Thursday, July 28, 2005
Weekend package price for KAZU members: $75. | Weekend package general admission: $100. | Individual film prices: see below.
Tonight’s special guests include director Xan Cassavetes, documentary producers Rick Ross and Marshall Persinger, and FX Feeney, the Z-Channel’s in-house film critic.
Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004)
Xan Cassavetes, the daughter of the grandfather of American Independent Cinema, John Cassavetes, directs the documentary film about a man’s obsession with film leading him to develop his own idea of the “perfect television station.” The Z Channel, a pre-HBO cable station, aired independent, foreign, and obscure films in their entirety, uncut and commercial free. Cassavetes parallels the Z Channel’s groundbreaking contributions to non-mainstream cinema with Harvey’s fast demise into insanity and tragedy. Some of the world’s greatest directors, including Robert Altman, recall personally delivering their original cut of a film to Harvey to air on the network. Harvey gave many films second chances—and audiences that couldn’t be found in the theaters.
Director: Xan Cassavetes, R, 120 min.
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid: The Director’s Cut (1973)
Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” plays throughout Sam Peckinpah’s Western based on the love-hate relationship of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Dylan not only wrote the entire film’s soundtrack, which earned him a Grammy nomination, but he also gave a mediocre performance as Alias in the film. The film lacks in quality compared to Rio Bravo, The Wild Bunch, and even the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone, but it does have some campy appeal as well as morsels of Peckinpah’s tasty cinematic flavor.
Director: Sam Peckinpah, R, 122 min.
Bad Timing: The Director’s Cut (1980)
Nick Roeg’s psychological study of indifferent characters involved in intense sexual relationships leaves a somewhat bitter taste in the mouth. Initially, audiences were not receptive to the seamy, dark nature of the film, though it is well-made and well-acted. Art Garfunkel plays American professor of psychology Alex Linden with both a subtle demeanor and a perverse underside. Theresa Russell gives an extraordinary performance with just enough overacting in the role of the manic alcoholic sex-addict Milena Flaherty. Z Channel gave Bad Timing a second chance to wow audiences after its unsuccessful run in theaters.
Director: Nicolas Roeg, R, 129 min.
Tonight, director Stuart Cooper presents both of his films in person. Price includes screening of both films.
Overlord: The Director’s Cut (1975)
Stuart Cooper directs this stunning feat of filmmaking, mixing actual newsreel footage from WWII with fictional footage he shot using actors. Brian Stirner plays Tom, a young man called unwillingly into the military to train for D-Day. This film immediately slipped through the cracks upon its release, only to be rediscovered by Jerry Harvey and aired to critical acclaim on Z Channel. The collaboration of new and old grainy black and white footage is seamless.
Director: Stuart Cooper, NR, 85 min.
9pm: The Disappearance: The Director’s Cut (1977)
Donald Sutherland and John Hurt star in Stuart Cooper’s noir mystery thriller. Jay Mallory, a contract killer, suspects the organization that recently hired him is connected with the recent disappearance of his wife. Francine Racette, Sutherland’s real life wife, also stars. Jerry Harvey rediscovered this film’s American director living in England and wanted the rest of the world to know about him. Z Channel aired a Stuart Cooper marathon at Harvey’s request, turning many critics on to his work for the first time.
Director: Stuart Cooper, NR, 100 min.
Heaven’s Gate: The Director’s Cut (1980)
The setting is a dusty and smoky Wyoming during the late 1890s in Michael Cimino’s grand scale, high-budget Western, a film badly received by audiences after its 228-minute premiere. Before the film’s wide release it was cut down to 149 minutes, when it was panned as trying too hard to be an anti-Western and overly melodramatic. The film stars Kris Kristofferson, John Hurt, Jeff Bridges, Christopher Walken, and many other big names. After such a tremendous blockbuster flop, Cimino’s efforts were doomed until Z Channel gave the film a second chance, on television, in its original 228-minute form.
Director: Michael Cimino, R, 219 min.
De Vierde Man (The Fourth Man): The Director’s Cut (1983)
The tragic hero of this little known Dutch thriller is Gerard Reve (Jeroen Krabbé), a gay, alcoholic Catholic. While he stays with Christine Halsslag (Renée Soutendijk), he begins having premonitions. Gerand believes Christine murdered three previous husbands and thinks her current boyfriend, whom he pines over, or himself, will wind up as the fourth victim. Is Gerand just a paranoid drunk, or are his visions true? The Fourth Man is considered Paul Verhoeven’s best work, far superior to Showgirls and Starship Troopers. Verhoeven credits the beginning of his American career to Jerry Harvey and the Z Channel, who frequently ran his early Dutch films.
Director: Paul Verhoeven, NR, 105 min.
Tonight’s screening also includes admission to Z Fest Monterey’s wrap party.
The Wild Bunch: The Director’s Cut (1969)
Sam Peckinpah makes his mark as a filmmaker with a film infamously known as the goriest Western ever made. The Wild Bunch takes place during the latter days of the Old West. A bunch of aging outlaws, including William Holden and Ernest Borgnine, decide to make one last score before fading away. Considered by many to be the best Western ever made, the original, 179-minute cut of The Wild Bunch was delivered personally to the Z Channel’s Jerry Harvey by Peckinpah himself. Forty-six minutes longer than the running time of the film’s original US release, The Wild Bunch began the “director’s cut” phenomenon.
Director: Sam Peckinpah, R, 179 min.