Contact: Margot Gerber

213.466.3456, ext. 115

March 11, 1999




WADD: The Life & Times of John C. Holmes (March 25)


HOLLYWOOD – The American Cinematheque’s THE ALTERNATIVE SCREEN: A FORUM FOR INDEPENDENT FILM EXHIBITION & BEYOND... presents two new independent feature films in March and April. On Thursday, March 25th at 7:30 pm is the LA PREMIERE of Cass Paley’s WADD: The Life & Times of John C. Holmes (120 min.), a documentary about the skinny, bushy haired kid who became the biggest name in adult entertainment. The short film "Self-Portrait: Women Loving Women" (15 min.) from Los Angeles artist Heilman-C will precede the feature. On Thursday, April 8th at 7:30 PM is a SPECIAL SCREENING of the Sundance Film Festival 1999 Official Selection AFRAID OF EVERYTHING (80 min.), a gracefully executed psychological drama starring French actress Nathalie Richard (IRMA VEP) as half of a repressed couple whose lives are stirred up by the visit of Richard’s free-spirited Israeli half-sister. The film is directed by David Barker. Michael Derrossett’s short film "La Reve De La Mere" (15 min.) precedes the feature. All filmmakers are scheduled to appear in-person at their respective screenings subject to their availability. All screenings are at the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood (between Las Palmas Ave. & McCadden Place).

WADD: The Life & Times of John C. Holmes (1999, 120 min.):

Sex. Drugs. Betrayal. Murder. AIDS. In Cass Paley’s comprehensive

documentary, the mythology of John C. Holmes both unravels and grows denser

as his character both on and off screen is dissected and analyzed in the

recollections of those whose lives he left indelible marks upon. From his

abusive childhood in rural Ohio to his rise to super- stardom in 1970’s porn as detective "Johnny Wadd" to his dissent into drug

addiction and finally his death from AIDS – this film lays bare the darker

side of Holmes’ persona and the bizarre, sociopathic reality that governed

his daily existence. The people in his life (many who were the basis for

characters in the film BOOGIE NIGHTS) who speak about the deeply troubled,

but charismatic Holmes include: the wife he married when he was only 17 and

kept secret from his porn industry colleagues for 19 years; his 15-year-old

mistress whom he pimped for drugs and money (and who developed a close,

mother-daughter relationship with wife Sharon Holmes, a nurse who led an

apparently "normal" life completely removed from her porn star husband’s);

the police detectives who investigated the drug-related murder in which

Holmes was a primary suspect; Holmes’ last wife, a manipulative porn starlet

who kept friends and family away as he lay dying; and a myriad of adult film

stars and filmmakers, friends and historians.

Says LA Times critic Kenneth Turan, "This is really an American story, this

story, what happened to John. The reinvention of self, the rags to riches

and ultimate self-destruction that is so clich, is embodied in WADD… but

when sex, drugs, a sociopathic mind and a 14-inch penis are thrown in, the

story is far from clich.

The short "Self-Portrait: Women Loving Women" (15 min.) turns an element of

subculture on its ear by bringing it to the masses. Here the artist

documents people’s reactions to her art exhibit which depicts women loving

women. Artist/filmmaker Heilman C’s website gives more information about her


AFRAID OF EVERYTHING (1999, 80 min.):

French actress Nathalie Richard (of IRMA VEP and several Assayas and Jacques

Rivette films) makes her English language debut in this American independent

film with a distinctly European flavor. Two half-sisters raised apart – one

French, the other Israeli – come together in New York, a year after the

older sister (Richard) lost her leg in an accident. Now Anne doesn’t go out.

She spends her days making endless "home improvements" to the spacious loft

she shares with her tightly-wound husband Donnie (Daniel Aukin). When

impulsive, extroverted, 18-year-old Iris (Sarah Adler) bursts into Anne’s

life, her bold tell-it-like-it-is honesty disrupts the couples’s quiet,

awkward existence. As their delicately balanced relationship falters, Iris

provokes them into examing their unspoken anguish over the most intimate of

issues. Richard’s trademark all- encompassing smile is even more luminous in

the film’s gorgeous black & white palette (the filmmakers looked at films from

the ‘30s and ‘40s shot by cinematographer John Alton (T-MEN) for

inspiration). Says Rebecca Yeldham in the 1999 Sundance Film Festival

catalog, "…despite the intensity of its revelations, the film maintains a

buoyant levity, gently steering us and its narrative toward laughter and

optimism in the face of grave awakenings."

In his Variety review, Dennis Harvey wrote, "Elegantly crafted and acted,

intriguing… an absorbing and intelligent diversion…. Could pass as a Harold

Pinter play…"

Michael Derrossett’s short film "La Reve De La Mer" (15 min.) is a hypnotic

glimpse into the subconscious of a young French woman coming to terms with

an indifferent lover.

All films are available on tape for press preview. Press kits are available

upon request. Please call for photos or to arrange interviews with

filmmakers. Call 323.466.3456, ext. 115 to schedule interviews or to receive

press kits.

Ticket giveaways are available to all broadcast programs in the LA area or

through websites. Please call for details.

The Alternative Screen: A Forum For Independent Film Exhibition And

Beyond..., the American Cinematheque’s on-going series focusing on

independent and new forms of cinema was created to serve the public as well

as the independent film community in Los Angeles by providing a year-round

venue for independent feature films that have not yet secured wide

commercial distribution. Whatever the ALTERNATIVE SCREEN offers from month

to month, it promises to be provocative, innovative and fiercely

independent. Select Alternative Screen alumni include THE BIBLE & GUN CLUB,


The Alternative Screen takes on-going submissions for consideration of

fiercely independent work in all genres. Please send a 1/2" tape to: Margot

Gerber, The Alternative Screen, c/o American Cinematheque, 1800 N. Highland

Avenue, Suite 717, Hollywood, CA., 90028. Include a SASE if you would like

your tape returned. Inquiries should be directed to 323.466.3456, ext. 115.

Short films should be sent to the attention of Andrew Crane.

For information regarding the Alternative Screen or any other American

Cinematheque event, please call (213) 466-FILM. THE PROGRAM IS SUBJECT TO


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