September 22, 2018
Katharina Otto-Bernstein Screening Room
Lenfest Center for the Arts
615 W 129th St
New York, NY 10027
1977 / 96 min
Director: Richard Benner / Screenwriters: Richard Benner & Margaret Gibson, based on the short story “Making It” by Margaret Gibson
Cast: Craig Russell, Hollis McLaren, Allan Moyle, Helen Shaver
Digital | Courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival Archive
Film introduced by Columbia Film professor Ron Gregg.
Canadian filmmaker Richard Benner’s loving valentine to non-conformity was an indie hit at a time when independent films were still something of a novelty. Even more remarkably, it dealt with gay characters who weren’t conflicted about their sexuality and weren’t punished for it. Craig Russell won the Best Actor award at the Berlin Film Festival for his role as Robin, a hairdresser becoming a star in the underground world of drag shows. The film was based on a semi-autobiographical short story by Russell’s best friend, Margaret Gibson, about their tumultuous relationship. Sadly, both Russell and Benner were among the casualties of the AIDS epidemic. The film has never been released on streaming platforms and the DVD is long out-of-print; our screening is a rare chance to see this neglected gem. (Ira Deutchman worked on the release of the film while at Cinema 5.)
This screening is part of NY Indie Guy: Ira Deutchman and the Rise of Independent Film
On September 14-16 and September 20-23, 2018, Columbia University’s Lenfest Center for the Arts will host a retrospective exhibit honoring the career of Film Professor and Producing Concentration Supervisor Ira Deutchman. Since 1975, Deutchman has been a leader in distributing, marketing, and producing American independent films, international films, and arthouse films. He is perhaps best known for founding and running the distribution companies Cinecom, Fine Line Features, and Emerging Pictures. Deutchman has taught at Columbia since 1987.
This retrospective will screen essential motion pictures from various points in Deutchman’s career, such as The Brother From Another Planet; Diva; Harlan County USA; sex, lies, & videotape; Swoon; and A Woman Under the Influence. Many showings will feature Q&A talkbacks with filmmakers or performers. The celebration will also include panel discussions and an extensive exhibit covering Deutchman’s impact on cinema.
All screenings and panels will take place in the Katharina Otto-Bernstein Screening Room at the Lenfest Center for the Arts, 615 W. 129th St., New York. All films will be accompanied by either an introduction or a Q&A session.
Tickets: $12 General Admission / $10 Seniors (65 and older) / $8 Students
Advance ticket sales available online only
Day-of-screening ticket sales available on-site, pending availability
All panels are ticketed, but free of charge
There will be a student rush line for all screenings*
The Art House Convergence
Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard
Film and Media Studies, Columbia University School of the Arts
The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University
The Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Columbia University
The University of Michigan Library