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 July and August. On Thursday, July 17th at 7:30 pm is a Sneak Preview of STAR MAPS (Fox Searchlight, 1997, 95 min.), director Miguel Arteta’s controversial new film about a Latino teenager who turns to hustling, thinking he will make Hollywood connections. STAR MAPS was an official selection of the 1997 Sundance Film Festival and was described by New York Times critic Janet Maslin, as a "California Midnight Cowboy." On Thursday, August 14th at 7:30 pm, director Barry J. Hershey will present a Sneak Preview of THE EMPTY MIRROR (USA, 1996, 119 min.), his darkly comic, bold imagining of the ruminations of Adolph Hitler’s deluded mind had he been left to contemplate his heinous deeds. 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.


An audience favorite at this years’ Sundance Film Festival, this controversial film blends fantasy and melodrama with dark humor in the story of Carlos (Douglas Spain), a handsome Latino teenager who is willing to do anything to become a Hollywood movie

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

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

page 2 -- Alternative Screen

star. Carlos returns to Los Angeles after two years in Mexico living with his grandparents, to find his family in dire straights. His mother (Martha Velez) has suffered a nervous breakdown (which, in gently comic moments, allow her to flirt with Cantinflas), his older brother has become emotionally unstable and his sister (Lysa Flores) has sacrificed everything to care for them all. At the root of their problems is Carlos’ cruel and destructive father Pepe (Efrain Figueroa) who runs a business selling maps to the stars’ homes. But, the good-looking young vendors are selling more than just "star maps" from their street corners in Beverly Hills. When Carlos joins Pepe’s ring in an effort to make contacts in Hollywood, he soon realizes that his goals are worthy, but his tactics are completely misguided. Moments between Carlos and Jennifer (Kandeyce Jorden), a white soap opera actress with a penchant for "poor Mexican boys," are illuminating and often shocking statements on class, ethnicity and power.

In Filmmaker Magazine, critic Hazel-Dawn Dumpert wrote, "…the beauty of STAR MAPS lies in its unforced allowance for the strengths and imperfections of all its characters, regardless of race or class."

STAR MAPS will be released on July 23rd in Los Angeles by Fox Searchlight. For publicity information not related to the American Cinematheque sneak preview, please contact Todd Zeller, GS Marketing, at 213.860.0270. STAR MAPS is not available for review in connection with this screening. Todd Zeller can arrange press screenings in advance of the commercial release and has press kits and photos available.



Director Barry J. Hershey’s beautifully shot (by BLUE VELVET cinematographer Frederick Elmes) darkly comic, bold imagining of the ruminations of Adolph Hitler’s deluded mind had he been left to contemplate his heinous deeds, defies the Hitler taboo to explore the human complexities of this international icon of evil. In this disturbing vision, Hitler (Norman Rodway) is imprisoned in a dark netherworld of a bunker, dictating his revisionist memoirs to a blonde typist (Doug McKeon) against a backdrop of actual newsreel and home movie projections depicting his glory days. Intermingled are visits from his propagandist Josef Goebbels (Joel Grey); mistress Eva Braun (Camilla Soeberg); lieutenant Hermann Goering (Glenn Shadix); Dr. Sigmund Freud (Peter Michael Goetz); and a group of fair-haired Hitler youth. Remembering, analyzing and regretting, this Hitler is "the ultimate auteur, a demented director who made the world his soundstage" (Houston Press Guide to Worldfest Houston) and realized his horrible vision. "Film is the magician’s mirror. It is the first artform which allows the artist to project his dreams and fantasies into the inner life of the viewer. To reshape and capture his soul. My works of destruction and grandeur will live on. I am the artist and I was the artwork," Hershey’s Hitler declares. "Compared to you, Wagner was a minimalist," Goebbels offers.

THE EMPTY MIRROR has been compared in the press to Hans-Huergen Syberberg’s OUR HITLER. Variety critic Todd McCarthy who wrote, "…for those willing to join in Hershey’s intellectual, psychological and historical exercise, there are rewards to be had in mulling over the terrible but fascinating issues the film raises." In the Houston Press Guide to Worldfest Houston, Joe Leydon wrote of the actor who portrays Hitler, "…Rodway – whose performance as Hitler is a canny balance of prideful fanaticism and anxious self-rationalization – is truly mesmerizing."

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 THEATIX (213) 466-1767. 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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