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THIS INFORMATION IS INTENDED FOR MEMBERS OF THE PRESS ONLY
Date: October 9, 2006
Contact: Margot Gerber
Tel: (323) 461-2020, ext. 115

 

THE AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE PRESENTS

NICOLAS WINDING REFN’S PUSHER TRILOGY

AT THE EGYPTIAN THEATRE

November 3 – 4, 2006

 

HOLLYWOOD –The American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre presents Nicolas Winding Refn’s Pusher Trilogy, November 3 – 4, three films that reveal the humanity in even the most violent criminals and how every pusher—no matter what his status—is only one bad deal away from total ruin. Refn’s style is honed with savage, polished dynamics similar to Scorsese or Tarantino but often steeped with nightmarish visual asides akin to David Lynch. There will also be a screening of director Phie Ambo’s GAMBLER, a penetrating, painfully funny and insightful documentary about Refn’s harrowing quest to get PUSHER II and III financed and filmed. All screenings are at the Lloyd E. Theatre at the historic Egyptian (6712 Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Las Palmas) in Hollywood.

Writer and director Nicolas Winding Refn turned down a place at the prestigious National Danish Film School in order to make his 1996 feature film debut, PUSHER. This violent, edgy, yet moving cult classic established Refn as an uncompromising filmmaker of great talent and depth. Following his next two films, BLEEDER (1999) and FEAR X (2003) starring John Turturro, Refn returned to the Copenhagen underworld in 2004 with PUSHER II: WITH BLOOD ON MY HANDS, while 2005 saw the release of PUSHER III: I’M THE ANGEL OF DEATH. All three PUSHER films display Refn’s effortless blending of moody atmospherics and frenetic action, portraying his characters with a depth and confidence belying his years. Though each film can be appreciated independently of the other two, Refn subtly interweaves these three tales so that a minor character in one film moves to the fore to become the central character of the next. The resulting trilogy stands as a masterful reinvention of international crime cinema, as poignantly human as it is brutally and viscerally realized.

Friday, November 3, 2006 | Egyptian Theatre

The Friday, November 3rd program is a 7:30 PM Double Feature. First up is PUSHER, (1996, Magnolia Pictures, 105 min.), directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. The story of Frank (Kim Bodnia), a small-time drug dealer who’s about to experience the worst week of his life. After a complicated heroin deal goes wrong and he loses both the money and the merchandise, Frank finds himself massively in debt to the Balkan drug baron, Milo (Zlatko Buric). The squeeze is on and as the week passes the pressure mounts, with Frank trying to repay the money in the face of Milo’s increasing frustration and his own latent self-destructiveness. Come Friday, Saturday might never happen as Frank launches one last desperate push to raise the missing funds. It appears less likely he will manage to emerge from this hellish week unscathed. With Mads Mikkelsen.

Next on same bill is GAMBLER, (2006, Magnolia Pictures, 78 min.), directed by Phie Ambo. Nicolas Winding Refn’s first PUSHER film was a breakout hit in Denmark in 1996, and he followed it up with the relatively successful BLEEDER. However, his third enigmatic suspense film FEAR X penned by Hubert Selby Jr. - his highest budget effort to date starring John Turturro with exteriors shot in America - went bust at the box office. To avoid personal bankruptcy and fight his way out of a creative slump, Refn decided to do two back-to-back sequels of his first hit, PUSHER. This is the harrowing saga of Refn, with the help of his partners, trying to find funds, write scripts, shoot film and juggle his family life – all without losing his focus on the final goal: two financially successful movies that will retain the integrity of his original vision. It is a testament to director Phie Ambo and Refn, himself, that this real-life chronicle emerges as suspenseful and achingly truthful as Refn’s own violent, fictional outings. One of the best documentaries ever about trying to get low budget films made. NOT ON DVD.

 

Saturday, November 4, 2006 | Egyptian Theatre

The Saturday, November 4th program is a 7:30 PM Double Feature. First up is PUSHER II: WITH BLOOD ON MY HANDS, (2004, Magnolia Pictures, 96 min.), directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. Tonny (Mads Mikkelsen¸ who plays Bond villain, Le Chiffre in the upcoming CASINO ROYALE) is a crook from the Copenhagen underworld whose previous run-in with a baseball bat has left his mind addled and unreliable. Having been released from prison, Tonny tries to bring order to his life and gain the respect of his father, the Duke, a notorious gangster who appears to have nothing but contempt for his son. Tonny soon learns that nothing in this new life comes easy. Trying to repay a debt held over from prison, he makes misstep after misstep, running further afoul of the Duke. On top of it all, Tonny must contribute to the upbringing of a baby boy which may or may not be his own. Battling the scorn of all around him as well as his own drug-fueled delirium, Tonny must forge a path toward some form of redemption, or perish. With Leif Sylvester Petersen, Anne Sørensen, Zlatko Buric.

Next on the same bill is PUSHER III: I’M THE ANGEL OF DEATH, (2005, Magnolia Pictures, 102 min.) directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. PUSHER III takes place over the course of a single day, with the now middle-aged Milo (Zlatko Buric) struggling to prepare his daughter’s 25th birthday party. As Milo fights his own personal demons in the form of a smack addiction he’s trying to kick, his business day proves equally challenging once a shipment of ecstasy arrives in place of the heroin he was expecting. Milo is forced to contend with a new order of young hoods in order to move this designer drug he knows little about. Now feeling the squeeze he himself had put on so many before him, Milo must find a way to maintain his place of dominance atop the Copenhagen underworld. To do so he will have to survive one of the most harrowing episodes of his long, illustrious career.

 

BLACK AND WHITE/COLOR FILM STILLS ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST.

For press kits and screeners for THE PUSHER TRILOGY, please contact Fredell Pogodin, fredell@fredellpogodin.com.

 

WE DO NOT HAVE GUARANTEED PRESS PASSES TO PUBLIC SCREENINGS. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE ADVANCE PRESS SCREENINGS.

 

A complete calendar/flyer listing of our program is available on our website.

 

 

REQUESTS FOR PRESS TICKETS TO PUBLIC SCREENINGS AND INTERVIEW REQUESTS:

THE SHOW AT THE BOX OFFICE. Details at: http://www.americancinematheque.com/pressreleases/pressticketpolicies.htm

 

General Admission is $9; $6 Cinematheque members; $7 Seniors (65+ years) and students with valid ID card. 24-Hour information: 323.466.FILM

 

THE PROGRAM IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.

UPCOMING PROGRAMS:

 

  

  American Cinematheque, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028

(tel) 323.466-FILM (fax) 323.461.9737 On the web: http://www.americancinematheque.com