Contact: Margot Gerber

213.466.3456, ext. 115









A SNEAK PREVIEW OF HABIT (October 23rd, 1997 )

and THE LA PREMIERE OF NO TELLING (October 30th, 1997)




HOLLYWOOD – In the spirit of Halloween, the American Cinematheque’s THE ALTERNATIVE SCREEN: A FORUM FOR INDEPENDENT FILM EXHIBITION & BEYOND... presents screenings of two independent horror genre feature films in October, both from New York-based independent filmmaker/actor Larry Fessenden. On Thursday, October 23rd at 8:15 pm is a Sneak Preview of HABIT (Glass Eye Pix/Passport Cinema, 1996, 112 min.), a sexy, modern day vampire film which won Fessenden the 1997 Independent Spirit "Someone to Watch Award." On Thursday, October 30th at 9:30 pm, is the Los Angeles Premiere of Fessenden’s first feature, NO TELLING, OR THE FRANKENSTEIN COMPLEX (USA, 1991, 93 min.), a sexual, political, environmental thriller about the collision of science, nature and morality. *Please note that the previously announced October 23rd "Nosferatu’s Nosh" supper has been canceled. Filmmaker/actor Larry Fessenden, the founder of Glass Eye Pix will speak following the screening. 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.


This beautifully photographed, modern "downtown" vampire tale of alienation, addiction and self-destruction takes place in autumn in New York. Sam’s (Larry Fessendon) demons have descended. Lonely, depressed and perpetually sloppy drunk, he mourns the death of his father, the loss of his girlfriend and his lack of career ambition. At a Halloween party he meets the mysterious Anna (Meredith Snaider) and they begin a torrid affair, sharing sultry nights on the streets of Manhattan and a strange Thanksgiving retreat to an old farmhouse with two of Sam’s best friends. But their erotic encounters don’t lead to real intimacy, and soon, Sam’s disorienting, hallucinogenic hangovers begin to drive him mad. Cut off from his friends, Sam wonders, is Anna really drinking his blood? Are his nightmares realities or is he merely surrendering to his own death wish?

Writing for THE VILLAGE VOICE, Amy Taubin, noted, "Vivid… as evocative of New York-style paranoia as ROSEMARY’S BABY, BAD LIEUTENANT, or TAXI DRIVER." In the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES Roger Ebert wrote, "A sad and haunting film… a sly exercise in ambiguity. I recommend HABIT… Fessenden is a talent to watch." In the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, Michael Wilmington commented, "…terrifically tense .. paralyzingly real… keeps us on a knife-edge of erotic uncertainty … evokes true horror." Writing for VARIETY, Joe Leydon said, "First rate performances… erotically charged… wickedly amusing…"

HABIT opens on Wednesday, October 29th at the Laemmle Music Hall and in New York on November 14th. HABIT is available for review in connection with the Los Angeles release. Please call for details. Press kits and photos are available. For publicity information not related to the American Cinematheque sneak preview, please contact Michael Ellenbogen at Glass Eye Pix, 212.274.8530.



Larry Fessenden’s first feature, a sexual, political, animal rights/environmental thriller about a medical researcher (Stephen Ramsey) and his artist wife (Miriam Healy-Louie) who are spending the summer on an isolated, idyllic farm in an area where chemical farming has reached toxic proportions. She is charting her fertility hoping to conceive by summer’s end. Obsessed with chemo-electric therapy, he is locked in his barn laboratory conceiving of something more terrifying than she can imagine. With their marriage strained to the breaking point, Lillian develops a friendship with a rugged ecologist (David Van Tieghem) who is committed to converting the local farmers to methods of organic farming. At the very moment when her husband is about to make the breakthrough of his career, she becomes determined to unlock the secrets of the lab. When Lillian learns the truth about Geoffrey’s experiments, she is forced to confront her own assumptions about the man she married and the bizarre experiments underway in his lab. A gothic creepiness prevails in the otherwise pastoral setting and Fessenden uses gentle satire to intertwined with true horror to confront the complex issues at stake.

Writing for The Village Voice, Amy Taubin commented, "... a smart, spare, skewed update of the Frankenstein story..." In the Boston Globe, Jay Carr wrote, "… it’s got hold of something and its commitment gives it impact." Writing for Variety, Daniel M. Kimmel said, "Foreboding. Fessenden manages to avoid turning drama into melodrama, and the occasional shock scenes of animal experimentation keeps the emphasis on the story rather than gore effects… Miriam Healy-Louie makes her film debut here with considerable presence." Writing for Organica, Elain Beery commented, "Fessenden draws a very thin line between the evil he portrays and the humor and irony of his characterizations… provokes a visceral response."

Advance press screenings are available on tape at the offices of the American Cinematheque. Call extension 115 to schedule. Press kits, 35mm transparencies and black & white still photos are available upon request.

Not only has Fessenden written and directed two independent feature films (NO TELLING, HABIT) and several shorts through his production company Glass Eye Pix, but he has also been instrumental in helping other independent filmmakers get their films made. Glass Eye Pix has recently been involved with Kelly Reichardt’s RIVER OF GRASS (which Fessenden appears in as an actor) and Ira Sach’s THE DELTA. For more information on Glass Eye Pix, please see their website,

Admission for the general public is $7 and $4 for American Cinematheque Members. Tickets to our programs can be purchased through SHOWTIXX (818) 789-8499. 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. 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 or short film submissions.

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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