LOS ANGELES, November 12, 2008 â€” No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo and Vilmos will be honored with a special screening at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Leo S. Bing Theater on Friday, November 14 at 7:30 p.m. The film is also screening at the Starzâ€“Denver Film Festival November 14 and 15, the Camerimage International Festival of Cinematography November 29â€“ December 3, the Santa Fe Film Festival December 3â€“7 and the Palm Springs International Film Festival January 6â€“19.
The feature documentary, which premiered as an official selection of the 61st Annual Cannes International Film Festival in May, tracks a 50-year journey portraying the artistry and triumph of the great cinematographers Laszlo Kovacs, ASC and Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC. With film school equipment, they shot the Soviet crackdown of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Beginning with their arrival in the United States as political refugees from Hungary in February 1957, they struggled in Hollywood, finally breaking into the mainstream with their pivotal contribution to the “American New Waveâ€? with films like Easy Rider, McCabe & Mrs. Miller,
Five Easy Pieces, Paper Moon, Scarecrow, Deliverance, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and The Deer Hunter. Featuring interviews with Karen Black, Peter Bogdanovich, Sandra Bullock, Richard Donner, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Ellen Kuras, ASC, Leonard Maltin, Todd McCarthy, Tatum Oâ€™Neal, Bob Rafelson, Owen Roizman, ASC, Sharon Stone, Vittorio Storaro, AIC, ASC, Jon Voight, Haskell Wexler, ASC and John Williams. Their conversations are woven with awe-inspiring clips from the memorable films Kovacs and Zsigmond shot. However, their profound friendship forged in adversity is perhaps the greater story. The film has qualified for the 81st Academy AwardsÂ®.
â€œI am very happy that this film will have a broader audience,â€? says producer/director James Chressanthis, who is also a cinematographer and member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC). â€œItâ€™s a terrific honor to be invited to screen at LACMA. There was poetic justice in this film premiering at Cannes â€“ Laszlo shot Easy Rider, an ultra low-budget, counter-culture film that was a favorite with critics and fans at Cannes in 1969. Since our Cannes premiere, the film has been steadily gaining an audience, especially with young viewers. It was Easy Rider which finally opened doors for Laszlo in Hollywood and then in turn, launched his artistic brother Vilmos Zsigmond. They became legends in their own time. Now Kovacsâ€™ body of work includes such memorable films as That Cold Day in the Park, The King of Marvin Gardens, Paper Moon, Shampoo, New York, New York, Ghost Busters, Frances, and Mask. Zsigmond earned an OscarÂ® for Close Encounters of the Third Kind, additional nominations for The Deer Hunter, The River and The Black Dahlia, and an EmmyÂ® for Stalin. His other credits include McCabe and Mrs. Miller, The Rose, Deliverance and the upcoming birth-of-jazz film, Bolden!
â€œTheir brotherhood and how they struggled and triumphed is the heart of the story,â€? says Chressanthis. â€œWhen I asked Vilmos, if he had one wish, what would it be, he looked at the camera and said, â€˜all my dreams came true.â€™ We lost Laszlo while we were in production. I am grateful we were able to portray his immense spirit on film before he died.â€?
â€œRecognition for cinematographers in general is long overdue,â€? says film historian and critic Leonard Maltin. â€œWhen it comes to Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond, itâ€™s clear that the American New Wave of the late 1960s and early â€˜70s wouldnâ€™t have flowered as it did without them.â€?
Chressanthis traces his inspiration for this project to 1984 when Kovacs conducted a seminar following a screening of Paper Moon at the American Film Institute (AFI). Chressanthis subsequently interned with Zsigmond during the production of The Witches of Eastwick in 1986. Chressanthis has worked on documentaries in the past, but he is primarily a narrative film cinematographer. He currently is filming and directing episodes of the hit TV series The Ghost Whisperer. He recently completed photography on the RenÃ©e Zellweger-produced â€œLiving Proofâ€? starring Harry Connick Jr.
There was no production company backing the project when Chressanthis put his plan into motion in February 2007. â€œSome wonderful people who shared my admiration for Laszlo and Vilmos both as artists and as extraordinary human beings joined me in this endeavor. In May of 2007, NC Motion Pictures came onboard with critical financing. I also received terrific support from cinematographer Anka Malatynska and editor/co-producer Elisa Bonora and co-producer Ashley Welles Lewis. We were determined to tell the world how Laszlo and Vilmos affected the art of filmmaking, but that is just part of their story. This is also a story about their friendship and how they always supported each other.â€?
First-time feature film and documentary filmmakers Kian Soleimanpour, Zachary W. Kranzler and Tony Frere produced No Subtitles Necessary along with Chressanthis. Art Monterastelli and Mahboobeh Soleimanpour are co-executive producers. Jimmy Conroy II and Dr. David Kaminsky are executive producers.
Screening Times and Information:
LACMA SPECIAL SCREENING
Leo S. Bing Theater Friday November 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
5905 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90036 Tel: (323) 857-6000
STARZ â€“ DENVER FILM FESTIVAL
November 14 at 6:00 p.m.; November 15 at 6:30 p.m.
Denver Film Society at the Starz FilmCenter,
900 Auraria Parkway, Denver, CO 80204
Tel: (303) 595-3456 ext. 250
XVI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OF THE ART OF CINEMATOGRAPHY
November 29 â€“December 6, 2008 Screening Times TBD
Rynek Nowomiejski 28, 87-100 TORUÅƒ POLAND
Tel: (+48) 56-62-10-019; Fax. (+48) 56-65-22-197,
SANTA FE FILM FESTIVAL
December 3-7, 2008 Screening Times TBD
PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
January 6-19, 2009 Screening Times TBD
For additional information about No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo and Vilmos and the team who produced it, visit
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