April 14 – 15, 2001

American Cinematheque & The Northwest Film Forum presents...

SEATTLE'S TREASURE: FILMMAKER GREGG LACHOW IN PERSON!

We are very pleased to welcome Gregg Lachow and company to the Egyptian theatre for the first Los Angeles retrospective of his work, plus the LA Premiere of SILENCE!, his innovative "living film," which combines an original, projected silent feature with live accompaniment by 6 jazz musicians and a performing cast of 7 who interact with the film on stage.

This series was made possible through the generosity of the Ledler Foundation and Lloyd E. Rigler and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

Special Thanks: Lloyd E. Rigler; Gregg Lachow & Michael Seiwerath/ Northwest Film Forum; Jamie Hook; Julian Culshaw; Alexia DeLuca; Kathy Halliday; Lana Red; Jack Tillotson.

Coordinated for the Cinematheque by Margot Gerber.

 

 

Tickets available 30 days in advance.

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"Lachow is a very real and original talent." – Kevin Thomas, LA TIMES

"Lachow is a filmmaking original." – Gerald Peary, THE BOSTON PHOENIX

"Lachow has always been one of Seattle’s treasures. Through all of his films, two things remain constant: an exploration of interesting themes, and top-notch performances." – THE STRANGER (Seattle)

"Unforgettable moments fill Gregg Lachow’s films like fractured glass beads, 12 carat diamonds and bits of gumwrapper strung together on dental floss. His work is suffused with gentle comic genius." (Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead lyricist) Gregg Lachow has been making films in Seattle since 1987, often collaborating with the same small group of actors, musicians, and technicians, including his wife Megan Murphy who has starred in all four of his feature films, and Northwest Film Forum co-founder Jamie Hook, who has edited, shot, co-produced and co-executive produced his films. Perhaps it is his isolation from the filmmaking meccas, that gives his character-driven work an unmediated freshness devoid of the cliches of independent film of the past decade. Whether writing about pioneering aviators Orville and Wilbur Wright (THE WRIGHT BROTHERS), or the dance of two lovers growing in different directions and their attempts to rediscover each other (MONEY BUYS HAPPINESS), there is a strong sense of humanity and philosophical insight in the films of Gregg Lachow, but also of whimsy, humor, irony and an acknowledgment of the surrealism in our daily lives.

His first dozen films were shot on Super-8 and incorporated into the work of Run/Remain, an interdisciplinary performance group founded and directed by Lachow from 1987-1995. Run/Remain toured its unique blend of theater, film, live music, and dance to wide acclaim in the U.S. and Europe. Lachow’s first stand alone film was the Emmy nominated TO HAVE AND TO HOLD (1992) for PBS. In the next eight years Lachow made four features: THE SEVEN MYSTERIES OF LIFE (1994), THE WRIGHT BROTHERS (1996), MONEY BUYS HAPPINESS (1999) and the unique performed film, SILENCE! (2000). His new feature, IT’S ALL MY FAULT, will go into production this June.

Lachow is a graduate of Harvard College, where he was an editor for The Harvard Lampoon.

 

 

Living Film! An Original Silent Film Presented with Live Actors and Musicians On Stage!

LA PREMIERE!

Saturday, April 14 / 8:00 PM

SILENCE! (2000, USA, 83 min.) In Lachow’s latest work, the silver screen is both open canvas and gilded cage. SILENCE! in an original silent film with live dialogue, music, and sound accompaniment performed by the seven film actors and six jazz musicians live on stage. The result combines the visual impact and inflexibility of a film with the immediacy of live performance, to create a unique cinematic/theatrical experience. As a living film, SILENCE! explores in depth the intersections of film and performance, silence and sound, and words and images, inspired by a whole-hearted love of Cinema and the movie-going experience. SILENCE! is a cross-section of several stories. It begins on a silent film set where an actress and actor meet to work for a dogmatic female German Director with a peculiar vision of her tawdry love-drama, "Spring is All About Love." As the day progresses, the film begins to fold in upon itself, creating numerous reflexive narratives. Everyone on the film set is making a different film… the Cinematographer’s is a documentary about lunch. Yet another thread, is a child's recollection of his parents' fateful meeting on the silent film set. As SILENCE! winds to a dramatic close, the child (now an adult), watches the silent film his parents made, and protests the climactic conclusion. By the end we are less and less sure where the film ends and memory begins. Inspired by Delmore Schwartz’ 1937 short story, "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities," SILENCE! is designed to pose more questions than it answers. Inspired by such diverse forms as early silent film, Japanese benchi film-translation, and live theatre, it is a film nor a theatre performance. This performed film evokes both the history of the film medium (with explicit references to silent film), and performance art. As such, SILENCE! provides a challenging, original context in which to examine film's historical and changing role as a visual art-form in America. Written by Matthew Stadler & Stacey Levine. Directed by Gregg Lachow. Starring Michael Chick and Megan Murphy. Original score by Jonathan Sampson. SILENCE! was created through the Northwest Film Forum via a unique partnership with Cinema Seattle. Join the performers for a reception following the screening. Reception sponsored by Beaulieu Vineyards, Boddingtons Pub Ale, Mission Beverage, Crystal Geyser and SoBe Beverage. Special Ticket price includes reception: $10 Members / $11 Students/Seniors / $12 General. The general public as well as members of the Cinematheque may purchase advance tickets to this program only. Please fax ticket orders to 323.467.0163 with your name, phone #, credit card #, exp. date, name as it appears on the card, name of program. (SILENCE!, indicate premiere) and # of tickets. [Repeats April 15 at 2:00 PM. See below for details].

