one man's past comes back to haunt him.

In l952, a Catholic bishop (MARCEL SABOURIN) makes an exceptional visit to a federal penitentiary to hear a dying inmate's last confession. The prisoner in the confessional is Simon (AUBERT PALLASCIO), a childhood friend of the Bishop. Simon has more than confessing on his mind. The confessional door is locked from the outside, and Bishop Bilodeau is suddenly a hostage.

The prisoners transform the altar into a theatrical stage, and they change from their uniforms into makeshift costumes. They begin to re-enact a story of Simon's which tells of events that took place forty years earlier in the village where both he and Bilodeau lived as teenagers. The Bishop is forced to watch the drama which unfolds before him. The action moves back and forth, seamlessly through time, between the crude prison presentation of 1952 and what appear to be the actual events of l9l2.

In l9l2, in their village of Roberval in northern Québec, 18-year-olds Bilodeau and Simon rehearse for a school play with fellow student Vallier de Tilly (DANNY GILMORE), under the direction of Father St. Michel. Young Simon (JASON CADIEUX) stars as Saint Sebastian. Their rehearsal is becoming passionate, and it seems clear that their friendship is a romantic one, when a jealous young Bilodeau (MATTHEW FERGUSON) interrupts.

Later Bilodeau becomes jealous when Simon becomes engaged to an exotic French woman who comes to their small town and tries unsuccessfully to lure Simon to the seminary with him. The bittersweet love triangle eventually crescendos in tragedy and the adult Simon finally finds out the truth he has sought desperately for the past forty years.

John Greyson is the director of such landmark films as UNCUT, URINAL and the one and only AIDS musical, ZERO PATIENCE. His films have played at festivals around the world including Sundance, Toronto, Chicago, New York and Rotterdam.

Washington City Paper critic Joel E. Siegel wrote about LILIES: "…catapults over gay cinema ghetto walls and into the front ranks of international filmmakers… Incorporating theatrical devices from Shakespeare, Wilde, Genet and Peter Weiss, Greyson and Bouchard have structured LILIES like a set of Chinese boxes. Challengingly, but always coherently, they have created plays within plays, emphasizing the idea that gender itself is a kind of performance… Not since the ‘60s masterpieces by Bertolucci and Coppola has there been such an exquisite display of voluptuous, virtuoso filmmaking." In the LA WEEKLY, a critic wrote, "A flawlessly executed tragedy, hypnotic and moving, LILLIES paradoxically leaves you feeling high; it’s the buzz you get from seeing a great film." The San Francisco Bay Guardian deemed Greyson, "…the most challenging, confrontational of international gay directors.

For more information about LILIES go to http://www.turbulentarts.com/lilies.html.

Requests to cover any of the above events, or to interview any of the in-person guests must be in writing. See below for details.

A complete calendar/flyer listing of these films has been mailed to you.

PHOTOS FROM "THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE" (B&W), "BLACK AND WHITE" and "FINGERS" (B&W) ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST, AS WELL AS PRESS NOTES. PHOTOS FOR "LILIES" ARE AVAILABLE AT www.turbulentarts.com AS WELL AS A COMPLETE PRESS KIT.

 

WE DO NOT HAVE GUARANTEED PRESS PASSES TO PUBLIC SCREENINGS. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE ADVANCE PRESS SCREENINGS.

REQUESTS FOR PRESS TICKETS TO PUBLIC SCREENINGS MUST BE IN WRITING AND SHOULD BE FAXED TO 323.461.9737 ATTN: MARGOT GERBER, 24 HOURS PRIOR TO SHOW TIME. JOURNALISTS WISHING TO AUDIO OR VIDEOTAPE DISCUSSIONS MUST ALSO SEND A WRITTEN REQUEST.

Tapes are available at the stores below.

Jerry’s Video (1904 Hillhurst, Los Feliz - 323.666.7471)

Rocket Video (726 N. La Brea - 323.965.1100)

Cinefile (11280 Santa Monica Blvd. - Corner of Sawtelle Ave. - 310.312.8836)

Vidiots (302 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica - 310/392-8508)

THE PROGRAM IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.

 

Films listed as available on video tape can be viewed at the offices of the American Cinematheque, 1800 N. Highland Avenue, Suite 717 in Hollywood. Please call 323.461.2020, ext. 115 or 116 to schedule an appointment to press screen these films on tape.

 

Upcoming at the American Cinematheque:

Tony Curtis Tribute - New Hollywood of the 60’s & 70’s

*Please note that Pola X (scheduled for March 29th) will be postponed.

 

Our permanent daily attraction film FOREVER HOLLYWOOD is now open. The film is a celebration of the history of Hollywood as told by some of today’s biggest stars. For press passes to see it for review purposes, please call Margot Gerber at 323.461.2020, ext. 115.

 

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