Contact: Margot Gerber

213.466.3456, ext. 115











HOLLYWOOD -- The American Cinematheque’s THE ALTERNATIVE SCREEN: A FORUM FOR INDEPENDENT FILM EXHIBITION & BEYOND... presents "INSPIRED BY…" a program of award-winning, innovative short films that reinterpret classic literature and the lives and theories of great literary figures. The program screens Thursday, September 11th at 7:30 pm. Move over Masterpiece Theatre! These six revisionist tales pick up where English Literature 101 left off -- putting a new spin on Shakespeare’s Hamlet (told here with great fun, in 13-minutes and then in two minutes!); imagining existentialist Samuel Beckett ordering out for pizza; profiling the nervous breakdown of Philip K. Dick, the author of book BLADE RUNNER was based on; re-visiting the paranoid world of Kafka’s Prague; ruminating on Chekhov’s theory about guns on stage; and re-locating Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice to California with a "gay Lolita" twist. 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 program begins at 7:30 PM and includes the following films. ROOM 103, 9 min., --- Within the labyrinth of Prague’s city streets, a young American writer finds himself trapped in the paranoid and nightmarish world of Kafka’s The Trial. This beautifully

American Cinematheque, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., 3rd Floor,

Hollywood, CA 90028 tel (213) 466.3456 fax (213) 461.9737


photographed black & white film captures the intricate, timeless architecture of Prague. Director Stephen Berkman has also directed music videos including "Fly From Heaven" for Toad the Wet Sprocket.

Todd Louiso’s THE FIFTEEN MINUTE HAMLET, 24 min. brings the art of filmmaking to the Elizabethan era. "To cut or not to cut" seems to be the real question in this brilliantly madcap "Cliff’s Note" tribute to Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy. Louiso, who plays Ophelia (who in this abbreviated version does herself in by drowning in a bucket), has appeared as an actor in such films as JERRY MAGUIRE, THE ROCK, APOLLO 13 and THE SCENT OF A WOMAN. The film features Austin Pendleton (SGT. BILKO); MY COUSIN VINNIE) as Hamlet; Ernest Perry, Jr. (RAGE IN HARLEM, COLOR OF MONEY) as Claudius; Philip S. Hoffman TWISTER, NOBODY’S FOOL) as Horatio; and Xander Berkeley (APOLLO 13, LEAVING LAS VEGAS) as Shakespeare. Adapted from Tom Stoppard’s play.

Matt Nix and Victor Fanucchi’s CHEKHOV’S GUN, 20 mins., uses Chekhov’s premise, "One must not put a loaded gun onstage if no one is going to fire it," as a launching point for a tale of intrigue between four characters. When the film premiered at the 12th Dublin Film Festival, the Irish Times commented, "The humor is knowing and wittily ironic in this precisely sustained exercise." Winner of the Best Screenplay award at the Davis Film Festival.

Carina Chocano’s SAMUEL BECKETT ORDERS OUT, 4 min.--- Join the Father of Existentialism himself as he contemplates the brevity of life, time, eternity and the infinite possibilities involved in ordering the perfect pizza. Chocano captures the reminders of another pleasure briefly grasped, only to expire in this tongue-in-cheek interlude with Beckett.

P. David Ebersole’s DEATH IN VENICE, CA, 30 min. is a striking, sensual gay variation on the Thomas Mann tragic novella where sexual repression and dark obsession now meet on the sandy shores of Venice Beach. This multiple award-winning film features Emmy-Award-winning actress Shirley Knight ("Indictment: The McMartin Trials"). A critic for the New York Daily News commented that the film is, "A Gay Lolita with the

European intellectual prostrating himself before the great but shallow beauty of America." Film critic David Hunter wrote, "Excellent… tightly scripted… beautifully filmed… superbly evocative cinema." Ebersole’s soon-to-be-produced award-winning screenplay "Flowers for Albuquerque" will be presented as a staged reading on 10/2 as the first event of the Cinematheque’s new screenplay reading series.

Judy Bee’s THE NERVOUS BREAKDOWN OF PHILIP K. DICK, 21 min. is a darkly comic, hallucinogenic account of the horrific psychological fragmentation and complete mental collapse of the highly regarded American novelist/sci-fi genius whose work provided the basis for Ridley Scott’s classic film, BLADE RUNNER. Set in Berkeley in 1968 against a backdrop of worn-out radical chic, shrill Nixonian totalitarianism and hippie psychedelica, this film is a dizzy detective story about a man in search of his own sanity. With Lisa Zane ("Roar").

Advance press screenings are available on tape at the offices of the American Cinematheque. Call extension 115 to schedule. Press kits and black & white still photos are available upon request.

Admission for the general public is $7 and $4 for American Cinematheque Members. Tickets to our programs can be purchased through SHOWTIXX (818) 789-8944. Our number, (213) 466-FILM should be listed for further information only !

Our 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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