 

Sunday, April 15 / 2:00 PM

SILENCE! (83 min., USA, 2000)

[Repeat performance. See April 14 for details]. Matinee: $8 Members. $9 Students/Seniors. $10 General Admission. The general public as well as members of the Cinematheque may purchase advance tickets to this program only. Please fax ticket orders to 323.467.0163 with your name, phone #, credit card #, exp. date, name as it appears on the card, name of program (SILENCE!, indicate matinee) and # of tickets.

 

Sunday, April 15 / 5:00 PM

THE WRIGHT BROTHERS (1997, USA, 103 min.) Steeped in whimsy, Gregg Lachow’s gender-bending tale is an endearing imagining of the trials and tribulations of brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright – from their unassuming beginnings as bicycle mechanics to their historic success at Kitty Hawk, operating the first "flying machine." Far from a straightforward biopic, this unpredictable, eccentric and humorous story is the timeless tale of two dreamers – the thrill of invention and the resulting fame. Watching this film, which is simultaneously set in the past and the present, one can’t help but wonder which seemingly fanciful dreams of today will become the take-for-granted realities of the future. The theme song was written by Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter who also appears in the film. "…reminiscent of Terrence Malick’s luscious DAYS OF HEAVEN, with its open, gorgeously lit landscape juxtaposed against an innovative script full of thoughts and dreams." -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer Discussion following with Gregg Lahow and other collaborators.

 

Sunday, April 15 / 7:15 PM Double Feature!

"A thoughtful and lyrical film." – VARIETY

MONEY BUYS HAPPINESS (1999, USA, 104 min.) Part absurdist comedy, part realist character study, this film journeys through the hills and valleys of a complex relationship between a middle class, suburban Seattle couple on the brink of divorce. Money (Jeff Weatherford) and Georgia (Megan Murphy) suddenly find themselves in possession of a piano when a friend of a friend commits suicide. As one fight leads to another, they decide that once they get it home, they’ll break up. As Money stubbornly attempts to push the piano all the way across town (before sundown and the beginning of the Sabbath) Georgia searches out the mysterious "V" who long ago sent her a declaration of undying love (a note she still carries with her). During the course of this epic journey, full of stops and starts and off-kilter encounters and re-encounters, husband and wife waver between satisfying their individual needs for self discovery and growth and falling prey to the familiarity of their eroding relationship. Oscillating easily between biting black comedy and a poetic realism reminiscent of Godard or Renoir, Money Buys Happiness is a transforming movie-going experience. "…Murphy is an enthralling screen presence as the lost spouse." THE BOSTON PHOENIX

Discussion between films with writer/director Gregg Lachow and collaborators. Jamie Hook, who executive produced and shot SILENCE! will also appear in person.

LA PREMIERE! THE SEVEN MYSTERIES OF LIFE (1994, USA, 88 min.) A deadpan farce in the spirit of STRANGER THAN PARADISE meets the supernatural worlds of TWILIGHT OF THE ICE NYMPHS director Guy Madden (for its matter-of-fact suspension of disbelief in rather unbelievable circumstances), Lachow’s charming debut feature was called "An unexpected delight" by Variety. On Halloween day, an unassuming inventor (Gregg Lachow) takes two friends (Megan Murphy and Kara McMahon), a small boy and a time machine to an empty beach in a small town in Washington state. He unveils his plan to travel back in time to the night Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, to save the president’s life. In his absence, the two women bond, spending the day absorbing their friend’s inconceivable quest, borrowing the car of a sleeping man who never awakens, calling dead relatives on a pay phone and breaking into a spirited dance number (to the tune of Tommy Dorsey’s "Yes Indeed") with a costumed skeleton on the beach. "Filled to the brim with the unexpected… these mysteries are not for solving, but for savoring… Murphy and McMahon hurl themselves into their roles with an engaging quality that could have been lifted from a screwball comedy." – Seattle Post-Intelligencer