Contact: Margot Gerber 213.466.3456, ext. 115



HOLLYWOOD -- The American Cinematheque's THE ALTERNATIVE SCREEN: A FORUM FOR INDEPENDENT FILM EXHIBITION & BEYOND... presents screenings of two new independent feature films in May. A Sneak Preview of Dan Zukovic's THE LAST BIG THING (USA, 1996, 98 min.), a devilish fin-de-siecle comedy that skewers '90s media culture and the lust for fame, screens on Thursday, May 8th at 7:30 pm. The LA Premiere of Michael Levin's documentary DREAMS OF A CITY: CREATING EAST PALO ALTO (USA, 1996, 55 min.), a study of an ethnically diverse community's efforts to overcome their ranking as 1992's "National Murder Capitol," screens on Thursday, May, 22nd at 7:30 pm preceded by Mark Schwartzbard's "Road Movie" (21 min.). DREAMS OF A CITY is the first film in an on-going series entitled, Rediscovering America, new documentaries presented by the Alternative Screen that examine contemporary America and its citizens. Filmmakers will appear for post-screening discussions subject to their availability. All screenings are at the Raleigh Studios Charlie Chaplin Theater, 5300 Melrose Ave. in Hollywood (between Bronson & Van Ness). Parking is free on the studio lot. THE LAST BIG THING: If you've ever wanted to shove your fist down the throat of the next pathetic LA scenster you bump into at a party, who wants nothing more than to be the media's "next big thing," then this movie will warm your heart. The film's writer/director, Dan Zukovic, also stars in this devilishly smart, satiric skewering of every hyped up modern

American Cinematheque, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., 3rd Floor, Hollywood, CA 90028 tel (213) 466.3456 fax (213) 461.9737

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medium; from music videos to stand-up comedy; from modeling to the retro-hip twentysomething worship of bad 70s TV shows and their icons. Zukovic is Simon Geist a mysterious figure who has teamed up with an angst-ridden trust fund baby to carry out a mysterious "agenda" (which he says is "fluid and subject to mutation") from head quarters in a suburban tract home ("the perfect anti-statement") 30 miles from Los Angeles. As Geist begins to believe that he truly is "the last major figure of the millennium," an intelligent model (Pamela Dickerson) and "the new hunk of night time television" (Mark Ruffalo) enter the picture, and the agenda really begins to mutate... Writing for Variety, Ken Eisner called the film, "A consistently funny, relentlessly scabrous critique of fin-de-siecle media culture, L.A. division. Smarter urbanites could be talking about it right into the next century." In The Ubyssey, Andy Barham, wrote, "If you thought THE PLAYER was a bitingly sarcastic indictment of modern culture, you ain't seen nothing yet." Brad Schreiber of Entertainment Today comments that "Dan Zukovic is as mesmerizing as he is acerbically funny as Simon Geist..., Darla's (Susan Heimbinder) hyperkinetic nervousness is a great foil for Zukovic's unnerving physical intensity and intellectual superciliousness." THE LAST BIG THING premiered at the Vancouver Film Festival and has gone on to play the festival circuit with stops at The Hamptons, Palm Springs, Palm Beach, New York's GenArt Screenings and the upcoming Seguaro and Gallway Film Festivals. A theatrical press screening of THE LAST BIG THING will be held on Friday, April 18th at 4:00 pm at the Fairbanks Screening Room on the Raleigh Studios Lot (5300 Melrose Avenue). Please call to RSVP (ext. 115) if you plan to attend. Press kit and black & white stills available upon request. Dan Zukovic is available for interview. Sales inquiries should be directed to TC Rice at 212.727.0249.


Where is the other side of the tracks? For many San Francisco Bay area residents it is the predominantly African American, low income community of East Palo Alto, the city voted "the national murder capital" of the United States in 1992. Filmmaker Michael Levin traces the 150 year history of a city that, in the 1850's was actually slated to page 3 -- Alternative Screen become a port city to rival San Francisco, but instead, became the victim of every ill-conceived urban planning fiasco in the region. "Combining historical research with community input, the project tells the city's story from the "inside out," creating a tapestry of diverse voices and experiences." (San Jose Mercury News) Focusing on solutions, DREAMS shows the culturally diverse (African Ameircan, Caucasion, Latino and Pacific Islander) residents of this impoverished city (now struggling to build retail shopping centers to create a tax base) taking back their streets and banding together to effect change. With the recent controversy over ebonics, the history of East Palo Alto's now defunct, progressive Nairobi Schools, an outgrowth of the Black Power movement of the late 60's, is especially interesting. Produced by Barbara Maliska. Sundance Film Festival curator Robert Hawk commented about the film, that "One of the greatest virtues of DREAMS is its very specificity -- i.e., that in digging deep into one particular story, it imparts a tale of universal importance and inspiration." Ruben Abrica, one of the residents featured in the documentary, says, "What's happening here in East Palo Alto, how we go through our growing pains as a community, the fact that we have diversity here, is something that the whole state is going to go through very soon. The extent to which we can move ahead is a reflection of where our country is going." DREAMS OF A CITY made its broadcast premiere on April 14th on San Jose's KTEH Public Television. The film is co-produced by Stanford University's Committee on Black Performing Arts (CBPA) and Academic Software Development group (ASD) in collaboration with the East Palo Alto Project Task Force. "Road Movie" (USA, 1996, 21 min.) will precede DREAMS OF A CITY. "Fear the neon sombrero," warns filmmaker Mark Schwartzbard in his satiric personal travelogue of a road trip taken down the East Coast. From the annual American Philosophical Association's convention in New York City to South Carolina's tacky South of the Border tourist trap - "a travesty against man and architecture" to Hemingway's Key West - "Schwartzbard is terse and whimsical, and he makes one feel, through his humor, that what he has to say couldn't be said any better." (The Tacoma Weekly). DREAMS OF A CITY and "Road Movie" are available for press screening on video tape at the offices of the American Cinematheque. Call extension 115 to schedule. Press kits and black & white still photos are available upon request. Michael Levin is available for interview. Admission for the general public is $7 and $4 for American Cinematheque Members. Tickets to our programs can be purchased through THEATIX (213) 466-1767. Our number, (213) 466-FILM should be listed for further information only ! Our new website has complete schedule information as well as updated changes to our schedule, announcements about special guests and information about the Egyptian Theater project. This press release is also available on the website. To log on: 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, experimental work, music videos and work in new media. Whatever the ALTERNATIVE SCREEN offers from month to month, it promises to be provocative, innovative and fiercely independent.

Established in 1984, the American Cinematheque, is a non-profit, viewer-supported film exhibition and cultural organization dedicated to the celebration of the Moving Picture in all its forms. The Cinematheque presents weekly film and video programming which range from the classics and world cinemas to the outer frontiers of the art form at Raleigh Studios Charlie Chaplin Theater and other Los Angeles venues. Exhibition of rare works and special prints within our series are a Cinematheque tradition that keep the avid film lover coming back for once-in-a-lifetime cinema experiences. We also treat our audiences to fascinating post-screening discussions with the filmmakers who created the work. The American Cinematheque is currently working with the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City Los Angeles to develop the historic Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard as the site of the American Cinematheque's permanent home where daily, year-round programming will be offered.

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 the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., 3rd Floor, Hollywood, CA., 90028. Include a SASE if you would like your tape returned. Phone inquiries should be directed to 213.466.3456, ext. 115. Please note that we are not currently accepting music video submissions, but are actively seeking animated shorts. For information regarding the Alternative Screen or any other American Cinematheque event, please call (213) 466-FILM. THE PROGRAM IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.

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