Contact: Margot Gerber

213.466.3456, ext. 115








HOLLYWOOD – The American Cinematheque’s THE ALTERNATIVE SCREEN: A FORUM FOR INDEPENDENT FILM EXHIBITION & BEYOND... presents LA Sneak Previews of two new independent films in June. Both films were official selections of the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. On Thursday, June 11th at 7:30 pm is Max Makowski’s THE PIGEON EGG STRATEGY (84 min.), an absurdist, intellectual, linguistic adventure/comedy about a strange chain of events that take place amongst a group of identically-attired assassins, posing as German ham delivery men in Hong Kong. A "playful literate romp… a cross between SLACKER, RESERVOIR DOGS and MY DINNER WITH ANDRE…" (Sam Adams, Philadelphia Critic). The award-winning short, animated film "5 Dreams" (7 min.) by director Luke Jaeger will precede the feature. On Thursday, June 25th at 7:15 PM is the electronic music documentary MODULATIONS (Strand Releasing, 60 min.), a piece of "cinema for the ear" which traces the collaborations of musician and machine from pre-John Cage to the current success of techno acts like Moby and Orbital and hot DJs on the international rave and club scene. This is the latest film from Iara Lee the director of SYNTHETIC PLEASURES. Filmmakers Max Makowski and Iara Lee are scheduled to appear in-person at their respective screenings (subject to their availability). Film Threat’s Chris Gore will moderate the discussion following THE PIGEON EGG STRATEGY. 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.

American Cinematheque, 1800 N. Highland Avenue, Suite 717,

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







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THE PIGEON EGG STRATEGY (1997, 84 min.):

Writer/Director Max Makowski creates a complex and unconventional structure that jumps back and forth in time to tell a thoroughly entertaining, thoroughly quirky tale about a group of bowler hat wearing assassins who try to dispose of a children’s storybook author because her latest fairy tale (based on a Chinese myth about the creation of time) is believed to be about their gang! In between, there is wildly amusing repartee (on goatees, spiral staircases and everything in between), amongst a bizarre group of characters that include: a "grammarian ballerina," who is in Hong Kong advising high-level government operatives against an official change from British to American English (because people would no longer queue up, they would simply line up); a barfly who pushes chianti and orange juice on his drinking partners and assassins posing as schincken (German ham) delivery men. This truly international commentary on language and the fact that there is no such thing as coincidence, was shot in Hong Kong with an American cast and Chinese crew from an English script written by a Brazilian director in Germany! A clever, fast-paced, philosophical, absurdist comedy in the vein of Samuel Beckett or Eugene Ionesco and a cult favorite at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.

Writing for the Philadelphia Enquirer," Andrew Smith commented that THE PIGEON EGG STRATEGY is, "…brilliant and challenging… Its intellectual ambition is continually side-tracked by its wit, movement and charm. As one assassin says to another: ‘Are you trying to pull some abstract, surrealistic, metaphorical maneuver on me?’"

Preceding THE PIGEON EGG STRATEGY is the animated short, "5 Dreams" (7 min.), by award-winning, Massachusetts-based filmmaker Luke Jaeger. Described as "a crayon-colored odyssey through a pop culture-stained subconsciousness" (The Valley Advocate), the film features visions of a man eating yogurt from a hollowed out telephone, a bathroom tiled with panels from the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt; a rat-infested Secret Service Wedding and other surreal scenarios. The film combines various forms of animation – drawing, cut-out, xeroxography, stop-motion and digital modeling -- to achieve a totally unique texture that closely replicates the fleeting, ephemeral nature of dream imagery. The score is by the avant-garde combo Birdsongs of


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the Mesozoic and features an absurdist pop tune – "If Wynton Marsalis had a Toy Boat, Would It Sink?" by New England songwriter Philip Prince of the band The Maggies.

THE PIGEON EGG STRATEGY and "5 Dreams" are both available on tape for press preview. Press kits are available upon request. We have color art for "7 Dreams." Hong Kong-based director Max Makowski is currently in the United States (East Coast) and is available for phone interviews prior to his arrival in Los Angeles the week of his screening. Call 213.466.3456, ext. 115 to schedule interviews or to receive press kits.

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MODULATIONS (1998, Strand Releasing, 73 min.) :

Following the success of her 1995 debut feature SYNTHETIC PLEASURES, lara Lee ventures into uncharted territory once again, this time to capture a moment in history where man and machine fuse to create todays’ most exciting sounds. This piece of "cinema for the ear," which bowed at the 1998 Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals, traces the evolution of electronic music (from John Cage’s 1920’s experimentations to Moby and Orbital today) as one of the most profound artistic developments of the 20th century.

By cutting back and forth between avant garde composers, German 70’s musicians Kraftwerk’s innovative synthesizer drones; Giorgio Moroder’s erotic Euro-disco; Afrika Bambaataa’s electro-funk and Prodigy’s current worldwide super-stardom, MODULATIONS celebrates, replicates and illuminates the nomadic drift of the post-human techno sound. The film examines the kids who have turned the turntable into a musical instrument, disillusioned disco lovers who created acid house out of primitive synthesizers, "Motor City" mavericks who saw the drum machine as their escape route out of urban neglect, and a generation of British youth who transformed these blips and bleeps into dance floor anthems of their own alienation. Featuring a stunning collage of interviews, cutting-edge visuals, in-studio and live performance footage, the film keeps pace with the energetic, innovative music it explores. Lee traces this international phenomenon around the world from Italian Futurist Luigi Russolo’s book The Art of Noise (written at the onset of WW I) to contemporary raves in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Berlin, Great Britain and Mt. Fuji, Japan. Lee’s film is something of a rhythmic lexicon of


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electronic music from the theremin and the Moog synthesizer to "jungle" techno, hip-hop, disco and the newest sounds being created by DJ’s around the world.

Interviewed in the film, Robert Moog, the creator of the Moog synthesizer says, "In my day, cars were hot-rodded, now days, you hot-rod your computer."

MODULATIONS is currently making its way around the world in film and music festivals from Cleveland to Finland, San Francisco and Singapore. The film is scheduled for a national commercial release through Strand Releasing in August 1998. MODULATIONS is not available for review in advance of this screening. For press information about the film in relation to its commercial release please contact Lynn Hasty at Green Galactic, 213.466.5141 or Photos, press kits, cassettes and soundtracks are available through Green Galactic. New York-based director Iara Lee is available for interview.

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Ticket giveaways are available to all broadcast programs or in the LA area or through websites. Please call for details.

Admission for the general public is $7 and $4 for American Cinematheque Members. Information about purchasing tickets to our programs is available at (213) 466.3456, extension 3. Access extension 2 for additional information.

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. Select Alternative Screen alumni include THE BIBLE & GUN CLUB, HABIT, STAR MAPS and THE LAST BIG THING.

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

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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 theatre will open December 4, 1998.

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. 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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